Part I pertains to the Cover Stories. Check back later for Part II which contains the other material.

Eva Maria graces the cover of my March, 1975 issue of Playboy

Cover Stories:

Robert Sherrill Finds God In Washington

Any time a politician starts laying things at heaven’s gate, you can expect the worst. ~ Robert Sherrill

Robert Sherrill’s article Elmer Gantry For President shocked me. I was fully expecting to be quite bored based on the bylines, but I quickly found myself engrossed in data and predictions that greatly reflect the politico-religious status of our nation today. It was a fascinating read that I highly recommend.

Mr. Sherrill reports that more and more politicians in 1975 Washington were jumping on the Christian bandwagon not just to appeal to a demographics – but because they honestly believe they are acting on God’s will. For example, he discusses how Gerald Ford said he pardoned Nixon because God advised him to. Sherill outlines a massive history of Christian political organization and dissension-repression – which does drag on as the article reaches its conclusion – and has about twenty or so sentences that I would love to have the room to quote here. So tough it out and read it all.

Ultimately the article concludes that conservatives nearly had a contingent of voters organized across the US by prayer groups who would have been ready to vote “change is un-American” in unstoppable numbers had Watergate not disrupted the process. But Mr. Sherrill is quick to point out that the movement of God-blessed politicians was not halted by the scandal but simply paused, and that it would be only a matter of time before Conservative Christian politicians would rebuild it as a powerhouse of Bible-is-everything voters across America.

Well, good call on that one, Mr. Sherrill.

The Great Pentagon Fighter-Plane Shoot-Out

Jame’s W. Canan’s Tally Ho In The Pentagon is a thickly packed account of fighter jet superiority and military bureaucracy. It is interesting and energetically written, but only those diehard fans of aircraft and air battle strategy will get the most out of it. I do highly recommend to anyone checking out the graphic on pages 110/111, which is a big arcade machine lampooning the topic – and features a coin slot that demands $20,000,000 in exact change.

Keeping Cool Through Hard Times

Warming Trends is little more than a pictorial by Robert L. Green. 70s fashion is at the forefront, with pithy commentary and the prices given for all the menswear. There’s a couple good laughs to be had thanks to hindsight, but the most interesting thing is really the heels some of the women are wearing. Oi.

Country Boy Cum Laude: Kris Kristofferson

“The funny thing is…people think you are more famous than you are. But if they think you are, you are, aren’t you?” ~ Kris Kristofferson

Jack McClintock’s personality piece Just a Good Ole Rhodes Scholar: making it through the night with kris kristofferson [sic] is, like previous Playboy personality pieces I have read, personal and in depth – nearly to a fault. I always find the beginning of these articles the most interesting, and Mr. McClintock’s is no exception as he lays out a typical day in the life of Mr. Kristofferson and transitions into what has brought him to fame. The music-and-film star comes off as very down-to-Earth and personable, which makes reading about his past and rise to stardom easy and enjoyable. But as the articles goes on into the minutia of Mr. Kristofferson’s life I did find myself wondering how many pages were left to the article; it just got too small-scale for me and I suspect many modern readers may agree. Clever quotes from the star, such as his observation that his jacuzzi will, “…hold eight therapeutically […] and twenty socially” helped carry me along, and it is Mr. Kristofferson’s final observation, said to his 5 month old daughter regarding a news article on Evil Knieval he had just watched, that I found particularly wise; “And they say rock musicians are self -destructive.”

Ripped Off! A Torrid Nine-Page Pictorial

The image of a woman […] tearing her lover’s tank-top undershirt with her teeth connotes, to [photographer Gus] Gregory, every man’s “age-old fantasy – the desire to be raped. Trouble is, in real life it never seems to happen.” ~ caption

Yeah…that sentence is probably gonna break most people’s enjoyment of this portion of the magazine, as it certainly did mine. The 9 page pictorial is themed around having various items torn from male and female models; clothes, plastic wrap, wigs and mustaches are all examples. The theme was already pretty thin for me, and while the models are all attractive and seem to be  enjoying themselves in each image all of the photos – regardless of photographer – feel eerily dark and overexposed. I probably wouldn’t have thought much about the subject matter until I read Mr. Gregory’s quote under his picture. Although there is only one submission by him it gave the whole section an uncomfortable undertone. I, Mr. Gregory, have no “desire to be raped” and I’ll thank you for not suggesting it anymore.

Check back later for Part II, which explores the sections not deemed worthy of mention on the cover…which I usually find to be the better reads…and less interested in getting me raped.