Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), January 1999, Volume 46, Number 1, Published monthly by Playboy, 880 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues, 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: 730 Fifth Avenue, New York 10019 (212-261-5000): Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611 (312-751-8000); West Coast: SD Media, 2001 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310-264-7575); Southeast: Coleman & Bentz, Inc., 4651 Roswell Road NE. Atlanta, GA 30342 (404-256-3800); Boston: Northeast Media Sales, 8 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston 02109 (617-973-5050). For subscription inquiries, call 800-999-4438.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruff-House) is one of the most ambitious and successful solo debuts in years. Lauryn Hill, who came to prominence as a member of the Fugees, brings her considerable skills to bear on this highly autobiographical work. Stevie Wonder seems a key point of reference for Miseducation. Everything Is Everything has the feel of the Wonder chestnut I Was Made to Love Her, while Every Ghetto Every City is a detailed update of the classic I Wish. Also present in Miseducation is the spirit of Bob Marley. Marley's son Rohan is the father of Hill's children and much of the album was recorded in Marley's music studio in Kingston. The lyrics are all Hill and articulate her feelings about herself and her relationship to men and to the larger world. Hill is the only performer working these days equally adept at singing and rapping.
Kanon Pokajanen (ECM), the latest choral work by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, is beguiling. The two-CD set sounds ethereal at first, but reveals its passion in subsequent hearings. Accessible but not at all simplistic, Kanon is a curiously timeless composition.
Hole's Courtney Love isn't shy. She has responded more than once to accusations that she sold out, betrayed Kurt Cobain and abandoned her punk credentials for Versace gowns and blind ambition. "Oh make me over/I'm all I want to be/A walking study/In demonology," she sings wryly in the first verse of the title track of Celebrity Skin (DGC). The long-awaited follow-up to 1994's Live Through This, Celebrity Skin isn't a bitter rant. Love takes you on a shockingly intimate but ultimately life-affirming journey through her personal underworld. She bravely invites you along as she clarifies her feelings about Cobain's death and her own transformations, travails and mistakes. There's a pop sheen to the exhilarating power chords that fuel most of the music, but the studio polish, exuberant melodies and catchy hooks actually heighten the impact of raw, emotional tracks such as Awful and Playing Your Song. Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan contributed his ideas, as did Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson. The beauty of Erlandson's playing on Northern Star perfectly frames Love's bittersweet farewell to Cobain's ghost. This is a complex masterpiece of an album. It's honest and frank and without self-pity.
Prince Be, the lead singer and thinker of the duo P.M. Dawn, is an underappreciated talent. As a gifted multi-instrumentalist (with a particularly deft touch on piano and acoustic guitar) and a singer with a wonderfully plaintive tenor, Prince Be writes idiosyncratic lyrics full of wit, humor and self-deprecation. P.M. Dawn's fourth album, Dearest Christian, I'm So Very Sorry for Bringing You Here (Gee Street), is a song cycle that looks at love in all its crazy permutations. The album's last cut, the Beatlesque Untitled, picks the sores off a traumatic mother-son relationship. More characteristic of a P.M. Dawn CD is Being So Not Right for You (I Had No Right), a beautifully arranged pop ballad about being unworthy of love that's anchored by a piano that Bruce Hornsby might envy. Unlike a lot of African American non-R&B acts who use folk or rock for artistic inspiration, Prince Be stacks vocal harmonies with the vigor of Brian Wilson and creates piano hooks like a young Elton John. He's a pure pop songwriter working smartly.
The music of Soul Coughing hasn't changed dramatically since 1994, when they were called rapper wannabes on their debut, Ruby Vroom. M. Doughty still declaims rather than sings over a bed of textured polyrhythms. But in a musical landscape suddenly littered with faux swing-hipsters who romanticize a culture and beat they don't understand, Soul Coughing's El Oso (Warner) is the real thing. Their heart is Sebastian Steinberg's unpredictable upright bass, which sets Soul Coughing's beat in motion. Doughty's vocals milk all the music out of catchphrases. He once called this stuff "deep slacker jazz." Dig its swing.
The biggest boxed set in Nashville history is The Complete Hank Williams (Mercury). The ten CDs contain more than 225 tracks, including 53 previously unreleased cuts. All of Williams' hits are here--along with his Luke the Drifter narratives and his talking blues response to Senator Joe McCarthy. But what make this set worthwhile are the recordings we've never heard. The most innocent and optimistic cut is 1939's Happy Rovin' Cowboy, his earliest known recording. At 17, Hank made Cowboy with an accordionist as part of a make-believe radio show. A year later, his take of Bob Wills' San Antonio Rose shows a voice that doesn't yet have the blue doom it later developed. The set includes photos and two long booklets with annotation by historian Colin Escott. This one's a must.
If you dread the icy wake-up call of a cold steering wheel and sluggish engine on a frigid January morning, consider a remote control car starter. No longer the province of car bomb--fearing mobsters, congressmen and DEA officers, these devices allow you to use a keychain remote control to turn on your vehicle and warm or cool it (depending on the season) to a comfy 68 degrees. The technology works best with a modern auto--that is, one with an electronic ignition system and automatic transmission. That way, when cranking by remote, the gearshift remains locked in the park position until an ignition key is inserted into the steering column. Major auto-security brands such as Viper, Crimestopper, Clifford and Ungo make starting devices for as little as $750, installed. Better systems come with matchbox-sized remotes, an operating range of up to 100 feet and code-hopping security that prevents thieves from grabbing and reusing your entry signal. (With "hopping," the code changes for each start.) The best gear adds keyless control of door locks, windows, sunroofs and trunk tops, but it will set you back about $1200.
In the we'll-believe-it-when-we-see-it-work category comes the CrossPad (pictured). Created by penmaker A.T. Cross and IBM, the innovative product looks like a notepad that accepts standard letter-size pads of paper. But the 2.2-pound device is actually a computer tablet that reads and stores notes jotted on paper for transfer to a PC. A digital pen with a radio frequency transmitter sends data to the tablet, which stores the information until you're ready to download it to your computer. IBM Ink Manager software then translates your scrawl into digital text. Up to 100 pages of notes or sketches can be stored onboard the CrossPad. When we played with the gadget, we learned a couple of things: First, it takes some time to familiarize the CrossPad with your handwriting (the device comes with an easy-to-follow tutorial). And second, it works brilliantly with practice. The price: $400.
Man's best friend is about to go low maintenance. Sony recently unveiled a technology called Open-R Architecture, which will be used to build personal entertainment robots. The prototype, a four-legged creature resembling a small puppy, has an eye and a microphone that enable it to do all the usual tricks on cue, such as walking, sitting, rolling over and fetching a ball. Computerization makes this robot rover's parts and personality interchangeable. Rear legs can be replaced with wheels, for example, and each module contains operating instructions integrated by the pet's digitized brain. Changing a slide-in PC card alters the robot's programming, so you can turn friendly Fido into an intruder's worst enemy when you leave home. At the RoboCup-98 robot technology convention in Paris last summer, Sony showcased future applications, including soccer-smart robots in team play that require no remote-control operation. Though these digital jocks pose no immediate threat to real players, Sony hopes to deliver its first robot dog before the end of the century. No word yet on the price of this pedigree.
Robotic dogs seem antiquated compared with the technology highlighted in Neil Gershenfeld's book When Things Start to Think (Henry Holt). A co-director of the Things That Think consortium of MIT's Media Lab, Gershenfeld shares the scoop on far-out machinery that will someday land at an electronics store near you. Among the wildest of the wild is a three-dimensional printer that does more than just pump out color images--it actually builds objects (say, golf clubs) you design on your PC. Gershenfeld predicts that "wearable computers" will also become a market reality. Electrodes built into shoes, for example, will enable you to send and receive data without wires or screens. You'll simply shake someone's hand to exchange business card info, or pick up the phone to download the day's messages. And talk about recycling: Newspapers will be printed on a new type of "smart paper" that uses electronic ink. After you reinsert the publication into your printer, it will reemerge with the next day's news. Naysayers note: These inventions are actual working machines that are being perfected by the lab rats at MIT. According to a spokesman for Gershenfeld, it's not a matter of "if they will hit home, but when."
There's sick comedy, there's black comedy, and then there's Very Bad Things (Polygram), which is a wild mix of the two. Written and directed by actor Peter (The Last Seduction) Berg and starring a solid cast led by Christian Slater, Jon Favreau, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Stern, Jeremy Piven and Leland Orser, this saga of a bachelor party gone wrong--really wrong--is true to itself and consistent in its dark view of humanity. But it's also a social satire, willing to see the worst in some people (such as Berg's fiancée, a single-minded woman who will overlook--or step over--almost anything and anyone to corral her man) and the best in others (including the members of the bachelor party group, who participate in bad behavior but immediately feel guilty). A trenchant look at human nature, Very Bad Things is a litmus test for one's tolerance of dark humor. [rating]2-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
Moviemakers are so awash in cynicism and irony nowadays that the only way they can approach romanticism (other than in a metaphysical treatment such as City of Angels or What Dreams May Come) is to call on the past--when both filmmakers and their audiences took love seriously.
American History X (See review) The remarkable Edward Norton plays a skinhead who has second thoughts about his commitment to white supremacy; Edward Furlong is his impressionable brother. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
Last year's rerelease of Gone With the Wind (1939) barely caused a stir at the box office. If you missed it, rediscover the Victor Fleming classic on DVD (from MGM and Warner Home Video, $20). Digital remastering has brought forth a GWTW so lush in color and rich in detail--and a digitally rerecorded Surround sound soundtrack--that it sometimes seems like a different picture.
"One of my favorite movies of all time," says Dharma & Greg's Jenna Elfman, "is Born Yesterday, with Judy Holliday. I still can't figure out how she did that card thing. She's a genius. Boogie Nights--I loved the acting and directing and storytelling. I was impressed with and pleasantly surprised by Mark Wahlberg. I love Sweet Charity, and every Alfred Hitchcock movie, especially Rear Window, Vertigo and Dial M for Murder. I wish he were still alive, because I would love to work with him. I like comedies and dramas--depending on my mood. I can't watch anything heavy late at night, or I'll fall asleep. I love Men in Black. Oh my God, and I love Austin Powers. So I like really goofy movies, too."
If you like your porn tinged with Tolstoy, check out the costumer Tatiana (in three parts, from Private's Gold collection). Watch as euronymphs re-create class struggle in Relais et Châteaux surroundings. The action is energetic and photogenic-- and so dazzling in its sumptuous production values, you almost, We won't give away the plot (yes, plot!) except to say it's the only narration delivered in English. And although the story takes place in Russia, the sex scenes remain in the original French.
Robert Redford and Warren Beatty--on tape this month in The Horse Whisperer and Bulworth, respectively--started on TV in the late Fifties. Each is 61, has won an Oscar for directing and has matured from pretty boy to elder statesman. Redford has done OK, but Beatty's had the best babes in their parallel careers (Beatty's titles first):
If you're craving a piece of homemade apple pie at three in the morning, you can probably find one at a diner, grill or drive-in restaurant. To find his, writer Will Anderson trekked 14,000 miles to the mom-and-pop cafés of his youth in Where Have You Gone, Starlight Cafe? (Anderson & Sons'). His search for these 40 roadside restaurants resulted in a beautifully illustrated book that sings the praises of neon signs, carhops, curb service, chili con carne and Chicken in the Rough. Second helping, anyone?
The White House has provided so many cheap, easy thrills that the nation's real erotic landscape looks barren. A new crop of books indicates that 1999 will be far better. Divas and Lovers: The Erotic Art of Studio Manassé (Universe) is a tantalizing collection of stylized photographs produced by a husband-and-wife team in Vienna in the Twenties and Thirties, during the heyday of cinema and cabaret. Adorján and Olga Wlassics used retouching techniques to create fantastic and surreal images. Under the name Studio Manassé, their nude and seminude portraits of models and actresses appeared in the illustrated magazines that flourished in Europe. The book includes a short history by Monika Faber, a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna, and a short story by D.H. Lawrence. But the real story is told by the delightful and provocative photos. In 1000 Dessous: A History of Lingerie (Taschen), Gilles Néret presents a fascinating pictorial history of women's undergarments--starting with a brief essay on the subject and following with what may be the most complete collection of lingerie pictures ever assembled in one volume. There are more than 700 pages of them. They include the prim and the proper, the slinky and the kinky, from the first women's undergarments in 2000 B.C. Crete to Jane Fonda's fetish attire in Barbarella. If you buy only one lingerie book in your lifetime, this should be it. In the lavishly illustrated Body Decoration: A World Survey of Body Art (Vendome), Karl Gröning has assembled nearly 400 color photographs that explore the history of body painting, tattooing and scarring techniques in different cultures through the ages. While the subject itself may be esoteric, the images--some beautiful, some fantastic, some grotesque--are striking enough to arouse anyone's curiosity. Erotica and the esoteric also cross colorful paths in Marco Fagioli's Shunga: The Erotic Art of Japan (Universe), a sumptuous collection of color engravings produced by masters of the ukiyo-e school. Shunga means "images of spring," and these illustrations were used in instruction manuals for new wives. They leave little doubt as to what is on the minds of Japanese husbands when flowers begin to bloom.
In Trey Ellis' Right Here, Right Now (Simon & Schuster), Ashton Robinson has it all. In addition to being young, gifted and black, he's a graduate of Yale, an actor and model--and postmodern huckster. Robinson's motivational speeches and crafty infomercials lure rainmakers and losers to his sold-out seminars in tropical oases such as Maui and St. Barts. One evening, overstimulated by a combination of marijuana and cough syrup, Robinson has an epiphany that leads him to abandon his career and create a new religion. Ellis takes no prisoners in this biting satire as he uses his unreliable narrator to swipe at much of the superficiality of late-20th century life. In his America, self-help happiness replaces the cure-all that was once peddled by snake-oil salesmen. Ellis deftly uses Ashton Robinson as his exhibit A.
Is there more to the comics than meets the eye? You bet--enough to fill two hefty histories. For the first time in more than 20 years, editor Maurice Horn has revised his crucial reference book The World Encyclopedia of Comics (Chelsea House) with 1400 entries on artists, plots and character descriptions. Comics Between the Panels (Dark Horse), by columnist Steve Duin and Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson, is anecdotal, opinionated and breezily entertaining, following the funnies from the Thirties to the present and devoting colorful pages to topics such as gorilla covers and Alfred E. Neuman, the mascot of Mad magazine. Both feature alphabetical-entry formats. Horn's book offers an international overview, while Panels includes artist interviews and intriguing insider dish. Together they're as compatible as Batman and Robin. Other notable comic offerings include Journey to Cubeville (Andrews McMeel), selections from 16 merry months of Dilbert; G.B. Trudeau's The Bundled Doonesbury: A Premillennial Anthology (Andrews McMeel), culled from strips of the past three years; and Doonesbury Flashbacks, a CD-ROM with audio, animation and more than 9000 strips that comes with the book. Matt Groening's Simpsons Guide to Springfield (Harper Perennial) takes us deeper into that dysfunctional hometown than TV ever dared. Here you can find a lodging tip to try a theme room at the Aphrodite Inn (preferably the Oval Office, in which the desk folds out into a vibrating bed).
Since the first Olympics, athletes have been looking for ways to get an edge on the competition. Dietary supplements have been one strategy. But until recently, they were used primarily by hard-core fitness enthusiasts. Then came Mark McGwire's 1998 season and the revelation that the St. Louis Cardinals' star uses the performance-enhancing supplement androstenedione. (In a previous, less-epochal season, his use of creatine had already been noted.) While some fans wondered whether the Popeye-armed slugger deserved his place in the record books, others swarmed health food stores to find out how they could spike their own spinach.
One of my jobs as your Men columnist is to save you from major mistakes with the opposite sex. Of course, I am the world's leading authority on the subject, having made more faux pas with women than anybody I know. So let me give you some well-researched advice about how to read between the lines of female verbiage.
Last year will go down in history as the year of the blow job. While you may not have been getting as much head as you would like, we all knew who was. Maybe the daily headlines made your own attempts all the more painful.
Can you make yourself richer simply by switching the pockets in which you carry your money? That's the rationale behind a price-propping gimmick, called stock buybacks, that seems to wash over Wall Street whenever the stock market starts to wobble. While buybacks give a brief--though not terribly impressive--boost to a company's stock price after they're first announced, the benefit doesn't last long. Companies that engage in them may fall behind their competitors, with a stock price that underperforms the market as a whole. Stock buybacks involve the open market purchase of a company's shares by the company that issued them in the first place. Such moves are characterized by management as a vote of confidence in the company's future and are widely viewed by outside investors as tip-offs to pile into the stock because it will soon be taking off for the moon. Popular financial Web sites such as Online Investor (onlineinvestor.com) now track buyback announcements on a daily basis, for just that reason. Unfortunately, the idea behind buybacks seems to make the most sense when it is explained by someone who smiles a lot and doesn't say much--a stockbroker, let's say. The rationale for buybacks (sometimes referred to as stock repurchase plans) is rooted in simple supply-and-demand economics. If you reduce the supply of something that's in demand, the price goes up. That familiar principle encourages companies to spend their money--often quite a lot of it--on reducing the supply of their stock in the public market by repurchasing it from investors at prevailing market prices.
I thought I'd share a discovery my husband and I made in the bedroom: toe sex. I was straddling his leg while giving him a blow job and began to rub my clit against his shin to stimulate myself. I slid lower until I could feel his foot. He wiggled his toes to play with my pussy, then slid his big toe inside me. I found this incredibly stimulating, as did my husband. He could feel how wet I had become and enjoyed the sensation of me rocking toward climax on his foot. I sucked his cock with gusto and we both came with great intensity. This act could change the way women look at men--we'll want to see them in sandals before taking them to bed.--T.D., Knoxville, Tennessee
This past summer Maribeth Bruno, an editor at Playboy Online, joined an intellectual orgy of professors and porn stars for the three-day World Pornography Conference near Los Angeles. Her full report is posted at www.playboy.com/sexcetera/archive/world_porno.
In August 1980 Cheryl Fergeson, a blue-eyed schoolgirl, arrived late to a volleyball tournament at Conroe High School in Conroe, Texas. The locker room in the gym appeared to be locked, so she wandered off in search of a rest room.
This past fall, the nonprofit Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States examined laws that regulate sexuality in each state and the District of Columbia. Using data compiled by the National Organization for Women, the ACLU, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources, the council rated each state and D.C. in seven areas:
"One of the fascinating things for me has been to look at who the accusers are, because invariably when somebody becomes interested in your sexuality and moral life, they're attempting to disguise disrepair in their own sexuality and moral life. It's the trembling finger syndrome. If somebody points a trembling finger at your pants and says you shouldn't be doing something, follow that finger back, go up the arm and look at the head that's behind it. There's almost always something fairly woolly in there."
If you had met Michael Crichton three decades ago, you could easily have imagined a traditional future for him. A stellar student at the Harvard Medical School and armed with an impressive intellect, Crichton seemed headed for a life as a researcher or hospital administrator, the type of overachiever who would make his mark in science or public health. You never would have predicted the intense young med student would give up medicine and emerge as a dominant talent in fields of popular culture--a man who simultaneously topped all three key indicators of current American thought: the best-seller list, the box office tallies and the Nielsen ratings.
After World War II, I set out to become an anthropologist--and in fact earned an M.A. in that field from the University of Chicago. That was a big mistake. I couldn't stand primitive people. They were so stupid! But I still have a favorite Native American tribe, the Fuh-kar-wee, who actually exist only in a joke my brother, Bernie, told me.
The world can be an exquisitely contrived place to be imagine walking around in one of designer Thierry Mugler's daydreams. Beautiful women drift by adorned only in hats and spiked heels, in the dressing room next door, someone sighs. It is a sound that includes alarm, Mugler, a fashion pioneer, recently decided to bring his polymer visions to life. As an art photographer he reveals himself to be a demigod of erotic tableaux. In Mugler's world, the pinnacle of beauty is a sharp point, and all the curves have multiple edges.
As the millennium approaches, people try to get you to think about the best books you didn't read, the best speeches you never heard and the best movies you never saw. Not us. We want you to think about something close to your heart. There are women you think are pretty. There are women you think are beautiful. And then there are women you think about for the rest of your life. That's why we decided to take the helpful step and name those inspiring creatures. How many truly magical women have walked the planet this century? We declare there are a nice round 100 and are so bold as to rank them. (text continued on page 214) Sex Stars of the Century(continued from page 105) We gave the task of explaining our choices to our silver-tongued Contributing Editor D. Keith Mano, whose memory and eye for detail are legendary. What follows is the rhyme and reason for this exercise. Did we mention we are also including pictures?
Getting yourself--or some illegal object--into a secure area when you weren't supposed to was not as hard as most people would like to believe. Offhand, the Selkie knew of at least four ways to smuggle a firearm onto a plane, even without resorting to a ceramic one like the little pistol she now had tucked into the waistband of her pantyhose. The pistol was a three-shooter with triple-stack two-inch barrels. The weapon had been illegally made in Brazil for their foreign service operatives from the same hard ceramic the Japanese had developed for those ever-sharp kitchen knives. The caliber was 9mm short, and the ammo was caseless boronepoxy, no cartridges, fired by a rotating piezoelectric igniter. The propellant was a more stable variation of solid rocket fuel. The thing even had a rudimentary rifling in the trio of snub-nosed barrels, though the bullets were light enough so long-range target shooting wasn't an option. The piece had a 20-meter effective accuracy range; outside that, it was fire and hope you had a patron deity if you wanted to hit anything on purpose.
Think of New Year's Eve 1998 as a dress rehearsal for the Big One next year. Use this December 31 to practice your partying. Want to dance and drink on an aircraft carrier or celebrate the millennium twice, once in Fiji and once in Los Angeles? We'll tell you how, Plus, there's our guide to the best babe bars nationwide, a primer on how to open a bottle of champagne properly (and improperly), four suggestions on how to cure a hangover and tips on where to get away from it all if the hoopla becomes too much.
In this adaptation from his new book, "Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy," Rabbi Shmuley Boteach draws on Jewish wisdom and teachings to discuss the holiest of topics. Designed to strengthen marriages, the book is predictably conservative (no masturbation, no premarital sex, no pornography) but is also refreshing in its recognition of the importance and power of sex. The 32-year-old Boteach, who grew up in Miami and Los Angeles, moved to England a decade ago to establish an Orthodox student society at Oxford University. "Kosher Sex" was an instant best-seller last year in the UK, prompting plans for a Hebrew edition to be sold in Israel and a Stateside edition that arrives in March. Despite the book's popularity overseas, some Orthodox Jews in the U.S. insist it won't be welll received. They call Boteach a publicity hound (he prefers "popularizer") who has usurped traditional Jewish modesty. "The Talmud states that matters of marital intimacy should not be discussed before an audience of three or more," one critic complains. This isn't the first time the young Hasidic rabbi, who is married with six children, has caused tsuris. His first book on sex and relationships was "The Jewish Guide to Adultery: How to Turn Your Marriage Into an Illicit Affair"; his next will be "Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments."
Jaime Bergman, Miss January 1999, Playboy's 45th Anniversary Playmate
A small-Town beauty with a yen for horses and a roomful of rodeo ribbons, Utah's Jaime Bergman is fast becoming an urbane cowgirl. Only a few months ago, our 45th Anniversary Playmate left her day job as an office administrator back home, came to Los Angeles and drove straight to the Playboy Mansion to launch her new career. Now she shares an apartment with 1998 Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal--and in between Playboy photo and video shoots, she's found time to win modeling jobs in commercials and on magazine covers, as well as acting gigs in a TV pilot and a feature film. In other words, she's fast out of the gate. "People always said I should be in Los Angeles, modeling," she says with a laugh. "So here I am, doing what I was told."
Get ready for millennium night fever. In anticipation of the biggest party in history, designers are creating eveningwear that will make the glitter of the disco-crazed Seventies look like a 60-watt bulb. Think of it. The next three New Year's Eyes--which fall on a Thursday night, Friday night and Sunday night, respectively--will be cause for extravagant celebrations, a fantastic end to the Nineties. Speaking of wild finishes, it's time to make like Mr. Sheen in lustrous and richly textured suits to commemorate the millennial moment. Now your outfit can match the gleam in your eye. Save the pinstipes for work. Show up in one of these new glossies and your date will respond in kind with sparkle dust or a body product that polishes her skin. The brighter the better we say. So rejoice--and prepare yourself for an extremely slick and slippery New York.
I would like to address a criticism commonly leveled at Politically Incorrect: We don't book enough women on the show. It is true women make up only about 35 percent of our panelists, but it's not for lack of trying. The problem is, we do a current-affairs show, and women are just not as interested in that area of life as men are. Many women, and some men, do not like to hear that--and they blame me for saying it. But politically incorrect means not flinching from saying what actually is, as opposed to stating what should be and then castigating anyone who points out the discrepancy.
There are exactly 247 supermodels in America at any given moment. At the same time, there are 2,685,986 single men who are not grotesquely onattractive--kind of like you. So while your odds of meeting a supermodel aren't great, stranger things have happened. And if we all didn't believe in miracles, the Powerball jackpot would be $124 a week.
He woke to the trilling of an island bird in the traveler's palm outside their hotel room. The palm's outline shimmied in the morning sunlight against the aqua curtain. He was lustful and erect. He reached over to touch the young woman he had married.
She knows how to live. There's the island retreat in Maine, the ranch in Oregon, the private jets and the entourage that cares for her and her two young children. It takes money, lots of it, but that's no problem when you have your own top-ten-rated sitcom, "Veronica's Closet," as well as having worked six years as part of the "Cheers" ensemble and in movies that include the "Look Who's Talking" series and Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry." But if Kirstie Alley simply made a living wage, the girl would still have fun, whether taking bubble baths or adding to a collection of multicolored wigs that put a certain topspin on amour with her boyfriend, actor James Wilder.
All around us, an infinite new reality is peering through the cracks of our rigid, bounded conception of the known. If our future is going to be more than just a repetition of the past, we will have to leave the known behind and discover a region of reality not yet explored--the realm of the impossible.
Tonight, under a sky sprayed with stars, I will drink from the spoons of your clavicle and graze my hand along the pulse in your neck. My fingertips will slow on your slight stickiness, and I will know you are with me by the small catch in your breath.
Geoff Marcy has to work nights, and his graveyard shifts last three or four days at a time. He arrives at work 2200 miles from home with heavy eyes and jet lag from crossing two time zones. But what choice does he have? You can't study the stars with the sun in the way. And the mammoth telescopes used by astronomers such as Marcy are built far from the air- and light-pollution that muck up the crystalline purity of the night sky.
Milestones abound at Playboy this month. As you can tell from the stellar collector's issue in your hands, we're celebrating our 45th anniversary. Look to the right, and you'll notice another landmark event: For the first time in Playboy history, 14 women vie for the coveted title of Playmate of the Year. The 1998 candidates include one Cuban import, three natives of Ohio, three identical sisters from Minnesota, four California girls, a makeup artist, a cop-in-training and someone who can kick your butt in golf. They range in age from 19 to 28. Their ambitions run the gamut from having a big family and ten dogs to becoming the next Bond girl. But enough drooling, big guy. You have work to do. Review the breathtaking lineup and pick your favorite. Take your time. Reminisce. And imagine which lady (or ladies, in the case of the triplets) would look best behind the wheel of a brand-new sports car, with a check for $100,000 in her pocket. The PMOY will also be the star of her own new pictorial later this year. Now pick up the telephone, cast your vote (as many times as you like; each call costs $1) and revel in the realization that you have made a Playmate very happy.
The millennium really doesn't begin until January 1, 2001, but that's a mere technicality. At least 20 champagne houses are preparing special bubblies to herald the new century, and many are on sale now. Remember, we're talking exclusive here--as in Champagne Ruinart's L'Exclusive de Ruinart, a blanc de blancs champagne (pictured at right) made from wines from six grands crus vineyards and bottled in a magnum encased in a Christofle silver-filigree cage. Fourteen thousand of these hand-numbered magnums will be cushioned with white leather pillows in African-walnut boxes. The emptied magnum can be used as a decanter and the box becomes a cigar humidor. Price: $1500. Louis Roederer is producing 2000 Methuselahs (about eight bottles) of its prestige cuvée, Cristal, from the extraordinary 1990 vintage--a creamy champagne with layers of vanilla and tropical fruit flavors. Each Methuselah is numbered and embossed with the figure 2000 and will be delivered in an elegant wooden case with a copper plaque that bears the name of the collector and the number of the bottle. Price: $2000. Perrier-Jouët's millennium package will entice Francophiles and lovers of champagne alike. The company has designed 2000 jeroboams with hand-applied platinum-and-gold-enameled anemones to hold its prestige cuvée, Fleur de Champagne, from the outstanding 1995 vintage. In addition, each Fleur purchaser and a guest will be welcomed for dinner and an evening's stay at Perrier-Jouët's intimate guest house, Maison Belle Époque, the family's chateau in Epernay. The house is filled with art nouveau furniture and objets d'art, including works by Auguste Rodin and glassmaker Émile Gallé (who designed the original Perrier-Jouët flower bottle). It will be available to millennium guests throughout 1999 and 2000. Price: $2000. One of the loveliest prestige cuvée champagnes, Nicolas Feuillatte's 1990 Palmes d'Or, will be offered in special millennial jeroboams ($1000) and magnums ($250). For label collectors, Pol Roger will offer its splendid 1990 vintage in Selection 2000 magnums with gold labels following a design used near the end of the 19th century. Pol Roger promises the design will not be used again for another 100 years, and the $160 price makes it a bargain. Taittinger's millennium bottle, pictured below, features an enameled design of a woman in evening dress seen through a champagne flute. It contains a blend of grands crus wines, predominantly from the 1996 vintage. Twelve thousand numbered magnums will be available for $200 each. Gosset's prestige cuvée, Celebris, containing its complex, nutty 1990 vintage or its rich 1995 rosé, will come in a numbered wooden box with a programmable watch counting the number of days until M day ($595 a magnum). Dom Pérignon's 1990 vintage gift boxes (about $125) contain a certificate that you return to the company with a check for $65. A silver Christofle cork engraved with your name and the date December 31, 1999 will be sent to you by return mail. Moët et Chandon offers a slick, silver-colored millennium party case packed with two Year 2000 commemorative magnums of Brut Impérial, a disposable camera, a 5"x7" picture frame engraved with December 31, 1999 and a silver-paint pen to autograph the bottles. Price: about $225. Veuve Clicquot is releasing a library selection of exceptional older vintages of its prestige cuvée, La Grande Dame, along with magnums of Vintage Réserve 1985 and Rosé Réserve 1985 and a selection of older-vintages Veuve Clicquot. Prices range from $100 to $700. Deutz has created 15,000 bottles of a limited edition blanc de blancs champagne from the 1993 vintage that will be packaged in a transparent bottle for the millennium and offered in 750ml for $125 and magnum size for $250.