Though widely acclaimed for this year's Why We Fight (out on DVD), documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki felt his job wasn't done. He's back at it here with Why Are We in Iraq? "My film borrowed the title from Frank Capra's series made during World War II," he says. "Back then, when Capra asked why we fight, the answers were clear. Today we don't enjoy that national unity. Why not?" The answer is inside this issue.
Playboy Editor's Rule #47: When you're interviewing an incredibly beautiful woman, the topic of video games is usually a nonstarter. The passion for digital time wasting just isn't in the DNA of most models and actresses. But Natassia Malthe, co-star of DOA: Dead or Alive, the movie based on the Xbox game, is not most models and actresses. "I kick ass in that game," she boasts. "I beat Vin Diesel. He'll be so mad I told you that, but I don't care." For those unfamiliar with DOA, it's basically about agile, jiggly females beating the tar out of their enemies. "I love doing action because I'm very physical and athletic," she explains, as if we hadn't noticed. "I did gymnastics, ballet and track and field. And martial arts is one of my favorite workouts." Fans of mediocre punch-em-ups may remember Natassia from Elektra, in which she played the villainous Typhoid Mary to Jennifer Garner's antiheroine. "Jennifer is to die for," Natassia enthuses. "What a doll. I totally understand why guys fall for her—there's something amazing about her. I can say that because I'm amazing too." Later this year Natassia will appear in Skinwalkers, a werewolf flick we don't know much about. But it does give us a reason to ask about skin and walking. "Yeah, I walk around the house naked every day," she admits. "I think all my neighbors have seen me do it." Which brings up Playboy Editor's Rule #1: Never underestimate the sex appeal of the girl next door.
What in the world has become of conservatives and Republicans? I have been asking this question for a number of years now—not as a partisan but rather as someone who once pledged allegiance to this tribe and still considers himself a Goldwater conservative on many issues. These days self-described conservatives are right-wing radicals, and Republicans are theocratic. Why? And what makes them so arrogant, aggressive and self-righteous? What good is served by dividing the nation into polarized camps? Are we really safer from terrorism after having provoked almost the entire world to hate America? What has become of Congress's constitutional and institutional role of oversight, checking and balancing? Why do rank-and-file Republicans and longtime traditional conservatives tolerate the recent shift in the tenor of conservatism and the Republican Party?
In 1986 Nigerian Wole Soyinka became the first African to win the Nobel Prize in literature. But his life has been about more than words. Soyinka spent nearly two years in solitary confinement and many years in exile for his outspoken political views. In his new memoir, You Must Set Forth at Dawn, the 72-year-old activist recounts his literary life on the run.
From a Set of Text Messages sent by San Francisco's Department of Public Health in response to people who text the department with questions: "if u hve sex, u can get an STD + not know it. Chlamydia, gonorrhea=no symptoms most of the time Dropin get chcked FREE."
What is the definition of a progressive? A good one may be "someone who admits to reading Playboy." After all, as a reader pointed out in response to the angry letters we received regarding our interview with Al Franken, the magazine's first subscribers, in the 1950s, were by definition progressives. They wanted to read about sex at a time when Hef had to go to court to be able to send photos of bare breasts through the U.S. mail. Politics rarely reared its ugly head in those early issues; not until 1962, when we published the first installment of The Playboy Philosophy (which led to the creation of the Playboy Forum), did we systematically begin to define our beliefs.
The rationale for building walls has been remarkably consistent security. The Chinese sought to keep away Mongolian and Manchurian raiders. The Romans decided their battle in northern Britain with the Picts was futile and wanted to secure a border. Even the East Germans called their ring around West Berlin an antifascist buffer against Western capitalist aggression. But in each case the builder's government fell despite the wall. As Israel extends its curtain and we debâte our own, it's clear walls don't solve root problems.
In 1942 Frank Capra made a series of films called Why We Fight to explore America's reasons for entering World War II. People have asked me why I stole his title for my film. Actually I think I stole Capra's movie. Or at least I hope I did.
Here she is, sitting on a light-colored couch in her high-rise apartment in Los Angeles, with the California light shining in through the enormous windows behind her. At the moment, her T-shirt is riding up just enough to show a bit of belly the color of crème brûlée, and she's laughing—something she does a lot. We first saw her impossibly green eyes in Clueless, in 1995, when she played the sharp-tongued superhottie Dionne. Look at her now and it's clear: Stacey Dash hasn't changed a bit, except for the fact that she's even sexier than she was then.
Woodland Terrace was a cul-de-sac on the side of a hill in the upscale quarter of a university town in central New York state. You could get to it easily if you wanted; its entrance, a narrow, sycamore-shaded near-alley, lay mere blocks from State Highway 79. But there was no reason to go unless you lived there or were delivering something to the people who did. Only three houses stood on Woodland Terrace, and though they were by no means expensive or especially beautiful, the people who lived in them felt like they had gotten away with something. The street was quiet, buffered from the highway by houses, trees and a creek so that the occasional distant noise of a passing truck seemed a comfort rather than an annoyance, and between the end of the cul-de-sac and the next neighborhood lay an abandoned farm field and a jogging path. It was as isolated as a street could be in this small, high-density town, and the people who lived there liked it that way.
Sliced bread? For us, the standard of "greatest thing since" was eclipsed six decades ago with the advent of the sliced swimsuit. Since then the bifurcated garment that liberated women to flaunt their flesh has brewed a cultural mythology all its own, one involving Bardot and Brazilians, Andress and Avalon. How did two tiny pieces of fabric named after an atomic test site so shake up Western civilization? Read on.
I became conscious that sweat was running down my neck. Whole blooms of it sprang up across my back like fireworks so that when I moved, the paper I was lying on moved with me. I cursed. I smacked my hand over my mouth. I spoke in tongues, some of them aboriginal in origin. This was my first Brazilian bikini wax. Though I couldn't bring myself to see how much more fleecing needed to be done, I guessed that slightly less than half my pubic hair was no longer with me. It had gone to a better place: the trash can. Suddenly the pain stopped. I remembered to breathe. I squinted one eye open. "What shape you want?" the waxer asked, thwapping my knee with a tongue depressor about to be quadruple-dipped in a vat of hot wax. Shape? "Sí," she said, "shape." On a woman who has just had a Brazilian, a thin area of hair remains. Yes, it has a shape. Not all airplanes land on the same strip. I recognized the question. The handful of times in my relatively unpolished life I've gotten my nails done, the manicurists have asked me the same thing. "What shape?" they say, pausing the file in midair. "Um, nail-shaped?" The question is always somewhat humiliating, like ordering a martini straight up without knowing what you'll get, or smoking a joint for the first time and attempting not to publicize your drug virginity. Preference indicates experience. And my preference was to shut my legs and get out of the situation entirely.
There's something comforting about a drink you can see through. For one thing, you know what's in it, or at least what's not in it. If it's served chilled and straight up, chances are it's vodka or gin. Both are the perfect pour for summer's clear sunny days and warm starry nights. Though you may know what's in your see-throughs, the origins of gin and vodka and the things that make every brand unique are not so clear. Herewith, a few facts to consider while you sip.
One sultry evening not long ago, while alone and seminude in a small room in a house in Athens, Georgia, beautiful Nicole Voss decided to take matters into her own hands. The 23-year-old set up a camera on one side of the room, fiddled with angles and began photographing herself, intending to send the fruit of her labor to Playboy. "I had to hit the camera's timer button, count to 10 and hope for the best," she remembers. "I tried to imitate a pose from one of the issues, so I took quite a few shots, running back and forth. I'm so critical!"
You're sitting at a table with a ham sandwich on a plate in front of you. Maybe there's a little potato salad on the side. Sitting around that table are more than 25 elite NFL players, coaches and analysts, each with his own sandwich. Big Ted Washington, the 365-pound nose tackle for the Cleveland Browns, likes salad for lunch, but never mind. Pro Bowl linebackers Lofa Tatupu and Keith Brooking are there. Panthers tailback DeShaun Foster is there. Rookie offensive tackle Eric Winston fidgets nervously as he gazes at the Super Bowl ring on Ravens head coach Brian Billick's finger. More than two dozen NFL heroes are sitting there waiting for you to ask any question you want. Go ahead, hold nothing back. Surely there are a few things you'd like to know about the NFL. Say ...
First there was this place called Orange County. It was the home of Disneyland and Reagan Republicans and sprawling suburbs full of the sort of picture-perfect families Steven Spielberg likes to discombobulate. Then came this television show called The O.C., which advanced the proposition that Orange County was actually a sexually charged wonderland packed from Dana Point to Yorba Linda with delectable women—and, by the way, that it should actually be called the O.C. Then an MTV reality series, Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, came along and essentially said, "Uh-huh, that's right!" Suddenly the home of John Wayne Airport was America's hottest locale. We decided to check it out for ourselves. What did we discover?
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 32, 35–38, 104–111 and 154–155, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
You've been in this country a long time, Fifi, and you still can't speak a word of English. That's way I've decided to teach it to you myself. And also because Weevil's Mounting psychoanalyst bills keep me from sending you to Berlitz.Out, Monsieur Duck.
I've always enjoyed flying, sailing and driving, and this wraps it all up into one coherent project," says Richard Jenkins of his high-speed land sailer, the Windjet. Jenkins began work on the vehicle while studying engineering in London and spent two years testing it on airfields in the U.K., where it hit 120 miles an hour, surpassing the 116 mph record. (Because of a technicality, his speed didn't qualify as an official record.) Now, after several runs in Nevada, his team is giving it another go in southwestern Australia. But that's only one third of Jenkins's plan. In early 2007 the engineer will chase the record on ice (143 mph) in a modified Windjet, then later on water (46 knots) with a seaworthy version of his baby. As for what affects the outcome, "it's a combination of good engineering and the luck of the weather," he says. Not to mention a healthy helping of balls.
Starting a podcast is easy. Starting an entertaining podcast is anything but. Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff began by recording rambling, angry thoughts into an MP3 player during his drive to work. A year later his podcast, Pacific Coast Hellway, has evolved into a drumtight 25 minutes of twisted sketch comedy, focused rage and slamming tunes that takes seven writers, producers and voice actors eight man-hours to produce each weekday. Imagine Howard Stern dropping acid with Trey Parker and Jon Stewart while driving around downtown L.A. and you're nearly there. Some 200,000 episodes a month go out to subscribers, and the show is featured on Sirius Satellite Radio's podcast lineup (channel 102). Subscribe for free at pacificcoasthellway.com.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), August 2006, Volume 53, Number 8. Published monthly by Playboy in national and regional editions, Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois and at additional mailing offices. Canada post Canadian publications mail sales product agreement no. 40035534. Subscriptions: In the U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues. Postmaster: Send address change to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. For subscription-related questions, call 800-999-4438, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Brown—The fall guy for Katrina has risen in public favor by exposing Government Incompetence. In his Playboy Interview with David Sheff, the former Fema Head calls for Bush to publicly admit the Country is unprepared for the next major disaster and invites a second-guessing congressman to bite him.