Matthew Cox, the real estate fraudster, deserves a special place in con man hell (Sale of the Century, May). He is undoubtedly gifted, but he also happens to be a sleazeball who took people's money and property and destroyed lives. And all because he'd been slighted by his father? The irony is that Cox's dad, while visiting Cox in prison, complimented him only on having "lived an incredible life."
In "Rock Relic" (After Hours, April), Adam Baer laments the dearth of new guitar gods. I recommend he listen to Orianthi's Heaven in This Hell, though technically it could be called blues. Orianthi is only 28, but Carlos Santana says he's ready to pass her the torch. Dave Smith Winston, Oregon
I was one of those enthusiastic white college students Muhammad Ali spoke to (Playboy Classic, May). When he visited Virginia Tech in 1971, he was well versed, told great stories, showed a great sense of humor and didn't preach. At the end of his talk, he took questions. Everyone wanted him to do the Ali shuffle, but he said he would need an opponent. The crowd started chanting, "Charlie! Charlie!"—referring to a basketball
The March cover photo of Liza Kei on a sheet, wearing a diamond choker and thigh-high stockings, is the epitome of, well, everything. It's the picture to end all pictures. It took pij\yboy 60 years to get this one, and I doubt you'll be able to top it in the next 60 years.
1 he columns by Joel Stein and Lisa Lampanelli in April hit on an important trend, the pussification of America. Although I agree with Stein's confusion and disgust at being told by a supposed friend that his wine selection might get him punched in the testicles ("You Are What You Eat," Men), if a friend said that to me, he'd be the one in danger of injury. Anyone who thinks a wine is too dry or hasn't matured enough doesn't understand why a man drinks. I also like what Lampanelli says about what she would like a man to be ("Man Up!,"
Thank you for James Franco's interview with filmmaker Sam Raimi (Francofile, April). Sam was a grade or two ahead of me, but I recall the morning talk show he and a classmate played over the intercom in the mid-1970s at West Maple Junior High in West Bloomfield, Michigan. It always began with a Bachman-Turner Overdrive song. Then we'd hear "Hi, Steve!" "Hi, Sam!" and laughter. And they were off. It was clear even then he was a talented guy.
John Gray's essay "Atheism Wars" (Forum, April), in which he argues there is little reason to think our world would be a better place if no one believed in God, is so full of non sequiturs and inanity it's difficult to know how to respond. Theists live in a fairy-tale world where, if they're good, they'll go on to "heaven" and spend eternity with the deity. What a riot. Pull the other one.
I would have loved to study the plans for your urban bachelor pad (Retro Renovation, May), but there were too many distractions, such as the chessboard set up the wrong way, with the black queen on a white square.
It seems to me that if players have only a 15-year window to get into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, sports-writers should have to give up their vote after 15 years as well ("What the Hall?," After Hours, May).
• "RUNNING AROUND your apartment in your underwear is a lot of fun," says Valerie Azlynn, lounging at home in Los Angeles. She plays Melanie, the smoking-hot beer-chugging paramedic in the tight uniform on TBS's Sullivan & Son. "I grew up a trombone-playing, opera-singing goofball," she says, "but I learned to love my body." Although she's "one of the guys" on TV, that's not the case offscreen. "In real life I'm a girlie girl."
-» Picking up a guitar helps you pick up women, according to two recent studies. In a French study, a subject introduced himself to 300 women; 31 percent gave him their number when he was carrying a guitar, compared with nine percent when he had a gym bag. Students at Tel Aviv University found 14 out of 50 people accepted a Facebook
-» The smart take on the rock T-shirt came from the streets. Fans with access to design software and silk screens took rock imagery and stripped it down to its most basic, graphic elements. A few classics (from left to right): The first names of the Ramones spelled out in Helvetica spawned countless imitators; pop ska legends the Specials' checkerboard design can't fail; Black Flag's four bars have become the punk rock aesthetic benchmark; the New York City tee says John Lennon without saying "John Lennon"; Joy Division's ethereal Unknown Pleasures album art is art in itself.
• Huge destructive beasts called Kaiju rise from beneath the sea and spark an all-out war with human-piloted robots called Jaegers in the future envisioned by director Guillermo del Toro in Pacific Rim, his self-described "beautiful poem to giant monsters." Despite the presence of mega-robots, any comparisons to Transformers are way off the mark, says Ron Perlman, who stars in Pacific Rim along with Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Day. "Guillermo has taken something that
• Sins of fathers and the destinies of their sons play out in three successive stories to form this multi-generational drama that announces director Derek Cianfrance's arrival on the A-list. The opening segment finds Ryan Gosling in Drive mode, in this case as a carnival-performing motorcyclist who turns to robbing banks to support his ex-girlfriend (Eva Mendes) and kid. Bradley Cooper takes the lead in the second portion, tracing his journey from a young cop to a man compromised by years of rationalization. The third act picks up 15 years later, as the sons of these two men face choices that echo the earlier acts. At once a work of great restraint and nuanced performances, Pines plays with big archetypes. (BD) Best extra: Going to the Place Beyond the Pines, a making-of featurette. VVV Vi
• Forget Facebook. In 2084 memories aren't shared online, they're digitized to be bought, sold, traded and even stolen. Remember Me (360, PC, PS3) really kicks off when former elite memory hunter Nilin wakes up in a coffin adrift in the sewers, her mind erased by authorities. In a smart mash-up of The Bourne Identity and Inception, Nilin scurries through a cyberpunk version of Paris while being pursued by robotic guards and Leapers, mutated humans who have tinkered too much with their memories. To survive, Nilin will need to remember the combat skills that made authorities fear her. Unlocking them leads to bigger combos in rapid-fire martial arts battles. Nilin's greatest weapon—and the game's
• Some of WWII's most savage battles took place on the Eastern Front, where the German and Soviet armies faced off in frozen conditions. Company of Heroes 2 (PC) puts Monday-morning military leaders in command of the Soviet army to strategize against Nazi forces in the war's most historic battles. Call in air strikes, maneuver sniper squads and order engineers to blow up a bridge. Resource management is key, especially in the heat of battle, when you need to reequip and realign your forces before a blizzard rolls in and kills all your exposed troops.
• Football games are always facing fourth and long. Fans demand improvements every season, but if the game is tweaked too much it isn't football anymore. The biggest improvements come when attention is paid to pigskin's toughest part—tackling. NCAA Football 14 (360, PS3) uses new physics mechanics to let you flatten receivers with savage tackles or stumble and recover as an agile running back. Thirty new options open up the playbook, and quarterbacks will highlight defenders to alert you when to hand off so they don't get crushed in the backfield.
• Saturday Night Live is in reruns all summer, but that doesn't mean late-night TV is completely barren. Fox is launching ADHD, a 90-minute block of twisted toons designed to appeal to those who think Family Guy is too tame (or too tired). Four different animated mini-shows will be spotlighted, including Axe Cop (pictured), in which a superhero lawman (who sounds a lot like Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman) battles various villains. One of the bad guys is (literally) apiece of shit named Dr. Doo Doo. It's completely silly, totally immature and very,
• Television has a mixed track record when it comes to adapting Stephen King's novels, striking out (Bag of Bones, The Langoliers) far more than it has scored (The Stand). It's too soon to say whether CBS has found a winner with its take on King's 2009 Under the Dome, but the 13-part miniseries gets off to a promising start. The title gives away the central premise of the show: A small town suddenly finds itself shut off from the rest of the world after being enveloped by an invisible barrier. Neither the residents nor the audience knows whether it's the work of aliens, the Almighty or something else, but
• Javier Marias is one of the world's great novelists. In his latest book-ably translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa—Marias investigates the seemingly random stabbing of a man on a sidewalk in Madrid. But the truth is more elusive. As we learn about the various parties involved, what at first appeared to have been random turns out to be part of an elaborate and entangling plot. Don't expect the typical whodunit; what Marias does here defies most of the conventions of the mystery genre. This is more a narrative work than a procedural one, and in the course of its telling we discover more about the elegance of the human soul than we do about the sordid crime itself. Infatuations is a murder mystery of a higher order. VVVV
One of the most celebrated German film directors working today, Wim Wenders is known for both fiction and documentaries, from his classic The American Friend to Pina, which uses 3-D technology to capture dance in a way never seen before. He talks with playboy Contributing Editor James Franco about how a cold apartment got him his start, how he inadvertently saved Dennis Hopper's life and what's next in his career.
My girlfriend wants to take me to a strip club for my birthday. I'm not sure it's the best idea to mix those two worlds. If I go, should I act like I normally do at strip clubs and risk making her jealous?—J.P., Columbus, Ohio Actually, your girlfriend wants you to lake her to a strip club for your birthday. See the difference? She'll be the center of attention, and the sex afterward will be great, so enjoy yourself. We do suggest, however, that you find a place you don't normally frequent. Although most dancers know better than to greet a regular customer with a big hello if he shows up with a date, it will help you relax.
John Gray claims in "Atheism Wars" (April) that "most of the leading Nazis" were atheists. This is highly suspect. Adolf Hitler repeatedly refers in Mein Kampf to his Catholic faith as a source of his views. He also received the support of most Protestant and Catholic churches in Germany. Many leading Nazis dabbled in paganism, but the Reagans dabbled in astrology and were still
Why isn't there a law that requires all new guns to be stamped so they leave a distinct mark on the bullets they fire, allowing investigators to match casings to weapon ("Ammo Nation," March)? Casings could also be stamped with codes that
In March a reader argues that pot causes misery and should not be legalized. If people could someday visit a convenience store and choose among alcohol, tobacco and weed for a little pick-me-up, which would be the best-seller?
We read with great interest your report "E-Searches and E-Seizures" (March), which points out the ease with which law enforcement can track anyone online. Our blog, BadPhoenixCops.com, has put a target on our backs. In 2009 the Phoenix Police Department raided our residence and seized computers based on trumped-up claims of "harassment." They kept the equipment for nearly three years, claiming the investigation was ongoing. It is true cops don't need warrants or subpoenas to get e-mail or IP information. We had been blogging anonymously, but
You ask if "professional penis inspectors" might be hired to ensure adult performers adhere to a new Los Angeles County law requiring condom use on sets ("Porn Police," March). When I was in the Navy, we referred to the hospital corpsmen assigned to look for signs of venereal disease as "pecker checkers."
<p>^Ph love the freedom and independence of W H driving," says Miss July Alyssa Arce in her * H native South Carolina drawl. "Actually, the H truth is I'm a speed demon." Growing up H near a racetrack in Myrtle Beach, Alyssa ^ caught the need for speed at a young age. She rode go-karts, dirt bikes and four-wheelers as a kid. Then she got her driver's license. "My mom says I have a lead foot," she tells us. "She'll be sitting in the passenger seat, going, 'I wish I had a brake over here!' The fastest I've gone on a highway is 120 miles an hour. It felt fantastic. Such an adrenaline rush!" The past four years, however, Alyssa has been on the fast track in the modeling world, signing contracts with</p>
WORLD PREMIERE-ROSANNA DAVISON, THE FORMER MISS WORLD FROM IRELAND AND DAUGHTER OF SINGER CHRIS "THE LADY IN RED" DE BURGH, BECOMES THE FIRST WINNER OF THE 62-YEAR-OLD PAGEANT TO POSE FOR PLAYBOY. IT'S A PICTORIAL GUARANTEED TO SEND YOU INTO SPACE.