Ah, Summer, and who under the spell of a warm night sky hasn't wondered about UFOs--could aliens be on their way? Here? In Robert Silverberg'sThe Way to Spook City, an original novella we're pleased to run in its entirety, the bad guys have conquered middle America. Bob Walters' illustration may jog a few memories: His panoramas are in the Smithsonian.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), August 1992, Volume 39, Number 8, Published monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: 529.97 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 90089: 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.
Geena Davis and Lori Petty are sisters milking cows down on the farm when a smartass scout recruits them for A League of Their own (Columbia). The year is 1943, and with such sluggers as Joe DiMaggio off to war, the All American Girls Professional Baseball League came into being. Director Penny Marshall fields a championship cast in an unabashedly sentimental journey loosely based on fact, with Madonna scoring a clean hit in a lesser role as a sexy center fielder named Mae. Tom Hanks lays it on as the team's alcoholic coach, who sees his job haranguing babes in the boondocks as a form of punishment. League is spelled out in flashbacks starting with a reunion of good old gals at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. With a nice assist from Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, who wrote Splash and City Slickers, Marshall chalks up a witty extra-base tribute to wartime women defiantly doing their thing, which one staid radio commentator decries as "a desperate example of sexual confusion." How they handle such sexist flak is all part of a dandy crowd-pleasing game. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
The buzz in Hollywood is all about 28-year-old director Marc Rocco, whose upcoming Where the Day Takes You concerns LA.'s homeless young drifters. Since the early screenings, his phone hasn't stopped ringing. Studios, agents, actors on hold. "It's been fun," says Rocco.
No doubt about it: Ivana Trump loves videos. She estimates she has 400 in her personal collection. (She used to have more than 3000 aboard the Trump Princess, she says, but they went with the yacht when it was sold.) How much hardware does that require? "Oooh, that's a hard question," says Miss I. "Let's see. There are about fifteen TVs and VCRs in Trump Tower, ten or eleven at the house in Greenwich, two in the house in the south of France." When she's home alone, Trump prefers classics such as West Side Story, Roman Holiday and Doctor Zhivago. When she's traveling, it's Roseanne and Cosby taped from the tube and sent to her by her secretaries. Oh, and she also uses video to keep up with the latest fashions. "I can't always be in Europe for the ready-to-wear collections," she says, "so I get tapes of the shows I miss." Life's tough.
If the action in Barcelona has you longing for Olympic gold oldies, Bud Greenspan's 22-tape Emmy-winning series The Olympiad pays tribute to the Summer Games' most triumphant moments--and athletes. Highlights:
MGM/UA's nifty double-feature disc, Doctor X/The Mystery of the Wax Museum ($40), has equal doses of history and horror. Both fright films, starring Fay Wray, were shot in pre-Production Code days, so bare thighs and risqué scripting abound. Also, these early stabs at color processing create a look that's more pink and green than Technicolor....MPI, long a home video champ, has stepped up its laser disc catalog. Recent additions include a duo of music discs--The Judds: Their Final Concert and The Bee Gees: One for All Tour--Live!--and The Return of Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of Baskervilles, starring Jeremy Brett as the famous shamus.
Screw Censorship Department: The Rock the Vote graphic reproduced on T-shirts and bumper stickers with the legend Censorship is Un-American has been caught in a censorship flap of its own. Screw magazine wanted to use the graphic on the cover of a recent issue to help spread the anti-censorship message, but Rock the Vote said no. The program director told Screw, "I'm sure you understand [Screw] isn't an appropriate magazine for it to appear in." Now we've heard everything: Apparently some censorship isn't un-American.
For the past 30 years or so, this basic set of guidelines has proved invaluable for fledgling jazz fans: 1. Buy one Miles Davis album from the mid-Fifties and one from the mid-Sixties. 2. Buy one album by each sideman found therein. 3. Buy one album by each of their sidemen. Follow these rules and you'll have a starter-set of modern jazz. Davis' acumen at putting together great bands led him to hire such storied improvisers as John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, each of whom led top-notch groups of his own. And even after Miles's death, the rules apply, as evidenced by new CDs from former Davis associates.
Media Critics, like all other critics, have a dirty little secret: We're really fans. We may whine and moan about the sorry state of journalism, but--at night, all alone, hidden in our dens--we're news junkies. We love the media. We just have a funny way of showing it.
With Voter confidence at an all-time low and political scandal at an all-time high, our presidential choices this year seem increasingly desperate and limited. We could call either Jerry Brown's or Ross Perot's 800 number. We could attend a bake-off with Hillary Clinton or watch the President pander to his own set of special-interest groups. Better yet, we could take a book to the beach and try to figure out how we got into this mess.
So there you are, minding your own business, as happy as a pig in shit. Life is good and you are not about to spoil the fun. You have your own life-support system, the climate is temperature-controlled, you are fed through a tube whenever you are hungry and somebody else is doing most of your work for you. Yes, you've got it: the perfect male environment!
It's not easy being Jerry Brown. I was reminded of this the night after the New York primary, when the guy I had met 30 years ago in college in Berkeley was once again telling me he should be President. There has never been any question that Brown had the ability to lead the country; bright, perhaps brilliant, he served eight years as a better than average governor of a state with an economy larger than those of many countries. But the questions regarding his being President were: Would he stay involved? Would he stick with his positions when they became unpopular?
Several months ago, without warning, my girlfriend broke up with me. I thought we had a great relationship, and I'm taking this breakup a lot harder than previous partings. I'm trying to let go, but I can't seem to do it. How can I mend this broken heart?--V. J., Sacramento, California.
Sometime this summer, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill known as the pornography victims' compensation act. In Massachusetts, the state legislature will consider similar legislation to protect the civil rights of women and children. On the surface, both sound like well-intentioned humanitarian bills. In reality, their passage could censor any sexual expression.
Catharine MacKinnon is on a roll. A cover story in The New York Times Sunday Magazine coincided with the Thomas confirmation debacle. Suddenly she is everywhere, identified as "a national expert on sexual abuse," "a brilliant political strategist" or "the Meese Commission's favorite feminist." Peter Jennings anointed her as "the country's most prominent legal theorist on behalf of women, whose dedication to laws which serve men and women equally has made it better."
We did this last year, hoping once would be enough-but no, America is still in the throes of shifting blame from the guilty to the innocent-and sometimes to the inanimate. The House members who bounced checks blamed everyone and everything: their wives, sloppy signatures, stress, semantics and the "system." Misassigning blame has become such a cultural phenomenon that even some of the more established and mainstream media have accepted and even encouraged the flagellation of others. Witness Time magazine talking about Jeffrey Dahmer's murder, dismemberment and, in some cases, cannibalism of 17 people: "We get the criminals our society deserves." Dahmer's not responsible, but America is. Insight, a Washington, D.C.-based magazine, even has a regular "Hall of Shame" column. We've become a nation of finger pointers, incest survivors, Adult Children of Alcoholics, victims of ethnocentricity, homophobia, heterophobia, sexism, racism and ageism. If you're feeling like a victim but aren't sure of exactly what, just scan the sagging shelves of the pop psychology and self-help sections of your local bookstore. Or get some ideas from the chart to your right.
The federal government sent a circular to Keith Jacobson from the Heartland Institute for a New Tomorrow describing "an organization founded to protect and promote sexual freedom and freedom of choice." For more than 26 months, the government sent similar material; when Jacobson finally caved in to curiosity and ordered a magazine called Boys Who Love Boys through one of the organizations, he was arrested and found guilty of possessing child pornography. On April 6, 1992, the Supreme Court overturned the conviction: "In their zeal to enforce the law, government agents may not originate a criminal design, implant in an innocent person's mind the disposition to commit a criminal act and then induce commission of the crime so that the government may prosecute."
If Derek Humphry and his growing number of followers have their way, doctors could play a new role in our culture. In addition to fighting disease and providing care, they could end lives-on purpose. They could inject patients with lethal doses of drugs and stand by while the drugs take effect, making certain that the patient dies comfortably.
The Air was Shining up ahead, a cold white pulsing glow bursting imperiously out of the hard blue desert sky. That sudden dazzle told Demeris that he was at the border; he was finally getting his first glimpse of the place where human territory ended and the alien-held lands began.
During this quincentenary year, we will all hear a great deal about the famous first voyage made by Christopher Columbus. As we should. He did sail off bravely, convinced that by following his nose he would eventually hit India and the treasures of the East-as long as his nose was facing west. What we don't hear about is his comely cousin Christina Columbus, herself a gifted explorer and adventurer. She, too, made a journey in 1492 that was supported by the king and queen of Spain and she, too, discovered new worlds. Archival confirmation of this Columbus' exploits was recently discovered and was lovingly recreated by British photographer and amateur historian Byron Newman. Here are the facts, as we are able to piece them together.
If you're in the market for a new car, this is the year to consider buying American. It looks as though General Motors is finally getting its act together. Ford has some top sellers, including the highly rated Taurus. Chrysler is introducing three new four-door sedans-the Eagle Vision TSi (pictured overleaf), the Dodge Intrepid and the Chrysler Concorde. These new models (designated LH cars) are the kind of product Chrysler needs. The challenge now is to ensure a consistent level of quality and to improve dealer service. We've been given a preview of the Vision, Intrepid and Concorde, and the good news is that they're not just a mishmash of recycled, outdated components. The engineers combined a cab-forward design with a radically dropped hoodline to create substantially more interior room and excellent visibility. An option for all three models is a 3.5-liter, 24-valve single-overhead-cam V6 engine coupled to a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. Zero-to-60 times are about eight seconds, with a top speed of 125 mph. And thanks to a state-of-the-art fully independent suspension system and extra-wide Goodyear Eagle GA tires, the handling is remarkably better than anything Chrysler has previously produced (excluding the Dodge Viper). Four-wheel disc brakes and dual air bags are standard equipment on all models; antilock brakes and electronic traction control are standard on some models, optional on others.
You'd Think that having a body like Ashley Allen's would go to her pretty head, but it hasn't fazed this willowy Dallas-based model in the least. "I honestly don't think I'm all that pretty," she confides, "but I have to admit I'm real happy that Playboy does!" All in all, 1992 seems to be her banner year. Since learning of her impending centerfold status last October, Ashley has been fielding more offers than her answering machine can accommodate. And while she's happy to find herself so sought after, the demand is beginning to exceed her supply of energy. The long work days and the constant air travel required for on-location modeling shoots in Hawaii and Paris, various promotional gigs and the like have left this fetching 24-year-old feeling frazzled. If jet lag could kill, she agrees, she'd be listed in serious condition. Still, she perseveres with a smile, since most of the offers--including a film audition (Bachelor Party II), her ads for Hawaiian Tropic tanning lotion and her poster-girl work for Miller beer--are simply too good to refuse. Even wedlock has to take a backseat to Ashley's ambitions. "I got married young--when I was eighteen--but the marriage lasted only one year. My ex was a nice guy, but he tried to keep too tight a rein on me. He wanted me to give up modeling, insisting I have a baby instead. It was like the old cliché--he wanted to keep me barefoot and pregnant. No way. I never intend to get so dependent on a man that I don't have a career to fall back on." Her show-business career started at an early age. Ashley was a Miss Heart of the Border finalist when she was just 14. Later, she won several modeling contests, including, when she was 19, the local title in the Ford Agency's Supermodel competition, the breakthrough that launched her career. She's talented, too. "I was so shy as a little girl that my mom made me take dance lessons--ballet, tap and jazz--and it really helped to make me more outgoing." Ashley went on to play flute--first chair--in her high school band and became such an accomplished roller skater that she won the regional finals when she was 15. But despite a host of extracurricular activities in high school, including a two-year stint as a cheerleader and being named homecoming queen, she worked hard to be "an A and B student, if you don't count a C in geometry--I never could get the hang of angles." Fast forward to 1992. Romance? "Right now I just want a man who can make me laugh and who likes to go out dancing. I'm not into making any serious commitments." Eventually, though, she'd like to marry an amusing, self-made man who's as loving as her father was and have one child--a boy--to spoil rotten. "I do like men a lot," she admits, "but they can be awfully distracting when you're trying to concentrate on a career."
Girls talk about sex all the time. Really. We do it when we get together over cocktails, when we hide away in the ladies' room, when we tie up the phone late at night. It's a rite of sisterhood to pass on sexual secrets. As a talk-show producer in Detroit, I've had intimate conversations with women from all walks of life--professionals, housewives, students--and, over the years, many of those women have become personal friends. So, with a promise that all the names would be changed, I gathered a group of my friends for what became one of our more revealing conversations. Here's your chance to listen in.
General H. Norman Schwarzkopf (a.k.a. Stormin' Norman) is arguably the most macho guy in the world. But forget macho: He's obviously a regular guy, the kind of guy you could sit down and have a beer with. He'd tell you how he would have kicked Saddam's butt big time if Bush would've let him, probably drawing the attack plan on a napkin. It would be like having a beer with John Madden, except not as loud.
We hear a lot these days about the tyranny of the home, that housewives are the last unsung oppressed people in America. That women who choose to have a family and decide to care for it themselves are condemned to drudgery and the horrors of daytime TV. Well, the remarkable ladies on the next eight pages are here to tell you: A woman's place in the Nineties is wherever she wants it to be. And, for many, that place is home. However, being a housewife means more than "staying at home, baking cookies and having teas," as Hillary Clinton put it. We have always suspected that some of the sexiest women we knew did not live next door. Some lived in the same house. And, given the response that we received following the television movie Posing, we're not alone. In case you missed it, Posing was based on the experiences of three women, including a suburban housewife who appeared in Playboy. One Michigan house--wife who could relate explains thus: "Motherhood isn't always conducive to feeling sexy, so a woman has to do all she can to feel good about herself." For these ladies, that includes everything from staying in shape (there are roller skaters, equestriennes and belly dancers among them) to shopping for lingerie. And, as it did for the character in Posing, it also includes modeling for Playboy. Hundreds of full--time wives and mothers responded to an ad that appeared in the December 1991 issue of the magazine announcing plans for this pictorial. One New Jersey homemaker wrote: "I think it's great that Playboy has decided to pay tribute to all the moms out there who aren't actresses, models or famous--just women who are doing great jobs raising their families, yet haven't lost sight of their individuality, femininity and sensuality." Our sentiments exactly--that's just what we had in mind.
We can understand why a TV news anchor might change careers to become a Texas judge. It's the reverse that puzzles us. But for 37-year-old CNN newswoman Catherine Crier, there wasn't much hesitation. After being elected to the bench for a second four-year term, she wanted to return to a more active role, "pursuing and developing a case." When a TV agent suggested she do an audition tape, Crier was intrigued by the notion of mixing her legal skills with journalism. CNN loved the tape--one executive there called her "fantastic, electric"--and invited Crier to join the staff. She debuted as co-anchor of the evening newscast in the fall of 1989. Today, only three years later, Crier also co-hosts the network's "Inside Politics" election coverage and has her own daily program, "Crier &f Co." Crier also finds time for sculpting, exercising her horse, golf and writing a book. Contributing Editor David Rensin met with Crier at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. Later, they went to dinner. Rensin describes the trip: "She drove. Fast. And played Lyle Lovett. Loud."
My first glimpse into how Ross Perot operates came in. 1969, when some of his eager employees showed up in Indochina to try to deliver Christmas parcels to American POWs in Hanoi. I was a CIA officer posted in Saigon at that time, and I watched his staff bustle around the embassy like spoiled rich kids, ordering up services and information as if they were in a first-class hotel and blithely ignoring those who had seen too much of the war to share their can-do optimism. For them, action was everything. Not surprisingly, their mission failed.
Playboy increases your purchasing power by providing a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and accessories shown on pages 28, 104-107, 112-113 and 161, check the listings below to locate the store nearest you.
Corporate ladder climbers are no longer complaining about wasted travel time, thanks to a new crop of notebook computers that have literally lightened their work loads. Small enough to fit in a briefcase, these new mini-systems pack all the power of the earlier biceps-building laptops yet weigh under ten pounds (including battery and AC adapter).