Once again December is here and you're holding our gala holiday issue. Fittingly, we've included a chunk of the Bible. By that we mean R. Crumb's profound and juicy version from his new Book of Genesis Illustrated. The world's most endearingly perverted storyteller takes on the greatest story ever told. Speaking of religiously fueled rabble-rousers, in The Triumph of the Conservative Underground, Wall Street Journal columnist Thomas Frank takes a Menckenesque look at Glenn Beck, the man at the vanguard of the powerful and paranoid conservative outrage that began to bubble up last summer. You'll also find Dust in the Wind, a meditation by Paulo Coelho (author of The Alchemist, one of the best-selling novels of all time) on the strange peregrinations books make over the course of their lives. When Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977, the perfectionist literary giant ordered his unfinished work destroyed. His wife and son didn't have the heart to burn his final manuscript, so it sat in a Swiss bank vault. Until now. The Original of Laura—an excerpt from his newly published novel—finds Nabokov in fine form. As a companion piece, the crossover movie actor Sasha Grey poses as Lolita, with commentary by Roger Ebert on the controversial Stanley Kubrick adaptation of Nabokov's most famous work. Also in this issue: Master erotic photographer Rankin screams with a libertine's abandon in a pictorial excerpt from his new book, Rankin's Cheeky (which has an introduction by Hugh M. Hefner). Speaking of movies, what do you get the director who has everything? A Playboy Interview. Stephen
Woody Harrelson's honesty about his use of marijuana is refreshing (Playboy Interview, October). Had he been imbibing alcohol rather than cannabis during the interview [at right] it is unlikely anyone would have batted an eye, yet our laws and culture arbitrarily embrace the former while condemning the latter. Last year 847,863 Americans were arrested for marijuana offenses. It is illogical and irrational to continue to waste taxpayer resources to punish people who, like Harrelson, relax with weed. Paul Armentano Washington, D.C.
Shashank Bengali's brilliantly reported Pirates of Somalia (October) makes it clear economic desperation drives most of those who take up the illegal pirate trade. The U.S. response, however, has been an increasingly military one, which does nothing about the core problem of relentless poverty. In September pirates fired on a U.S. surveillance helicopter, the first attack of its kind, according to the Navy. The helicopter wasn't hit that time, but what happens when one is? My fear is that a pirate strike will be used to justify a full-scale intervention whose real agenda will be to prop up Somalia's weak, Western-supported government and hunt down Al Qaeda supporters. By lumping piracy, the Al Shabaab insurgency and Al Qaeda into a single threat and applying the same policy—guns and more guns—the Obama administration is making the same mistakes as its predecessor. I hope Bengali's article helps halt what appears to be an inexorable slide into another disaster to add to those of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kevin Cook does a great job in Bad to the Bone (October) of capturing the zani-ness, intensity, controversy and excitement that was the Oakland Raiders of yesteryear. The "Raidahs" of the 1970s left a social legacy many overlook. When owner Al Davis was the AFL commissioner, the league recruited African American players while the rival NFL was reluctant to integrate. The Raiders were the first modern NFL team to hire an African
Woody Harrelson is a great actor, but when he claims in his Playboy Interview that "the most egregious of all man's activities" after wars over oil is moun-taintop mining, he seems not to understand the issues surrounding mining in Appalachia. Like Harrelson, coal miners love the environment. That's evident in the care we take to restore the land. Much like building a road, a shopping center or a home, surface mining requires us to move earth. But when the job is complete, we restore the site to its approximate original state. In fact, we recently won acclaim from the UN for using our sites to reintroduce the near-extinct American chestnut. We also create land that can be developed, and little economic growth would be possible in Appalachia without it. In September, for example, we presented Mingo County with a paving-ready former mine site to build an industrial park and airport, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Bill Raney Charleston, West Virginia
The exquisite blonde in Lounge Acts, a southern California girl (Kimberly Phillips) as Playmate and a great Kurt Von-negut story (Confido) make September my favorite issue so far this year. Aaron Losey Kullerton, California
You say in The Colden Age of Pills (October) that you believe in personal freedom, so altering your brain is okay as long as you're not hurling anyone. But where do you think most readers will get these Pharmaceuticals? For most of the situa-
I own property on a scenic river in central Montana where we've discovered historic Native American pictographs. A number of these rock paintings closely resemble your famous Rabbit Head. Curtis Thompson Great Falls, Montana For more Rabbit Heads found in nature, search jAayboy.com for "Spot the Bunny."
I found a copy of the December 1968 issue while cleaning out a foreclosed home (my job) and became engrossed in Wealth Versus Money by Alan Watts. Unfortunately, given our current economic situation, it's still timely. "Remember the Great Depression of the 1930s?" Watts wrote. "The physical resources of the country—the brain, brawn and raw materials—were in no way depleted, but there was a sudden absence of money, a so-called financial slump. What wasn't understood then, and still isn't really understood today, is that money is a way of measuring wealth, but it is not wealth itself. A chest of gold coins or a fat wallet of bills is of no use whatsoever to a wrecked sailor alone on a raft. He needs real wealth, in the form of a fishing rod, a compass, an outboard motor with gas and a female companion. But this ingrained and archaic confusion of money with wealth is now the main reason we are not going ahead full tilt with the development of our technological genius for the production of more than adequate food, clothing, housing and utilities for every person on earth." Lloyd Jones Jr. Richmond, Virginia
Since the days of Chaucer, people have traveled to Italy to be enchanted. The food, the mountains, the seaside, the fashion and, more recently, the Ferraris—there's no place on earth like it. Did we mention the women? This month we salute Elisabetta Canalis, who tops our list of the hottest females from the most exquisite of countries. Elisabetta rose to prominence in 1999 when she landed a starring role on Striscia la Notizia, a satirical news show. Since then she has become a TV, film and magazine-cover staple across Europe. If you didn't catch her last filmier Fidanzata di Papa— you may have seen her more recently, on George Clooney's arm. George sure can pick 'em.
The movies are all about fantasy. Only on the big screen would a police detective on a murder case look and dress as sharp as Glenn Ford playing Dave Bannion in Fritz Lang's 1953 noir masterpiece The Big Heat (just out in a new DVD format; see page 21). If you're in need of formal-wear for the holidays—and a gorgeous dame to kneel at your altar—here's how to replicate this look: blue two-button Fitzgerald suit by Brooks Brothers, $898; white cotton Enzo shirt by Boss Black, $95; blood-colored Churchill plain woven tie by Thomas Pink, $95; white linen pocket square by Ralph Lauren, $30;blackleather Air Jarvis oxfords by Cole Haan, $178. Not pictured: snub-nosed Colt .38 tucked in the sock, locked and loaded.
The recession hit the art world like a sledgehammer to a sculpture. But fear not: The art gallery is not dead as some critics were saying. There's new energy radiating from the art scene. Some 30 New York galleries have opened since last year, most with an emphasis on young artists. "I'm heartened by the recent boom in younger galleries," says Pascal Spengemann, who recently moved his gallery, Taxter & Spengemann, into Frank Stella's old studio on 12th Street. "The breadth and quality of work from young affordable artists today is unprecedented." Pictured: Cold 1 (mixed media on paper) by Ben Tour, represented by the new Joshua Liner Gallery at 548 West 28th Street (joshualinergallery.com).
The Ethiopia-born and Sweden-raised chef Marcus Samuelsson (New York's Aquavit and Riingo) makes a point with his new book New American Table: America is a melting pot, and thus American food by definition can be anything as long as it's delicious. Here's what we're having for our Christmas dinner: Samuelsson's rib-eye steaks with chive butter (serves four). 410 oz. boneless rib 2 tbsp. olive oil
With a holiday cocktail called the Grinch, you'd imagine a sloshy glassful that gets you so drunk you wake up the next day having no recollection of December 25. Actually this little number—which comes courtesy of Kevin Jaszek at Smith & Mills in New York—is a cold-weather concoction you'll want to take your time consuming. We'll take it over processed out-of-the-carton eggnog any day.
The heroes and villains of boxing's yesteryear—from Sonny Liston to Rubin "Hurricane" Carter to Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini—are still some of the greatest of masculine icons. Now a NYC-based T-shirt company called No Mas is paying homage. The company takes its name from the two words Roberto Duran uttered after he quit during the eighth round of his 1980 „
An army of human invaders in avatar form is up against 10-foot-tatl residents of a bizarre faraway planet in director James Cameron's Avatar. The immersive, photorealistic 3-D and CGI innovations in this new sci-fi movie have been hyped as Hollywood's most colossal quantum leap since...well, Hollywood's last most colossal quantum leap. Sigourney Weaver, one of the stars, has called Avatar "a serious film about serious issues—but it's in 3-D," which means Cameron had to resist shots of cool stuff coming straight at the audience, right? Well, not exactly. The director likes being behind the lens for 3-D work and personally shot a sequence in which a stuntman fired a machine gun right at the camera. "I knew where to stand safely, but I have to admit there's a bit of a twitch in the camera move," says Cameron. "I wanted to put the "
Pedro Almod6var's Broken Embraces, starring Penelope Cruz, is loaded with nods to older movies. See if you can find hints to Voyage to Italy, Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. In a movie within a movie, Cruz has a role much like Carmen Maura's in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
Did You Hear About the Morgans? Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker aim for some holiday giggles. The duo play an estranged city couple who witness a murder and are shipped off to rural Wyoming through a witness protection plan.
Worthy of any baseball cliche that comes to mind, The Official Major League Baseball World Series Film Collection (DVD only) delivers the gifting goods for any hard-core hardball fan. The DVD programming goes 20 discs deep, drawing on MLB's extensive highlights archive to tell 65 years of stories. It comes bound in a handsomely designed book that begs to be displayed. Fans of Ken Burns's 18-hour documentary Baseball will find this to be an entirely different animal: It's more focused—fall classics only, thank you— more extensive and almost wholly unconcerned with the game as an underlying metaphor for the American experience. What you get is the good stuff—all of it: from Kirk Gibson's 1988 Series-winning homer (right) and Kirby Puckett's 1991 home run (center) all the way back to the diamond heroics of Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson and, of course, Willie, Mickey and the D-1-
Paris-born actress Marion CotiUard became the first woman to win an Academy Award for a French-language role, in La Vie en Rose, but we like saying bonjour to her other assets in Pretty Things (pictured). See her next as one of the many sexy women Daniel Day-Lewis juggles in Nine, not to be confused with District 9 or the animated 9.
Assassin's Creed 2 (pictured right; 360, PC, PS3) sends Desmond back into the Animus machine to relive his assassin ancestors' memories. This time he's creating bedlam in Renaissance Italy. Like Mad Max? Like mad loot? You'll dig Borderlands (360, PC, PS3), a hybrid role-playing game that plays like a shooter, with vehicular combat thrown in for good measure. DJ Hero (360, PS2, PS3, Wii) expands the Guitar Hero juggernaut to the turntable, where you'll scratch and cross-fade along with beats from elite hip-hop artists (Jay-Z, Eminem) and original mixes from some of the world's top DJs (Daft Punk, DJ Shadow). The Ballad of Gay Tony (360) is a downloadable Xbox-only expansion for Grand Theft Auto 4 that lets us in on Liberty City's high-flying nightlife. You play bodyguard to Algonquin's top impresario, Tony Prince (a.k.a. Gay Tony). Modern Warfare 2 (not shown; 360, PC, PS3) picks up where Call of Duty 4 left off, featuring a short, tight single-player mode, along with the best multiplayer shooting in the world. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (not shown, PS3) is the outstanding cinematic follow-up to the excellent 2007 action adventure.
Time away from work, chilly temperatures, double scotch in season—new work by E.L. Doctorow (Homer & Langley) and your hand.... No wonder so many books sell during the James Ellroy (Blood's A Rover), among others—we couldn't holidays. There are so many potential best-sellers this possibly cover them all. Here are some favorites.
For most of the second half of the 20th century. Miles Davis defined cool. And what cooler gift than a 70-CD boxed set containing everything the man with a horn recorded for Columbia Records between 1949 and 1985? From bebop to funk, Miles Davis: The Complete Columbia Album Collection represents an extraordinary survey of modern American jazz. It's available only through Amazon.com for $365. The Doors: Live in New York is a different kind of boxed set. The six-CD collection offers in their entirety the last four shows the band played in New York-June 17 to 18,1970 (two shows a night), about a year before Jim Morrison's death. Mixed and mastered by Bruce Botnick, the band's engineering guru, the set includes 90 tracks, many of which have never before been released. As a historical document, it's a thrilling listen. For true Doors fans, it's a must-have; available through Amazon for $75.
(1) Asa, Asa (2009): "She's one of the new breed of voices from Nigeria." (2) Jackson 5, Third Album (1970): "What Michael did with the Jackson 5 was genius. No one will touch him for a thousand years." (3) Marvin Gaye, Here, My Dear (1978): "He was getting divorced. It's a man who's bitter and in love with somebody new, writing an album to his ex." (4) Isaac Hayes, Joy (1973): "There are only five songs, but the music is very cinematic, really deep and sexy."
What sort of man has a nightstand that looks like this? He's an entertaining young guy happily living the good life. He's his own man. From the scotch he drinks to the barware he pours it into (set of three shot glasses, $20; pint glass, $12), every move is calculated. He's cerebral and in the know thanks to his subscription to puwboy ($29.97 a year), and he keeps a few of our books (Redheads, $17) within grasp in his favorite place to read. Of course if his reading spot is his bed he also does some of his best work there. When he meets a girl, he approaches her with confidence and the gentleman's gesture of a light (Zippo, $39), then lets the hint of his Playboy fragrance by Coty (set of four, $22) draw her closer. And the girls he dates may leave him something to remember them by (thong, $12) long after their perfume has faded from his pillow. Products can be found at shopthebunny.com, or swing by the Playboy Forum Shop on your next trip to Las Vegas. After all, the sort of man who reads playboy is a jet-setter who makes the scene and then moves on before the crowd arrives.
If you enjoy amateur talent shows like America's Got Talent, then you'll really dig playboyscastingcalls.com. Contestants: Think you have the stuff to be a Playmate? See when we're coming to your city. Crystal McCahill did, and within months she became Miss May. Viewers: Check out playboy.com/
Mad Men, Mod Style and Playboy: The 1960s Are Back
playboy has been credited with sparking the sexual revolution of the 1960s, and by celebrating the sentiment of a brave new society it became required reading for all hepcats and Mad Men. As the swinging 1960s make a resurgence, along with the Bondi company we scanned all 120 issues from the decade onto computer discs. Hef says, "This is the perfect opportunity to offer our loyal readership something they have always wanted and also a
In 1758 the king of Spain gifted a plot of land in La Rojeha, Mexico to Don Dose Antonio de Cuervo— and forever changed the way college students celebrate spring break. Cuervo 250 Aniversario ($2,250, fine liquor stores) is made solely from agave grown on the original land.
Putting whiskey in your face and then shaving will make you bleed. Putting whiskey on your face—that is. Portland General Store's Whiskey Wet Shave Jelly ($10) and Skin Quencher Aftershave ($20, portlandgeneral store.etsy.com)—will show your follicles who's boss.
Today's economy is a war zone; we recommend you work with military-grade business equipment. Moto Art (motoart.com) offers a wide array of striking home and office furniture, all made from decommissioned airplane parts. The DC-9 Airplane Desk shown here ($16,500) is handcrafted from an actual DC-9 stabilizer wing polished to a mirror finish and then fitted with hardwood and glass. Other favorites include the ejection-seat bar stools ($5,200), float-tank couch ($22,500) and Mile High bed ($30,000).
You want to listen to that one Dead Weather song but can't remember which machine you ripped the album to. Turns out digital files are just like CDs-easy to misfile. Here's a hint: Setting up a central server in your house is quick and simple, and you can work it so your music, movies and photos are automatically transferred and made available to any computer on your network. HP's MediaSmart servers ($400 to $700, hp.com) are a no-brainer to set up, as are similar offerings such as Acer's Aspire easyStore ($400, us.acer.com) and Velocity Micro's NetMagix HQ ($900, velocitymicro.com).
The optimal time to hit Telluride, Colorado is from late January (when the snow is prime) to April (when the weather is prime). Crab pre-ski breakfast burritos at the slope-side tfCafe, then hit B^e's Run, a ffr«**» black diamond off the 12,570-1 apex. Or glide down See Forever t take in views of 14,017-foot Wilson Peak (the mountain on the Coors label). When your legs are sho" grab a bite at 221 South Oak, a bistro with overstuffed couches and killer food. After that, swank it up. at Noir Bar, cut a rug on Fly Me to' the Moon Saloon's spring-loaded dance floor, or grab a longneck ' " at the Last Dollar Saloon (a.k.a Buck), where the divots on th™ table are older than you are j
I've always given off a tremendous amount of body heat. In fact, one lover nicknamed me "furnace woman." I don't sweat or feel overheated; I just have hot skin. As a result, no one, including my husband, has ever wanted to cuddle with me in bed. He's affectionate in other ways, and our sex life is great. But is there any way I can get him to put his arms around me without cranking the thermostat?—M.R., Tampa, Florida
This year, give that special driver something they'll use every day-the PASSPORT 9500ix radar, laser and safety camera detector from ESCORT. The most advanced product on the road. Order factory direct and extend the 30-day Money-Back Guarantee until Danuary 31, 2010! Call 1-800-637-0322 or visit EscortRadar.com. l
Give the gift that you'll both enjoy over and over again this season. Nab Astroglide X Premium Silicone Lubricant as that special little stocking stuffer and turn your holidays from ho-hum to hot hot hot. Call 1-800-848-5900 or visit astroglide.com
abokov's 18th novel began, we can assume, as his other works did, with his particular and powerful alchemy. He started writing it in 1975 and persisted while hospitalized the few months before his death in 1977. He relied on his signature creative approach (the note cards included here are testament to that), but the book was never finished. In this event, he asked that the draft be destroyed. That we are able to publish a portion of it today is a privilege and a relief to admirers, biographers and readers of every stripe, but that it would survive was never a certainty. Rarely has an author's dying request, been so contested and concerned so many. Since the manuscript's existence became known, wife Vera Nabokov and son Dmitri have been subject to pleas and pieces in the press debating the matter. Among those leading the charge to preserve the novel was journalist Ron Rosenbaum. In a 2005 column in The New York Observer he describes "a terrible literary tragedy in the making"; in 2008 he is more conversant in all sides of the issue, querying on the one hand, "Does it matter what V.N. would feel, since he's long dead?" And on the other, "Do we owe no respect to his last wishes because we greedily want some 'key' to his work...? Does the greatness
IN 1964 THE AUTHOR, NOTORIOUSLY PUBLICITY AVERSE, GRANTED A RARE INTERVIEW TO PLAYBOY. IN THE SELECTIONS BELOW HE DESCRIBES HOW HE NEARLY CONSIGNED HIS MOST POPULAR (AND DERIDED) NOVEL TO FLAMES AND DETAILS THE IDIOSYNCRASIES OF HIS CREATIVE PROCESS
~~i hen you think about the music of 1977, maybe you recall Fleet-wood Mac's Rumours or the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks. And for 1991, it's Nevermind by Nirvana and Metallica. So what about 2009? The biggest music star this year was Michael Jackson, an emblem of the 1980s who hadn't released a new record in eight years and who in death reclaimed the chart supremacy he coveted. The biggest rock band was the Beatles, emblems of the 1960s who hadn't released a new record in 39 years.
One year a husband decided to buy his mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift. The next year he didn't buy her anything. When she asked him why, he replied, "Well, you still haven't used the gift I bought you last year!"
heeky, in the obscure parlance of the Brits, signifies something brash, impertinent and in your face. This proves to be an apt description of the mono-named photographer who made his reputation in the United Kingdom with his brash, impertinent and in-your-face manner. Rankin—as this photographer is known— was born John Rankin Waddell near Glasgow in 1966. He first made a name for himself in 1991 when he and Jefferson Hack launched Dazed a Confused magazine in London. Dazed ii Confused became die perfect antidote to the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, a life-affirming voice in a time of grimness and debilitation.
eauties like Joanna Krupa don't come around all that often. Drop the photograph at left into a 1959 issue of playboy and she would fit in perfectly. The shot at right? That's 2009 all the way. She is a beauty for the ages, with a firm and elegant body that is almost inhuman in its perfection. In the words of Hemingway, she was built with curves like the hull of a racing yacht.
"I never knew I flew all the way to the moon and back!" Miss August 1967 DeDe Lind says. Well, she might not have, but a playboy calendar photo of her did. Astronaut Richard Gordon details on his website that, unbeknownst to him, the prep crew for Apollo XII stashed the photo they labeled mat of a hf.avf.ni.y body in the command module Yiinkce Clipper to keep him company. Where exactly did they hide it? "It wasn't in my lunch box," Gordon says.
Five years ago this month— geez, it feels like it was only last Christmas—we unwrapped Miss December 2004 Tiffany Fallon. Her down-home charm had made her Miss Georgia USA 2001. Thanks to popular demand we gave her a more coveted tiara and named her PMOY 2005. Since her crowning, she has married Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts, had baby Jagger Donovan Rooney and competed on Celebrity Apprentice. (Trump fired her first. We're not sure how the guy looks at himself in the mirror.)
Here's a night whei Miss April 2009 Hope Dworaczyk (stripes) and PMOY 2008 Jayde Nicole (dress) didn't wait by the phone—they attended the OnlineBootyCall .com Million Dollar Sweepstakes party.... Miss November 2003 Divini Rae became Mrs. Winston Fong in August, and as promised,
In response to "Fear Your Neighbor" by Slavoj Zizek (September), I would remind readers that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. That was said more than 70 years ago. Hitler wasn't an ideological competitor; he was foolishly idealistic. I don't believe the cornerstone of government is an irrational, excessive and persistent fear of being left out in the cold. The truth is tensions have diminished, first through arms control talks between the nuclear superpowers and later through such things as NAFTA. The only "growth of fear in political life" that I can think of is the result of unfair gerrymandering to give one political party an advantage. Anthony Frazer Madisonville, Kentucky
I strongly object to "Global Warming: Truth and Consequences" (October). Global-warming concepts are based on mathematical models of the world's climate, which are inherently flawed because they contain an infinite number of unknown variables. They are related to the Drake equation (the basis for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and the TTAPS equations (the basis for the idea of a nuclear winter), none of which are real science. Carl Sagan's nuclear winter equations
Perhaps Kenneth Powell (Reader Response, September) has never heard of deregulation, which certainly had more to do with the disappearance of trucking companies than unions did. Many trucking companies still haul but operate under different names. They were bought up and consolidated as a way to get rid ol the unions. Powell must not have worked in the industry before deregulation, and he likely doesn't understand it as well as he thinks he does. Mark Hanson Chisago City, Minnesota
LADY GAGA is the new Madonna. We take the hairstyle to be a starl not a halo, so we mean the sexy-quirky Madonna, not the virgin. While was trying to distract us with the hair and red face lace we spotted ar
bscort PATRIZIA D'ADDARIO claims she "didn't sleep a wink" with Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. And she allegedly had this conversation with his friend: "You told me there would be a paycheck. He gave me a small gift—I don't know what, a little turtle."
Meet RUYTER SUYS (pronounced "Rider Sighs") of Nashville Pussy, currently touring with Motorhead and the Reverend Horton Heat. This is the best guitar solo we've seen in a while; perhaps the other nipple will join in at the next show.
Had to break out that quote in honor of the 20th anniversary of National Lampoon's Christmas Vocation. But we can see the panty lines on both the grown EMMA WATSON (of Harry Potter franchise fame) and PHOEBE PRICE (who will walk down any red carpet, even if it's at a Target).
Yep. British slang for "woman" is bird. The U.K. mag Front handed us this shot of its girl next door STACEY MASSEY. The Brits are also impossibly proper. Case in point: One of the magazine's readers commented on the photo, "Her exposed breasts are very pleasant."