It's election time again, which means it's time for Robert Scheer to give us the scoop on the candidates. A veteran Los Angeles Times correspondent, Scheer has previously exposed for Playboy the hearts, souls and characters of would-be Presidents Nelson Rockefeller, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. His portraits of 1988 nominees George Bush and Michael Dukakis are no less incisive and revealing. To decipher what makes them tick, Scheer hit the campaign trail and took reams of notes and taped hours of interviews—in which he displayed enough backbone to ask the hard questions other journalists sometimes omit (he suffered, in the process, the slings of at least one White House aspirant). The result is The Men Who Would Be President. (illustrations by Kinuko Y. Craft and Herb Davidson), which should be required reading for every voter between now and Election Day. Want more Scheer? Pick up Thinking Tuna Fish, Talking Death (Hill & Wang)—a smart collection of his work that includes many of the treasures he has contributed to these pages.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), November 1988, Volume 35, Number 11. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $26 for 12 issues, U.S. Canada, $39 for 12 issue. All other foreign, $39 U.S. Currency only. For new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy Subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51593-0222. Please allow 6–8 weeks for processing. For change of address, send new and old addresses. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51593-0222, and allow 45 days for change. Advertising: New York: 747 Third Avenue, New York 10017; Chicago: 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago 60611; West Coast: Perkins, Fox & Perkins, 3205 Ocean Park Boulevard, Suite 100, Santa Monica, California 90405.
Johnny Clegg, 35, has been dancing like a Zulu for more than 20 years and is a musical legend in South Africa. Not bad for a white boy. His band, Savuka, which records for Capitol, has been lauded as Steve Winwood's latest opening act. Born in England, Clegg was raised in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Johannesburg. When his parents split up when he was in his early teens, "I was very confused," Clegg says, "and I guess you could say I was looking for a father figure." Which is probably why he began hanging around the old Zulu named Charley who was a maintenance man in his apartment building.
Reach Out: Away from home and forgot to set your VCR to record? Worry not. Panasonic's telephone-programable PV-4826 hooks into your phone line and responds to your remote commands like an answering machine.
Best Video Vacation from Hell:Solitudes: Loon Country by Canoe;Subtlest Porn Title:Mouthful of Love;Best Thrill-a-Minute Video:A Decade of the Waltons;Best It's-a-Living Video:Metal Punching;Favorite Video Physicians:Crystal Healing (rocks as docs) and Health Through God's Pharmacy: A Plant for Every Illness (Marcus Welby sets up practice in the Little Shop of Horrors).
We asked historian and former J.F.K. aide Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., to name some of the movies he has purchased on video. Among those in his collection: "Lubitsch films, Busby Berkeley, Bogart and Astaire," he said. "They remind me of when I was younger and they're fun to watch. Of the newer films, I find Woody Allen particularly good." Does Schlesinger plan any special viewing as America remembers J.F.K. this month? "I don't own any of these so-called docudramas about the Kennedy era. Seeing them once is enough, and most of them get things wrong."
Top Music trends may come and go, but the wry, no-frills Jimmy Buffett seems to be forever. In fact, his 16th LP, "Hot Water," is one of his all-time best sellers. And on the "Hot Water" track "My Barracuda" appears another big-beat survivor, Steve Winwood. Buffett happily volunteered to check out for us Winwood's latest long-player, "Roll with It."
Ashes to Ashes Department: A Viennese firm suggested last spring that Mick Jagger allow it to market his ashes after his death, packaging them in hourglass-shaped bottles. But Jagger is too busy making up with Keith and planning a new Stones album to worry about dying, except maybe on the charts.
The word thug is derived from a secret sect of thieves and murderers, the thuggees, who worshiped the Hindu goddess Kali and claimed thousands of victims in India well into the 19th Century. Based on a novel by John Masters and directed with high energy and competence by Nicholas Meyer, The Deceivers (Cinecom) stars Pierce Brosnan (a.k.a. TV's Remington Steele) as the British East India Company officer whose real-life counterpart joined, exposed and finally destroyed the Thugs. To avoid detection, the brave Brit stains his skin brown and masters the deadly art of strangulation with a knotted silken cord—and discovers, to his horror, that he's rather good at it. At the end of his bloody high adventure, he rejoins his lovely English wife (Helena Michell) but quietly throws away his crucifix, acknowledging kinship with the fanatic cutthroats he has come to know, if not love. All of which makes The Deceivers a thinking man's recap of such glorious vintage epics as Lives of a Bengal Lancer and Gunga Din. There's not quite enough time between ambushes and cavalry charges to achieve real psychological depth, but Brosnan acquits himself with honor in his third try (following Nomads and The Fourth Protocol) at proving he has major big-screen potential. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
Looking ahead to Christmas with John Glover, the man moviegoers love to hate, is not all yuletide jollies. Glover usually prefers deviltry. In the forthcoming Scrooged, he's Bill Murray's nemesis. "Murray's a network-TV guy producing A Christmas Carol, with Buddy Hackett as Scrooge. I'm the L.A. exec who comes in from the Coast to help Bill along with his nervous breakdown. I just push the final button and take charge.... I had such a good time." His relish for dark deeds may explain why the 44-year-old Glover has been called "the prime rotter of the Eighties" by critic Pauline Kael; others have labeled him poisonous, sleazy or worse. And why not? He plays a criminal psychopath in 52 Pick-up, Meg Tilly's conniving step-dad in Masquerade and has new mischief afoot in The Chocolate War: "I'm this manipulative brother in a Catholic school.... The movie's supposed to be about a chocolate sale, but some people say it's really about Watergate." Then there's Life on the Edge, a comedy in which "I'm like Jim Anderson in Father Knows Best. I take my boss home, he makes a play for my wife, so we kill him. Then my wife, my little boy and I don't know what to do with the body." Father was never like this. Over a fast brunch in Hollywood, Glover goes on to describe his current gig in David, a TV feature that re-creates the real-life drama of an estranged husband who takes his young son on a trip to Disneyland and sets him ablaze in a motel. How can Glover, a genial sort, turn himself into such bad guys? "These people don't see themselves as bad," he explains. "You play wanting something.... That's the secret." With a breezy farewell wave, Glover adds, "Come see me at Disneyland."
June 16, 1972, Arlington National Cemetery: Soldiers in full dress, some of the nation's most powerful people in attendance for the burial of John Paul Vann, harsh critic of our policies in Vietnam, a man who first served there in 1962 and would die there in a chopper crash a decade later; soldier, citizen, advisor, counterinsurgency expert—and prodigious leaker to such U.S. journalists as David Halberstam and Neil Sheehan. It was at Vann's funeral that Sheehan committed himself to writing his biography, and now, 16 tough years later, here it is. A Bright Shining Lie (Random House) is the single best book about the Vietnam war—and likely to stay that way. It weaves the riveting personal history of a man who was at the center of the conflict into the broader picture of our failing national strategy. Lie presents Vann warts and all—opportunist, cocksman, killer, manipulator—and in all his glory: honest, shrewd, patriotic, brave. It describes the complexities of the Vietnamese people, from corrupt war lords to trampled peasants. Finally, it calls into serious question America's tactical and strategic response to what we now label "low-intensity conflict." A brilliant piece of work that truly shines its light all the way to the end of the tunnel.
Chances are you know somebody who is slowly, secretly starving. Chances are it's a woman. You probably haven't perceived that she's starving—not unless she's in your immediate family and you're alert to the early warning signs of anorexia.
It was love at first sight. The man who walked into the Lone Star Café was handsome—nicely built, prematurely gray, tall, clean-shaven, blue-eyed. He smiled at me. A big "Hi, there, cutie" smile. Then he stood right next to me at the bar. Rita, three stools down, gave me a meaningful look. Cleo, two tables over, nodded approval. Irma Thomas, prima New Orleans chanteuse, was belting You Can Have My Husband, but Please Don't Fuck with My Man.
Is it common for two people to disagree about sex? I've been dating my girlfriend for several months now. I thought we were getting along, but the other night, she refused to have intercourse. When I tried to find out why, she said, "Don't pressure me." My school has regular indoctrination courses in date rape and sexual harassment, so I backed off. But I still wondered, what does it mean?—M. G., Boston, Massachusetts.
"Slogans that teach young people to 'Say no' to drugs or sex have a nice ring to them. But ... they are as effective in prevention of adolescent pregnancy and drug abuse as the saying 'Have a nice day' is in preventing clinical depression."
It's a sorry sense of priorities that bogs us down in such petty issues as prayer in public schools and separation of church and state and abortion laws and the sexual peccadilloes of some funky television preachers when there are major religious questions that must be decided. For example, there's the matter of Saint Gabriel Possenti and whether or not he should be named the patron saint of handgun owners.
Rockefeller's Wallet, Carter's Lust, Reagan's Jokes.... In the Past, Robert Scheer has given Playboy Readers Prescient Portraits of the candidates. Here is his Report on George Bush and Michael Dukakis
When the phenomenally popular "Monty Python's Flying Circus" folded its television tent more than a decade and a half ago, John Cleese, arguably its most visible member, went on to even more video success, solo, as spokesman for a variety of good-natured products and as his own creation, Basil Fawlty, the overbearing proprietor of the hilarious, forever-repeating series "Fawlty Towers." Now 48, Cleese has limited his TV activity to commercials and the odd appearance in order to concentrate on other projects, including the film "A Fish Called Wanda," which he wrote and in which he stars with Jamie Lee Curtis and fellow Python Michael Palin.
pump up the volume and vote! In this year of plebiscites, we offer you a spectacular voting opportunity—the annual Playboy Music Poll. And we guarantee that it's the easiest ballot you'll cast. Here's what you do: On the first part of the ballot, write in your picks for the best. On the second part, write in your Hall of Fame choice. For the rest, use the letters and numbers provided—or, if you prefer, write in your nominees. Simple. Then just pop your ballot into the mail to us. Only official ballots count, and they must be postmarked before midnight, November 15. 1988.