Another year has flown by, full of laughter and heartbreak, darkness and light. To kick off 2013 we've assembled a wildly ambitious double issue. It starts with a look at the life of fictional character Dean Moriarty courtesy of the inimitable Jack Kerouac, who seared Moriarty's pathos into the American soul with his novel On the Road, which has finally made it to the big screen. Chasing Moriarty is excerpted from a Kerouac short story that originally appeared in this magazine in 1959. Follow that up with a terrific yarn by a master of American crime fiction, Lawrence Block. Keller at Sea is an excerpt from Block's forthcoming novel Hit Me, in which our main character, a hit man, joins his wife on a cruise so he can take care of a little business. Speaking of ships at sea, actor Scott Speedman is back starring in Last Resort, a TV series about life aboard a nuclear submarine. In this issue's 2OQ, Speedman dishes on fictional chemical warfare—the "weapons-grade hallucinogens" his character ingests on the show. "I'm tripping in prime time," he says. We've got a contact high!
Nancy L. Cohen's characterizations of Republican motives and her generalizations about conservative ideology are entirely off base (Screwed, November). If playboy values liberty, including "sexual freedom," you should be promoting the party that does the most to limit government involvement in your life. Besides, it's not sexual activity that is under assault but economic freedom. In that department, history demonstrates that Democrats get it right only when they think like Republicans. Further, if progressives believe their values have prevailed over the past 40 years, they should welcome the opportunity to prove it by allowing the states to regulate abortion. Republicans are not trying to control anyone's sex life; they are promoting personal responsibility as a means of preventing consequences that liberals deal with after the fact. It's a shame to see playboy sacrifice gentlemanly flair for cheap punditry.
I was disappointed to read Joel Stein's essay "A Guy's Guide to Mommy Porn" (Men, September), in which he dismisses Fifty Shades of Grey, the first volume in the popular trilogy of BDSM novels, as too verbose. Despite Stein's misgivings, I encourage every man to have his girlfriend or wife read the books. My wife did, and the benefits have been amazing. Now I'm encouraging her to read
I have been reading playboy since 1959, but nothing has ever made me feel strongly enough to write until I saw Playmate Britany Nola (Where the Music Takes Her, November). Thank you for sharing this beautiful woman. One more tiny photo would be nice. Charles Turner San Antonio, Texas
The Playboy Interview with Lee Child (October) reveals him as a wonderfully intelligent, witty and perceptive writer. It's no wonder I marvel at his Jack Reacher novels. But shame on Paramount Pictures for casting five-foot-seven Tom Cruise to play the
1 am pleased to see your guide to the growing sport of archery ("High Strung," Mantrack, October). But if you want to become an archer, it is wise to give it a try before you invest in equipment. The best place to do that is an archery club, which can supply the gear as well as instruction on safety and technique. You will find archers to be friendly, helpful and always willing to lend a spare part. Most important, your report notes the bull's-eye is 70 meters away, but a novice will more likely start indoors with a bull's-eye that is 18 meters away, then move to ones at 30 meters and farther. For more information, visit the International Archery Federation at archery.org.
I always enjoy your editorials and articles. However, something has been noticeably lacking in the pictorials. My enthusiasm is restored by the model Anna (La Strada, November), who makes me want to rush out and invest in a Vespa scooter. She and the neatly trimmed Bri-tany Nola confirm my hunch that not all women have gone bald. Whew! You had me worried for a while.
Stephen Colbert's fear of accidentally driving a boat into a channel marker is justified (Playboy Interview, November). In 2010 an intoxicated captain on the Rappahannock River hit a steel channel marker after dark at 35 miles an hour, killing one of his passengers and seriously injuring most of the rest. But since Colbert doesn't sound like a person who would drink and boat—in fact, he sounds reassuringly sane and responsible—he should put this fear aside. Plus, the 45 seconds it would have taken to reach the marker was plenty of time for him to have looked up and avoided it all by himself, without his wife alerting him. Bob Lazar Richmond, Virginia
If the CIA finds it hard to cross the North Korean border, as you suggest in the opening lines of The World's Most Dangerous 18 Holes (November), I would be happy to recommend travel agencies. That's how several other Americans and I made the trip. North Korea encourages Westerners to visit because the country is in dire need of hard currency. Our guides were unfailingly polite and generally friendly, though we didn't agree on everything: One insisted that despite my admiration for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Seagal is clearly cinema's best action star. For years journalists have sold wide-eyed and breathless accounts of how dangerous and impossible it is for people to visit North Korea, but I expect more from playboy. Your readers would be better served by a city guide to Pyongyang.
Rachel Rockefeller of the University of Iowa is a real stunner (Girls of the Big Ten, October). You have featured many other beautiful women in your magazine, but with her fantastic figure and looks to match, Rachel has my vote for Playmate of the Month, Year and Decade. What a smile!
My friend was pulled over by a state trooper while giving me a ride home. As it happens, I was looking through an issue of playboy. When the officer pointed his flashlight into the car, he spotted the Centerfold. He told us we should have been "looking out for police instead of looking at pornography," but I explained I was reading the articles and told him one of the Party Jokes. He laughed and let us off with a warning. Thanks, playboy!
• "I MUST EXUDE some sort of innocence." Actress Claire Coffee is discussing her California roots. "People always think I'm from the Midwest, like the innocent, sweet girl next door." That may be the case for her role as an assistant DA on Franklin & Bash but not for her part on Grimm, on which she plays Adalind, TV's sexiest demon. "Her confidence adds to the sexiness," Claire says. "She's not afraid to use all her wiles. I was in my underwear on set today and will be again tomorrow night. I fully embrace that this is the naked character on the show." We do too.
Anyone who has consumed his weight in buffalo wings at a Super Bowl party knows there are wings eaten out of sheer hunger and there are wings that are devoured because they taste so good. Chef Michael Symon—restaurateur, co-host of ABC's The Chew and author of Michael Symon's Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers—knows a thing or two about doing chicken the right way. Case in point: these wings, spiked with the highly addictive Southeast Asian sriracha sauce. The fact that they're baked, not fried, means less time cooking and more time watching
• Oscar-winning writer-director Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) returns with the bare-knuckled Jack Readier, based on one of Lee Child's 16 gritty best-selling crime-thriller adventures about the eponymous offbeat ex-military homicide investigator and loner. The trail of a phantom serial sniper leads Reacher (Tom Cruise) straight to Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall, Werner Herzog and Richard Jenkins. "One of the reasons Tom Cruise and I get along so well is that he's absolutely tireless," says McQuarrie. "Lunch breaks, nights off, weekends don't really appeal to either of us while filming. The tone of the novel—the rust belt America setting, the alienation of Reacher, who rides buses rather than drive—these were our clear influences. Anyone who knows anything about me and my work knows you're going to come to the theater and feel respected." Tell that to the internet snipers who have slammed him and Child for casting Cruise in a role that calls for a six-foot-five, tough-as-nails bruiser built like a refrigerator. "We took extraordinary care and respect in choosing those dimensions I thought were most important to capturing the spirit of the novel," says McQuarrie. "Those who have commented [negatively] have made it clear that I've lost them, so I've written them off. But those people are not worthy of respect. I'm focused on those who are skeptical and cautiously optimistic."
• Mocking the controversial John McCain- Sarah Palin campaign is easy, so HBO strives for (but doesn't totally achieve) balance in this original movie. Julianne Moore portrays a softer side of the prickly veep contender, though Palin's alleged catatonic meltdowns and prima donna antics helped doom the campaign. The ultimate problem is evident: She was in way over her head. Best extra: "Creating the Candidate" explores the commitment and ego that drive presidential nominees. VVV
Eddie Redmayne (My Week With Marilyn) plays Marius, the passionate young hero in the new film version of the popular stage musical based on the classic Victor Hugo novel. Q: How intense was the competition for Marius? A: When I heard they were making Les Miserables, I was in North Carolina playing a Texan cowboy in a film. I ran into a trailer, sang one of Marius's songs, recorded it with my phone and sent it to my agents. From there it was like a full-on X Factor-style audition in front of the producers, composer, lyricist, director, casting director. It was the most nerve-racking experience of my life.
• After a lackluster fall that brought just two new hits (.Revolution, Elementary'), broadcasters begin regrouping in January with a slew of fresh offerings. The best of the bunch—hell, the best new show of the season—is Fox's The Following. It stars Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy, an ex-FBI agent lured back on the job by serial killer and cult leader Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), a Poe-quoting monster whose gruesome handiwork makes Hannibal Lecter look like an under-achiever. Hardy put Carroll in jail a decade ago, but prison hasn't stopped the bloodshed: Instead, Carroll has used the internet to create a social network of disciples willing to kill for him. Filled with white-knuckle tension from start to finish, The Following is the best network-TV thriller since 24.
It's easy to feel unsettled by the work of artist Laurel Nakadate, whose photos and videos often feature herself, an attractive woman, doing strange things, such as crying in public or hosting fake birthday parties with older men. While provocative, her art is ultimately a tender comment on loneliness and the lives of young women. It earned her a retrospective at MoMA PS1 last year titled Only the Lonely, and her latest work, 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears, is out now as a hardcover book, playboy Contributing Editor James Franco discusses with Nakadate how she approaches her work and finds inspiration for her controversial pieces.
ike all people who are getting divorced, my friend talked about loneliness, his sex life and the damage divorce would do to his kids. After five minutes of this, he—like all people who are getting divorced—spent half an hour talking about money. My friend said he was lucky in that he had saved up "a pretty big chunk." When I gingerly asked him how much "a pretty big chunk" was, he gingerly said, "A lot more than you'd think." This went on for a few minutes. He said "quite a bit," "a good start" and "not nearly enough to retire." It was like playing The Price Is Right's Showcase Showdown with a car salesman. For the next few weeks I kept coming up with equations to try to figure out how much he had—approximating his salary, his mortgage and the number of times he eats out each week. I had no idea why this bothered me so much—especially since I spent no time whatsoever trying to figure out why he was getting divorced.
SO YOU THINK YOU WANT TO HAVE A THREESOME? THINK AGAIN AND AGAIN
IW WM"1| M Lampanelli, am nothing if not an I 11* /■ honest beyotch. So during my first I I ^^ / ^ telephone conversation with the I 11 ■ I l^k man who would eventually be-# M^M-mJJ- M. come my husband—the infamous Jimmy Big Balls—I told him what
I heard the term ruined orgasm and decided to do a web search. To my surprise my wife and I have been doing the most common type, "abandoning" the climax, for years. I've asked her to thumb or palm my ejaculation, but she won't because she thinks there could be health risks associated with this form of denial. Can you settle this?—J.M., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Props for "How Apple Rules America" (October), which effectively portrays the company as an example of the current landscape in which executives benefit from huge profits while paying low wages and taxes. There is a solution. The government could mandate that all corporations that dodge taxes by creating front companies or funneling profits through countries with lower rates will have a 50 percent sales tax imposed on their products in this country. I am pleased to say I own not a single Apple product. But I will shop at Walmart more frequently, since it appears to toe up to the tax line by paying a 24 percent rate.
As a staunch libertarian who has dropped 50 pounds by counting calories, I am in nearly complete agreement with Melba Newsome's dismissal of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's war on oversize soft drinks ("Hands Off My Big Gulp," October). I take issue, however, with her assertion that requiring restaurants
As an Orthodox Christian, I want to thank Hugh Hefner for providing a forum to defend the faith in the wake of his September editorial, Sexual Freedom, and the Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins. Everyone should have
SHERLYN CHOPRA-THANKS TO TWITTER, IT'S NO SECRET THE BOLLYWOOD ACTRESS WILL BE THE FIRST INDIAN WOMAN TO APPEAR ON OUR COVER, BUT THE PHOTOS INSIDE ARE EVEN SEXIER THAN YOU'VE HEARD. MEET A CONFIDENT AND COURAGEOUS WOMAN IN A SIZZLING PICTORIAL.