"I was made to write stories, and I love to write stories," says Stephen King. "I really can't imagine doing anything else, and I can't imagine not doing what I do." We are thankful the American master is still writing goose-bump-inducing prose and happy he has returned to our fiction section. Willa is a chilling tale of passengers who explore a new environment after their train derails in the middle of nowhere. Where does King come up with his stuff? Here's a little insight into his eerie, fertile mind: "I get my ideas from everywhere," he says, "but what all my ideas boil down to is seeing maybe one thing. In a lot of cases it's seeing two things and having them come together in some new and interesting way and then adding the question, What if? 'What if' is always the key question."
Not since William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings has one person so handily overwhelmed the menfolk of England. Twenty-year-old Keeley Hazell, winner of The Sun's 2004 "Page 3 Idol" competition, dominates the national imagination. (For those unfamiliar with the species, Page 3 girls are models who appear topless in the breezy British tabloid.) Blokes were blown away by her angelic face and hourglass figure, her natural 32DDs becoming a national treasure overnight. "I didn't think they were that big," Keeley says. "I was wearing a 36B bra. I thought my boobs were average size but quite pert, so that was a plus. I thought I was okay-looking and photographed well." Too right, mate. Victory and ubiquity followed, with each subsequent magazine cover coming as sweet revenge for a formerly flat-chested cutup. "I was in school at 15 or 16, and I was misbehaving in art class with my friends," she recalls. "We got the teacher's speech. You know, 'If you don't knuckle down and do your work, you're never going to have a career.' And I was like, 'Yes, I will. I'll be a Page 3 girl.' And she said, 'That's pathetic. Your boobs are too small."' Never judge an English rose before she blooms.
My wife and I have been married for 18 months. Last week she told me she loves me but is not in love with me. I didn't know what to say. The next day she said she wanted an answer from me as to how I feel about her. I love her with all my heart and would do anything to make her happy. I am very confused. Can you help?--W.J., Albany, New York
This past March CNN ran a story about prostitution. Although the face of a black former prostitute in Chicago was shown, those of customers--white johns--were hidden behind dancing checkers. This is how white and black dysfunction have been treated since the 1880s: Black social problems and criminality are played up, while those among whites are minimized, if reported at all. The New York Times sounded an alarm about the thousands of babies who have been abandoned as a result of their parents' addiction to methamphetamine. Times columnist Joyce Purnick has reported that three quarters of the people addicted to the drug are white. Yet there followed an article on the New York Times op-ed page by columnist John Tierney that dismissed meth as "a fad in some places." A letter writer challenged Tierney. "I urge him to venture out to America's heartland, where meth abuse is anything but a fad," wrote Bill Hansell. "Statistics show that meth use is increasing, yet the dangers associated with this drug are given short shrift by Mr. Tierney." But for Tierney and fellow Times columnist David Brooks to admit that meth use among whites in the heartland is a serious problem would dispute the neoconservative formula that inhabitants of red states are all God-fearing and virtuous and those of blue states secular and decadent--or that whites dwell in a sort of Lake Wobegon utopia, yet the problems of blacks can be traced to their culture. Tierney even blamed the plight of black Katrina victims on New Deal programs of the 1930s, though 80 percent of those who have benefited from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have been white.
After working for two decades as a movie executive in Hollywood, I left southern California to teach at an urban high school in Connecticut. Feminism, I quickly discovered, is the dominant philosophy in our schools, and the pathology of males is a leitmotif woven through every plotline. It's a zero-tolerance world in which vigorous debate and competition are muscled aside by the feminist ideals of "co-operative learning," "mainstreaming" and "inclusiveness." Special education is now a river of no return.
During the early 1990s putative freedom fighters--a surprising number of whom were not whacked-out survivalists--believed the federal government had a secret plan to spy on, control and incarcerate citizens of our great republic. These militiamen were roundly reviled for their absurdly libertarian fantasies. The antigovernment militia movement ended in 1995 when Timothy McVeigh bombed a federal office building in Oklahoma City, but much of what had been predicted--shadow-government sites, chip implants in humans, black helicopters, secret concentration camps--has come to pass. Turns out the crazy dude in military fatigues outside Home Depot was right.
For Americans in general, history is most notable for teaching no useful lessons. Thanks to a haphazard educational system and a media that reflects the fantasies of whatever governing clique happens to control opinion through publicity, we often behave like new-minted amnesiacs, with no sense of a national past. Today only the dwindling company of those of us who served in World War II seems to have a sort of generational memory of another America drastically different from the one that we are marooned in today. For us there was, first, the relative prosperity and sense of the modern that we were born into during the 1920s and then the shock of how fragile it all was when Depression struck. Meanwhile, upstairs in the attic there were the picture books of World War I, a war in which our fathers had gone overseas to fight to no apparent good end. For ghoulishly inclined boys, certain books hidden in the attic were irresistibly fascinating: photos of dead soldiers--ours and theirs on the European western front, like an ongoing real life/death Halloween. My own father was a pilot in the original U.S. Army Air Force. Movies of the period testified not only to the glamour of flight but to chivalric knightly duels in the air, all of which left my grandfather (the first Senator Gore, 1907--1921, 1931--1937) cold. Of course, he was blind; more to the point, in the Senate he had fought President Wilson's efforts to get the United States into what Gore presciently called World War One, a European affair whose deep roots were of perfect irrelevance to American interests: After all, what was it to us whether the German kaiser or the French republic dominated western Europe?
The first thing you notice about Miss Great Britain Danielle Lloyd--after her face, of course, and her hair and her perfect body and the smoothness of her radiant skin--is her voice. Danielle's breathy British accent would give Austin Powers the shivers. Listening to her talk about her days at an all-girls school in her hometown of Liverpool is almost too much to bear. "We wore knee-high socks and five-inch heels," she says, "with our skirts rolled up. The female teachers often complained--though funnily enough the male teachers never did."
So I'm like this guy you meet in a bar who has a crazy story to tell. It's about a one-of-a-kind old lady who lived next door and, I'm pretty sure, was J.D. Salinger's secret sweetheart while he was writing The Catcher In the Rye.
Over the decades, every practice, preference and kink has enjoyed the Hollywood spotlight, but not since the era of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn has married sex had such a moment as it did this past year. Sparks flew between wives and hubbies Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes in The Constant Gardener, Maria Bello and Viggo Mortensen in A History of Violence, Vera Farmiga and Paul Walker in Running Scared and Angelina Jolie (pictured) and Brad Pitt in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. But it wasn't just the wedded who were enjoying bliss. In other memorably erotic films, Sharon Stone slashed again in Basic Instinct 2, Gretchen Mol saluted an erotic legend with a breakthrough bare-it-all performance in The Notorious Bettie Page, Scarlett Johansson warmed up Woody Allen's Match Point with her affair with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Eva Green fired up new James Bond Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, and Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal broke new ground with Brokeback Mountain, a critically acclaimed, box-office-supported gay romance. Among the independents, writer-director John Cameron Mitchell's sad, funny Shortbus further blurred the line between mainstream movies and porn with unsimulated scenes of autofellatio and an orgy, while Kirby Dick's smart, ironic documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated exposed the capricious and smallmindedly quotidian process that constitutes the powerful and much abused movie-ratings system. Be warned: This pictorial is not yet rated either. Nor will it ever be.
You don't see what's right in front of your eyes, she'd said, but sometimes he did. He supposed he wasn't entirely undeserving of her scorn, but he wasn't entirely blind, either, And as the dregs of sunset faded to bitter orange over the Wind River Range, David looked around the station and saw that Willa was gone. He told himself he wasn't sure, but that was only his head--his sinking stomach was sure enough.
Although clearly a wonder of womanhood, Kia Drayton knows how to get in touch with her masculine side. "I'm a tomboy who grew up around a lot of boys," she says. "I have many guy friends because I love sports and manly things, like Harleys. And sometimes these friends want to take it to the next level, but what can I do? I'm kind of torn, but I don't know how to ice down. " Which is all for the best, since this 23-year-old mix mistress spends her nights generating plenty of heat on the dance floors of Atlanta. "When it comes to getting on the turntables, I have an alter ego," she says. "I'm not just Kia--I'm DJ Jazzy Belle. Some people see me as a model who has just taken up a new hobby, but I prove them wrong. I've been collecting since I was eight and have more than 20,000 records in my garage."
When Jon and I were on The Amazing Race, it was difficult to find ways to be alone, but in every country we were able to get away and have sex. Even when we were in a little hole in the wall in Ethiopia I was like, "We're never going to have another chance to do it in Ethiopia. We have the room for only another six hours, so we have to do it now!" He always wanted to have sex on the plane. Even though the microphone was on and people were watching us all the time, we just had to do the mile-high thing, so we sneaked into the bathroom. It got a little crazy.
Lust is a world of bewildering dimensions, for it is that power to take over the ability to create and convert it to a force. Curious force. Lust exhibits all the attributes of junk. It dominates the mind and other habits, it appropriates loyalties, generalizes character, leaches character out, rides on the fuel of almost any emotional gas--whether hatred, affection, curiosity, even the pressures of boredom--yet it is never definable because it can alter to love or be as suddenly sealed from love, indeed the more intense lust becomes, the more it is indefinable, the line of the ridge between lust and love is where the light is first luminous, then blinding, and the ground remains unknown."
If only to have a place to rest his feet when he is not on assignment. Or to fill out his expense reports. ("Vintage Dom Perignon, James? Couldn't you have ordered a cheaper brut?") Of course 007 needs a desk. And who better than Playboy to show it to you? After all, Playboy was the first American magazine to publish a Bond story--The Hildebrand Rarity (March 1960). Ever since, readers and moviegoers around the world have exhibited an unquenchable thirst for everything 007. To coincide with this month's Casino Royale, the film version of lan Fleming's first Bond novel, we're offering you a peek into 007's world that no other camera lens has captured. Everything you see on Bond's desk is from a specific moment in his spy career. Any idea about the provenance of the firearms? The significance of the domino? And Honeychile Ryder--whatever became of her? For the origin of every item here, log on to playboy.com.
In a few years we may recall 2006 as the end of an era. It marked the final days of a decads-old ritual familiar to all but the youngest music heads: pissing away the afternoon at your favorite record shop. We realized recently it had been six months since we last stopped in a music store--and then realized our regular store had closed down at some point during those six months. No wonder the chains have abandoned CDs in favor of DVDs, video games and merchandise. Say what you want about the sound quality of MP3s, but the electronic distribution of music is a fait accompli. A lit major may try to suggest that the amorphous, technological nature of our new computerbased music consumption has led to a reactionary return to primitivist rock and roll. We just say, "Hell yeah." Good old-fashioned geetars screeched out across dorm rooms and clubs as they hadn't for years. And as if a memo had gone out after Mariah Carey resurrected her career last year, a slew of other divas also tried to creep back into the limelight: Madonna, Janet Jackson, Jessica Simpson, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera--even Justin Timberlake came out of retirement. They were joined by a squad of would-be next-generation starlets, led by team captains Rihanna, Ciara and Cassie. But of all the luscious ladies making noise this year, we enjoyed Nelly Furtado (right) the most. There's something compelling about her grown-up version of the good-girl-gone-bad story line. And promiscouous is one of our favorite words when uttered by a hot brunette. As James Blunt would say. Nelly, "You're beautiful." But forget us. Let's talk about you. This is your chance to vote in our annual music poll and tell the world where the industry can stuff those last few CDs. Vote early and vote often. Rock and roll!
Basketball fans lately bemoaned the fact that so many top high school players were bypassing the college game to jump to the pros. It mattered little if those prospects were still too green to compete at that level; the lure of the almighty dollar proved too strong for the kids to pass up. While some succeeded in the NBA, many promising players (Korleone Young, Ronnie Fields, Leon Smith) fell short of their goal to make it there. And according to the rules, once a player fails to make a pro roster, his options are few. College is out, and while some have found decent jobs in European leagues, a lot of talented athletes have seen their career grind to a dismal halt.
<p>In a conference room at Playboy Studio West, Cindy Margolis can't contain her glee. Blonde, buxom and squeezed into a tight T-shirt that reads Go Ahead And Stare, she's grinning from ear to ear as she surveys a long table covered with many of the photographs you see on these pages. It's the first time she's seen the results of the photo session that took place a couple of weeks earlier, documenting a different side of a woman who made her name and fortune with a distinctly PG-13 website and modeling career.</p>
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 42, 47--511, 102--109, 128--133 and 208--209, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
It's about people and how they react to certain things, in this case awards buzz," Christopher Guest says of his new film, For Your Consideration. Reminiscent of Waiting for Guffman and A Mighty Wind, it focuses on the vanities and vulnerabilities of a small subculture. For Your Consideration follows the cast of "Home for Purim" as Oscar whispers run through the film set like salad through a supermodel. Though the movie-within-a-movie bears the standard Guestian earmarks--brilliant use of improvisation and vérité fly-on-the-wall camera work, and the usual suspects from his acting troupe (with the welcome addition of The Office's Ricky Gervais as a smarmy producer)--it drops the faux documentary style for a more conventional narrative. Guest is also, for the first time, taking on a subject he knows as an insider. "I can make these observations because I've been in this business for 40 years," he says. The result is a film a few shades darker than his previous explorations. "I'm hoping to get to some kind of truth of what happens when people are put through this thing. This one is way more brutal in the end."
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), December 2006, volume 53, number 12. Published monthly by Playboy in national and regional editions, Playboy, 580 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 Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. For subscription-related questions, call 800-999-4438, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.