It's February again and, in 1992, you can't help wondering: Will this be a good year for the people who sell valentines? Can it be politically correct or even decent to send a romantic message when it might, in the wake of Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill, be construed as a U.S.A.? That's U.S.A. as in unwanted sexual advance. In The Thinking Man's Guide to Working with Women, Contributing Editor Denis Boyles cuts to the chase with a wit and a wisdom that will leave you wondering why, in this age of communication, men and women still can't read one another's signals. Senior Staff Writer James R. Petersen'sViewpoint, "Mixed Company," suggests ways to distinguish office pest from office prude; Robert Scheer, in his Reporter's Notebook, "Putting Sex in Its Place," visits the front lines of the workplace, while Men columnist Asa Baber provides covering fire in his reflections on life in a time of sexual inquisition.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), February 1992, Volume 39, Number 2. Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $29.97 for 12 issues. U.S. Canada, $43.97 for 12 issues. All other foreign, $45 U.S. Currency only. For new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy Subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing. For change of address, send new and old addresses and allow 45 days for change. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007. Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Advertising: New York: 747 Third Avenue, New York 10017; Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611; West Coast; 8560 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069; Metropolitan Publishers Representatives, Inc.: Atlanta: 3017 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30305; Miami: 2500 South Dixie Highway, Miami, FL 33133; Tampa: 3016 Mason Place, Tampa, FL 33629.
With seven gold albums, two Grammy awards and a million-selling single to his credit, jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis needs other worlds to conquer. So these days, he also hosts the ACE-nominated "Bet on Jazz," Fridays and Sundays on Black Entertainment Television, as well as a highly rated Saturday-night slot on Chicago's WNUA-FM, where he's been spinning several tracks from "Beneath the Mask," by the Chick Corea Elektric Band.
Oh, Give It a Rest Department: An organization called The Spirit of Elvis Foundation hopes to use the advanced technology of molecular biology to reconstruct the King of Rock and Roll. Don't ask us for more information: Write to P.O. Box 5633, Chicago, Illinois 60680-6533.
The hard-edged Rush (MGM/Pathé) is based on a novel by Kim Wozencraft, adapted by Pete Dexter and directed by Lili Fini Zanuck. You might expect a kindler, gentler film from Zanuck (a co-producer with her husband, Richard D. Zanuck, of Driving Miss Daisy), who makes her directorial debut with this harrowing saga about two undercover drug investigators (Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jason Patric) who get hooked simultaneously on narcotics and each other. Based on actual events about a couple of cops sinking into their own psychological hell, Rush mirrors 1975's stoned reality with depressing accuracy. The detectives and the characters in the seedy gang they try to infiltrate (among them, the music world's Gregg Allman as an elusive dealer) are indelibly portrayed--a rogue's gallery of louts and losers. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
Chicago native Gary Sinise, best known as a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and a creature of theater, is about to change all that. He has a featured role as a befuddled World War Two GI in A Midnight Clear (see review). Later, he will be seen with Danny DeVito in Jack the Bear. "I'm sort of the neighborhood monster," says Sinise. "Danny gets to do a lot of funny stuff, but it's basically sad, a tragicomedy." At the age of 36, Sinise is also producing, directing and starring in a new Horton Foote adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel Of Mice and Men, with John Malkovich and Sherilyn Fenn.
Now in his 41st year in the recording industry, singer Tony Bennett looks for videos with the same lasting quality. "I love the classics," he says, "with timeless, good performances." Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane and The Maltese Falcon are all in his laser-disc library, as well as "anything with Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire." Bennett also collects the jazz vids of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald. With the release of his own best-of tape, Tony Bennett Live: Watch What Happens, does the singer rank himself among the legends? "I don't know," he demures, "I've got a way to go yet."
Joseph Wambaugh began his writing career by drawing on 14 years of L.A.P.D. experience to show the human side of police work. In novels, nonfiction and in his Police Story TV series, he showed us young cops who laughed and suffered through the stress of daily tragedy. It seemed natural that they were all men.
American men did not organize or lobby or say very much as the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearing roared like a forest fire through our culture this past fall. Indeed, American men didn't do much of anything except hunker down and hope that the flames would pass. It was a time for survival, not a time for debate.
I've been freaking out ever since hearing the news of Magic Johnson's infection with the AIDS virus. I haven't scored like Earvin--either on or off the hardwood--but I'm not monogamous, either. In fact, I don't even remember all their names. Should I get tested? And how does the test work?--W. C., Framingham, Massachusetts.
The voice mail alerted us. We punched in our code and heard a message recorded over the weekend. "Hi. This is Bill Redican. I'm an editor for educational television in Berkeley. I read in Herb Caen's column that someone was tossed out of a restaurant named Bette's Ocean View Diner for reading a copy of Playboy. This is outrageous. We can't have waitresses deciding our reading material. They've crossed the line. I am going to organize a read-in at Bette's."
Imagine waking up to find that Mohawk haircuts had been carved on the figures of Mount Rushmore. Imagine that the world's best sex manual had been revised. Actually, the Presidents' coiffures are safe, it's The Joy of Sex that's changed. Gone are the explicit Indian paintings. Gone are the pencil sketches of the distinctly hirsute (beard and armpit hair) hippie lovers of the Seventies. Gone is the wedding ring from the hand of the woman whose acrobatic candor signaled a decade of adventure. The New Joy of Sex: A Gourmet Guide to Love-making for the Nineties, by Dr. Alex Comfort, has replaced Oriental paintings (known for their graphic focus on penetration and penises) with tasteful black-and-white photographs of kissing and cuddling (no penetration). Sex has become an Obsession ad. In the bondage illustration, a brass bed has replaced the carved wooden headboard of the Seventies edition. Gone, too, is the alphabetized guide to cordon bleu fun and games. ("Tonight's lesson in love has been brought to you by the letter C.") Sadly, the editors have fixed what wasn't broken and, with little rhyme or reason, juggled entries and entrees. Another oddity is the larger type face: "Mouth Music," originally a four-page ode to oral sex, now spans six pages. This either aids the visually impaired and aging baby boomer, or simply makes the section feel longer. The discussion of venereal diseases has grown from four paragraphs to four pages and includes a new section devoted to AIDS. As The New Joy of Sex hit bookstores in America, countries in eastern Europe were publishing the original. Maybe it's the hairy armpits. Or maybe, when you finally experience freedom, you want the raw, uncut version.
"The trick in dealing with celibacy is to understand that there is no true substitute for the intimacy of marriage.... I'm over 60. For me, it's not about sex.... It's when I have a great idea that I'd like to share with someone, when I've heard a new piece of music and want someone to listen with me.... If we are alive, we are continually falling in love."
Sexual harassment, now that's a subject I can explore with some personal authority. Mind you, I've never gone so far as the most recently confirmed Supreme Court member is alleged to have gone. Nor will I pretend, as some Senators did, that I was shocked by Anita Hill's allegations. C'mon, guys, you know better. If you're like me, somewhere around the age of 13 you began insisting that any woman of taste would benefit from your offer of foreplay.
A few weeks after the Anita and Clarence show, The New York Times interviewed Michelle Paludi, a psychologist at Hunter College who coordinates a campus committee on sexual harassment. Here is what the article had to say on the gulf between men and women in their definitions of sexual harassment: "Men and women in college were presented with hypothetical scenarios and asked to say when sexual harassment occurred.
Back when discretion was still the better part of valor, we wouldn't have dared inquire about a woman's age, a man's salary or either's sexual proclivities. Gary Hart might secretly ship out with Donna Rice, Marla Maples might hole up quietly in some cushy apartment in Trump Tower. A Presidential polyp was the business of no one but the Commander in Chief and his proctologist.
Charles Dickens knew his stuff, you know. Listen to this: "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
This can be tough for manly men, but just for a second, try to imagine that you make a living by being one of the most beautiful women in the world. You have blonde hair and green eyes and you're considerably taller than most of the men you meet. Probably even stronger than they are. Billions of images of you are scattered around the world. You're the center of attention whether you're modeling on a runway, attending a party, walking down the street or buying lug nuts at the hardware store. Everyone has ideas about you before you open your mouth. Everyone treats you differently. Men ogle, women whisper. Being beautiful is no piece of cake. Rachel Williams doesn't want all that attention. She really is sick of tropical islands. She doesn't care if she ever goes to another perfect beach.
We are in a screening room atop the Westin Hotel in New Orleans. It is July 1991 and Oliver Stone is in town filming JFK, his latest assault on establishment sensibilities, a movie with the premise that we do not yet know the truth about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
Maybe the megabuck fashion excesses of the Eighties have worn a bit thin: Lower-priced collections by major American and European menswear designers are getting the kind of attention once reserved exclusively for top offerings. The same $2200 that gets you a Giorgio Armani Borgonuovo suit, for example, buys three models from his Emporio Armani collection--and very handsome they are. There are also second collections from Jhane Barnes (Barnes Storm), Joseph Abboud (JA II), Gianni Versace (V2 by Versace), Nino Cerruti (Informale) and others. All maintain the looks and quality of their higher-priced alternatives--and several lines even share common colors, so it's possible to mix. You can bank on that.
Here's the Scene: The Gulf war just broke out and I'm in my house looking for condoms and packing for a three-month trip to Rome and Monaco to co-star with Sean Young in a film, Once Upon a Crime. Aside from abandoning my therapist (who will undoubtedly miss my sessions, particularly when I sing like Jolson), I'm leaving behind some of the most narcissistic, self-involved, controlling, manipulative, possessive, jealous, unappreciative, beautiful, seductive, magnificent women I have ever had the pleasure of dating.
By the time she was old enough to vote, Tanya Beyer took the kind of risk few people ever take. She decided to test her looks--and her luck--against the world's toughest competition. She'd been modeling for only one year--as star client at a small agency in Colorado--but she headed for even higher altitudes, professionally speaking: to the rarefied atmosphere of the international modeling world. Unlike many of the aspirants she met, Tanya liked the work. "I always wanted to be a model," she says unapologetically. "People make fun of models, like they have to be stupid. I don't get that. You make decent money, you get to see the world--that's stupid?" Hard to argue with that. In just 18 months, Tanya's career choice took her to Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Japan--all before she was old enough legally to buy herself a celebratory glass of champagne back at home in Colorado. These days, top models specialize. Does Tanya have a particular "look"? She laughs. "Sure, happy-smiley-face, healthy-athletic." There were modeling jobs, especially in Europe, that she didn't get because "I wasn't skinny and trendy-looking enough." Her wholesomeness is more than just skin-deep. The second of three sisters raised in Colorado Springs, Tanya blasted through a sporty youth filled with skiing, gymnastics, track and field and cheerleading. She was William Mitchell High School's homecoming queen in 1989 and, as she recalls, "one of the last virgins in my senior class." She explains, with a mysterious smile, "I was always real shy in those situations." A good student, Tanya was active in sports and a member of the pompon squad. She graduated a semester ahead of schedule and headed to Milan with $800 in her pocket and a meager two pictures in her modeling book. Within a week, she was encased in a slinky blue leotard, posing for an exercise article in an Italian magazine. Bodywork, as they call it in the trade, has been Tanya's bread and butter--quite a turnaround for the shy beauty from Mitchell High.
When the last of the U.S. airborne forces returned from the Persian Gulf, the press clamored for interviews. "Sergeant," one reporter said, stopping a young trooper, "what's the first thing you're going to do when you get home?"
Listen: A cold wind is blowing through the desert night. It is blowing from the western mountains beyond Las Vegas, blowing across the icy waters behind Hoover Dam, blowing down blind canyons, combing trees and chaparral. In this wind there is nothing of the warm, damp Pacific slopes, no verdant green, no salt off the vast sea. This wind is dry and lean and hard. It does not celebrate the human. But if you stand back from the neon and the traffic, if you find some barren patch beyond the action, you might hear the wind whisper the name of a man long gone.
Times are changing quickly in the car business. The 1992 model year will witness major shifts in influence. Forget what you think you know about American cars. Quality is up, defects are down and fresh styling is again turning heads. Cadillac's elegant new Seville STS, for example, is challenging the Japanese and European luxury leaders, and Buick's supercharged Park Avenue Ultra and the new Oldsmobile Eighty Eight Royale look like winners. Chrysler continues to lead the minivan wars. And Dodge's thundering V-10 Viper sports roadster invades a franchise Corvette has owned for years. Still, the big news for Chrysler won't come until this fall. Lee Iacocca has to hope that his company won't bleed to death from discounting before it can launch its flashy 1993 LH sedans. European luxury cars are faltering under relentless attacks from the Japanese. Some European brands, such as Peugeot and Sterling, have already abandoned the U.S. playing field; more will surely follow as competitive pressures increase. And Japanese carmakers, despite intense public scrutiny from Americans who are tired of watching their industry decline, are responding with still more cleverly designed, attractively priced new models--many of them built in the U.S. Environmental concern is heating up. Mitsubishi and Honda are touting new fuel-efficient, lean-burning engines. BMW and Volkswagen lead in recycling technology. They predict that some cars will be totally recyclable by the end of the decade. Safety is suddenly very fashionable. Air bags and antilock brakes are available on models in every price range. On the retail front, customer service is in, salesperson indifference is out. We're watching a revolution, and when the exhaust smoke clears, there will be fewer makes to contest the battle. With all these changes--there are currently 60 makes and more than 600 models to choose from--Playboy has again assembled a panel of automotive experts (their biographies can be found on page 139) to evaluate 1992 cars in a variety of categories. And for the second year in a row, as part of our annual new-car roundup, we're presenting Playboy's Car of the Year award. The winner is pictured overleaf. Gentlemen, start your opinions.... Hottest Pocket Rocket Under $20,000: Mazda's devilishly quick, egg-shaped MX-3 eased out Nissan's NX2000 in the voting. Ken Gross picked the MX-3, commenting that its "head-turning looks, high-tech features and Miata-like handling make it a winner in the minisupercoupe class." David Stevens thought that (continued on page 110) the MX-3 had a slight case of "insufferable cutes" but loved the handling. "Buying one without the optional V6 engine would be like ordering a new Rolls-Royce with cloth seats." Len Frank hadn't driven an MX-3, but he chose it anyway, saying, "Mazda is an exception to the stiff-spring-no-damping school of Japanese suspension tuning." Brock Yates preferred the Nissan NX2000, calling it "the Saturday-night special of automobiles." John Lamm wasn't knocked out by the looks of the NX2000, "but the driving fun makes up for it." Arie Luyendyk cast his vote for the redesigned Volkswagen Golf, saying "its handling and acceleration are the equal of some thirty-five-thousand-dollar cars."
The world has been a busy place lately. The Soviet Union has undergone a chicken coup, Europe is again reshuffling its deck and the Middle East is, well, acting like the Middle East. Through it all, Playboy hasn't missed out on the global action. Last May, with the launch of the landmark Czechoslovakian edition (our second in eastern Europe, after Hungary), we reached a new high, with publications in 15 locations world-wide. To our mind, that's cause for celebration. Here, then, is a summit of sorts--a gathering of some of the finest diplomats we know: the ladies who grace the pages of our foreign editions. Call it the Olympics of beauty, call it the real "new world order." Welcome to Playboy's World Tour '92.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, 29, is an actress who considers the comment "Oh, were you in that film?" a compliment. It means she's doing her job well. Since her debut in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," as the sexually precocious Stacy, that job has included playing two very different hookers in "Last Exit to Brooklyn" and "Miami Blues" and straighter roles in "Backdraft," "The Hitcher" and "The Big Picture." Her latest excursion is "Rush," based on Kim Wozencraft's powerful book about an undercover cop who gets mixed up with drugs.
Just as functional as black-rubber galoshes but infinitely more stylish, the season's hottest new boots are making tracks everywhere else. Ankle-high models such as jodhpurs and rubber-soled suede pull-ons stand up to the snow and cold and can be worn dressed up with a suit or a sports coat and trousers as well as with sweaters and jeans. More-casual styles include the classic cowboy boots (this season's top look is brown leather with pointed toes) and cap-toed combat or paratrooper boots. If you're hell-bent for leather, pick up a pair of motorcycle boots in black or brown decorated with brass rings and rivets. They come in various lengths, from ankle to midcalf to just below the knee. And, in all cases, the toes are square but the boots are anything but.
"The Drug War: Voices from the Street"--While the nation O.D.S on Washington's Mindless Drug-war Blather, listen to some strong stuff from The Battlefield--A gritty book excerpt by William Triplett and Tim Wells