This past summer Governor Howard Dean, an outspoken critic of the invasion of Iraq who hails from Vermont, stormed the mainstream in his bid to beat the self-declared front-runners for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sound familiar? In 1972 Senator George McGovern, a prominent antiwar voice from small, agrarian South Dakota, also took on the Democratic heavyweights for the right to run for president against an entrenched, well-funded Republican incumbent. Maybe that's why Dean is being compared to McGovern, who went on to lose big to Richard Nixon. But the comparisons are used to dismiss Dean as a liberal lost cause. It's something that frustrates McGovern, author, of What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Howard Dean? "It stems from a hunger to simplify things," he says. "But Dean is a complicated figure."
The best thing about megabomb Gigli was an appearance by 24-year-old Nichole Hiltz. With the legs of a thoroughbred and a breathy voice that tickles your tympanum, the actress flew out of that flop and straight into an upcoming movie opposite Jack Nicholson. "Jack is a ladies' man, whether he's trying or not," says Nichole. "He can talk about world hunger and it's sexy." She should know--she's sexy even when talking about someone who's talking about world hunger. The Farrelly brothers discovered Nichole Hiltz in Massachusetts prior to filming Me, Myself & Irene. She has since paid her dues in Dude, Where's My Car? and Austin Powers in Goldmember. Though she has settled in Los Angeles, Nichole avoids dating actors. "I can't stand it when boys cry more than I do. And if after dating for a month I still want to go out all the time, that's a bad sign--it means he's not entertaining. I can't wait to meet the guy who is capable of breaking my heart, because he's going to be the one I can stay with." Nichole has a 10-date rule when it comes to sex. "I try to keep it together, but I screw up sometimes," she confesses. "The woman has the upper hand when it comes to that decision, but after a while you want somebody to be in the saddle and hold the reins--make you feel like a woman." Whoa, baby.
Around this time of year, there's a little Santa Claus in all of us. In some cases that little Santa is a crazy yobbo yearning to run amok in the streets. Of late, mysterious festivities known as Santacons have been facilitating such alt-holiday behavior. "No force on earth can stop 100 Santas" is the credo for the events, and except for the occasional overzealous cop, it seems to hold true. The first Santacon took place in 1994 in San Francisco and consisted of 30 revelers in cheap Santa suits they'd bought from a bargain store. The marauding St. Nicks drank in the streets, mooned tourists from cable cars, crashed a high-society function, invaded a strip club and moshed (hey, it was 1994) past midnight. A year later attendance tripled and there was no stopping the bad Santas from getting their jollies. To evade Johnny Law (two Kriss Kringles were cuffed in 1995), the event started traveling. A planeful of Santas--in full costume--descended on Portland, Oregon in 1996, Los Angeles in 1997 and New York City in 1998. Santacon doesn't travel anymore--it doesn't need to. Local chapters of the Cacophony Society (which has a large online presence) grabbed the reindeer by the horns, and last year Santacons, terrorized most major American cities. "It's not about ruining Christmas," says Scott Beale, a.k.a. Santa Squid, a retired organizer. "But of course Santa likes to drink." Looks like Santa Claus is coming to trash your town!
Russell Crowe brandishing swords and bellowing in a period action epic? That combination spelled five Oscars and box office glory for Gladiator, and now similar hopes sail for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, a nautical rabble-rouser combining two of Patrick O'Brian's historical novels about the 19th century British navy. Crowe plays a hardass captain whose ship is left broken after an attack by the Napoleonic fleet. Vowing revenge, Crowe dogs the French for a rematch, but not before moments of swashbuckling heroism, thundering speeches and even a musical jam with Crowe on violin. So will the $135 million saga directed by Peter Weir shanghai Americans who don't possess a natural affinity for tales of British naval derring-do? Screening audiences cheered battles featuring the 400-strong cast swinging cutlasses, as well as Crowe fending off two dozen attackers, prompting one viewer to label M&C "an Errol Flynn movie on acid." It also has a ship-versus-sea sequence that's said to make The Perfect Storm look like a splash in a kiddie pool. Too bad Crowe sports the sort of period ponytail that triggered chuckles for Marlon Brando in Mutiny on the Bounty and Mel Gibson in The Patriot. Don't mention that to Crowe, however, unless you want to walk the plank. (November 14)
Two weeks after attending a bachelor party for a friend, I received this letter: "You attended a party that was meant to be a last night out for my future husband with his friends. Instead you turned it into something horrible. While we have decided to go ahead with the wedding, we request that you no longer be a part of it. I do not want to celebrate my marriage with men who encouraged my fiancé to take off his clothes and touch a whore. I would never make him stop being friends with you, but I will insist that you not attend." My, girlfriend says I should lose this guy as a friend, but I should lose what to do. For the record, nothing distasteful happened at the party. --M.S., Montclair, New Jersey
Over the years a handful of do-gooders have fought to end the tradition of bars and clubs giving free admission and cheap drinks to women. As a result, it's that much harder for guys to get laid. To the activists below, we dilute you.
Irritated by Islam? Peeved about pedophile priests? Had enough of gay-bashing Episcopalians? Consider a new, more exciting, more interesting faith. (If you've met one Scientologist, you've met them all.) The seventh edition of the Encyclopedia of American Religions, published this year, includes 250 new churches, sects, cults, temples, societies, missions and religions. We realize most people don't have time to find the needle of truth in a haystack of dogma, so we've selected a few candidates that could make you the spiritual life of any party.
John Gilmore has a thing about showing his ID card at the airport. A cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Gilmore doesn't think the government needs to know when he flies, so he's suing the Justice Department in an effort to have airport ID checks declared unconstitutional. This past July Gilmore challenged airline authority more directly. As he sat on a British Airways flight waiting to leave San Francisco, an attendant demanded he remove his ever-present lapel pin, which reads Suspected Terrorist. He refused. The pilot returned to the gate, where security removed Gilmore from the plane.
When a magazine starts life with Marilyn Monroe as its first Centerfold, it has quite a tradition to uphold. For 50 years Hef's vision of American beauty has put a smile on our faces and a boost in our steps. And these days Hef is worldwide. So we weren't surprised when he set out our mission for finding a woman worthy of the 50th Anniversary Playmate title: Scour the country, crisscross the planet, shoot for the moon. So we did. Consider these pages, full of beautiful women from all over the continent and beyond, our tasty travelogue. You'll have to wait until next month to see the winner, but here's a chance to meet some worthy candidates.
Unwise the boast that had me with my back against the bar, elbows hooking it, shoulders sore from my weight slung between. The line of waiting men was long. They were laughing, the men, pretending it was all in good fun, like my boast had been, but when each stepped up to face me his jaw would set and his eyes would narrow and he meant for his punch to hurt, to disarrange my innards, to rupture something even and send the juices of one organ slurping onto the next. Each man would look into my eyes as he struck, wanting to drink in my pain. I fixed my mouth in a smile of unconcern but the smile grew tighter and tighter and finally froze into something desperate. With each blow my eyes became more wet. One jarring punch brimmed them, and there was a trickle down one cheek and then both. The next man in line stepped up laughing, ha-ha-ha, a Wall Street sort, tie flopped back over one shoulder as if he were a Kennedy, shirtsleeves rolled on forearms gymtoned and sprouting sun-bleached hair, and the man, the horrible man, drew back his blond-knuckled fist and clenched his teeth.
We live in an age when digital imagery can generate everything from a single fantastical creature to an entire army on the big screen. But our favorite movie special effects are still blessedly low-tech--a tantalizing glimpse of female nudity, a supercharged sex scene, a beautiful actress who knows how to make love to the camera. This year, the sight of Salma Hayek in a Sapphic embrace in Frida or Jennifer Garner in her come-hither Daredevil catsuit held our attention better than any moody green monster or aging cyborg. It was a year in which Charlie's Angels delivered another tease, while top actresses from Jennifer Aniston (The Good Girl) to Meg Ryan (In the Cut) were confident enough to take on more explicit content (something to be congratulated for when movie nudity can be ogled frame by frozen frame on DVD and posted worldwide on the Internet). Smaller movies continued to be in the vanguard, rewarding art house goers with discoveries such as sultry Paz Vega's uninhibited escapadges in Sex and Lucia. And we're still waiting to see if the most infamous sex scene on this year's festival circuit--Chloë Sevigny giving Vincent Gallo a graphic, marathon blow job in The Brown Bunny--will ever be seen in our neighborhood. Whether they're gratuitous or strictly germane to the plot, we applaud all these scenes for putting the sin in cinema.
How did the comparatively unknown governor of a tiny New England state energize tens of thousands of supporters at the neighborhood level--supporters who will talk to their friends, distribute campaign literature and write small checks from now until the 2004 nomination is decided? How did Howard Dean manage to capture front-runner status long before the traditional date for declaring one's candidacy? And how is it that his own party has tagged him as too liberal to win it all?
Brazilian twins Sarah and Deisy Teles make us wish that studying Portuguese were mandatory in college. Although the girls are also fluent in Spanish and Italian (their grandparents moved to Brazil from Italy), they are just learning English, so we have to share them with a translator. When they arrive in Los Angeles from their home in Sao Paulo, the 20-year-old bronzed beauties exude a zest for life that crosses all language barriers. "We love the tropical weather and the amazing food in Brazil," they say. "The carnival is so vibrant, with music and dancing on the beach all night. Still, we would consider moving to America because the economy is better and crime is lower. You can't walk alone on the streets at night in Säo Paulo--it's too dangerous."
Humans are an Ingenious, Restless, Horny Species. While lower organisms have been content to have sex the same old way for eons, we seem to be on a perpetual quest to discover fresh ways of experiencing nature's five-ticket thrill ride. Never mind that this experimentation frequently defies common sense, the laws of nature and the limits of most health insurance plans. The resulting case histories--strange and beautiful, grand and gross--are written up in obscure academic journals by ER physicians and coroners and filed away in the dusty corners of medical libraries. After a little digging, that's where we found them. Editor's Note: This article should not be read before sex. Or dinner.
Forget Britney and Madonna's MTV make-out session. In 2003 Music was all about the pop-chart cheerleaders sucking face with the rock and Rap rebels right in front of the teachers. The white stripes went Platinum, cold play headlined stadiums and 50 cent drove his back-alley bravado right down top 10 street. Now we want to know what you've been Cranking. Fill out this ballot and French-kiss a postage stamp Britney-Style. Or vote at Playboy. Com and save yourself the licking.
The 2003-2004 college basketball season hasn't even started, and already the pontificators are whining. The game is damaged, they say. It's not the same without all those high-flying shooting stars-LeBron James, Amaré Stoudemire and Caron Butler, to name a few-who have passed on the NCAA for the pros. Time for a reality check: This college hoops season, just like last year's, will be an all-out blood sport and one to remember. We'd bet on it.
Think about your most impetuous, hard-partying deeds, the ones you thought nobody was watching. Would you have behaved the same if you knew people would still perceive you that way a decade later? That is the question we asked sultry Shannen Doherty, who at 32 is still largely thought of as a nightclubbing hell-raiser even though she has long since graduated from her Beverly Hills 90210 days. "For a little bit, I got wrapped up in that lifestyle," she confesses. "What 19-year-old who is never carded wouldn't? I was rolling into clubs with 10 of my friends and partying my ass off. We didn't have to wait outside, and we'd get an amazing table and champagne sent over. The interesting thing is that once I became of legal age, it got boring. I feel more centered now and can focus on things that are really important in life." Those things include her tight circle of friends, most of whom she's known for more than 15 years, and her parents. "The most important factor in doing this new shoot was getting my parents' blessing," says Shannen, who last graced Playboy's cover in 1994. "They said, 'There's nothing you could do that we'd be ashamed of.' My parents did a great job with my brother and me. We may screw up, but we fix our mistakes and do the right thing in the long run."
"I've been searching this entire shopping mall all afternoon and I still haven't been able to find a Christmas present for Mr. Duck. He really hated the combination Dildo and Mp3 player I got him last year.
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 40, 51-52, 88-93, 134-139, 140-141, and 173, check the listings below to find the stores and nearest you.
After years of trying to make things bigger and better, manufacturers have finally hit on the one thing consumers really want--disposability. That's right, the category once reserved for ballpoint pens, razors and cigarette lighters now boasts digital cameras, cell phones, DVDs, barbecues, even boxer shorts. In other words, products hat wont induce panic attacks when lost and that can be tossed in the trash (or the recycling bin) when depleted. Say good-bye to closet clutter, 300-page user's manuals, warranty extensions, planned obsolescence and rebate hassles. Disposable stuff does work; just short-lived.
In our first issue, Hef wrote, "We don't expect to solve any world problems or prove any great moral truths. If we're able to give the American male a few extra laughs and a little diversion, we'll feel we've justified our existence." we've been celebrating the good--or shall we say great?--life for five decades, and we're not about to stop now. Our 50th Anniversary Issue looks forward (and back) with a lot of help from our friends. We even have a few surprises up our cuff-linked sleeve, including an unbelievable 50th Anniversary playmate plucked from thousands of beautiful hopefuls. So whether you read it for the articles, the pictorials or both, we salute you. Here's what to expect: George Plimpton on his life with Playboy, Jonathan Safran Foer on The Power of Paper, T. Coraghessan Boyle on Dr. Alfred Kinsey, Chuck Palahniuk on The Great American Demolition Derby, Norman Mailer on Democrats, Ray Bradbury on The Future of Space Travel, Architect Frank Gehry on The New Playboy Bachelor Pad and Hunter S. Thompson on Nixon, The Harlem Globetrotters and The Coming Apocalypse (don't ask). As for fiction, we've got new works from Scott Turow and Thom Jones. In Fashion we showcase Hollywood's top actors, producers and directors in Today's Best Clothes. And to satiate your visual desires, we've rounded up more hot women than, well, are at A Playboy mansion party--from 50 years' worth of covers and centerfolds to a-list directors shooting their fantasies. It should be enough to tide you over until our 100th Anniversary Issue.