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What type of man are you?

Introducing the all-new 2017 FIAT 124 Spider.

The only turbo-charged two-seater convertible that flirts back.
2016 FCA US LLC. All Rights Reserved. FIAT is a registered trademark of FCA Group Marketing S.p.A.,
used under license by FCA US LLC.


Kristina Shevory Jeff Weiss

U.S. Army veteran and war journal- A day before he was dropped off in
ist Shevory spent two years reporting Israels Negev Desert for Burning Man
Afghanistans Last Chance, an on- in the Holy Land, his account of the
the-front-lines account of the Afghan countrys psychedelics-fueled festival,
special forces, the nations last-ditch de- Weiss narrowly escaped a Tel Aviv ter-
fense against ISIS. The commandos are rorist attack that killed four. Battal-
viewed as the best warriors in the coun- ions of soldiers canvassed the block,
try, she says. Gaining access involved a he writes. For 15 minutes, the hissing
tremendous amount of wrangling. fear that we were next hung in the air.

Chris Heads Langley Fox

The whimsical work of Heads, who Her work has been commissioned by
has photographed campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and TL-180;
Levis and Betsey Johnson, never now, as a freelance artist, Fox (center)
fails to evoke the halcyon days of brings her pen to the pages of PLAYBOY.
youth. Marrying vibrant color with In Drawn Together, she teams with
an earthy ambiance, Heads creates photographer Kava Gorna and fash-
a perfect backdrop for Miss Septem- ion savant Djuna Bel for an illustrated
ber Kelly Gale, whose radiance pops pictorial that reminds us how joyful life
on every page. can be when you stay outside the lines.
Eben Britton Corinne Iozzio
In 2010, former NFL offensive lineman Everything old is new again, and it was
Britton dislocated his shoulder twice only a matter of time before vinyl made
during a regular-season game. Sports its sonically superior comeback. As our
doctors treated him with opiates, the resident Tech writer, Iozzio reports in So
side effects of which further sidelined You Want to Get Into Vinyl that the LP is
him. In Marijuana Is a Team Sport, cool again thanks to advancements that
Britton, now a medical-marijuana ad- combine the old with the new. Her best
vocate, argues that the NFL needs to find? A turntable that streams directly
embrace pot as a superior therapy. to your Bluetooth speakers.

Colin Winnette Erin Trieb

For his short story Whereabouts, A Texas-reared photojournalist living
penned exclusively for PLAYBOY, novel- in Istanbul, Trieb has dedicated her
ist Winnette drew inspiration from his career to documenting the raw emo-
carless existence in San Francisco tional wreckage of raging wars and
the birthplace of Uber and Lyft. His post-battle trauma. In Afghanistans
meandering tale, about a man who Last Chance, she captures the stoic
tries to save a buck while searching faces of the ill-fed Afghan nationals
for his missing wife, is a darkly comic who are expected to stave off ISIS
satire of the sharing economy. insurgents with too few bullets.

CREDITS: Cover and pp. 8295 model Kelly Gale at the Society Management, photography by Chris Heads, styling by Amarsana Gendunova for Wilhelmina, hair by Nicolas Eldin for Art Department, makeup by
Devra Kinery for Art Department, production by Robie Yamamoto, production by Blake Tankersley, styling assistance by Carson Hall. Photography by: p. 6 courtesy Chris Heads, courtesy Corinne Iozzio, cour-
tesy Kristina Shevory, courtesy Erin Trieb, courtesy Jeff Weiss, Kava Gorna, Sam Greenwood/Getty Images, Jennifer Yin; p. 31 courtesy ESPN (2), Tony Tomsic/Getty Images; p. 36 courtesy Sony Pictures Enter-
tainment; p. 38 courtesy Doubleday, courtesy the Feminist Press at CUNY, courtesy Liveright, courtesy Simon & Schuster, courtesy Tin House Books, Time Life Pictures/Department of Energy/LIFE Picture
Collection/Getty Images; p. 44 courtesy Square Enix; p. 50 Molly Cranna; p. 99 courtesy Nona Crowd, Adam Nemser/PHOTOlink/ImageCollect; p. 100 Rick Mackler/Rangefinders/Globe Photos, Inc./ImageCollect;
pp. 111113 Randy Dodson (4); p. 114 Bill Arsenault/playboy archive. P. 15 styling by Kathryn Typaldos for Roc Nation, hair by Angela Soto, makeup by Tai Lotson, manicure by Yuko Wada for Atelier Management; pp.
1617 prop styling by Janine Iversen; p. 18 prop styling by Janine Iversen; pp. 3235 styling by Mark Holmes for Jed Root, grooming by Marissa Machado for Art Department; pp. 5259 grooming by Kim Verbeck for
the Wall Group; pp. 6067 model Langley Fox at Next Management, styling by Djuna Bel for Giant Artists; pp. 102108 model Hannah Glasby at Ford Models, styling by Jesse Lynn Dell. P. 15 tank top from South-
paw; p. 83 shorts by Stoned Immaculate, rings by Michelle Fantaci; p. 84 earrings by Jack Vartanian; p. 85 red swimsuit by OYE Swimwear, shoes by Adidas; p. 87 striped T-shirt by Siwy; p. 88 white swimsuit by
OYE Swimwear, swim cap by Atsuko Kudo; p. 93 knit bottoms by Moses Gauntlett Cheng, necklace by Jack Vartanian; p. 95 shorts by Stoned Immaculate, belt by Berge, ring by Jack Vartanian, ring by Holly Dyment.




no Filter Good design is unisex, according to Vashtie Kola, the first woman to create an edition of Air Jordans 15
drinks Jgermeister, the infamous herbal shot normally dispensed from a bar-side tap, makes its way into classier glasses 16
tech Vinyl and wi-fi can live happily ever after, after all 22
advisor Looking for a third wheel to spice up your sex life? Rachel Rabbit White warns of the pitfalls of throuples 26
my way How taking a break from big waves saved champion surfer Greg Long from going under 28
also: Poke at home; why you need to dispose of your disposable razors; test-driving Fiats new Spider roadster

the rabbit hole A statistical play-by-play on Monday Night Football 31

20Q War Dogs star Miles Teller has fun throwing the middle finger at his haters 32
books Five dystopian novels that make our current political climate seem tolerable 38
music Jeff Weiss trips out in the desert at Israels version of Burning Man 40
FrancoFile Clockers author Richard Price gets candid about his coke-addict past 46
sports Former Jacksonville Jaguars lineman and current medical-marijuana advocate Eben Britton makes a plea to the NFL 48
also: The Magnificent Seven returns to the big screen with Denzel; Final Fantasy XV; why outsiders make the best political ads


interview Andy Samberg doesnt mind being remembered for his dick jokes 52
drawn together Hemingway heiress and artist Langley Fox, photographed by Kava Gorna, inks her body for us 60
aFghanistans last chance On the front lines with the beleaguered Afghan soldiers combating ISIS 68
the new rules oF style Twenty sartorial tips that will suit you for life, not just this season 76
Fiction Colin Winnettes Whereabouts is a PSA against carpooling 80
miss september The multinational Kelly Gale leaves us wondering how to say perfection in Swedish 82
the rise and Fall oF loon How Puff Daddys right-hand rhyme spitter became a Muslimand then a convict 96
road-trippin Hannah Glasby closes out summer with a memorable joyride 102
artist in residence A study in contrasts, Ben Venoms patchwork is a roaring rush of machismo 110

on the cover (and opposite page) Miss September Kelly Gale, photographed by Chris Heads.
Our Playmate looks superb in stripesas does our Rabbit.

Vol. 63, No. 7SEPTEMBER 2016



JASON BUHRMESTER e d i t o r i a l d i r e c t o r
MAC LEWIS c r e a t i v e d i r e c t o r
HUGH GARVEY d e p u t y e d i t o r
REBECCA H. BLACK p h o t o d i r e c t o r
JARED EVANS m a n a g i n g e d i t o r

CAT AUER, JAMES RICKMAN s e n i o r e d i t o r s
SHANE MICHAEL SINGH a s s o c i a t e e d i t o r ; TYLER TRYKOWSKI a s s i s t a n t e d i t o r
WINIFRED ORMOND c o p y c h i e f ; SAMANTHA SAIYAVONGSA, ELIzABETH SUMAN r e s e a r c h e d i t o r s
GILBERT MACIAS e d i t o r i a l c o o r d i n a t o r ; AMANDA WARREN e x e c u t i v e a s s i s t a n t t o t h e e d i t o r - i n - c h i e f

JAMES FRANCO e d i t o r a t l a r g e

CHRIS DEACON s e n i o r a r t d i r e c t o r ; AARON LUCAS a r t m a n a g e r ; LAUREL LEWIS a s s i s t a n t a r t d i r e c t o r

ELAYNE LODGE s t a f f p h o t o g r a p h e r
EVAN SMITH a s s o c i a t e p h o t o e d i t o r ; ANNA WILSON p h o t o a s s i s t a n t
KEVIN MURpHY d i r e c t o r , p h o t o l i B r a r y ; CHRISTIE HARTMANN s e n i o r a r c h i v i s t , p h o t o l i B r a r y
AMY KASTNER-DROWN s e n i o r d i g i t a l i m a g i n g s p e c i a l i s t

LESLEY K. JOHNSON p r o d u c t i o n d i r e c t o r ; HELEN YEOMAN p r o d u c t i o n s e r v i c e s m a n a g e r

p u B l i c r e l at ion s
THERESA M. HENNESSEY v i c e p r e s i d e n t ; TERI THOMERSON d i r e c t o r

p l ay B o y e n t e r p r i s e s i n t e r nat i o na l , i n c .
BEN KOHN c h i e f e x e c u t i v e o f f i c e r
DAVID G. ISRAEL c h i e f o p e r a t i n g o f f i c e r , p r e s i d e n t , p l a y B o y m e d i a
CORY JONES c h i e f c o n t e n t o f f i c e r

advertising and marKeting

pHILLIp MORELOCK c h i e f d i g i t a l o f f i c e r a n d p u B l i s h e r ; MARIE FIRNENO v i c e p r e s i d e n t , a d v e r t i s i n g d i r e c t o r
RUSSELL SCHNEIDER e x e c u t i v e d i r e c t o r , i n t e g r a t e d m e d i a s a l e s
neW yorK: MALICK CISSE d i r e c t o r o f a d v e r t i s i n g o p e r a t i o n s a n d p r o g r a m m a t i c s a l e s
ANGELA LEE d i g i t a l c a m p a i g n m a n a g e r ; MICHELLE TAFARELLA MELVILLE s e n i o r d i r e c t o r , e n t e r t a i n m e n t a n d B e a u t y
ADAM WEBB s e n i o r d i r e c t o r , s p i r i t s ; OLIVIA BIORDI m e d i a s a l e s p l a n n e r ; JASMINE YU s e n i o r d i r e c t o r , m a r K e t i n g
TIMOTHY KELLEpOUREY i n t e g r a t e d m a r K e t i n g d i r e c t o r ; KARI JASpERSOHN a s s o c i a t e d i r e c t o r , m a r K e t i n g a n d a c t i v a t i o n
GRACE SANTA MARIA a s s o c i a t e d i r e c t o r , m a r K e t i n g a n d p r o m o t i o n s ; GRETCHEN MAYER a s s o c i a t e c r e a t i v e d i r e c t o r
AMANDA CHOMICz d i g i t a l m a r K e t i n g m a n a g e r ; VOULA LYTRAS e x e c u t i v e a s s i s t a n t a n d o f f i c e m a n a g e r
chicago: TIFFANY SpARKS ABBOTT s e n i o r d i r e c t o r , m i d W e s t
los angeles: DINA LITT s e n i o r d i r e c t o r , W e s t c o a s t ; KRISTI ALLAIN s e n i o r m a r K e t i n g m a n a g e r
VICTORIA FREDERICK s a l e s a s s i s t a n t

playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), September 2016, volume 63, number 7. published monthly except for combined January/February and July/August issues by playboy in national and regional editions, playboy, 9346
Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210. periodicals postage paid at Beverly Hills, California and at additional mailing offices. Canada post Canadian publications Mail Sales product Agreement
No. 40035534. Subscriptions: in the U.S., $32.97 for a year. postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS (see DMM 707.4.12.5); nonpostal and military facilities, send address changes to playboy, p.O. Box 62260, Tampa,
FL 33662-2260. For subscription-related questions, e-mail To comment on content, e-mail We occasionally make portions of our customer list available to
carefully screened companies that offer products or services we believe you may enjoy. If you do not want to receive these offers or information, please let us know by writing to us at Playboy Enterprises International,
Inc. c/o TCS, P.O. Box 62260, Tampa, FL 33662-2260, or e-mail It generally requires eight to 10 weeks for your request to become effective. Playboy assumes no responsibility to
return unsolicited editorial or graphic or other material. All rights in letters and unsolicited editorial and graphic material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes, and
material will be subject to Playboys unrestricted right to edit and comment editorially. Contents copyright 2016 by Playboy. All rights reserved. Playboy, Playmate and Rabbit Head symbol are marks of Playboy,
registered U.S. Trademark Office. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any electronic, mechanical, photocopying or recording means or otherwise
without prior written permission of the publisher. Any similarity between the people and places in the fiction and semi-fiction in this magazine and any real people and places is purely coincidental. For credits see
page 6. Four Bradford Exchange onserts in domestic subscription polywrapped copies. Certificado de licitud de ttulo No. 7570 de fecha 29 de Julio de 1993, y certificado de licitud de contenido No. 5108 de fecha 29 de
Julio de 1993 expedidos por la comison Calificadora de publicaciones y revistas ilustradas dependiente de la secretara de gobernacin, Mexico. Reserva de derechos 04-2000-071710332800-102. printed in USA.


DEar PlayBoy

This is a shTick-up
No list of brave comic routines can be considered
complete without including Stephen Colberts
performance at the 2006 White House Corre-
spondents Dinner (The Wildest, Craziest, Most
Offensive and Fucked-Up Jokes Ever Told, July/
August). Colbert walked into the monsters lair,
looked George W. Bush in the eyes and merci-
lessly attacked him to his face. By doing so he let
the entire world know what many of us believed:
that the uncomfortable-looking man with the
spurious smile on his face was destined to be
remembered as the worst president in our life-
time. What Colbert did that night was not sim-
ply brave, it was historic.
Leonard Stegmann
Half Moon Bay, California

full sTeam ahead

playboys new direction is impressive. So far
every month has improved on the last, with the
July/August Freedom Issue the very best so far.
Continue like this and the brand will thrive.
Pierre B. Gauthier
Quebec City, Quebec all hail Eugena Washington, Playmate of the year 2016.

kicking ass and giving names

Suicide Squad actress Karen Fukuhara says,
Its rare to see an Asian female take on the Queen eugena in the music department for Cameron Crowes
role of a badass (No Filter, July/August). I Im thrilled with Eugena Washington, Hefs Roadies, and introducing audiences to new
guess shes never heard of Michelle Yeoh and choice for Playmate of the Year 2016 (June). artists, to use Mannings wording, is a favorite
Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Eugena is intelligent, ambitious, confident part of my job. Everyone involved in the show
Maggie Q (Nikita), Grace Park (Battlestar and gorgeous inside and outessentially the truly loves music, and I think that comes across.
Galactica), Lucy Liu (Kill Bill, Charlies Angels), embodiment of what Playmates have come to Jessica Curtis
Devon Aoki (Sin City) or Jamie Chung (Sucker represent. Shes an impressive woman with so Seattle, Washington
Punch). Its not so rare. much to offer.
M.J. Randle Eugenas win feels socially and culturally prepare To be assimilaTed
Dallas, Texas significant; the impact on those playboy has Ray Kurzweil envisions everyones conscious-
empowered with this choice will endure. Vali- ness linked through technology (Playboy Inter-
rounding The bases dation is important. The struggles to overcome view, May). If I had a direct connection between
Thank you for the photos of Miss June Josie racism and homophobia are similar; I under- my brain and a massive network, I would want a
Canseco. Her beauty illustrates the superiority stand the courage it takes to face a world that massive firewalland other security measures.
of the female sex. No tattoos, no piercings, just can be needlessly hateful. I see strength in Steven Rovnyak
delicious woman. The photos are so much more Eugenas eyes, and it reminds me to keep fight- Indianapolis, Indiana
exciting when they leave you begging for more. ing for myself. Shes a symbol of possibility,
B. Wills living her life on her own terms with no apolo-
Las Vegas, Nevada gies, doing what she loves. Its beautiful to see. we feigged up
Josie does in fact have a couple of tiny tat- Josh Fehrens Photographer Dan Monick took
toos. Heres a fun project: Look again. Toronto, Ontario Paul Feigs portrait for our July/
toP PHoto By jason lEE Parry

August feature on the director

Someone tell Jose Canseco that his daughter new school of rock (The Gospel According to Paul),
one-upped him: She hit a grand slam without Writer Sean Manning (Radio on the TV, June) as well as the image at right.
ever stepping up to bat. is spot-on: Shows about the music industry are a
Brendan ONeal key way to expose viewers to artists they wouldnt E-mail, or write to us at
New Orleans, Louisiana hear otherwise, such as Lucius or Halsey. I work 9346 Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210.

an fx original comedy series from donald glover
2016 FX Networks, LLC. All rights reserved.


no filter


Im a

mean I want


i grew up a tomboy
in new York. i also
grew up pretty poor. i
couldnt afford name
brands, so id go to the als, girls like a lot of the
Salvation Army, buy stuff guys like. ive
something vintage never understood why
and design my own brands dont make
clothes. for me, being the same clothes
an artist wasnt just they make for guys
about self-expression; in girls sizes. even in
it was a way to survive. the sneaker world, the
When i started my own idea for too long was
clothing line, Violette, to take the cool guy
in 2008, it came out sneaker and shrink it
as a unisex brand. As and pink it for women.
much as were individu- in recent years, unisex
clothing has become
more of a conversa-
tion. the stigma is
Vashtie Kola is a
filmmaker, DJ and
designer who has
worked with Nike,
Puma and Ray-Ban.

P h oto g r A P h Y bY At i S h A PAu l S o n


The Redemption of
JgermeisterHow the notorious drink jumped from the party circuit to the craft-cocktail scene

Jgerbombs certainly have their time and Jgermeister, point out that the spirit is meister for Jgermeister, cite the spirits rel-
placenamely college. But the bittersweet Ger- flavored with 56 different herbs and botani- atively high alcohol content (35 percent ABV)
man spirit the drink incorporates is actually cals and as such is essentially an amaro, just as the chief reason it makes a good cocktail
mixology friendly, and the artisanal-cocktail like Campari, Fernet-Branca and similar ingredient, and its complexity renders it mix-
community is starting to embrace the complex mixologist favorites. able with all sorts of flavors. Among its many
ingredient. In a funny way, Jgermeisters low- Ive always liked Jgermeister, so when botanical ingredients that complement pop-
rent reputation in America is the source of its bar tenders started to use bitter herbal ular cocktail components, juniper plays per-
success. In the 1970s, legendary liquor mar- liqueurs in cocktails, I naturally reached for fectly with gin, and citrus matches well with
keter Sidney Frank (who would go on to cre- it, says Mary Bartlett, bartender and as- fresh juices. If you want to get fancy with food
ate Grey Goose vodka) began importing the sistant general manager at Honeycut in Los pairings, Bartletts favorite flavors to com-
spirit into the U.S. Ignoring its reputation in Angeles. I find it to be a lot drier than some bine with Jger include chocolate and pine-
its native land as a digestif enjoyed by grand- of the others Ive worked with, so its easy to apple, while Shine recommends cucumber,
mothers, he hired an army of attractive young balance. In fact, she uses it as the base for a ginger, coconut and grapefruit. But if you just
women to sell shots to 20- and 30-something full-on tiki cocktail: Her feisty meister (see want a drink, try one of the recipes below:
guys, and an empire was born. recipe below) combines Jger with rum, fruit an absinthe-rinsed tequila old fashioned,
If your snooty cocktail-loving friends give juices and, of course, a flaming garnish. Both Bartletts tiki creation and a sophisticated
you grief for ordering a drink mixed with Bartlett and Willy Shine, official brand twist on the old Jger shot.Jason Horn

Mexikaner Old FashiOned Feisty Meister lime half atop the ice, rind down, and
(Pictured opposite) created by Mary bartlett, Honeycut, into it pour half an ounce of 151-proof
created by Willy shine, los angeles rum. carefully set rum alight and
Jgermeister brand meister sprinkle grated cinnamon over flame.
1 oz. Jgermeister
absinthe oz. blended Jamaican rum Jaguar
1 oz. Jgermeister oz. five-year-old barbados rum created by Jane Danger, Mother
1 oz. aejo tequila oz. orange juice of Pearl, new york
oz. agave nectar oz. lime juice
orange peel oz. passion-fruit syrup oz. poire Williams (pear
star anise oz. orgeat (almond syrup) eau-de-vie)
For garnish: juiced lime half, 151-proof oz. Jgermeister
rinse an old fashioned glass with rum, ground cinnamon
illustration by alex citrin

absinthe. add a large ice cube and pour Pour poire Williams into a shot glass
remaining liquid ingredients into the add all main ingredients to a shaker and top with Jgermeister. to serve
glass. stir. Garnish with strip of orange and shake vigorously. Pour into a col- chilled, add ingredients to a mixing
peel and star-anise pod. lins glass filled with crushed ice; mound glass filled with ice. stir and strain
more crushed ice on top. Place juiced into a shot glass.

PHotoGraPHy by Grant cornett



Sushi Poke (poh-kay) has arrived on the mainland.

The raw fish snack, which hails from Hawaii,
exploded on the West Coast over the past
yearLos Angeles alone has more than a dozen

poke shopsand now its gone as far as Chi-
cago and New York. I took a family trip to
Hawaii in 2012 and fell in love with the stuff,
says Drew Crane, who opened one of Manhat-
tans first poke-dedicated restaurants, Wise-

fish, in January. Its a real comfort food in
Hawaii. People get it from liquor stores, delis
and even Costco in round plastic containers to
go. At Wisefish, Crane dresses fish with shoyu
and sesame oil to order, and serves it atop a
foundation of rice or zucchini noodles. Cus-
tomers can amp up the mixture with a variety
Poke went from obscure of nontraditional mix-ins such as watermelon
Hawaiian specialty to mainland radish and sea beans. In sum, the great argu-
ment for why poke is here to stay: It satisfies
mainstream success, and its those sushi cravings without denting the wal-
shockingly easy to make let, and you can make it at home (perhaps im-
pressing a date in the process) with even the
most rudimentary of knife skills. Pro tip: Poke
goes great with corn chips.Julia Bainbridge

Wisefish Ahi Poke

Serves 4

3 tbsp. tamari shoyu

1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. gluten-free oyster sauce
tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 lb. fresh ahi (sashimi-grade yellowfin or bigeye
tuna), cut into half-inch cubes
/3 cup sweet onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
4 cups cooked white rice
1 avocado, cut into half-inch cubes
1 scallion, thinly sliced crosswise
Toasted sesame seeds

In a small bowl, whisk together shoyu, sesame

oil, oyster sauce and ginger. Set aside. In a
larger bowl, combine tuna and onion. Add the
shoyu- sesame mixture and gently toss to coat.
Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at
least 30 minutes and up to an hour. To serve,
divide rice among four bowls and top each with
a mound of poke. Garnish with avocado, scallion
and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

phOtOgraphy by grant cOrnett



Take it all offyour beard,
that isas the effortlessly
functional double-edged
razor makes a comeback
You dont need 27 blades and a subscrip-
tion service to get a close shave. New ver-
sions of the redoubtably sleek safety razor
give a design-worthy spin to the classic shav-
ing implement. Unlike plastic razors, which
can require excessive pressure, weightier
metal razors do most of the work for you.
And after the somewhat pricier start-up cost,
double-edged blades are mere pocket change
in comparison with expensive and elaborate
cartridges. Plus, any one of these razors will
look good on the bathroom counter when you
inevitably leave it out.Vincent Boucher

the limited-edition r106 safety razor by Mhle
of germany features a minimalist black handle
and chrome-plated trim to suit the modernist at
heart. ($70,

With polished chrome plating to update its old-
school origins, this safety razor by baxter of
california will be a bright spot in your morning
routine. ($65,

a little bling brings baller style to this gold-
finished 34g heavy-duty classic safety razor from
Merkur of germany; it boasts a thick, nonslip grip
to boot. ($51,

photography by david prince

So You Want to
Get Into Vinyl A brief guide for the analog curious
by Corinne iozzio

Downloadable songs and streaming music Obvious assertions about hipster lust for of the Graywhale string of record stores in
may have doomed the compact disc, but their authenticity aside, experts attribute the re- Utah. If you decide to take the next step, it
popularity has helped breathe life into some- naissance chiefly to collecting and ownership. makes sense to buy vinyl. Records, he says,
thing much older: the vinyl record. After a It has a lot to do with getting fatigued with satisfy a host of needs. Theyre collectible
nosedive in the 1980s, every facet of the vinyl everything in your life being connected to a pieces of art that double as surfaces to roll
ecosystem is rebounding. Vinyl sales have screen or the cloud, says Carrie Colliton of joints onand they offer a unique sound. Yes,
been climbing steadily since 2007, reach- Department of Record Stores, a nationwide co- its true: Vinyl can sound better. The soft hiss
ing an all-time recorded high in 2015; major alition of shop owners. Deep down, humans of the needle as it reads the grooves creates the
retailers including Whole Foods and Urban still want some sort of physical element in their fabled warm sound. And a true analog record-
Outfitters carry vinyl, and new independent life. Translation: A Spotify subscription gives ing (i.e., one pulled directly from the origi-
record stores open all the time. Whats more, you access to music, so if Spotify disappears, so nal studio master tapes) has more detail than
German start-up Newbilt Machinery is sell- do your tunes. But the two worlds arent neces- certain compressed digital versions. Theres
ing the first new vinyl-pressing machines sarily in competition with one another. simply more room in the grooves of a record
in 30 years; Jack Whites label, Third Man Listening to Spotify, youre vetting your to store nuances. Hansen adds, You hear
Records, just bought eight. So what gives? music, says Dustin Hansen, general manager things in songs youve never heard before.


Five Tips For

Start with the baSicS
A bare-bones vinyl system requires three things: a
turntable, an amplifier and speakers. Some systems
bundle two of the three; the Audio-Technica
LP60BK-BT (pictured;, $179)
has a built-in amp and can stream straight to
your Bluetooth speakers, making the leap to LPs
preposterously easy.

Upgrade yoUr needle

The simplest way to get awesome sound out of an
entry- or mid-level turntable is to spring for a brand-
new needle. Your local music-shop guy or girl can
helpColliton promises most arent snooty assholes.
Also try or

Keep thingS clean

Flecks of dust and oil caught in the vinyl grooves
can damage a records surfaceand your precious
needle. Invest $10 to $20 in a simple cleaning kit
that includes cleaning fluid and a brush or cloth, and
squeegee your records after every use.

embrace the digital

Record labels dont expect you to sit in silence on the
train, so the lions share of new vinyl comes with a dig-
ital copy. Amazons AutoRip feature imports tracks to
your Amazon Music account, and indie musician fa-
vorite lets you download MP3s and
stream purchases through its mobile app.

dig and diScover

Nothing beats rummaging through the used bins at
local shops to build a collectionsearch for stores
at And if youre pining for
a particular Zeppelin album, its sure to be in the
8 millionstrong catalog at

P H oTo g R A P H Y BY
K E I R N A N M o N Ag H A N A N D
T H Eo VA M Vo u N A K I S


the return of the spider

The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth gives the classic Italian roadster a new edge
Pulling off an appealing new take on a classic Miata, but rest assured: This Italian road- the Classica and the Lusso. But the 124 Spider
without seeming lame is easier said than done. ster is a completely different animal from its Abarth, which starts at a little over $28,000, is
Regardless of how much you may admire your Japanese counterpart, despite the two cars a far better fit for those drivers who prefer their
old mans 1970s sense of fashion after bingeing shared platform. classics with a little more edge.
on the dearly departed HBO show Vinyl, you Nowhere does this become more apparent In addition to unique design cues such as gun-
wouldnt dare pair one of those psychedelic than behind the wheel of the 124 Spider Abarth metal accents and matte-black lids, the Abarth
shirts with a Tom Ford suit in 2016. (pictured). Of the three new Spider variants features a number of performance enhance-
Well, at least you shouldnt. (not counting the Prima Edizione, a limited of- ments, including a sportier Bilstein suspension
Fiat seems to get it, which makes the return fering of 124 vehicles), the Abarth is by far the system and a low-growling, quad-tip exhaust
of its iconic roadster to the U.S., in the form of more sinister interpretation of the convertible. both of which make it a lot more fun to drive.
the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider, so special. The other two models are the Classica, a purer, Fortunately this update also includes all the
The new spin on the classic Italian convert- entry-level version, and the more premium modern tech features weve come to expect:
ible not only recaptures the spirit that has Lusso, which means luxury in Italian. USB ports, Bluetooth, rear camera. About the
made the car a hot collectible 50 years after its All three come with a turbocharged four- only thing lacking is Apple CarPlay, but for a
introduction, but it also sells you on the idea cylinder engine with basically the same amount true sports car there are worse sins. Opt for
even if you arent a fan of the previous models. of power: 164 horsepower and 184 pound-feet the engaging short-throw standard six-speed
Some may want to write the new Spider off as of torque in the Abarth, compared with 160 manual transmission and you wont even
simply a rebadged fourth-generation Mazda horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque in miss it.Marcus Amick

PhotograPhy by chantal anderson



how cAn A
become A
Q: Were a heterosexual couple in search
of a unicorn (an attractive bisexual
woman) to join us for a few date nights a week.
Weve had some one-off threesomes but cant
find a partner to join us more long-term. Apps,
dating sites, friends, acquaintances nothing
has worked. What are we doing wrong?

A: Unicorn hunters have a bad reputa-

tion. Perhaps its the polyamorous
communitys endless lingo: ambigusweetie,
new relationship energy (NRE), friends-first
swinging (FFS) and other terms that reek of
corporate buzzwords. One has to wonder if all
polyamorous people are middle managers. Of
the threesome-seeking couples on Tinder, in-
evitably she is bi but without much experience, existing relationship problems by bringing in a will cure their boredom. However, this can
and of course he loves to watch. Tina, a for- third person, she says. cause new problems if the woman in the cou-
mer unicorn, has been on her share of throu- Laurel Steinberg agrees. A New Yorkbased ple feels in any way inferior when compared
ple dates. These couples are called unicorn psychotherapist and adjunct professor at Co- with the new female partner. Its also im-
hunters because theyre often predatory, she lumbia Universitys Teachers College, she portant to discuss veto powerwhether one
says. Couples end up treating her like a fan- has counseled many couples as they navigate member of the couple will control whom the
tasy rather than a partner; these pairs are sim- polyamory. Instead of asking what youre other engages with sexually in the future,
ply looking for someone doing wrong, Stein- she says.
to fill a preimagined by Rachel Rabbit White berg suggests you ask To answer your question: You may not be
role. Yet the high of what youre trying to doing anything wrong. Dating itself consists of
an ongoing threesome is real. Tina recounts achieve, what your goals are. Couples need endless trial and error, as well as numerous bar
the slumber-party vibe of enjoying two lov- to ask themselves: Are we going into and com- tabs that never pay off. In ancient Greece the
ers, kissing in public, having sex in a myriad ing out of this as a team? Will we be able to unicorn was believed to be a real beast. In me-
of positions, running out in the middle of the put this endeavor behind us if we choose not dieval times the lack of proof of the animals ex-
night for bad Chinese food, drawing attention to do it again? And will we both feel com- istence helped move it into the realm of myth.
as a triple date at a wedding. But fights are in- fortable speaking transparently about our And as youre discovering, the fantasy of a third
tensified when they involve three people. Tina experiences and feelings afterward? One person, one who enters and exits a relationship
tells of feeling uncomfortable during a couples common pitfall for couples, says Steinberg, with ghostly ease, is just as unattainable.
spats, pressured to take a side. You wont solve is the hope that bringing in a second woman Questions? E-mail

illustration by mike perry



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my way

The big-wave surfing champion tells how going under put him back on top

Some things you cant explain, such as the fact a story around them that my sponsors could use out. The seas get stormy. Some days the waves
that an activity like big-wave surfing is what to help build their brand. are perfect. Other days the water is flat. In the
brings happiness or meaning to your life. For 10 years, surfing big waves was all I end, no matter what the conditions, you have
When I was 15 years old, my sister was dat- thought about, and I was prepared to accept to be able to relax and move with the current.
ing a guy from San Clemente by the name of the consequences. Then the worst-case sce- If you fight and struggle, youre only doing
Jon Walla, the best underground big-wave nario happened. yourself harm. Thats exactly what life is like
charger in southern California. I convinced It was at Cortes Banks in 2012, on a very on land. Its a never- ending sequence of radi-
him to take me down to Todos Santosa leg- large day. I was trying to paddle it instead of cal events. Sometimes things go in your favor,
endary break off Ensenadafor the first time. getting towed in, and I had a wipeout that was and other times you get knocked on your ass.
There I encountered the biggest wave Id ever too much to handle. The wind was knocked People can ruffle your feathers or make life
seen, and it changed everything for me. out of me before I was able to get a breath, and easy and bring you joy. Youre going to expe-
What it demands of you to actually ride I was held down a really long rience all of the above. If you
one of those wavesthe thrill and sense of time. Two more waves passed a s to l d to learn to take everything in
accomplishmentwas far beyond anything Id over my head, and then I lost adam skolnick stride and look for the lessons
experienced before. Its the greatest physical consciousness. I was floating in each event in order to be-
and mental challenge in the sport of surfing. facedown in the water when my safety team come a better person and carry yourself with
After winning the high school national located me. grace and love, thats what its all about.
championship, I became a big-wave free surfer. In the aftermath, I realized I wasnt taking Now I have more fun. I travel less and put
Ocean Pacific gave me a travel budget to chase time to appreciate the beauty of where I was in a lot less pressure on myself when I surf, and
swells to different corners of the globe. When the world. My friendships and relationships at consequently Im getting some of the best
I was 19 I won Dungeons, a big-wave compe- home werent what I wanted them to be either, waves of my life. I surfed only two of the three
tition in South Africa. That got me an invita- and it was because I put all my time toward big-wave competitions this past year but still
tion to the Mavericks surf contest. In between training or preparing for the next big swell. managed to win the world title. It was a matter
competitions I tried to find the biggest and best When you break it down, the ocean is a beau- of finding that balance, and I look at it as prob-
waves possibleNorth Shore, north Pacific or tiful and simple metaphor for life. Its con- ably the best year of my lifeboth in and espe-
down in the southern hemisphereand create stantly in flux. The tide goes in, the tide goes cially out of the water. n

P h oto g r a P h y by da n e P e t e r s o n

Take 10% off with code: VARSITY10



by Ben Schott

Slow-mo & roBoticS ABC-TVs prime-time poem theme tuneS

of beef and blood.
Monday Night MNFs first theme was
Football owes john leonard, life, 1970 a groovy slice of 1970s
much of its funk titled Score,
immediate Foot(Ball)noteS composed by Charles
success to the Fox, the genius be-
filmic style and Monday Night Football first aired at nine p.m. hind the Happy Days
technical inno- Eastern on September 21, 1970, when Broad- theme. This was fol-
vations of its first director, Chet Forte. Us- way Joe Namath (pictured) led the New York lowed by a porno-style
ing about 10 strategically positioned cam- Jets into Clevelands Municipal Stadium (to ditty imaginatively called Monday Night
eras (twice the norm)some mounted on be beaten by the Browns, 3121). H At the time, Football Theme and then in 1989 by Johnny
golf carts, some handheldas well as shot- broadcasting football in prime time was a Pearsons Heavy Action, with a driving beat
gun mikes to capture every call and tackle, riskone that CBS and NBC both fumbled. But and soaring strings. That same year Hank
Forte coaxed a stop-start sport into telege- ABCs $8.5million bet paid off, and MNF re- Williams Jr. adapted his hit All My Rowdy
nic narratives. He also popularized several defined both television and sports. H The inau- Friends Are Coming Over Tonight, which
techniques including instant replay, slow gural sponsors were a trio of American icons: introduced MNF from 1991 until 2011, when
motion, split screen, reaction shots, crowd Marlboro, Ford and Goodyear. H On December Williams appeared to have compared Presi-
shots and on-screen graphics. MNF has 8, 1980, Howard Cosell broke the news of John dent Obama to Adolf Hitler. This allowed MNF
continued to innovate with high-definition Lennons murder during a PatriotsDolphins to return to Heavy Action, from which, lets
technology, robotic goal-line cameras, matchup at the Orange Bowl: Hard to go back face it, the show should never have strayed.
and next-gen stats that track players to the game after that news flash. H In 1985,
via chips embedded in their uniforms. MNF televised one of footballs most gruesome tune in
injuries, the fracturing of Joe Theismanns leg Below are the seven most-watched MNF games:
monday, monday during a flea-flicker play. H ABCs run ended
in 2005, after 555 games. The show migrat- Date Game % of viewers
MNF quickly changed Monday nights in ed to ESPN, which signed an eight-year deal 12/02/85 CHI @ MIA 46
America. In 1970 The New York Times re- worth $1.1billion annu- 10/02/78 DAL @ WAS 43
ported that increasingly empty restaurants ally. In 2011 ESPN re- 12/03/90 NYG @ SFO 42
were installing TVs and bowling leagues were upped its contract with 12/22/80 PIT @ SD 40
switching game days. Overlake Hospital near the NFL for $1.9 bil- 11/30/81 PHI @ MIA 40
Seattle joked that no babies are to be born be- lion a yeara 73 per- 12/10/79 PIT @ HOU 40
tween seven and 10 on Monday nights. PTA cent rise from 2005 and 12/17/84 DAL @ MIA 40
meetings were rescheduled, and according to an astonishing 22,254
Variety, sales of movie tickets nose-dived. percent rise from 1970. Source: Nielsen/NFL

Monday night football career recordS

Scoring touchdowns . . . . . . . . . . 36. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jerry Rice Yards gained . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,029 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jerry Rice
Field goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gary Anderson Receiving touchdowns. . . . . . . . . 34. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jerry Rice
Rushing yards gained . . . . . . . . . 2,434 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emmitt Smith Scrimmage yards . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4,116 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jerry Rice
Rushing touchdowns . . . . . . . . . . 23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emmitt Smith Interceptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Everson Walls
Passing yards gained . . . . . . . . . . 9,654 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Marino Sacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24.5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bruce Smith
Touchdown passes . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Marino Highest punt avg. (in yards) . . . 48.24. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shane Lechler
Pass receptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jerry Rice Source: 2015 NFL Record and Fact Book/Elias Sports Bureau

a chronological list of abc and espn play-by-play announcers and color commentators: Keith Jackson Howard Cosell Dandy Don Meredith Frank Gifford Fred the Hammer Williamson
Alex Karras Frantic Fran Tarkenton O.J. Simpson Joe Namath Al Michaels Dan Dierdorf Lynn Swann Lesley Visser Boomer Esiason Dan Fouts Dennis Miller Melissa Stark Eric Dickerson
John Madden Lisa Guerrero Michele Tafoya Sam Ryan Mike Tirico Tony Kornheiser Joe Theismann Suzy Kolber Ron Jaworski Jon Gruden Lisa Salters Sean McDonough



After facing off against J.K. Simmons in Whiplash, starring in the cursed Fantastic Four and
weathering a snarky cover story, Miles Teller is back with War Dogs and no apologies

by alex scordelis p h oto g r a p h y by Joyce Kim

Q1: War Dogs is based on a true story about two in Floridathe manatee capital of the Everyone would be playing a musical
Miami potheads who become arms dealers for world. When we first moved there I got instrument, and my oldest sister sang
the U.S. military. You grew up in Florida a tour of the middle school, and this kid opera. My mom enjoyed the cacophony
TELLER: Not in Miami. Miamis its own walked in with cowboy boots, Wranglers, of creation. So I did that play. I remem-
thing. I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico. a rebel-flag shirt and a cowboy hat. I was ber doing something the first night and
Floating down rivers on air mattresses, like, Oh shit, they must be doing some getting huge applause and laughs, and
bonfires in the woods, that sort of thing. kind of play. Then I saw another kid that was it.
Q2: In the movie, David and Efraim have a wearing the same thing, and it hit me: Q5: What was the play?
giant Scarface photo in their office. Playing a Thats where Im at right now. I took an TELLER: Footloose. I played the same
20-something gunrunner who makes a fortune agriculture class in the seventh grade role in the movie, which was pretty cool.
in Miami, did you worry you might be glorifying where we had to clean pigs and pick up Q6: You also played Mr. Fantastic in last years
your character, creating another Tony Montana? cow shit. It was a massive culture shock Fantastic Four. What was your take on superhero
TELLER: I dont idolize Tony Montana. for me. But to this day, my best friends movies going into it?
I can relate to the hustle but not to the are from Citrus County. TELLER: I wasnt starving to be a super-
craving for power and money. But you Q4: You were involved in theater in high school. hero. Although at the timeit was a cou-
root for the bad guy. In War Dogs, I think Was your motivation to meet girls? ple of years agoif youre a young man
Efraim is a guy who is making terrible TELLER: It wasnt really to meet girls. I in this business, a part of you is saying,
choices. So is my character, David, but was the class clown, and I played base- I need to get a Marvel project; I need
Efraim is more brazen about everything. ball year-round. When I was a sopho- to be a superhero, because you see all
Theyre fun characters to watch. more, my buddy who was a senior used these actors you respect being put in
Q3: Your family moved around a lot before set- to drive me home, and he said he was au- that world. I would not have wanted to be
tling in Florida. How did you take to the Sun- ditioning for a play. The drama teacher Spider-Man because I wouldnt want the
shine State? was pretty hot. She was 28 years old. So whole thing riding on my shoulders. I en-
TELLER: I was born in Downingtown, that got me to audition, but entertaining joyed the ensemble element of Fantastic
Pennsylvania. We moved to Georgia wasnt foreign to me. I knew I was good Four. I wouldnt wish what happened to
when I was two and then to Delaware for at telling jokes. I was a big smartass. us on another movie. Its tough, because
a little bit. I lived in south Jersey from When I was in school and the teacher there are such high expectations. Comic
the ages of seven to 11Cape May. I said something and I had something books mean so much to a lot of people.
think Oprah is rumored to have a house funny to say, I couldnt not say it. And Q7: Would you be interested in doing a sequel?
there. Then we moved to Citrus County my house was always controlled chaos. TELLER: If we do, I hope it comes together


in a way that satisfies people. You want sity, what was a typical Saturday night out like me off that Id lost my audience, that I
to make the fans happy, but you cant in the Village? was no longer steering them. It still frus-
please everyone. In our case, we pleased TELLER: I couldnt tell you, because we trates me a little bit. You can read what-
very few. didnt go out. It would be me and my bud- ever or say whatever about me, but I care
Q8: Youre wearing a Philadelphia Eagles hat. dies smoking a lot of pot, playing video about doing interesting work. Im not
From what I gather, youre a Lakers, Eagles and games, listening to music. I came from a in this for fame. I dont play the social
Phillies fan. If you could switch careers with any small town, lived in the dorms. My clos- media game. All I want to do is walk into
current athlete, who would it be? est friend was from Kolkata, just an awe- a room with actors and collaborate. It
TELLER: Mike Trout. Hes a Jersey guy. some dude. A lot of NYU kids had trust also comes with the movies youre mak-
I would switch places with Mike Trout, funds or a lot of money. That wasnt the ing. I made 21 & Over and Project X in
then I would demand a trade to the Phil- case for me. My parents gave me money close proximity. Then when people see
lies. Come back home, Mike. so I could eat, but I wasnt loaded. We me at a party its like, Miles is this bro.
Q9: With War Dogs and the upcoming PTSD had two TVs in the dorm room. We just Its not that Im not. People are complex
drama Thank You for Your Service, youve got got high, played video games and lis- human beings. I enjoy intelligent con-
two war movies under your belt. If you were tened to dope music. And we talked a lot. versation. Most of the time, Im just lis-
curating a film festival of war movies, what Q13: What kind of music and what video games? tening to the Dead, working on a role.
would you show? TELLER: My buddy Bird played a lot of But I also drink. I enjoy a bit of chaos too.
TELLER: Id make Thank You for Your Manu Chao, especially that song Bongo Q16: When youre enjoying a bit of chaos, what
Service the headliner. That movie fo- Bong. The first time I heard that, I said, are you doing?
cuses on the transition: We know how What is that immaculate sound? And TELLER: Its all about the group. I like
to send guys to war, but we dont know video games? A lot of Pro Evolution: hosting. If you have the right people
how to bring them home yet. Abraham Winning Eleven. But now, for transpar- and the right music, its all good. In New
Lincoln used the term soldiers heart; encys sake, Im a FIFA guy. York, its a lot easier to go out to the bars.
he could tell that soldiers were coming Q14: Do you keep a lot of musical instruments In Los Angeles, its more club-driven
back deeply affected by combat. Id also around the house? and VIP-driven. I dont care about that.
show Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk TELLER: I just scooped up a new drum Id much rather be sitting around a fire,
Down and Apocalypse Now. set. I always have a drum set at my house. just talking.
Q10: Youre pretty well trained as an actor I started playing in bands when I was 15. Q17: Last year, you were the subject of an Esquire
TELLER: Thats exactly right: pretty I just like playing with other people. Im cover story that you have said misrepresents you.
well. Because I am a trained actor, but not like my Whiplash character, An- Since that experience, are you more guarded with
every time I start a movie I ask myself, drew, where Im trying to be the best at the media?
Do I know how to do this? drumming. For me its not about the iso- TELLER: In a way, yes. There are not that
Q11: So what aspects of your training do you fall lated journey of music; its collaborative. many checks and balances with print.
back on when that happens? But I like to have options for people to In that case, or in any case, they can
TELLER: Ill tell myself, Okay, after play. I have a piano, a couple of guitars, paint you however they want to paint
lunch I have to do a scene where Im amps. I just got a lap steel guitar. I figure you. For an actor, if theyre looking at
pissed off or whatever. Now, no ones if I keep it around the house, Ill eventu- your work, theyre seeing it two years
going to tell you how to be pissed. Hey, ally learn how to play it. after you did it. But Ive got these movies
Miles, you gotta be pissed in 10 min- Q15: I thought you had a reputation as a guy who coming out that totally contradict your
utes! Youve got to force yourself to likes to party, but on Twitter you post photos of image of me. You dont even know what
think of things that are going to piss you and your girlfriend in which you seem pretty Im working on now.
you off, physicalizing it. Sometimes on domesticated. Does the public have a warped Q18: Like, I dont know why you have blond hair
set there are instances when you need to perception of who you are? right now.
tap into an emotion but you cant bring TELLER: Its tough. You cant get ahead TELLER: Im sitting here with blond
it up. So you end up doing something dif- of it. It started back in high schoolI hair now, readers! If somebody wants
ferent, and that creates another moment tried to do a serious scene in class, and to do a hit piece, theyll do a hit piece.
that you didnt plan. I remember everybody laughing. They In that case, the Esquire reporter had
Q12: In your college days at New York Univer- thought it was so funny, and it pissed her mind made up long before I showed

An AnonyMous person cAn sAy

My fAce looks like A fooT or
iM Ted cruzs doppelgnger.
ThAT doesnT AffecT Me.


up. Whats frustrating is that she calls is 99 percent of the people on Twitter, Q20: What are the best words of advice youve
me an asshole, and then because its in can say my face looks like a foot or Im received from a fellow actor?
a magazine, people say, Oh, he must Ted Cruzs doppelgnger. That doesnt TELLER: Ive never sought out a mentor,
be. But Ive had however many years of affect me. There have been times, ab- but Ive learned a lot by working with
being myself, and I know the kind of per- solutely, when Ill read negative stuff. great actors like Bryan Cranston, Nicole
son I am. I will defend the person I am Sometimes its by a critic or a journalist, Kidman, J.K. Simmons, Aaron Eckhart.
through my actions. People can make and you can use that as fuel. With Twit- You see how they carry themselves. Ive
of it what they want. But I think about ter, I like it because I can put things in been doing this for almost seven years.
so many actors I look up to and wonder my own words. I can write something, It makes me marvel at where theyre at.
what people were saying about them at and boom, it goes out to however many To reach their level, Ive got to do this for
the age of 27 or 28. Im sure its not all people. Its important to have your own 20 more years and always do something
flattering stuff. Who knows? You could voice. But I dont do Instagram. People different. Thats hard to do. Longev-
be writing a hit piece. She was being just are on their phones too much. Ive been ity is the goal. But for advice, one time
as nice as you are. told that having an Instagram account an actor told me, When youre on your
Q19: You said youre not a social media guy, but will help me book more roles, get more own, live your life. But dont mess up in
you are on Twitter and you occasionally favor- endorsement deals. It makes you more front of your peers. This guy did not
ite tweets by fans. Isnt it dangerous to read of a brand. But Im not interested. I grow up surrounded by camera phones,
what anonymous people post about you? want to build my fan base through mov- obviously. But your reputation is every-
TELLER: An anonymous person, which ies and movies alone. thing. Dont mess that up. n



Why We Still Need Westerns

Director Antoine Fuquas take on The Magnificent Seven is both classic and urgent
Who says the Western is dead? Granted, recent Wall Street bankers, were at a place where peo- ence because of moments like when Yul Bryn-
sagebrush epics Diablo, Jane Got a Gun and ple take away the freedoms of others. Something ner and Steve McQueens characters defy the
Forsaken bit the dust, but The Revenant made terrible happens in London, Paris or Orlando, others, who refuse to bury a dead Indian in the
wagonloads of money and won three Oscars. So and we all wish we could help each other and do cemetery. They were like giants to me. In my ex-
dont mourn the noble American genre just yet something. The movies diverse cast makes a perience, Ive seen the guys who run the neigh-
especially when director Antoine Fuqua, known statement: It takes all races coming together to borhoods and take what they want. Ive gone to
for the edgy cop dramas Training Day and Brook- fight tyranny. the funerals, seen the moms cry. When anyone
lyns Finest, delivers a lean, mean and timely take Fuquas love of the genre goes way back. got bullied in school, I was quick to jump in. Part
on the 1960 classic The Magnificent Seven. Hawke, who also starred in Training Day, ob- of that came from loving the guys I saw, watch-
Like the originaland Akira Kurosawas serves that remaking this movie with Antoine ing TV with my grandmother.
1954 film Seven Samurai, on which its based was a perfect fit because of his great eye and his With The Magnificent Seven, Fuqua has given
the new Magnificent Seven revolves around a childhood of obsessively watching Westerns that love a massive, mud-spattered canvas and
frontier town whose citizens, brutalized by a and Japanese cinema. But the connection runs peopled it with an unstoppable cast. My first
psychotic robber baron (Peter Sarsgaard), buy a lot deeper than swords and six-shooters. instinct was that Denzel would be amazing as
the protection of a ragtag band of gunslingers, As a poor kid growing up in Pittsburgh, when a cowboy, Fuqua says, adding, because hes a
played in this outing by heavy hitters includ- a Western came on TV, my grandmother would great actor, not because of color. But Denzel as
ing Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke and Lee make me something to eat so I could watch sit- a black man and a cowboythats an event. The
Byung-hun. The best Westerns evolve from ting right next to her, Fuqua says. That was movie stands on its own, and the theme reso-
wherever we are as a country, Fuqua says. Right her way of keeping me off the street. Seeing the nates: people uniting to fight against tyranny.
now, whether its terrorists, internet bullying or 1960 Magnificent Seven was a profound experi- Thats what Westerns can do.Stephen Rebello

/playboy @playboy @playboy playboy +playboy


for Bad
Five new dystopian novels open the
door to terrifying worlds before
rocketing us back into our own

September of an election year is the cruel-

est month. In addition to experiencing the
standard winter-is-coming heebie-jeebies,
most anyone who cares about politics is wor-
ried that the end is nigh.
by Lydia Family dinners become
KiesLinG battlegrounds; e-mail
forwards provoke fist-
fights in office parking lots. The turmoil has
a way of showing up on our pages and screens
too, and sometimes the worlds we escape
to are even worse than our own. Obviously
theres a certain amount of morbid titillation apocalyptic travelogue of central England is Joining the ranks of recent hotly
at work when we spend our free time reading more than 1,000 pages long. anticipated crime novels such
about pandemics and watching zombies over- as The Girls, Kea Wilsons We
take civilization, but dystopian fiction can A mind-melting literary mys- Eat Our Own steps back to the
scratch a deeper itchnot only satisfying our tery cum techno-thriller, Michael 1970s with a blood-curdling hor-
escapist, world-building urges but reminding Helms After James shows us a ror story about making a movie
us of the beautiful things were capable of cre- world that is recognizably our own. in the Amazon. Loosely based on the infa-
ating. Literary-fiction blockbusters of the But the weather is strange and the mous was-it-or-wasnt-it-a-snuff-film Can-
past decade have looked at the worst-case sce- events are stranger, as characters nibal Holo caust, this debut novel imagines
nario in ways that celebrate art while lament- find themselves tangling with sinister pharma- what people are capable of when society is
ing our baser impulses; see Station Eleven, ceutical companies, prophetic internet poets just out of reach.
The Road and California, to name a few. and malevolent artistsall of it laid out in three
This fall, a new florescence of titles will sections that mirror detective, gothic horror Arguably the most anticipated
take on the dystopian and the apocalyptic and apocalyptic genre conventions. book of the year, Colson White-
with varying dashes of gothic horror and fan- heads The Underground Rail-
tasy. Here are five to steel you for the dark The genre-bending badass Mi- road recounts the odyssey of a
days ahead. chelle Tea returns to fiction young slave named Cora who es-
with Black Wave. Set in an capes bondage via what White-
Fans of Alan Moore can rejoice at alternate-universe 1999 Los An- head has, in a surrealist twist, imagined as a
the arrival of Jerusalem, a behe- geles awaiting a promised apoc- literal railway system moving under a set of
moth from the Watchmen author alypse, and replete with Matt states that arent quite the states we recog-
at least eight years in the making. Dillon cameos, Black Wave, like Helms book, nize. Whiteheads last novel, Zone One, is a
The novel reinvents Northamp- investigates what it means to make art in highbrow zombie tale that delineates the hor-
ton, England in a dizzying range fraught times. The Pacific Ocean is giving off rors of post-apocalyptic stress disorder. Now
of prose styles, mapping a fantastical his- poison mist, the environment is ravaged and the author looks backward, showing us that for
tory of Moores hometown from ancient times a memoirist named Michelle tries to write her true dystopia, you cant beat our own past. At
to the heat death of the universe. This way through a breakup before the world ends. least we hope thats the case.


in the
When the worlds premier utopian festival
moves to the Israeli desert, grace
and death are only a trance beat away
p h oto g r a p h y by
Ohad MatalOn



I am dropped off at the Israeli Burning Man by that two heavily armed gunmen had just in black suits and blasting Carl Gustavstyle
Amir (not his real name), a professional tour attempted to slaughter everyone in a Sarona rifles, killing four and leaving others wounded.
guide born 60 summers ago in a cave somewhere Market restaurant across the street. Our path back to the car led past a welter of or-
nearby in the desolate expanse of the Negev Des- For 15 minutes, the hissing fear that we were ange emergency tape, police lights, ambulance
ert. He was with me the night before, when I next hung in the air. So this is how my story sirens and grave soldiers in olive uniforms. The
came as close as I ever have to being murdered. ends, I thought, in a knockoff pub, en route to silent drone of news cameras captured those
Theyre running a marathon, Amir half this countrys version of the Burning Man fes- crying and those offering consolation. A sign-
joked that night as several people, either plain- tival, called Midburn, where my mission is to post read 24-minute walk to the ocean.
clothes police or strapped civilians, bolted reconcile this Hanukkah of hedonism with I cant believe it, Amir muttered, rubbing
down HaArbaa Street in Tel Aviv toting semi- the internecine warfare that has his bald skull. The good people
automatic assault weapons. plagued the region since Israels by JEFF WEISS pay a price for a bad few who have
Reflexively trusting him, I took another founding in 1948. How many gal- broken the name of Islam.
bite of sea bream, only to watch a second lons of Maccabee beer does it take to ignore A Muslim Bedouin, Amir is in the demo-
round of cargo-shorted Rambos dash past the odds that at any point you might be shot, graphic often considered one of the nations few
the window. Had the speakers in this faux bombed or sliced into gefilte fish? neutral players. His Mercedes, Diesel jeans, Polo
American-Irish gastropub not been bumping Calm prevailed on the humid June night as shirt and resemblance to an Arab Telly Savalas
Sweet Home Alabama, I would have heard the music switched to Simon and Garfunkel clearly align him with the forces of modernity,
the spray of bullets. and the Israel Defense Forces swarmed the but his lineage traces to those nomadic tribes
The restaurant staff swiftly locked the doors, streets. Its Israel, the waiter said. It hap- who owe their principal allegiance to the land.
and our waiter calmly asked us to move away pens all the time, but never close to you. He I try to show you the right things, but then
from the window. For the inconvenience, we scurried off, humming to himself. this happens, Amir said wearilyexhausted
received free tiramisu. Battalions of soldiers, They unlocked the doors, and a trail of un- from the burden of always having to explain.
police and German shepherds canvassed the flappable customers strolled out. By then, news
block, epileptic blue lights bled through the reports had circulated about a pair of West Written in English, Arabic and Hebrew, an
glass windows, and a Twitter scroll revealed Bank cousins influenced by Hamas, dressed incantation scrawled on picket signsWe


israeli burner attire ranges from standard-issue coachella zealot to French Montana at a san bernardino renaissance Faire.

dreamed / We thought / We spoke / We made / We existed before a billionaires row cropped up in and a place in the Lev (heart) Campa com-
created / We conceived / Abracadabra!leads the campsites and tech CEOs ate sushi dinners pound of generous Tel Aviv artists and profes-
to the Burning Man entrance. Noble aspira- off nude models at dawn. sionals, veterans of the American Burn, who
tions, sure, but the concepts hold limited cachet Under the blistering late-morning sun a wel- have constructed a white geodesic dome to host
when youve spent the previous night picturing coming committee approaches: an ebullient meditation and yoga and, more vitally, provide
masked assassins bursting into your hotel room. cowboy in a lime green hat; a ballerino in a pink a shade structure and a kitchen.
It looks like Disneyland, Amir says of the tutu, butterfly wings and a cotton-candy wig; And so begins my Holy Land Burn. My ances-
ramshackle rainbow tent city sprouting from and a girl in a sequined black unitard that looks tors withstood Assyrians, Romans, Germans
the skeletal desert. like it could be straight from an American and both regular and lactose intolerance. I can
The Midburn fest boasts the blessing of the Apparel Purim collection. Amirs eyes bulge. survive a few days in a dust-choked tent if it
original Burning Man, which celebrates its It is very interesting and new, he says, cau- means learning why an American communal
30th anniversary this Labor Day weekend in tiously warming up. But this sand and wind arts bacchanal has gripped the Israeli psyche
Nevadas Black Rock Desert. Over the past de- will kill you. Are you sure you dont want to and maybe feel closer to a people who seem half
cade, the most chic temporary utopia in the U.S. come back with me? alien despite our shared heritage.
has spread to a global network of Burns, the Art installations range from impressive (a
most popular being South Africas AfrikaBurn, life-size wooden Noahs ark called No Ones Ark; a The playa provides. In the Burner lexicon,
followed by Midburn in Israel, with cozier love- towering burning man and woman) to on-brand thats the equivalent of Everything happens
ins in Australia, New Zealand and Western (a glow-in-the-dark raver rabbit stage playing for a reason, or the major-key mantra of sage
Europe. This year, Midburns third, organiz- psy-trance and deep house) to what would have Palestinian American DJ Khaled: They will
ers sold more than 8,000 tickets at about $170 been blasphemous in ancient Canaan (a golden try to close the door on youjust open it.
a popa tremendous increase from the 3,000 statue of Baal). All were missing is a Red Sea After all, there are no locks here. Approxi-
pioneers of 2014. wave pool that parts when you raise your staff. mately 100 whimsically themed camps ring
Ive never made the pilgrimage to the U.S. We watch 500 people fist-pump to the acres of dirt flats, and each has its own mantra,
Burn, but Ive perused enough celebrity photo Goa trance pounding from a fake pirate ship according to Midburns website. Theres Wheres
galleries to assume its no longer the untainted beached in what was a barren wasteland until Waldo, Tits Heaven, the Ethnic Demon (You
sacral rite it once was. Transcendence is still last week. Amir offers his card and tells me to will kiss the mezuzah and fall on righteous
accessible, but theres a limit to how low-key call him at any hour if things get too bizarre. graves!), LED Colored Shrooms and Chai,
you can be after Puff Daddy has told the world, Before he leaves he says, I get why you want to Camp Lebowski (with giant bowling pins), El-
Burning Man, Ill never be the same. Maybe stay here, but Id still prefer Disneyland. ders in Bikinis and AssCream (We will treat
Midburn harkens back to the Edenic spirit that A musician friend helps me procure a tent every visitor with cold and amazing American


chocolate ice cream poured out of a huge ass!). tent strewn with dirty clothes or wandering overly sentimental, weeping for those I never
Even here, though, the specter of death is in- this neon Mount Sinai, searching for an im- knew and those Ive loved who arent coming
escapable. Its more than infamous neuroses, provised promised land. back, for everyone murdered at Sarona and for
minor threats to daily existence or compulsory Inside my six-by-four-foot tent, I hallucinate the killers themselves, for all those trapped in
military service for male and female Jews and Hieronymus Bosch hellscapes and Francisco unbreakable cycles and entranced by the false
Druze (though only about half actually enlist). Goya horror scenes: bodies disemboweled, promise that murder can make peace. In this
Its the never forget evocation of the Holocaust, knives twisted, entrails splattered, skeletons nullifying desert, on these tilting drugs, you
a permanent rupture in the national psyche, the in caskets. Somehow I become convinced that cant avoid yourself or your origins. Our only
irreconcilable statistic that just two generations the Pussinema camp next doormodeled on reprisal is to create a fleeting oasis out of the
ago 6 million of our ancestors were murdered. In a 1920s bordello and offering poetry readings, ashes as we collectively wander with fear and
my own bloodline, theres the macabre oral tra- witch apprenticeships and tonights Chastity hope until we eventually fall.
dition of my great-grandfather who returned Belts: Lockup Partyis being run by satanic On the solitary trek back to the campsite I
home to Poland after the war to inquire about Jewish Nazis and that allowing this torture feel oddly euphoric, as though Ive endured a
his family, only for impassive bureaucrats to tell constitutes a form of unconditional surrender. purification ritual or one of those offhand il-
him, No one by that name ever lived here. Never again! luminations when for a split second you feel
Maybe Midburn is the ultimate revenge on I catapult off the floor, miserable, aching, aligned with an energy much larger than your-
Hitler. What could needle the mustached fas- crazed and wearing my final item of semi- self. For a nation of scarred people, maybe this
cist more than knowing his plans failed and clean clothing: baggy late-1990s breakaway is a way to be healed.
the descendants of the survivors are throwing a pants. Half the camp is still awake, but theyre I breathe in the dry air, satisfied that I may
massive countercultural freak fest in the same all speaking Hebrew and have no interest in the actually understand. Then, out of the seven a.m.
desert that Abraham wandered? American acid casualty. I spot the guy who gave calm, I hear the jackhammer throb of psy-trance.
me the psychedelic dates; hes wearing a velvet
Around 10 p.m. on Friday, the air now thin and military commanders suit. He invites me to About 45 minutes later, I wake up looking like
cold, a wooden Goliath and his Amazonian ef- watch the sunrise set of Hadas Kleinman and Jon Snow after the Battle of the Bastards. My
figy partner burn. Its like a high school bonfire Aviv Bahar, a vaunted Israeli cello-and-guitar face caked in filth, hair knotted, eyes crusted,
in a Hebrew Hunger Games. All week, a temple duo. But first I have to help. breath foul and body hobbled. I beg a few oth-
in the middle of the playa serves as a makeshift We trudge off again into the pitch-black, ers in my camp for a ride back to Tel Aviv, but no
shrine. Penitents post photos of dead friends ditch-studded playa. Suddenly a magical one has room. This is rock bottom. Im told to go
and tributes to David Bowie; some scrawl mis- stained-glass village house looms before us. Im to the Midburn center station for help, which
sives onto wooden beams: Confusion will be as high as Ive ever been in my life, hauling 50- means another trip across the playa in the piti-
my epitaph, Chaos of the soul be gone, Free pound speakers from a rusted pickup to the top less sun, my brain like a battered eggplant, and
your balls and the rest will follow. of a sound rig. As an ancient lemon sun rises, a no one able to understand my mumbled Eng-
In memory of those slain in the Sarona Mar- ragtag caravan of people materializes, spread- lish. By some miracle, I meet Nimrod, a chill
ket shooting, I offer a silent prayer to a god I ing blankets and rolling cigarettes, sleepless half-Hungarian, half-Persian surfer bro and
dont believe in. When I tell others about what and silted with dust. The performance begins, survival-skills teacher from northeastern Israel.
I saw, they apologize profusely as
though bearing personal responsi-
bility. One camp mate offers a hug
and two words: Thats reality. It Looks LIke PoMPeII, excePt
On Saturday, my second and final
night, the playa provides me with tHe PeoPLe frozen In asH are
psychedelic dates. It seems only sen-
sible to devour them on my way to atteMPtIng to InstagraM.
watch Noahs ark burn, staggering
past the golden statue of Baal, where
a man wearing only a thong is passed out. and I understand none of the lyrics, merely We can work something out, he says, smil-
It soon becomes clear that tripping in a for- the spiderweb beauty of the instrumentation ing. The playa provides.
eign country while cold and filthy, among a and the universality of the emotions. These are He tells me to meet him in an hour in the
rowdy mob of people chanting to torch a mythi- songs about life and death, love and regret, the parking lot, and when I arrive I can barely be-
cal floating zoo, may not be my wisest decision. permanent sense of loss that expands with age. lieve my eyes. Hes driving a late-model eight-
When the ark burns, its the biggest inferno Toward the shows end, an aging bubbe in seat Land Rover action-hero jeep complete with
Ive ever seen. Huge demonic gusts of orange polka-dot pajama pants and Birkenstocks shuf- water jugs and AC. Just before I hop in the car,
glowing embers obscure the stars. It looks like fles over and holds out her hand to offer raisins. I step in human shit.
Pompeii, except the people frozen in ash are at- I look into her Eastern Europe shtetl face and Somehow Nimrod doesnt toss me out. In-
tempting to instagram. thinning red hair, and suddenly I cant see any- stead he laughs, turns the key in the ignition
As the ark smolders, psy-trance menace thing but my own grandmother, long gonethe and points us out of the dust bowl and back to-
swallows the air. The dates leave me nause- daughter of the man who returned to Poland to ward civilization. He turns on the radio and
ated. The vibrations are sinister. My only op- discover he no longer had a family. I start to looks at methe Americanand it plays, I
tions are returning to a rickety dust-strangled cry. Tattered and broken down, wild-eyed and swear to God, Sweet Home Alabama. n



Saving Final Fantasy

The battle-scarred and beloved game finally delivers a lush, action-packed return to form

Arguably, the pop-culture divide between East other disappointment could snuff out the vast entertainment with dense design. Its equal
and West is nowhere more apparent than in the and minutely wrought world for good. parts highbrow opus and popcorn fodder.
realm of role-playing games. In Asia, the fash- In FFXV you play as the Crown Prince Noctis, The deeper you get into the game, the clearer
ion is for depth and rigor, as you see in 100-hour son of Regis, king of a land called Lucius. When it becomes that this is not the Final Fantasy
epics such as Star Ocean and Persona. American the game begins, youre on a breezy road trip that recently appeared to be hurtling toward
gamers prefer the slick and streamlined punch with your buddiesuntil an army of killer ro- extinction. FFXV has the scope and scale of
of Mass Effect and The Witcher. The East wants bots (what else?) descends on your homeland a modern triple-A game, with every battle,
depth. We want to be dazzled. and you find yourself in the middle of an all-out set piece and story beat amplified to super-
If anything can bridge the gap, its Final war. Its Star Wars meets Game of Thrones. Al- size dimensions. There are sports car rides
Fantasy, the nearly 29-year-old RPG franchise ready youre hard-pressed to imagine a better and airship excursions, robot fights and
from Japanese developer Square Enix. The blend for the current American palate. magic spells. And once you defeat a glowering,
game has enjoyed massive popularity since its But as its wooing Westerners, the game also skyscraper-size giant named Titan, he joins
debut on the original Nintendo Entertainment makes sure to honor its traditions. Many key your side. Final Fantasy has always had fun
System in 1987, but its past decade has been ill- elements are hereincluding everyones fa- with the superpowered creatures in your bat-
starred. Final Fantasy XIV, a Warcraft-style vorite mountable yellow bird, the chocobo tling menagerieand rest assured that many
online multiplayer game, failed to galva- and overall the game sticks with what Final favorites from installments past will return
nize nongamers, and XIII never quite hit the Fantasy has always done best: deep combat, but none is quite as staggering as this.
mainstream. Fans and Square Enix alike have complex lore and rich, sweeping adventure sto- Fifteen installments in, Final Fantasy has
pinned their hopes on the wildly ambitious ries, all of it realized with bleeding-edge tech. proven it can bring the fireworks. This may just
new installment, Final Fantasy XV (PS4, You can still get as involved in the back end as be the turnaround needed to bring this teeming,
Xbox One)and darkly wondered whether an- youd like; its just that FFXV balances pure endangered world back to life.Calum Marsh

This country wasnt built by those who
sit idly by. It wasnt built by braggarts
and blowhards. Our country was built by
those who pick life up by the bootstraps
and conquer the challenge. Our vodka
is crafted in the USA with that same
spirit, because thats what makes us
countrymen. Whether youre strapping
on your boots, or kicking them off,


Get your hands on the drink

and the full story at
Bottled at 40 percent-alcohol-by-volume | Distilled from grain. 2016 Gold Star Ventures, Corp.
Atlanta, GA | Local Choice Spirits Daniel Island, SC.


Author Richard Price on Clockers, The Color of Money, the crack epidemic and
why he doesnt want to visit your movie set

FRANCO: Youve written for my new FRANCO: You wrote scripts for The
show The Deuce, but I hear its hard to Color of Money, Mad Dog and Glory
get you to come to the set. and other films. Then you wrote
PRICE: I find the most boring thing Clockers, one of my favorite books.
about a movie is the making of the David Simon calls it the Grapes of
movie. I was the creator of this show Wrath of the crack epidemic.
for CBS called NYC 22. It was about PRICE: The one gift that screenwrit-
Harlem rookies. You write the script, ing gave me was that old adage Write
you go on set and you tell the director, what you know. One of the reasons I
Look, this is not the way it should stopped writing novels was because
be. And he goes, Okay, got it. Or everything I knew was written. But in
you tell the actors, Listen, man, you screenwriting you say, Well, the guys
cannot play this like youre a Har- a pool hustler. I dont know anything
lem Globetrotter, where you play like about pool hustlers. I was forced to
youre a circus clown. They go, Got go down to Kentucky and Virginia
it. And you get a big, complicated and hang out at these nine-ball tour-
soul handshake, and then they do naments and meet all these guys.
whatever the fuck they want anyhow. I realized that you can learn some-
Its like, why am I standing around thing, you can absorb something
in January, outdoors, at seven in the and you can write about something
morning with the wind coming off without going underground for three
the river? Fuck this. years to make it plausible.
FRANCO: You were in your 20s when FRANCO: David told me there was a
James FRaNCO
you published your first two novels, particular New Jersey detective you
The Wanderers and Bloodbrothers. rode around with for Clockers.
Both are set in the Bronx, where you PRICE: Being with cops, you see
were born. Did you believe that as a novelist and I fell into a hole. I wrote two novels after things you would not otherwise be permitted
you should use your own experiences? that, but I was writing purely because I was in to see as a civilian. I remember going to this
PRICE: I went to Columbia for the writing pro- a panic about not having a book. devastated housing project in Jersey City.
gram, and I realized that the Bronx was kind FRANCO: So you have two finished novels that It was like a tiger cage. This was during the
of over and Id never go back there. So I started never came out? height of the crack epidemic. And it freaked
writing stories as if I were entertaining people PRICE: I still have them. Theyre in my draw- me out so badly because it was like the hous-
about what it was like to grow up in the Bronx. er. Those books need not be exhumed. But by ing project Id grown up in, and now it was
Then I went to Stanford. Id never been out of the time I got to The Breaks, I knew I was des- like the ninth circle of hell. I became ob-
New York state before, and it really made me perate. Finally I had a story that was saying sessed. Sometimes you are drawn to the thing
feel like all I have of the Bronx is my memory something, but it was a nightmare. On top of that scares you the most, and thats what
of it, and if I forget, its gone. It was a combina- everything, hey, you having trouble writing? happened with me. All of a sudden I wanted
tion of homesickness and realizing it was over Lets become a coke addict! Its like, lets wear to get into this world, as opposed to run from
that made me want to put it all down on paper. a gasoline jacket to a bonfire. it. I didnt want to write it as a screenplay,
After that I thought, How about we dont write FRANCO: Oh my gosh. [laughs] because I didnt want people fucking with it,
three novels about the Bronx or some semi- PRICE: So I was really fucked-up and fuck- so I decided to write it as a novel.
autobiographical subject? I didnt live in the ing up. Id always had offers to write scripts FRANCO: Youve worked out a way to switch
Bronx anymore. It was around 1976, and Id for Hollywood, so I thought, Well, Im already off between writing novels and writing for
been living in Manhattan for five years. I a coke addict, so I might as well be a screen- movies and TV. How does that work?
wasnt a kid anymore. So I wrote Ladies Man writer. Stopping coke was relatively easy once PRICE: Im 66 years old. It takes me forever to
to try to write about sexuality in 1970s Man- I made up my mind, but stopping screenwrit- write a novel. But novels dont pay the bills, so
hattan, among other things. And then it took ing was really hard. Once you start sucking on Im just fightingall I want to buy is time to
me forever to figure out what I wanted to write, that glass, thats celebrity, and its social. write a novel.

PhotograPhy by dave ma

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Marijuana Is a
Team Sport
Former NFL player Eben Britton on why its time for the league to embrace medicinal marijuana
It was week seven of the 2010 NFL season and from the sideline. Afterward I was told that Of course, part of being a pro is being compe-
we were in Kansas City in front of a riotous my injury would require surgery and that I tent enough to pass a drug test.
crowd. I knew we were in for a bloodbath from was done for the season. Do they test us during OTAs? someone
the national anthem. I stood on the sideline, I had never been so badly injured that I asks in a dimly lit locker room.
hand over my heart, feeling the vibrations of couldnt continue to play. The doctors gave Nah, man, they wont test us until mini-
the stadium. Adrenaline and cortisol pumped me pills for the pain, but the pills had a way of camp, another answers.
through my veins, along with Adderall, hydro- making me angry, fueling the frustration of not No way, brother. Bullshit. They started test-
codone and Toradol. My body felt tight. My being able to use my arm. They turned me into ing people yesterday.
shoulders ached. My mind raced. a victim. My body didnt like the pills either. A slow silence settles across the room.
In the middle of the second quarter our Once, after taking one, I felt a pang behind Better stop smoking pretty soon, most of us
offense put together a solid drive. The play call my eyes, causing them to flutter and blink un- say to ourselves.
was a zone to the right, and we broke the huddle controllably; then things went fuzzy. The pang Weve all heard tales of what its like to be
at the Chiefs 15-yard line. The ball was hiked, turned to a bang and I had to lie down. When I busted for pot by the league. The first time
and I smashed through the outside shoulder of woke up the next morning I was overwhelmed a player tests positive for marijuana he gets
the defensive end in front of me. Derrick John- by a debilitating migraine. I could barely open put in the program. Details about the
son, the Chiefs Pro Bowl linebacker, came my eyes, much less think. It became clear the substance-abuse program are dark and vague.
screaming over the top and buried his helmet migraines were my bodys way of telling me it The individuals energy completely changes,
between my collarbone and right shoulder. didnt care for the pills. and you know that the program is something
With my legs tangled up in the wave of crash- I had used cannabis before, but it wasnt to be avoided. A second failed test results in a
ing bodies, I went to the ground, landing on my until my shoulder injury that I began to un- two-week fine. After that, the punishments in-
right elbow at a 90-degree angle. I felt some- derstand its medicinal power. For the first clude a four-week fine, a four-game suspension
thing shift. When I picked myself up off the time in my football career I unwittingly con- and then a 10-game suspension.
ground, I realized my shoulder was dislocated. ducted my own experiment on the efficacy of The NFL doles out these punishments even
We were five yards from the goal line and a play various pain-relieving methods. The contrast though 20 of its teams are in places where
away from a touchdown. I couldnt tap out. Grip- between the effects of marijuana and hydro- medical marijuana is legal. And legalization
ping my right triceps, I jerked my torso back codone, as well as between marijuana and the will spread. There is mounting research that
and pulled the arm forward, sliding the head of anti-inflammatories I was taking, was remark- shows the medicinal properties of cannabis
my humerus back into my shoulder socket. We able. With pills, I experienced little relief from include healing broken bones, reducing pain
scored on the next play, and I jogged to the side- pain and a slew of side effects including severe and aiding in recovery following traumatic
line, yelling for a trainer to find me a harness. migraines, insomnia, massive mood swings, brain injury. A key focus in this research has
The doctor questioned me, but I was breath- irritability and trouble controlling my anger. been the endocannabinoid system, a group of
ing fire. In a flurry, my pads were off and a har- With cannabis I felt calm and relaxed, which naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors in
ness secured, locking my shoulder back into placed me in a state of healing. The aching the brain, heart, lungs and bones, as well as
place. The pads came on and I ran back onto the pain in my shoulder, my bones and the rest of throughout the nervous system. This part of
field. We were in our two-minute drill. No hud- my body hushed to a quiet hum with no nega- our bodies is responsible for a variety of phys-
dle. On the second play, a pass out of the shot- tive side effects. iological processes, including appetite, pain
gun, I baited Chiefs linebacker Mike Vrabel The problem was that my employer didnt ap- sensation, mood and memory. When bodily
with my right arm. He clubbed it across my prove. The NFLs current stance is that canna- damage occurs, whether its a broken bone or
body and back out of position. The harness was bis is an illegal street drug, and players are a concussion, endocannabinoids flood the re-
now holding my upper arm out of the socket. I tested for THC annually. The test is done any- ceptor sites, initiating the healing process.
sprinted to the sideline. It took three team doc- time during mandatory team activities, usually With medical marijuana, the THC and canna-
tors to get my shoulder back in place. before the start of the regular season, according bidiol in the cannabis aid the body in reducing
I walked off the field and into the tunnel in to the current collective-bargaining agreement inflammation and bolstering the effects of our
a haze of heroism. Someone helped me out of between the NFL and the National Football own cannabinoid system. Plus, its safer than
my gear. My right arm now hung on the verge League Players Association. Since the new the addictive opioids league doctors hand out.
of falling out of the socket again. I showered, agreement was signed in 2011, the terms have For anyone whose job involves beating their
got dressed and put my arm in the sling. I been reinterpretedand misinterpretedto body up every week, medicinal marijuana is a
watched the second half of the game in sweats the point that players barely understand them. blessing. Its time the NFL treated it that way. n

illustration by Kalen Hollomon



The Real Mad Men

How advertising executives use hope, dreams and even fear to
sell American voters a candidate

A top Republican ad maker sits in the make his 1992 convention film), Clinton
living room of his house under the Hol- entrusts herself to Mandy Grunwald, a
lywood sign, explaining how he uses a senior communications advisor who has
three-act structure to sell a candidate. been with the Clintons since 1992. Even
My spots introduce the candidate in a if some candidates understand that the
broad, glorious, positive way, says Fred best ads in politics have sprung from the
Davis, founder of Strategic Perception, heads of non-politicos in ad agencies,
a firm that has produced GOP commer- chances are they wont make the change.
cials since 1994. In act two, we bring in The agency people think the politi-
conflictmaybe a jousting match be- cos are a bunch of hacks, and the polit-
tween candidates over the issues, he ical people think the agency people are
says, looking out past the movie studios. a bunch of candy-asses interested more
In act three, my guy prevails, and we in lighting and camera angles than in
deliver an uplifting end. message, explains Martin Puris, who
On the wall hang 22 large frames with crafted BMWs The ultimate driving
color head shots of the politicians hes machine slogan and later worked for
helped, including John McCain and President George H.W. Bushs reelection.
George W. Bush. Sometimes campaigns get it right. For
When Davis was running media ear- his 1968 presidential campaign, Rich-
lier this year for John Kasichs super ard Nixon brought in an ad exec whod
PAC, New Day for America, his world
By john meroney made commercials for Ford and Pan Am.
was upended by Donald Trumps insur- He won in an electoral landslide. When
gency. That hasnt stopped him from daydream- Meanwhile, Democrats are torn on how to sell President Ronald Reagan ran for reelection in
ing about how hed advise Trump. Maybe hes Hillary Clinton, even though shes been in pub- 1984, his campaign turned to a San Francisco
not even in the ads, says Davis. Its just people lic life for almost 40 years. Theres the voice- adman known for romantic commercials for
talking about their hopes and dreams and how of-God Morgan Freeman approach, pushing Gallo wines. The result was Its morning again
Trump can help fulfill them. Togethera stronger country in black-and- in America, the opening line to whats acknowl-
By this time, presidential nominees and their white spots, or the ones attacking Trump, with a edged as one of the best campaign ads ever. And
admen are supposed to be running at full tilt, concerned voice announcing, In a volatile world, the most powerful advertising for then senator
spending hundreds of millions of dollars on TV the last thing we need is a volatile president. Barack Obamathe iconic 2008 hope poster
time. But in this irregular election, even the ad The real Hillary, which people dont really was created by street artist Shepard Fairey, who
wars are surreal. Trump regards traditional po- believe, is different from the public image of had no ties to the political establishment.
litical ads as outdated, as his billionaire friend Hillary, says Jimmy Siegel, former senior The problem is that political ads tend to look
Tom Barrack explained to CNN in June: The executive creative director at BBDO, whose and sound the same, says Siegel. Its the cast
raising of money is an antique. Super PACs are clients included Visa and Pepsi. In 2008, Clin- of characters who change. So getting people
antiques. Were testing a system just like every tons campaign hired him to produce ads, which from outside the political arena who are more
disruptive technology thats in the market today, proved challenging. Shes a warm, empathetic trained to say, How do we break through the
which is almost antipolitical and anti-rules. person, he says. And that has been hard to clutter? can be very effective.
Thus a mysterious entity called Draper communicate in advertising in both of her cam- Whit Hiler, a master of viral campaigns and
Sterlingcreated by an unknown Mad Men paigns. But I think its still important to try. one of the nations leading creatives, admits
addict and linked to a house in Londonderry, New That problem is also complicated because hes not really into politics but offers what
Hampshirereceived $35,000 from Trumps Clinton relies on the same old, same old. Rather could be a masterstroke for a campaign: Use
campaign for web advertising in late April, than putting her image in the hands of creatives the Top Gun anthem. That theme is amazing.
according to Federal Election Commission dis- outside politics (as Bill did when he enlisted the I think it would make people stop what theyre
closures. Thats not exactly Ogilvy. creator of the Designing Women TV series to doing and pay attention. n

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andy samberg
If he wanted to, Andy Samberg could still be ruling viral video with shorts like Dick in a Box,
that indelible ode to the joys of gift wrapping your junk and presenting it to your lover. After
Saturday Night Live lobbed that comedy grenade, co-written by Samberg and recorded with
Justin Timberlake, it hit 28 million views in less than a year. Later cited by Billboard as
one of the most iconic musical moments in the shows history, it copped an Emmy and in-
spired two sequels, to say nothing of the countless fan reworkings. Samberg chased that one
with other huge SNL digital shorts, including Jizz in My Pants, a New Wave banger about
premature ejaculation that to date has more than 153 million views; Im on a Boat, the
Grammy-nominated nautical rap featuring T-Pain; and I Just Had Sex, featuring Akon.
All these Samberg created with SNL writ- formed at last years Oscars and hosted the years at the University of California, Santa
ers Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, Sam- 2015 Emmy Awards. He also co-wrote, co- Cruz before switching to New York Univer-
bergs buds since junior high and inseparable produced and starred (as a drop-crotched sitys Tisch School of the Arts, from which
creative partners. and distinctly Bieberesque entertainer) in he graduated in 2000. He reunited in Berke-
Instead of settling into a career as a younger this summers warmhearted satire Popstar: ley with Schaffer and Taccone, and the trio
hybrid of Weird Al Yankovic and Adam Never Stop Never Stopping. Oh, and in 2013 moved to Los Angelesinto an apartment
Sandler, Samberg has pivoted toward a sun- he married his longtime girlfriend, singer- they dubbed the Lonely Island, which be-
nier, more middle-of-the-road anddare we songwriter-harpist-actress Joanna Newsom, came the namesake of their collective com-
admit it?more family-friendly audience. with whom he handpicked and restored the edy endeavors. Their early video work led
He left his seven-season SNL stint in 2012 furnishings for their 1920s mansion. Smart to Samberg landing an agent, auditioning
and played Sandlers long-lost son in the movie moves, all of them, for a baby-faced comedian for SNL and joining the cast in 2005, with
Thats My Boy, letting the star handle most of bearing down on 40. Schaffer and Taccone signing on as writers.
the cruder, more desperate jokes. He spent David A.J. Samberg was born in Berkeley, That first year, their Lazy Sunday digital
nearly two years playing a New Age slacker on California on August 18, 1978. His mother re- short marked the first time millions of peo-
the BBC Three sitcom Cuckoo. He even went cently retired from teaching special-needs ple uttered the term viral video. Since then,
G-rated, voicing characters in the Cloudy elementary school students; his father is a theyve released four albums, partnered on a
With a Chance of Meatballs movies, a pair photographer. Far from the most attentive few movies and generally made friends with
of Hotel Transylvania entriesforerunners student at Willard Junior High, where he met every celebrity you can name. Without sacri-
to the upcoming Hotel Transylvania 3and Taccone and Schaffer, Samberg dedicated ficing his relatable dorkiness, Samberg has
Storks, out this month. He won a 2014 Golden himself to cracking up his classmates, soak- set out for full-spectrum comedy penetration
Globe for his performance as a man-child ing up the comedy chops of various Saturday on a worldwide scale.
detective on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the fourth Night Live casts and watching classic come- Contributing Editor Stephen Rebello, who
season of which kicks off this month. He per- dies on TV. After high school, he spent two spoke with Don Cheadle for the April Playboy

p h oto g r a p h y by todd cole



Interview, spent a recent afternoon with lucky so far with this one and the fact that, by of people who were athletic. I listened to reggae
Samberg in West Hollywood. Dont let Andy all accounts, I was on SNL during one of its and smoked weed sometimes, so I would hang
Sambergs smug, sometimes punchable screen least dysfunctional times ever. out in the park, play Hacky Sack and go with
vibe fool you, says Rebello, because heres a PLAYBOY: You grew up in Berkeley in the friends to Reggae on the River. I was into clas-
guy whos surprisingly thoughtful and canny. 1990s. If you made a music video of your expe- sic rock like Floyd and Zeppelin, so Id hang
Whether hes talking about his past, his career, riences in northern California back then, what with those dudes. I was really deep into hip-
his tastes or his goals, he isnt afraid to sound would be the vibe, the sound and the look of it? hop, so I would hang out with those dudes and
smart or sincere. He knows exactly whats up SAMBERG: The sound would be a lot of early- with the graffiti dudes and the skater dudes.
and where hes headed. Frankly, I didnt see it 1990s hip-hop, R&B, reggae, dancehall and PLAYBOY: Did those dude groups intersect?
coming. But what a relief. a heavy Latino influence. The look would be SAMBERG: The Venn diagram had a big in-
Cross Colours and Girbaud jeans, and the tersection, and that is the beauty of growing
PLAYBOY: Youre best known for being an smell would be Drakkar Noiror Preferred up in Berkeley. Kids there were the way I see a
SNL cast member, making viral videos and Stock if you couldnt afford Drakkar. All that lot of young people nowI say young people
hosting awards shows. What made you want to mixed with a vibe of the civil rights movement like Im super old, but theyre young to me. It
saddle up for a workplace sitcom like Brooklyn and original 1960s-era hippies. It was a fasci- was one of those places that was slightly ahead
Nine-Nine? of the curve of the internet. Now,
SAMBERG: People who know with the internet, a lot of kids are
my actual personality know Im into a ton of different stuff. But
not walking around rapping
about dicks all the time. Thats
just one part of who I am, and it
Our generation culturally, socially, musically,
my friends and I were already
that way in the 1990s, when kids
happens to be the most popular
part. Doing Brooklyn Nine-Nine
changed a lot of peoples opin-
wasnt doing in other parts of the country may
have been a little more factional-
ized in their interests.
ion of me. They were able to see
the humanized me, for which Im anything but PLAYBOY: What were the ad-
vantages and disadvantages of
being the youngest kid in your

wearing super-
grateful. Michael Schur created
both Brooklyn Nine-Nine and family, and the only boy, with
Parks and Recreation, and theres two older sisters?

baggy clothes
such sweetness to both shows. By SAMBERG: I was a textbook
the nature of the characters pro- youngest child. I got a lot of posi-
fession and the locale, Brooklyn tive attention. I had an easy ride. I
is a slightly tougher, more cynical
universe than Parks, but its an
equally heartfelt universe.
and condoms dont try to paint it any other way.
I saw my sisters go through their
trials and learned by watching
PLAYBOY: Was the role of Detec-
tive Jake Peraltawisecracking,
highly competent, immature,
all over. their experiences. By the time I
was going through my teen years,
my parents were more mellow. I
emotionally stunted, upbeat never got into trouble that much.
written for you? PLAYBOY: Define that much.
SAMBERG: There was no script when they nating and wonderful place to grow up, defi- SAMBERG: Like drinking with buddies, pass-
pitched me the kernel of the idea and asked me nitely the melting pot people say it is. ing out at a friends house, getting home and
if I wanted to do it. From the point I said yes, PLAYBOY: How is Berkeley not like what peo- my parents being like, Where the fuck were
they wrote toward me. I knew Amy Poehler, ple say it is? you? We were worried. But I never got caught
of course, from working with her on SNL, so SAMBERG: Berkeley is less hippie and stealing or cheating. I kind of cruised. I had a
I talked with her about her experience with touchy-feely than people think it is. That was very enjoyable time growing up. I was always
Parks. I had also done a guest acting role on the 1960s. The version I grew up in was much sort of the tension-breaker. Not that there was
Parks, and it was so fun, so comfortable. It just more city, although when I was a kid there a ton of tension in my family, but I was the
felt like a good life. were still lots of walkouts and protests. You goofy one who was always being sarcastic, jok-
PLAYBOY: Whats up with your character were living in a world that was more politically ing around and trying to lighten the mood.
this season? charged just by the nature of the citys history. PLAYBOY: Your mother and father had noth-
SAMBERG: Jake and Captain Ray Holt [Andre Its almost expected. ing to do with show business.
Braugher] are in Florida in witness protection. PLAYBOY: As a kid, how did you navigate those SAMBERG: My mom just retired from teach-
So we have new stuff to play with and Im really social, political and pop-culture currents? ing elementary school, primarily in the
excited. Its one of those rare work experiences SAMBERG: By being into a lot of different special-needs program because shes fluent
where I work on a show I adore, everybody gets stuff. I would describe myself as not cool but in sign language and is partly hard of hearing
along, and I love everyone I work with. Ive been not unpopular. I played soccer, so I knew a lot herself. She uses hearing aids.



PLAYBOY: Was she born with a hearing college and right after college, I was in a cou- safe sex because of AIDS. My friends and I
problem? ple of long-term relationships. I didnt play joke a lot about how the generation before
SAMBERG: It didnt begin until, I believe, she around. Thats the influence of having two us was all coked-up and fucking, the genera-
was in her 40s. But long before that she had older sisters. tion after us was all on ecstasy and fucking,
learned sign language. She just was drawn to PLAYBOY: You didnt wait until college to lose and our generation wasnt doing anything but
it and followed that instinct. She feels she sub- your virginity, though, did you? wearing super-baggy clothes and condoms all
consciously somehow just knew, which is so SAMBERG: I was, I believe, 16 or 17. It was at over. We were the D.A.R.E. generation, the
strange and interesting. If it were anyone else summer camp. I was on the junior staff and scared generation.
saying that, Id be like, Yeah, right. But Im she was girls head counselor. She was 24. PLAYBOY: Growing up, did you have sexual
inclined to believe her. She has strong, clear in- She could tell I probably was a virgin. I was fantasies about any celebrities?
stincts. Thats kind of her deal. Shes the best. flirty; there was a friendship and a playful SAMBERG: I was enamored of Cyndi Lauper,
PLAYBOY: Your father, who is a professional thing between us, but I didnt really think it just obsessed, when I was a kid. Ive never
photographer, is also very talented. met her, but Im friendly with Paul
His photosof kids smoking weed, Reubens, whos friendly with her. Ive
guys with painted faces tripping gushed to him about how much I love
out and hippies and their mamas her. Shes incredible. I still listen to
leaning against their motorcycles her first record, Shes So Unusual, all
look found rather than staged. Its the time. Its a perfect album, and not
the kind of thing that period movies just the cuts that were hits.
almost never get right. PLAYBOY: You said that you had
SAMBERG: When people nail a a lot of friends in different groups.
period in film and television, its Is it an unwarranted clich that all
immensely satisfying. I think comedians were loners as kids?
the TV series The Americans gets SAMBERG: I can be on my own
the 1980s right. I thought David for hours, but I much prefer to be
Fincher did a really nice job with around people. When Akiva, Jorma
the 1960s and 1970s in Zodiac. For and I were working at SNL, the walk
that same reason the first Alien to the restroom was long. I would
somehow feels honest about the always ask people if they wanted to
future: Its not saying, Hey, look come with me because I didnt want
at all of this futuristic stuff. The to be lonely on the walk.
stuff is all just there, and its used PLAYBOY: Would they humor you?
stuff. For me, the silent minutes SAMBERG: Sometimes. And if they
at the beginning of Alien is one werent ready, Id wait them out.
of the best sequences in film his- PLAYBOY: Do you remember the
tory. I loved Prometheus too, and first time you got a laugh? Theres
it looked fucking amazing. So few a 1986 video floating around of you
people go as far as the level of detail as a third-grader, when you played
that Ridley Scott and everyone else Daddy Warbucks in Annie. Back-
put into it. Im big into sci-fi movies stage you were already bouncing up
and novels, always have been. and down and pretty much going,
PLAYBOY: Your dad has shot in- Look at me!
credibly striking nudes. As a kid, did SAMBERG: I dont remember my
you secretly rifle though his files? would ever be real because of the age differ- first laugh, but I know that making people
SAMBERG: When he started doing that kind ence. I think she just decided for me. It was laugh was my way in. It was just what I was good
of work, I was in high school, so I was more only once. I wouldnt say I was good, but it was at early on, and I went with it. Like a lot of peo-
mature about it. It was definitely a slightly great for me. ple say, Oh, I developed a sense of humor to
strange moment to understand that my dad, PLAYBOY: Were your parents cool about sex? traverse the world sociallywhich is a word I
whos married to my mom, goes to work and SAMBERG: My folks, my mom especially, definitely use, traverse.
takes photographs of naked women. But then were hippies from New York who moved to the PLAYBOY: It doesnt sound as though you
you see the photos and you think, Oh, its very Bay Area in the summer of 1970 or 1971. We needed it the way others do.
much about art and doesnt feel voyeuristic. had this cartoony book that wed flip through, SAMBERG: I just loved it. I loved it imme-
And my mom didnt seem to care. They had a with illustrations of a sort of doughy-looking diately. Even when I was really little, I found
good thing going. couple having sex and text explaining where Garfield books in the library, and I was like,
PLAYBOY: How much were girls a part of your babies come from and all that. There was not There are jokes in this and Im going to con-
life growing up? a ton of talk about it. But my teen years were sume and interpret this. I was six or seven and
SAMBERG: I was always a relationship guy. In in the 1990s, and there was so much talk about wanted to get The Far Side calendars or the



comedy catalogs where you can order whoopee partition and crammed four dudes into that that setting, I was able to much better gauge
cushions and the most base comedy stuff. And apartment. Even so, it was pretty big. I mean, whether my stuff was working with real people
very early I started watching SNL, Mel Brooks we set up our original Nintendo and I remem- and not just comics. I read Harpo Marxs auto-
movies and Monty Python. I was drawn to it. I ber thinking, Wow, L.A. is very comfortable. biography, and it was so eye- opening to learn
knew thats what I loved. SNL was my dream We hung out, shot stuff, started writing and how the Marx brothers would tour their shows
from the time I was eight. worked odd jobs. across the country, then wind up in L.A. and
PLAYBOY: Video shorts were what put you on PLAYBOY: How odd? shoot the movie version in, like, three takes.
the map and helped you realize your dream of SAMBERG: I worked a couple of temp jobs and Incredible. Theyd rewrite on the fly and do
getting on SNL. When did you first pick up a got fired from one because I was late, which is their live shows over and over, knowing for a
camera and start making stuff? still a problem for me. My first actual job was fact which jokes worked everywhere. Now you
SAMBERG: Willard Junior High and Berke- working the graveyard shift in the vault of a do it in reverse order: have a test screening, see
ley High School were the first times I recall color- correction company. Theyd plop down what works and then go shoot more.
shooting things where I was hoping to be 50 reels of film in boxes and Id enter them 100 PLAYBOY: And you and your two buds contin-
funny. My family got a home video camera percent accurately into this antiquated and ued to make shorts?
around 1988, and a friend and I started shoot- complicated system. It was mind-numbing, SAMBERG: There is a monthly event-network-
ing sketches. Even before website thing called Channel
that, in elementary school, my 101, started by Dan Harmon,
friends and I took a boom box who went on to create Commu-
with a cassette, a mike and a
record option and we would
do crappy little-kid versions of
I took off my nity, and Rob Schrab, who later
co-created The Sarah Silver-
man Program. They screen a
radio plays and stuff like that.
I met Akiva and Jorma at Wil-
lard, and much later I went to
pants to reveal bunch of fake TV shows of five
minutes or less. A live audience
votes and the top shows get
the University of California,
Santa Cruz, where Akiva was
majoring in film. But I trans-
these crazy-tight renewed, meaning you make
another episode and just keep
going until youre eliminated. It
ferred my junior year of college
to study film in New York at the shorts. Lorne started as an exercise for them
and their friends, then it got

says that was the

Tisch School of the Arts. Since more traction and they started
1988 until probably today, all to get submissions from all
Ive really done is try to put over. We created a few shows for

moment he de-
comedy on film or video. it, the most successful of which
PLAYBOY: After college, when was The Bu, a deadpan spoof
and how did you, Akiva and of The O.C. I love that Zucker
Jorma reconnect?
SAMBERG: That first sum-
mer after we all graduated,
cided to hire me. brothers style of dry comedy.
Thats where we met Jack Black
and Steve Agee and lots of really
we showed each other all the cool people in comedy.
stuff wed been making. We PLAYBOY: You were asked
clearly wanted to do the same thing and we but the people I worked with were very nice. to write your first MTV Movie Awards, with
were already friends, so why not band to- That same year, my dad suggested that if I Akiva and Jorma, in 2004. Was that an off-
gether? Strength in numbers, as the Golden went to grad school, maybe I could become a shoot of Channel 101?
State Warriors would sayuntil they got beat. film professor. I remember using it as moti- SAMBERG: Murray Miller is a writer on Girls,
Heartbreaking. Yeah, Im a huge fan. Anyway, vation. He was just being sweet, but I was like, and he and I created the HBO tennis comedy 7
we debated staying in our parents basements, How could you give up on me? I also contin- Days in Hell. Hes an old friend from summer
trying to shoot stuff in Berkeley and maybe ued to do stand-up, which Id started doing my camp who convinced me to apply to NYU be-
putting together a website. junior year of college in New York. I did that cause he went there before me and then con-
PLAYBOY: In the end, you opted to share an for the next five years in L.A., before we got vinced me it was a good idea to move to L.A.
apartment in Los Angeles. hired on SNL. He and I even did stand-up together for the
SAMBERG: That apartment was the original PLAYBOY: What did you learn from doing first time. His brother helped me get a job
Lonely Island. Thats what we named it. Hav- stand-up? as a runner for National Geographic Chan-
ing just lived in a one-bedroom apartment in SAMBERG: A lot of comedians do open-mike nel, and then Murray helped me get my next
New York with my buddy [writer- director] nights as a badge of honor. I didnt get much job, as a writers personal assistant on Spin
Chester Tam and a lot of mice, this place on out of that. It was more useful to do bringer City. He helped us get hired as writers on the
Olympic Boulevard felt big. We turned the shows, where you harangue three to five peo- MTV Movie Awards. We made $300 or $400 a
dining room into a fourth bedroom, put up a ple to pay too much money to come see you. In week split three ways after taxes, but you meet



people. There are folks were still in touch with Thompson Scared Straight sketch, where like that. We all wrote and submitted a writ-
because of that job. And it led to SNL. hes an ex-con trying to scare a bunch of teens ers packet together, and Jorma and Akiva
PLAYBOY: How does Jimmy Fallon come into who got into trouble for underage drinking. helped me write my audition. The fact that we
your story? Kenan got in our faces and acted insane. Bill all got hired was incredible and a victory for
SAMBERG: Jimmy was the host for the second Hader broke first. Were good friends, and its the three of us. Once we were hired, we started
year we wrote for the MTV Movie Awards, and really hard not to laugh when your friends to make those videos together, and it was al-
he brought a ton of the SNL folks with him, in- laughing. Besides, it was funny. The other time ways about the three of us. The nature of the
cluding Liz Cackowski, who came to help write was when Will Forte was doing a stupid half- show sometimes threatened to drive a stake
for the awards show. We hit it off with Jimmy time dance with Peyton Manning to the theme between us, but we rarely let it happen.
and his buddiesin fact, Akiva is married to from the 1960s Casino Royale movie. I think PLAYBOY: Did you accomplish all you set out
Liz. Like with Harmon and Schrab with Chan- there were seven of us in the scene. Again, I be- to do on SNL?
nel 101, we were in the company of like-minded lieve Bill was the first to go, but in my defense, SAMBERG: We far exceeded my expectations.
people. There was a crackle to it. You The 40th-anniversary special last
could tell you were at the center of year was a mind-blowing and eye-
what was happening. opening experience for us. There
PLAYBOY: When you auditioned for was a long section where a major-
Saturday Night Live, did you plan to ity of the clips were things we had
drop trou? worked on. We looked at each other
SAMBERG: Two or three days after like, Holy shit, were being treated
my first audition, I was told they like were really a part of this show.
wanted to see me again and that I Were obviously very close with the
didnt have to do a totally new audi- cast that was there at the timeBill
tion. Then, a couple of days before Hader, Fred Armisen, Amy Poehler,
the second audition, I got tipped off Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiigand
not to do the same audition. I dont we all talk about how when you see
know whether it was a mix-up or a yourself in clips sandwiched be-
head game, but I went to the flea tween Chris Farley, Gilda Radner,
market and bought this ridiculous Bill Murray, that whole long list,
pair of supershort Adidas 1980s you dont allow yourself to believe
jogging shorts. I was hanging out you belong among them. But its
with Liz, who already worked at nice to think that anyone watching
SNL, so I showed her the shorts the show thinks that.
and we came up with this bit about PLAYBOY: When did you first feel
an out-of-breath jogger making Im famous?
random references to events from SAMBERG: You get hired on SNL,
1982. It made us laugh, so for the but except for the shows die-hard
audition I put the shorts on under- fans, nobody knows who you are
neath my pants, and in the last part until you do something that every-
of my audition, I took off my pants ones talking about. After we did
to reveal these crazy-tight shorts. Lazy Sunday with Chris Parnell
Lorne Michaels says that was the in 2005, I would be out in public
moment he decided to hire me. and people would go, Hey, Lazy
PLAYBOY: Ken Jeong, Jason Segel Sunday! That first wave feels the
and Sacha Baron Cohen have gone full monty in everyone lost it. Fred Armisen lost it and so biggest because youre going from not at all
movie comedies. Will you up the ante? did Kenan, which rarely happens. We all went famous to thinking, Holy shit, somebody just
SAMBERG: I dont think Id ever do it, be- down at Will doing that stupid dance. spotted me on the street. Its both exhilarat-
cause of the internet. Once you show your PLAYBOY: You got hired as an SNL cast mem- ing and terrifying, but the truth is, youve
dick, thats the first image that comes up on ber, and your Lonely Island partners were just scraped the surface to the point that, if
Google for the rest of your life. I dont want my hired as writers. Did the pressure of doing the theres a Google search for you, now at least
dick on the internet. show put a strain on your relationship? theres something there. The second big one
PLAYBOY: Apparently Lorne Michaels isnt SAMBERG: I had done a lot of stand-up and was Dick in a Box, and to this day thats still
a fan of SNL cast members cracking up dur- we led with me for that first audition. Akiva probably the biggest. Lorne likes to joke about
ing sketches for the sake of breaking or try- didnt want to be on camera. He took a writ- the thing youll be most remembered for on
ing to make a sketch work. Will you cop to ever ers meeting. Jorma auditioned, but he was a your tombstone. Hes like, Ill be Lorne SNL
doing that? theater major. He is super funny and would Michaels, and youll be Andy Dick in a Box
SAMBERG: To get laughs? No. But I genuinely have been great on the show, but he never did Samberg. Im very comfortable with that.
lost it twice. One time was during the Kenan the Groundlings or tried improv or anything I love that video. I still find it really funny,



and it was huge for our careers. It was a mo- game, people whose achievements I aspired to, SAMBERG: Oh yeah. I listened to her second
ment. There was a Justin Timberlake explo- like Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Amy Poehler, Tina record, Ys, every day for almost a year. That was
sion happening and the video got picked up Fey, Jim Carrey. They all had the most horren- my second year on SNL, so it was around 2006,
everywhere. That was the first time I really dous shit written about them. And I remember 2007. I would wake up to it, listen to it on my
felt the power of the media and the first time reading people say how much they hated Will headphones in the subway and then listen to it
I was getting more attention than I was com- Ferrell and how he wasnt funny, knowing in in my office.
fortable with. my heart that he is likely the funniest human PLAYBOY: Was it awkward meeting her at one
PLAYBOY: Did it ever get creepy? being on planet Earth and can do no wrong. of her concerts?
SAMBERG: Knock on wood, but Ive been pretty Thats when I had this moment of clarity about SAMBERG: I figured it would just be me sort
lucky in that what we make generally appeals to online comments: None of it matters. All of it of bowing and saying my pleasantries, but
the types of folks wed like to be interacting with. is easily ignored. Thats helped tremendously. shes into comedy and is really funny. She was
Its people who are really into comedy and have PLAYBOY: Do you ever miss your anonymity? a great fan of Dick in a Box and Lazy Sunday,
been since their childhoods and teen years, and SAMBERG: That can be managed too. There and she, her brother and sister had watched
its sort of the fabric of their social lives. Thats are folks who do it, my wife, Joanna, being all our weird early Lonely Island stuff. We be-
incredibly gratifying. Like when a group of teen- one of them. came friends very quickly, but it wasnt like ei-
agers comes up and goes, We quote ther of us was pursuing the other.
your stuff all the time, thats the ul- I think when we met she was in
timate compliment because that was another relationship. We kept in
basically our religion coming up.
PLAYBOY: There is, of course, that
other comedy clichthat all co-
I had this mo- touch for a while, and then even-
tually the timing was such that we
found ourselves saying, Hey, weve
medians are depressed. Have you
ever had to dip into the Xanax or
talk to a therapist?
ment of clarity been friends. Whats going on?
Weve been married three years
this month.
SAMBERG: Yeah, I have. Not a
ton. Im generally a pretty happy
person. For a lot of people, the hon-
about online PLAYBOY: If the two of you were
to have children or adopt children,
what aspects of yourself would you
esty and realness that produce the
best comedy means youre facing comments: hope they wouldnt inherit?
SAMBERG: Impatience. Its some-

None of it mat-
the world as it is. Youre trying to thing I grapple with. I can get very
uncover some truth, and that can flustered by deadlines. I get asked a
be painful and scary. Theres a lot lot why Akiva and Jorma direct and

ters. All of it is
of things about being a human on I dont. My answer is that I really
earth that there are no answers to, dont want to because Im not good
and thats the scariest part of it, de- at multitasking. I get overwhelmed
pending on your faith and what you
believe. I think most comedians be-
lieve in comedy, which we do with
easily ignored. very quickly. I like to focus on one
thing at a time and give it all my
attention. But kidsI hope they
some pretty daunting unanswered laugh a lot.
questions, and that can lead to de- PLAYBOY: Do you feel that mar-
pression. That said, when I get down its gen- PLAYBOY: Your wife, Joanna Newsom, cre- riage has changed you?
erally more about working myself too hard and ates music that is so uncommon and intro- SAMBERG: Just being in that relationship
losing my handle. Or something incredibly spective that she draws comparisons to artists made me happier, calmer, more comfortable
sad happens in the world or in my world and like Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush. Were people with life. Like I said, I dont really love being
Im affected by that. I definitely feel things surprised when you first got together, let alone alone, but the idea that you get to spend a good
deeply. And when you feel great joy and major when you got hitched in 2013? chunk of time with someone youd rather be
highs, you are susceptible to major lows. SAMBERG: At first a lot of folks who were with more than anyone else? Incredible. We
PLAYBOY: Do you check out what people on fans of hers found it confusing that we were love going to nice dinners, but we also like
the internet say about you? together, which I totally understand. When staying home and watching Game of Thrones,
SAMBERG: In my third or fourth year at SNL, you care about someones art that much, you Chefs Table or the DVD extras for Alien.
I made the mistake of looking. There was some have a relationship with it. Her work is so PLAYBOY: As TV watchers, have you ever
awful shit, things that made me think, Youre personal, special and emotional. Shes one bought something because you saw it on a
the only one everyone hates. I read one that of the greatest songwriters ever. If someone TV commercial?
basically said, He should fucking kill himself I admire artistically starts dating someone SAMBERG: I got a Squatty Potty.
so he cant procreate. That was so harsh that I dont find worthy of their art and gifts, Ill PLAYBOY: You did not.
I actually found it funny. As an experiment, I allow it to bum me out. SAMBERG: I did. The commercial sold me. I
looked up people who were at the height of their PLAYBOY: Were you a fan before you met? dont know if it was the prince, the unicorn or



whatever, but I was like, Ill buy it and try it. director, Paul Thomas Anderson, a little, and lyn Nine-Nine, whats next for you and the
It works fine, but its less comfortable. Also, I know a lot of people were surprised when that Lonely Island?
Im not trying to speed up that time in my life. casting was announced. Its fucking great, a SAMBERG: I did a few scenes playing Josh
On the toilet and in the shower are the two perfect movie, and Sandler is great in it Pecks mean older brother in a movie for
places I get to truly be alone and think. vulnerable, believable, funny and heartbreak- Net flix called S.B. Bound, directed by my
PLAYBOY: Do you have any fears that other ing. Put your trust in an incredible filmmaker old NYU roommate Chester Tam. Im basi-
people tell you are irrational? and it can work out great. Everyone who has cally like Bill Paxtons character Chet from
SAMBERG: Not that people tell me are irratio- ever been in front of a camera wants to get a Weird Science. Were producing a very odd
nal, just your basic fear of death or fear that I call from Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and funny movie, Brigsby Bear, starring the
wont be able to work anymore. Also, fear that David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike brilliant, wonderful Kyle Mooney. The ten-
Ill be in a plane going down. The best death Jonze, Wes Andersonfrom one of the many nis comedy we did last year with Kit Haring-
you can hope for is a peaceful passing sur- incredible directors you can trust. ton for HBO, 7 Days in Hell, was fucking nuts,
rounded by loved ones. The idea of and were now doing one around
being ripped from a plane in the air the Tour de France.
just feels so helpless and terrifying. PLAYBOY: Whats your comedy
This is getting dark. philosophy?
PLAYBOY: It depends on your view SAMBERG: Go after whatevers
of the afterlife, right? funny at the moment. When you
SAMBERG: My suspicion is that its have a winner, nail it and keep
like Jon Snow says: Nothing, there nailing it. I met Mel Brooks at the
was nothing at all. I believe in ener- party after the 2015 Emmys, which
gies and that theres probably some I hosted. That was a holy shit mo-
transfer into the universe of what- ment. Mel Brooks said, You were
ever it is that makes you alive. But I great because some of the jokes you
dont believe in the retaining of your told were great and some of them
consciousness. were shit, but you told the ones that
PLAYBOY: How did you react when were shit like they were great.
the Lonely Islands recent music The other people in his circle and
mockumentary, Popstar: Never Stop I laughed really hard. He and I sat
Never Stopping, got more love from down and I told him how much he
critics than from ticket buyers? meant to me, how I grew up watch-
SAMBERG: It would have been ing his stuff and blah, blah, blah. I
nice if it had made us all a lot more saw Nick Kroll and John Mulaney,
money. We probably would have so I called them over and he intro-
been given carte blanche to make duced himself to them. He goes,
another movie. But I also feel that if He was great tonight, wasnt he?
we wanted to make another movie, Some of the jokes he told were great
we could. There are so many outlets and some of them were shit, but he
now. Im not complaining about told the ones that were shit like they
how much money I have. Im fine. were great. It was so old-school
When we put out Hot Rod in 2007, it and beautiful, where he was like,
didnt perform the way we wanted, Yeah, I told a joke and it got a huge
but during a college tour promot- laugh, so Im sticking with it. His
ing Popstar, kids showed up dressed in Hot PLAYBOY: Have you ever been called by one of inflections were identical. He knew he had a
Rod costumes and with Hot Rod posters and those directors? winner, so he just nailed it.
DVDs. It found its audience. We wanted to SAMBERG: The last time I really auditioned PLAYBOY: Sounds like life is good at the top
make a movie that people would talk about in for anything was while I was at SNL. It was for Andy Samberg.
the same sentence as Billy Madison or Wet Hot a one-line thing for the Coen brothers SAMBERG: Comedy is such a strange thing in
American Summer. Were really happy with incrediblefor Burn After Reading. I came the world. On occasion, it can be treated with a
how Popstar turned out. in, said my line once, and they were like [in a lot of reverence, but its generally treated a lit-
PLAYBOY: When you were coming up, you monotone], Okay. I was like, Oh boy. tle bit less than reverentially. Still, Im doing
were often compared with and said to resem- PLAYBOY: So whats next on the agenda? this for a living. People call and ask me to
ble Adam Sandler, with whom you made the SAMBERG: This is the most relaxed Ive been come do comedy. Im writing comedy, and peo-
raunchy Thats My Boy. Do you envision your- in years, as the half beard would imply. Im ple are letting me make it. Ive already won.
self emulating his career moves? very happy. Ive been sleeping a ton. Im regen- Everything from this point on is about what
SAMBERG: One of my favorite things Sandler erating, going on family trips. I want my career to look like. When its over, I
ever did was Punch-Drunk Love. I know the PLAYBOY: Besides the new season of Brook- want to stand by all the things Ive made. n


When freelance artist Langley Fox shed her Hemingway last name, it signaled a rebirth
and, as a testament to her abilities, it hasnt hurt her career. Fashion houses and art-pop mag-
azines have commissioned her work, which emulates the things around me, she says. So it
makes sense that when we asked her to run wild with photographer Kava Gorna for an illus-
trated pictorial, Langley became inspired by their surroundings. We went out with a loose
plan on a hot summer day among flowers, trees, lakes, blue skies and lots of laughs. It was
almost obvious that nature would become the thread, says Langley. Our biggest challenge
was dodging cars and climbing over fences to find secret places, adds Kava. And I cant be
too specific about where we shot, because we definitely didnt have permission to be there.

p h oto g r a p h y by kava gorna Model & artist langley fox



LAst ChAnCe
Outmanned and outgunnedand sometimes without boots or foodcan
Afghanistans elite commando force take on ISIS and save the nation?

by Kristina shevory

p h oto g r a p h y by erin trieb


A black flag whips in the early-morning Third Platoon doing the same. The Afghan army pound serves as a lookout of sorts. Inside the
breeze. Planted in the middle of a rocky hill and national border police are to follow behind, adobe house are two tiny rooms: a kitchen with
a few hundred yards south of the mud-walled holding territory the commandos have secured. a small cookstove and a bedroom with three
compound where the Afghan commandos have The goal is to clear out the extremists so that string-laced cots. Tight quarters for a platoon
taken shelter, the flags message is clear: ISIS civilians can return to their homes. Tranquil- of 30 men to wait out a barrage in.
is here, waiting. lity fled this region over the past year after ISIS The commandos crouch in a line along the
The mission of the commandos of Afghani- fighters slithered in and embarked on a cam- southern wall, popping up to take shots and
stans First Platoon, First Special Operations paign of terror, executing locals they deemed slipping down to slam fresh magazines into
Battalion is straightforward: Find the ISIS impure and fighting pitched battles with the their M-4 rifles. Waves of incoming firefrom
fighters and take them out. The soldiers are Taliban and anyone else in their way. machine guns, rifles and the occasional rocket-
eager to take on an enemy that has killed many The soldiers are picking their way through a propelled grenadecontinue in booms, cracks,
of their own, beheaded and
blown up local villagers
and driven countless people
from their homes.
Pakistan, the source of
despite some $35 biLLion in
many of the foreign fight-
ers, lies a few miles away,
support, the AfghAn Army
over the denuded chocolate-
colored mountains that CAnt do muCh to stop isis.
stair-step up from the hill
to snowy peaks. Mud-brick
compounds, abandoned when fighting esca- stony field studded with poplar trees and dry whistles and pops. The shooting dies down for a
lated here in Afghanistans Nangarhar prov- grass that crunches underfoot when the first moment, only to roar back as soon as an Afghan
ince last summer, dot the valley floor. There shots ring out from the hill. The commandos commando stands up to fire.
is no movement except for the flags whip. No scatter, diving behind boulders and trees and Firefights usually dont last long, maybe 10 to
farmers tilling their fields. No one walking. firing back. Some sprint to a nearby compound 15 minutes, though they can feel like years. This
The stillness is unnerving. and take shelter. one is different. The shooting goes on and on. The
An order crackles over the radio: time to go. Its a lousy place to seek safety. The five-foot- insurgents must have a deep-pocketed source
The soldiers move out across the rolling valley high southern mud wall that necklaces the funding them to be able to throw this much
floor, searching one compound after another. compound is too short to provide good cover. ammo downrange. This is no pell-mell ragtag
To the west they can see their comrades from A small dirt knoll in the middle of the com- group attacking the commandos. This is ISIS.

When the regular Afghan National Army cant
finish a fight, needs to clear an area or is pinned
down, it calls in the commandos, the nations
best and perhaps final line of defense. Calls
for the elite special-operations unit have come
in faster and faster since late 2014, when the
Taliban started to retake territory vacated by
withdrawing U.S. troops and coalition part-
ners. Nearly 90 percent of foreign forces have
now left Afghanistan. Under Mullah Akhtar
Mansoura leader with a brutal reputation who
was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan in
late Maythe Taliban scored a string of battle-
field victories, moving from rural skirmishes to
direct assaults on big cities, fueled by thousands
of fighters. It now controls more of Afghanistan
than at any point since 2001, when the United
States invaded. About half the country is cur-
rently under Taliban control, and more is on the
verge of falling. And now ISISor Daesh, as its
known locallyhas also moved in.
Despite some $35 billion in training and sup-
port from the U.S. and coalition partners, the
Afghan army cant seem to do much to stop
afghan National army commandos, en route to raid an insurgent compound, read an official
them. Ravaged by desertions, internal squab-
memo from ISIS outlining sharia law for the region. bling, poor coordination between units and


afghan soldiers strap on their weapons during training and exercise drills at the commando School of Excellence, also known as Camp Commando,
on the outskirts of Kabul. the 10,000-man force is spread thin and is often without proper equipment.

officers so corrupt theyve been known to steal Beret master sergeant who trains the elite ors of red, black and green, to rows of steel risers
soldiers salaries and sell their equipment, troops. One platoon I know is being used as a crammed with Green Berets, Afghan officials
the army races to respond to attacks instead politicians personal protection force in Kabul. and the foreign contractors who run the camp.
of launching operations to root out the insur- After years of fighting and training alongside The Afghan national anthem sputters out
gents. Heavy fighting, combined with a lack of Americas legendary Green Berets, the comman- of loudspeakers; the gate glides open, and in
close air support and medical evacuations, has dos are now largely on their own. They became march five top leaders of the Afghan army,
taken its toll: Around 5,000 soldiers were killed used to their sugar daddy calling the shots and their heads turned sharply to the left, holding
in 2015nearly 30 percent more than in 2014. giving them money, arms, air support and intel- a firm salute as they pass the soldiers.
The Afghan army has yet to hammer out a ligence when things got tight. Not anymore. Now Colonel Jabar Wafa, the schools commander,
clear strategy to defeat ISIS and the Taliban; they must run the show and operate better than who with his taut, sun-drenched skin and loom-
instead it relies on the special-operations their U.S. advisorsor risk a Taliban takeover. ing build looks like an Afghan stand-in for John
troops to put out fires. The commandos wres- But how long can an overworked force of 10,000 Wayne, approaches the microphone. My hero
tled back control of the northern city of Kun- men hold together a country of 32 million people? soldiers, he says, his eyes panning the crowd,
duz after the Taliban seized it. Theyre on the you are the ones with the responsibility to pro-
front lines in the south in Helmand province, On a bracingly cool December morning in tect this country. Wherever and whenever the
buttressing a feeble army struggling to fight the mountains south of Kabul, 1,000 soldiers ANA has a tough fight, they call on you, the com-
off waves of insurgents. And now theyve been stand in formation on the hard-packed parade mandos. We will put the insurgents on the run.
sent northeast to Nangarhar to smoke out ISIS. ground at the training base known as Camp Allahu Akbar! the troops roar. God is great!
But the commandos are spread increasingly Commando. They are the latest graduates of The ceremony marks the graduation of the
thin. Their missions are supposed to last 72 the special-operations program, decked out countrys biggest class of commandos since
hours or lesshit a target and go homebut can in woodland-green camouflage uniforms and the schools founding in 2007. Five times a
actually stretch on for months. When theyre distinctive maroon berets, gripping M-4 rifles year, new recruits arrive at this former Rus-
not babysitting an area for the army, the com- squarely across their chests, eyes locked straight sian parachutist base to be trained to join a unit
mandos are sometimes used to staff road check- ahead. An improvised red carpet of tribal rugs widely considered the best in the country. They
points or bigwigs security details. The misuse stretches from the front gate, past a viewing are selected during basic training for their ap-
of commandos is endemic, says a U.S. Green platform wrapped in Afghanistans national col- titude, strength and ethnicity. Overseen by


1 2

Green Berets, they undergo a rigorous three- These Afghans get it, says Barber, wearing a 1. a 26-year-old afghan commando lies on a makeshift
month class of advanced infantry skills. The baseball cap and sporting a tattoo on his left arm stretcher after being shot during a gunfight with ISIS
from his old unit, the 82nd Airborne. When we insurgents. 2. Commandos take cover in a mud-walled
students are chosen to reflect the country:
compound near the pakistan border while ISIS pins
Nearly half are Pashtun, about 25 percent are leave, theyre going to be able to carry on. them down for nearly 16 hours. 3. overview of Camp
Tajik, and the rest Uzbek, Hazara or Turkmen. In a country where most people identify with Commando near Kabul.
Until this fall, classes were capped at 650 stu- their tribes and not as Afghans, the outlook of
dents. But the uptick in casualties and fighting some of the recruits is surprising. I joined the
has pushed the Afghan Ministry of Defense to army to serve my country, Staff Sergeant Said home to the Tora Bora cave complex where Osama
rapidly expand the commando ranks. The pass Jallaludin, 22, a Turkmen from the northern bin Laden hid early in the Iraq war, has long been
rate, once 80 percent, has been bumped to 100 city of Mazar-e-Sharif, tells me while cleaning a roiling stew of Taliban, Al Qaeda, foreign fight-
percent. Theres talk of a sixth class this year. his M-4 rifle. I want peace not only in Mazar ers, drug traffickersand now ISIS. The Paki-
The commandos are supposed to be the best- but in all of the country. If I go to Helmand, stani army launched a campaign in 2014 to drive
supplied of any unit in the Afghan army, but the Kunduz, wherever, each place is my country. extremists out of its countrys lawless northern
strain on the camps resources is evident. Bar- Theres more than a patriotic incentive to en- states. Those who werent killed fled to Nan-
racks are crowded, with at least four men per list; theres also a financial one. In the wake of garhar, recruited disgruntled Taliban and re-
room, and lines for the 16 toilets are long. Re- the U.S. and coalition troop pullout, Afghan- branded themselves as Islamic State-Khorasan,
cruits are allotted only 800 bullets instead of istans unemployment rate skyrocketed to the local affiliate of ISIS. Numbering as many as
the 5,000 rounds theyre supposed to receive. 25 percent. Jallaludin was a laborer and part- 3,000, they began a campaign of beheadings and
None of their footwear or uniforms match be- time student with few prospects; he thought the bombings, sending thousands of locals fleeing to
cause there arent enough to go around. Some army would give him a career, or at least decent the provincial capital of Jalalabad.
wear tan or black boots; many wear sneakers pay. A newly minted commando makes $250 a The situation has so alarmed Washington that
secured with laces or Velcro. monthmore if he serves in especially danger- in January, U.S. forces ramped up air strikes in
Still, the quality of the recruits has improved ous areaswhile a regular soldier receives $200. the country threefold. The Obama adminis-
since the schools early years, says Donnie Barber, At the graduation ceremony, Jallaludin goose- tration is considering slowing the scheduled
an American contractor who has been training steps forward to accept his graduation certifi- drawdown of the remaining 9,800 U.S. troops.
soldiers at the camp for the past nine years. In the cate, salutes the chief of the army and holds out Lieutenant General John Nicholson, who took
early years, he says, most troops couldnt read or his right hand. He then spins around and barks over as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan
write, and he had to teach them to count. Half the to the waiting platoons of commandos, Afghan- early this year, declared that eliminating the
current recruits are now illiterate. The new com- istan, I am ready to protect you. Islamic State and Al Qaeda branches in Afghani-
mand staff is making an effort to take better care stan is his first and foremost priority.
of soldiers and has improved meals, installed a Nangarhar is the latest region of Afghanistan to Early last year, ISIS announced it would use
volleyball court and opened a recreation center. need the commandos protection. The province, Nangarhar as a launching pad for attacks and


would advance into neighboring provinces. the night. The darkness is so thick and complete have little to no food. The army didnt issue
This angered the Taliban, and the two have its difficult to see. Figures that loom threat- any, and the soldiers dont want to pay for it.
been battling for supremacy since. For months eningly in the murk turn into benign trees on With large families to support on a salary of a
the army, distracted by other problems, left closer inspection. Hours later, the moon is bright few hundred dollars a month, its better to save
them alone to kill each other offuntil Islamic enough to illuminate the walking men. as much as they can.
State fighters started attacking and killing With daybreak only a few hours away, the By now its 3:30 in the morning and dinner
Afghan police officers. The furious provincial commandos maintain a brisk pace. The sol- is a faint memory. My photographers pack is
police chief demanded that the army intervene. diers trek up and slide down stony mountains, stuffed with 10 pounds of granola bars, energy
sometimes jumping from outcropping to out- drinks and other snacks. She pours them on the
Days later, the commandos get the call. Theyre cropping when the descent is too steep to walk. dirt floor and gestures to the commandos to
ordered to leave their base near Jalalabad and There are no trails, not even a goat track. Slip- eat. They crowd around and snatch up the food.
speed to Achin, a district in Nangarhar on the sliding, the soldiers move down into a val- A few men close their eyes for a nap. The radio
border with Pakistan that has long been home ley, finding two abandoned compounds the has gone quiet. Dawn is coming. Why arent
to a thriving Taliban-run drug trade and is now army has cleared. Exhausted, the comman- the commandos, who have night-vision goggles
the site of near-daily clashes between ISIS and dos trudge inside, First Platoon to the far right and can operate at night when the insurgents
other extremists. Things had gotten so bad compound, Third Platoon to the left. cant, moving?
there that the deputy speaker of parliament who They pull off their M-4s, lean them against I bet you anything the captain will tell us
represents Nangarhar formed his own 200-man the walls and sit down heavily. Some slip off to move at daylight, Ahmad says. And if that
militia and led it into battle against ISIS. their helmets and rest them in their laps. happens, were going to be shot at.
The commandos roll out around six p.m. in Whats next? asks Ahmad (not his real name), The sun slowly rises, streaking the sky with
a convoy of 18 Humvees. A stop in oranges, purples and pinks. Sure
central Achin to coordinate with enough, the radio buzzes. Time to
the army, police and border patrol move. The instructions are vague,
drags on till midnight. The Afghan
National Army has tentative control the shoot- the captain directing the comman-
dos to take over nearby compounds.
over a V-shape tract of ground south
of town that was under fire from the ing dies down, Ahmad curses. This is a bad idea,
he mutters. Hey, German, dont you
Islamic State. The army needs the
commandos to take enough ground onLy to roAr want to say something? he asks the
squad leader, nicknamed because of
to fill in the V and push south; the
army will follow behind and hold
that ground. At least thats the idea.
bACk As A Com- his light brown hair and pale skin.
German shrugs. Were soldiers, he
says. We follow orders.
Leading the commandos this
night is a young captain who recently
mAndo stAnds The soldiers snake out across the
valley floor, the black ISIS flag flut-
transferred from another battalion,
or kandak. Its his first job in the re-
up to fire. tering in the distance. Thats when
the attack starts.
gion. His inexperience worries the
commandos, but the rising num- Bullets chew at the dirt walls of the
ber of missions has left no seasoned officers an interpreter who works with the commandos compound where First Platoon has taken shel-
available. The rookie captain wont even have and Green Berets. No one seems to know. ter. Third Platoon has found another several
a Green Beret advisor accompanying him as a A radio sputters. Ahmad perks up, then sits hundred yards away. An RPG occasionally
backstop if he gets into trouble. After the U.S. back and groans after hearing the orders. Oh sails overhead, its distinctive whine piercing
shifted to a training and advisory role in late shit. Be ready to move. Were heading back the air. The commandos take turns along the
2014, the Afghans were put in charge of the the way we came in five minutes, he says. The southern perimeter wall, jack-in-the-boxing up
fight. U.S. Special Forces now rarely go on mis- other commandos look at one another. to fire their M-4 rifles whenever they feel a lull
sions, unless things go sideways. There isnt much to do. An order is an order. in the incoming fire. A machine gunner sets up
The captain sets up his command post and The soldiers collect their weapons and helmets in a protected spot along the wall, his weapons
heavy weapons on a small hill two miles north and get ready to leave. staccato thud-thud-thud puncturing the air.
of where the commandos will be operating But the radio buzzes again. Ahmad listens As the hours slide by, the shooting from the
usually a commander sets his post 500 yards intently. Okay, were not doing that any- unseen enemy grows thicker, advancing now
behind his assault team so he can see whats more, he says to everyone. Were to wait for from the east and west. ISIS fighters are closing
going on and support them. The commandos instructions. in. The commandos radio has gone quiet again;
complain among themselves about his incom- The next hour and a half passes this way, they cannot raise their captain. The men lean
petence and seeming lack of courage, a damn- commands ebbing and flowing like tides. against the walls, cradling their rifles, looking
ing slight in a country where a man is judged The radio buzzes with an order to move, and at one another with wide eyes. I cant believe
by his bravery. a few minutes later another order reverses it. this, says one. What is this captain thinking?
There isnt much to be done except head out. Frustration mounting, the men mutter to one Mushkele! Mushkele! Problem! Problem!
The 60 men of the two platoons slip on their hy- another that something needs to be done. someone shouts outside. The commandos race
dration packs, adjust their radios and stride into A few soldiers sip water. No one eats. They to the perimeter wall and see one of their own


Left: an afghan fighter fires his weapon at ISIS insurgents while on a mission in achin district, Nangarhar province, afghanistan. right: afghan platoon Sergeant german,
nicknamed thus because of his light hair and skin, receives news that one of his soldiers has died after being shot in the side by an ISIS sniper.

on his back, his buddies working to remove help them. I learn later that they carried their overhead. The ISIS snipers looking down from
his body armor. A bullet came in through a comrade two miles back to the overwatch site a hill, however, are on target; their rounds slice
softball-size hole in the wall, hitting his right where the captain sat, but the man died in an into the room through windows and a hole in
side, close to the underarm. The wound is deep. ambulance en route to the hospital in Jalalabad. the wall. There is no sign of the Afghan National
They bandage the downed commando and Back in the compound, the shooting gets Army soldiers who are supposed to come to the
haul a cot outside to use as a stretcher. Back to closer and louder and closer and louder. A com- commandos aid. Their only chance now is to
the radio to try to rouse help. We need a mede- mando bursts in, shouting that ISIS fighters stick it out until the sun goes down and their
vac immediately, the operator barks into the dressed in camouflage have sneaked into the night-vision gear gives them the advantage.
radio. The answer that crackles back churns neighboring compound, about 100 yards away, As day slips into night, the commandos in
their stomachs: Its a three-hour wait, the between this compound and Third Platoons. both platoons get the call theyve been waiting
voice says. There are no helicopters available. The commandos cant shoot at them for fear of for: Assault the nearby ISIS compound. They
Its a common, and lethal, issue for Afghan sol- hitting Third Platoon. creep outside, fan out in all directions and
diers: Their tiny, overstretched air force is The captain has artillery, mortars and a storm the house, killing the handful of insur-
chronically short of pilots and helicopters for .50-caliber anti-aircraft heavy machine gun gents inside with wild bursts of gunfire.
evacuating troops. all useless because theyre too far away to help. The commandos were eager to move on to as-
The commandos manage to stop their com- Ahmad passes word by radio to one of the Green sault the main ISIS forces on the hill, take out
rades bleeding, but its a temporary fix. They Berets he works with that the commandos are the snipers whod been wreaking so much havoc
know he wont last three hours. They will have pinned down and need help. Eventually an Af- and burn their flag, but their commander or-
to carry him out themselves. ghan attack helicopter arrives, circles for 10 min- dered them to retreat to the compound. Not
Four commandos lift the wounded man onto utes while randomly shooting and then departs. wanting to incur casualties, he decided to do
one of the string cots and wait for a lull in the Morale plummets; the commandos feel aban- nothing and wait to be ordered back to base,
shooting. When it comes, they each grab a bed doned. No cavalry is coming to their rescue be- Ahmad tells me later.
leg and rush across the adjoining field, head- cause they are the cavalry. Fear coils tightly in New commandos arrived on foot a day or two
ing for the relative shelter of a stand of trees. their stomachs. No one wants to say what is ap- later with supplies of food and water. There
They make it 100 yards before one of the carri- parent: ISIS is pounding their compound hard were still no helicopters available. The com-
ers is hit in the leg. The men drop to the ground before an impending invasion. Men feel for the mandos spent 10 days holed up in the com-
while another commando in the compound lays reassuring grip of their knives and think of pound with the insurgents taking occasional
down cover fire with a machine gun. The one hand-to-hand combat. potshots at them, until a general intervened
who was hit fast-limps back to the house while Thak-thak-thak. Machine gun and AK-47 fire and ordered them to retreat.
the other three grab the badly wounded man seems to be pouring in from all directions. Two The black flag still fluttered high over the
and run for the trees. A volunteer sprints out to RPGs overshoot the compound and sail high valley. n




In an era when men can wear suits or sweatpants to work, its essential
to know the foundational principles of looking good. Here are 20 timeless
best practices from our favorite style experts and designers

p h oto g r a p h y by
david prince


1. The work boot works with 6. And yes, The

shoes will mAke
everything. iT or breAk iT.
A great pair of boots is an investment that will Women notice
give your look character. And as they get worn footwear. For that
in, theyll become a part of your personal sig- reason, among several
nature. You can wear a classic work boot ev- others, the shoes are
erywhere and with everything from jeans at a where any wardrobe
overhaul should begin.
concert to a suit on a date at a nice restaurant.
the good news? Just
Texas-based Helm Boots slims the profile of its as that pair of square-
made-in-the-USA stompers with the new Ayers toed slip-ons youve
model (pictured at right). The slightly dressier had since high school
silhouette still feels casual with a rubber sole will ruin your nine-
and Helms trademark white stripe. to-five look, the right
pair of suede loafers
or pristine high-tops
2. A suit is more than a suit. can raise an otherwise
You probably dont wear a suit to work every toned-down ensemble
day, but its still an important wardrobe player to new heights.
if you pitch it right. The key is to pick a versa-
tile style you can break apart and wear as sep- 7. spend money on
big iTems.
arates. Look for a slim version with natural,
Certain things in your
unpadded shoulders and less-formal patch closet have a longer
pockets, like Suitsupplys Havana model ($499, shelf life than others. The jacket can serve as a Jeans, shirts and
blazer with a pair of jeans, and the slim trousers sweaters will wear
will work with a casual sweater or even a high- out, look dated or get
ruined by hot sauce
low combination such as a hoodie and boots (see
within a few years.
Rule 5). A solid shade is always a good choice, or outerwear, suits and
dial it up with a subtle windowpane plaid in gray leather-soled shoes
and camel Italian wool. can last decades.
Helm Boots Ayers Transparent frames signal that youre above three things to re-
3. Make your new pair of in black, $495,
the style-wars fray, but their attitude makes member: First, buy in neutral tones such as
jeans 1990s-style washed an indelible impression nonetheless. Cutler
navy, gray or black
black denim. and Gross offers splurge-a-rific see-through colors that never go
No sweat if you missed Kurt Cobain, grunge sunnies in either round or D-frame mod- out of style. Second,
and faded black denim the first time around. els with groovy green lenses, while Moscots learn how to spot-
Somehow an amalgam of rocker bona fides and squared-off 1960s Nebb style oozes The clean a jacket and use
soulful nuance, washed and artfully distressed Graduate cool. a shoe brush. third,
treat these items
black jeans are the newest denim treatment for
like the investments
those bent on escaping the ever-present blues. 5. Its time to elevate your they are; if it doesnt
Take Nudie Jeanss interpretation from its Rep- hoodie game. hurt a bit when you
lica series based on actual worn pairs, in the No excuses. This fall, all the big designers buy them, youre not
skinny Grim Tim fit ($250, have a heightened take on the humble hoodie: spending enough.
To avoid flyover-country overtones, keep the Rag & Bones black funnel-neck version under
8. buy quAliTy,
look simple and sharp with just an inky black a slim overcoat, Michael Korss skiwear-
noT brAnds.
T-shirt or an urban parka and grounded with inspired hoodiebomber jacket hybrid or It feels good to own
black lace-up boots or canvas kicks. L.A. streetwear ace John Elliotts oversize a coveted label, but
textured hoodie layered over his signature designer brands dont
4. Clear is the new black when elongated tees. A spiffed-up hoodie, often in always carry the same
it comes to eyewear. a fabric with a high-tech sheen, raises your quality throughout
their product range.
Going clear is a reverse-chic move thats style game without sacrificing the comfort of
If youre going to
trending in both sunglasses and eyeglasses. an old standby. splurge on a big
name, make it count:
things like burberry
trenches, gucci

woMeN NoTICe fooTweAR. foR ThAT loafers and brunello

Cucinelli cashmere

ReASoN, The ShoeS ARe wheRe ANy sweaters are iconic

and worth the money.

wARdRobe oveRhAul Should begIN. yeezy white t-shirts,

not so much.


13. buy Trends in

The TReNd TowARd ACTIveweAR IS Accessories.
botanical prints are
NoT CARTe blANChe To RoCk youR big right now. buy
them in shirts, socks,

pAjAMAS To dINNeR. ties, maybe a five-

panel hatbut not a
suit. trends are fun to
wear, but they work
best when combined
9. you can carry a backpack, interior zip pockets and an inner sleeveall with the classic
but you need to up your game. in a noticeable but still neutral olive. standbys already in
Theres no reason to give up the hands-free your wardrobe. Need
convenience of a backpack out in the real 10. would-be collectors, proof? google Justin
world, but its time for a smarter-looking ver- embrace the starter watch. timberlake denim
suit. you never want
sion. Emerging brand Haerfest (pronounced The classic Rolex Datejust tops the list for new-
to be that guy.
harvest) has just the ticket. Its J1 backpack comers, according to Jon Goldfarb, owner of
(pictured below) is a luxury-meets-tech combo Second Time Around Watch Company, a Beverly 14. selvedge is
of leather and sturdy, line-patterned premium Hills institution for 40 years. Its recognizable good; sTreTch
nylon. Neither too large nor too small, the and holds its value. Its something most peo- selvedge is
carryall features a fully lined main compart- ple will recognize when a guy is wearing one on beTTer.
Haerfest J1 Selvedge jeans in dark
ment and a front pouch, both cleanly designed backpack, $375, his wrist, he says. The iconic watch dates back
indigo are an integral
with concealed zippers, as well as smaller to 1945 and is still made today. Expect to shell part of any mans ward-
out anywhere from the mid-$2,000s to the low robe, but spending six
$3,000s for a standard model; variables affect- months breaking in a
ing the price include whether its all stainless pair is no fun. recent
or stainless with white or yellow gold, whether advances in textile
technology, however,
it has a classic silver dial or a more uncommon
have made it possible
colored face, and whether it comes with its origi- to have great-looking
nal presentation box and papers. selvedge jeans that
are also exceptionally
11. This is the only skin product comfortable from the
you need to face the world. first wear. try on a pair
of Naked & Famous
Hollywood mens grooming expert Cheryl
Denims Weird guy
Marks, who tends to Will Arnett among other stretch selvedge ($166,
celebrities, says her guys go nuts over Jack and
Black Double Duty SPF 20 face moisturizer youll never go back.
($28, It has everything
they need, and they dont feel like they have 15. donT seTTle
for A shirT ThAT
anything on, she says. It does its job and feels
doesnT fiT
good on the skin. Lightweight and non-oily, properly.
the potion hydrates skin for a better appear- all shirts are not
ance and offers broad-spectrum protection created equal, nor
against UVA and UVB rays. Fragrance-free are they sized the
and packed with vitamins and antioxidants, sameso dont settle
for a button-down that
its formulated for all skin types.
doesnt fit just right.
Shorter, skinnier guys
12. Athleisure: just because you can turn to Uniqlo
can doesnt mean you should. (sized for petite Japa-
Its now possible to be both comfortable and nese dudes) and thom
stylish (see: tapered sweats, ultralight run- browne, while classic
american brands
ners, looser cuts), but there are limits. The
including J. Crew and
trend toward activewear does not give you ralph Lauren tend
carte blanche to rock your pajamas to dinner to fall on the larger
or dress head-to-toe in matching logos like an side. once you find
off-duty gym teacher. The winning play here a shirt that suits you
is moderation, combining one or two informal (shoulder seams
should sit at the edge
elements with an otherwise put-together look.
of your shoulders; the
Try a pair of monochromatic Nike Roshe Ones front should be snug
($75, with dark jeans for a style without puckering),
thats equal parts sporty and polished. buy it in quantity.

18. find A sTyle
icon And leT him
guide you.
Maybe its your dad,
maybe its Steve
McQueen, maybe its
Cornel West. these
guys spent decades
perfecting the art
of dressing, and you
could definitely learn
a thing or two from
them. take note not
just of what they
wear, but of how
they wear it, the
countless details
that make a studied
outfit look effortless.
Finally, make the look
your own, adding
and subtracting
elements to tailor it
to your lifestyle and

19. buy locAl

(And pAy A
biT more for iT).
guys have more
style options than
ever before, from
international mega-
retailers as well as
homegrown brands.
both have their
strengths, but buying
clothes that are made
in the United States
not only supports
our economy, but the
garments are often of
much higher quality
than fast-fashion
imports. Check out
alden for shoes, Free-
man for outerwear
John Varvatos wool
16. youll need a tailor (a really 17. A little military goes a long peacoat, $1,298, and tanner goods
good one). way. for belts and wallets.
Some guys can dress entirely off the rack and Fashion has gone hard corps for fall, with Spend a bit extra and
feel good about wear-
look great, but for the rest of us it takes a bit military looks crowding the runways along
ing something made
of modification. This is doubly true when it with an attendant surfeit of shiny brass but- in your hometown.
comes to suiting, which succeeds or fails de- tons, kitschy braid trim and tricked-out fa-
pending on how well it fits your body. A good tigue jackets. Serviceman style has been a 20. Accessorize
tailor can mean the difference between your perennial influence for designers, but you wisely.
looking like a kid in his dads suit and looking want to look current, not like youre dressed personalize your style
by working in a hand-
like the guy who owns the place. Do some re- for a costume party. Go for a contemporary
crafted accessory.
search. Ask around. Approach the best-dressed interpretation such as the wool peacoat from It might be a rough-
man in your office and find out where he gets John Varvatos (pictured above), with its regi- hammered silver
his clothes tailored. And then be explicit about mental border stripe in a subtly contrasting bracelet, a worn and
what you want. Traditional tailors can be a con- gray and the unexpected but sleek addition aged vintage belt or
servative lot, so if you want that suit skinny, of black leather panels at the pockets. As Mr. a handmade leather
portfolio. Keep it
make sure they make it skinny. If you like a Varvatos himself says, Military-inspired
simple and take some
high-water look, dont let them talk you out of clothes are masculine and classic. They never time to search out
it. The first time you wear a jacket or trousers go out of style, which is why men love wearing the talisman that says
that fit you perfectly, youll understand. them each season. something about you.


h e r ea
a e
enough to help is wayward wif
t be d h
ay no and fin
of intentions m t hapless husb
t bu
The bes hopeful

by colin winnette
photography by trey Wright



We have some information about your wife, said a voice on the phone, and I was given
an address. This was good news. I hadnt heard from her in days. I ordered a car and be-
cause were pinching pennies, I agreed to share the ride with another rider along the way.
She rode in the front with the driver, and they talked about which flowers were in sea-
son, because she was a florist and headed to work. When she asked where I was headed,
I told her I was on my way to find my wife, and outside the building only a minute or two later. about how important those pages were to me, how
she offered me a discount at her shop, if I was Confident in our financial future, and know- they were going to help get things back on track
willing to stop. ing that I was running a little bit later than Id and please my wife, whom I hadnt heard from in
These will show her that you care, she said, intended, I opted not to share the ride but to go several days, and would even provide her comfort,
stripping the thorns from the marked-down straight to the address Id been provided. The but suddenly I was willing to abandon those pages
bouquet. driver asked if we could take the highway, and I and even apologize to him, the man whose car the
Id had to let the car go, but it was easy enough to deferred to his expertise, believing this would be pages had been abandoned to, to boot. He told me
order another, and, in the spirit of our new penny- the fastest and clearest route, as well as the one that my eagerness to please was undermining the
pinching arrangement, again I shared the ride. that would provide grand vistas of the moun- desired results, as he would have actually been
Youre a decent man to share this ride, said tains and the bay, allowing me to reflect on the much happier to see me grow upset over the loss of
the other rider, shaking my hand while passing time Id spent without my wife, my expectations the pages, to blame him for the presence of the ad-
me a business card. She was a financial advisor, for our reunion, and how difficult it can be to hesive and the consequent damage to my presen-
specializing in retirement plans for freelance know what you want in life and actually get your tation, my plan, my wifes comfort level, because
workers, which both my wife and I are. hands around it. it would confirm his belief that Id been honest
When I explained how funny that was, that You seem thoughtful, said the driver, who with him about caring about those things, thereby
she was a financial advisor and Id shared the had a calming presence, it was true, and an even bringing us closer, but what I had done instead
ride in part because of our recent financial more calming voice, so calming in fact that I was present a mask of kindness and acceptance,
troubles and a half-cocked attempt at recover- opened up to him without even really realizing it, which required him to affirm my good behavior,
ing from them while working to prevent them in explaining how Id been thinking about how dif- to mirror what a capable and understanding man
the future, she seemed alarmed. ficult it can be to know what you want in life and I was, what a decent human, thereby actually dis-
Nothing to do with finances should be half- actually get your hands around it, showing him tancing us, making him feel that I was withhold-
cocked, she said, and she offered to take a look the flowers, which were beginning to wilt, and ing my true feelings, not being forthright, opting
at our books that afternoon, to help determine the folder of paperwork, which I presented up- instead to take what could have been an honest ex-
if our plans would yield positive results, or if we side down, spilling a page or two, nothing all that change between two strangers on a track toward
were only designing more trouble for ourselves. important, while explaining how these little pre- knowing one another a little better and smother
When I explained that I was on my way to find my paratory steps would make things easier, would it with my neediness, clouding the exchange with
wife at that very moment, she said, Imagine how help get things back on track, and would please my own compulsive need to see how wonderful I
your wife will feel if you arrive with that beauti- my wife, whom I hadnt heard from in a few days, was mirrored in anyone and everyone I encoun-
ful bouquet and a rock-solid plan for your finan- and maybe even offer her a little bit of comfort. tered, which I masked as an attempt to please
cial future, and it was hard to argue that she I tried to collect the pages from the floor of the him, but was actually an attempt to please myself.
wouldnt feel good. Money had always been a con- car, but they were stuck, facedown, to something Wed arrived at the address, where I paid him
cern for my wife, shed never felt entirely stable, that had been spilled there, for which the driver and tipped handsomely, and he left me with his
and the thought of putting that lifelong worry of apologized, explaining that it wasnt technically business card, should I need clarification on
hers to bed once and for all was exciting enough his car, but his cousins. The driver worked as a what wed gone over, taped to an invoice for the
to get me to let the second car go and follow the fi- counselor during the days and borrowed the car in session, totaling $1,000, which was a sizable bite
nancial advisor up to her office, where we pored the late afternoons from his cousin, who worked from what was left of our checking account and
over the available data and came up with what evenings at an adhesive factory and sometimes would have to be gone over with the new finan-
sounded like a pretty good plan. We invested transported buckets of adhesive to and from work cial advisor.
most of the savings, but the investments were in the car before turning it over. I told the driver The address was for a vacant lot with a tele-
diverse and, she assured me, would yield healthy it was fine, that the pages werent really all that phone at its center, surrounded by a few men and
profits over time, though surely they would dip important anyway, and I apologized for having women in suits, all of whose attention was on me.
and plateau as well, that was only natural for added to the mess in the backseat, at which point I approached them, greeted them, explained
something so chaotic and strange, but generally he sighed and shook his head and told me that if that I was sorry to bother them, but Id received
trackable, as financial systems. She provided a I was actually going to get my hands around what a call. You have some information about my
folder for the paperwork detailing all wed done, I wanted in life I would have to start standing up wife? I said.
and I ordered a third car, which met me right for myself, as just a moment ago Id been talking Yes, they said. She was just here. n



PhotograPhy by chris heads

Women have gained more freedom in both business and everyday life than ever before, says
Miss September Kelly Gale. Of course, I say that as someone influenced by Swedish culture.
Yes, Kelly is a Swedeborn in Gteborg, the countrys second-largest citybut shes also eth-
nically Australian, via her father, and Indian, via her mother. Altogether, shes the epitome of a
cosmopolitan woman. She holds two passports, is fluent in two languages and is an advocate for
equal rights, a position informed by the progressive attitude embraced by her homeland, which
offers 480 days of parental leave and has a female archbishop heading the Church of Sweden.
Women in Sweden are treated with a revolutionary level of respect that is unsurpassed in his-
tory, she says. Still, the biggest obstacle is appreciatingand incorporatingeach genders
uniqueness into society. We shouldnt shy away from the fact that women develop differently
from men. We shouldnt listen to a female leader only when she has masculine characteristics.
Instead of moving toward one omni-sex, which sometimes seems like what were trying to do,
we need to learn to benefit from mens, womens and transgender peoples individual voices.

Miss septeMber 2016

k e l l y g a l e

AGE: 21 BIRTHPLACE: Gteborg, Sweden CURRENT CITY: New York

My dreaM job I refuse to take a cab or public that behavior negatively affects
I am a passionate cook and have transportation unless Im run- young women. What you see and
always dreamed of working with ning late or its freezing outside. read isnt always the truth, and
food. (According to my friends and there's a huge problem today
family, Im great at it.) I make my QUit droning on with young girls egos and how
own breakfast every morning, and Small talk bores me. I won't start a they relate to what they see on
I'm most likely cooking a three- conversation I have no interest in social media. Unfortunately, this
course dinner on a Friday night. havingand I never pretend to be probably wont change until so-
Fooddark chocolate especially interested when Im not. Im hon- cial media becomes outdated.
is something that will always make est and real. In other words, I wont
me happy. In the future Id love to say I love your shoes unless I ac- dont forget the White Wine
go to culinary school, write cook- tually love the shoes. Also, dont Growing up on Swedens west
books and perhaps even open my ask me how much I get paid or any- coast, I learned how to fish and
own health-food caf. thing about makeup or clothing prepare my catch, which I still do
trends. I dont care about trends. when I go back home. Right now
Walk it off, she says Im obsessed with grilling a whole
Im dedicated to having a happy the doWnside to having a fish, like a branzino, stuffed with
and healthy lifestyle, and part of social life lemon, capers, garlic, chili and
that means I walk a lot. And Im Its easy to paint a nice picture parsley and serving it with grilled
a superfast walker. Most people of your life in the Instagram era, vegetables. Sushi is also a guilty
dont love that about me because but were now witnessing how pleasure of mine.

@KellyBellyBoom @KellyBellyBoom

The Rise and Fall of

Loon Chauncey Loon Hawkins was Harlem hustler royalty, a hit-writer for
Puff Daddy and a crucial part of the Bad Boy Records family. He looks back at
the wave that took him and the wreckage it left behind

by Thomas Golianopoulos

The music video for I Need a Girl (Part Two) One: The fans on the setthe women in friendliest prison guards man the front desk.
is peak Puff Daddy absurdity, a guys night particularwerent there merely for Puff. It A bit past nine a.m., Muhadith, the man who
out of epic proportions that begins with a he- was amazing to hear people actually screaming revived Puff Daddys music career after writ-
licopter landing and ends at a mansion party for me, Loon recalls. It was everything I had ing the I Need a Girl series, enters the room.
featuring a girl-to-guy ratio of about 10 to one. worked for, everything I had strived for. His standard-issue uniform consists of drab
For Chauncey Hawkins, then known as the Then it all changed. Just as Hawkins had olive-green khakis, a matching button-down
rapper Loon, it was the first time he felt like become Loon, Loon became Amir Junaid shirt and black Nike sneakers. For a man of 41,
a hip-hop star. Muhadith, and then, in July 2013, he became Muhadith sports a privileged, tight hairline.
Loon arrived on the Miami set that Febru- a federal inmate in North Carolina. Far from And though hes gained 17 pounds since being
ary 2002 afternoon with a plan. First, he se- the private helicopters and champagne flutes, incarcerated, hes still in excellent shape
lected his motorcycle for the video, settling on Muhadith is loath to discuss the journeyhis thanks to daily calisthenics, cardio and the
a Harley-Davidson chopper with ape-hanger debauched life as Sean Combss wingman; the requisite lifting routine, though only to stay
handlebars that not only looked cool but pro- horrors of crack-era Harlem that he barely toned. I cant get prison swole, he jokes. But
vided a stable ride. He also decided to play to escaped; the sex, drugs and violence. whats most striking is his majestic beard, an
the camera. In his previous video with Puffy, How can I explain this without glorifying unruly gray-speckled mass that extends half-
I Need a Girl (Part One), Loon at times it? he says. way down his chest.
faded into the background. This time around Since this is a minimum-security build-
he was more confident, brazenly elbowing his Situated about 20 minutes north of Durham, ing, little trouble brews here. Sure, tempers
way into shotsdancing, champagne flute North Carolina, the Butner Federal Correc- occasionally flare, as is natural when some
in hand, surrounded by women; leaning on tional Complex emerges like a squat concrete 300 men share any institutional facility, but
a Ferrari 360 Spider as if he owned it; weav- box from the verdant undergrowth. Its a sunny nobody would risk being sent up the road to
ing through the streets of Miami on his bike spring morning, and the visiting room is awash a higher-security building. Muhadith scans
alongside Puff and the R&B singer Ginuwine, with friends and family of inmates. A little the room. I know all these guys, he says.
appearing to be every bit as much a celebrity girl plays Connect Four against a man with You can tell whos in here for drugs and whos
as his more famous collaborators. tattooed knuckles. A woman wearing a Tom in here for white-collar crimes. Jesse Jack-
But something else had changed since Part Brady jersey hugs an inmate. The worlds two son Jr. served time here. Bernie Madoff is in

illustration by Jimmy turrell


a medium-security building. A spy, Spanish He is, in other words, firmly in the ith was 14, one of his friends was shot outside
guy, Dominguez, was here, Muhadith says. presentthough at times hes like an old building number four.
He told me stories about [former Panama- guy at a bar, reminiscing about his heyday. Fearing for her grandsons safety, Evelyn
nian dictator Manuel] Noriega. Im actually grateful that those things hap- sent him to live with his godfather, the movie
Muhadiths trip here began in December 2008 pened, he says, because all those events led producer George Jackson (Krush Groove, New
when he quit the music industry, converted to me to where I am now. Jack City), in Beverly Hills. Suddenly Muhad-
Islam and renamed himself Amir Junaid Mu- ith was the original Fresh Prince. He was still
hadith. In 2010 he moved to Egypt, where he The Harlem of Amir Muhadiths formative angry, though, and still hobnobbed with the
subsisted as a television host and nascent voice years didnt resemble the glories of the Harlem wrong crowd. He was classmates with Angelina
on the religious-lecture circuit. Then, in No- Renaissance or the gentrified neighborhood it Jolie and other rich kids at Beverly Hills High
vember 2011, he was arrested in Brussels Air- is today; some of the brownstones featured on but gravitated toward the Mansfield Crips on
port on felony drug charges. The indictment Million Dollar Listing New York were crack the West Side. He was nicknamed Loon, as
stated that Muhadith knowingly and inten- houses when Loon walked these streets. In in loony Loon, for doing crazy shit, mostly
tionally conspiredwith others, known and his Harlem, kids grew up fast; Muhadith spent fighting, and he lived up to the moniker. I beat
unknown, to possess with intent to distribute his boyhood fighting, selling crack, smoking the wheels off this white boy on my track team
heroin in North Carolina between 2006 and weed, snorting coke, shooting dice and having for putting his feet on me at practice, Muha-
2008. He pleaded guilty upon his extradition sex with older women. I grew up exposed to a dith recalls. Embarrassed, Jackson threw him
to the United States. According to Muhadith, lot of criminal behavior, he says. out after a little more than a year.
he had two felonies already under his belt and His parents, William Hamburger Hughley Back with his grandparents in Harlem,
risked getting 25 years to life if he went to trial. and Carol Hawkins, were dubbed the Bonnie Muhadith slung crack. I started hustling
He couldnt take that chance. He was sentenced and Clyde of 116th Street, hustlers who profited to be in the streets with my mother. In some
to 14 years in prison. from Harlems heroin epidemic in the 1970s. sick, sadistic way that was my way of being
Muhadith calls it guilt by association. Burger was sporty, stylish. He also may not be with her, he says. Me and my mom are like
brother and sisterthats com-
mon where I come from. But she
put me through so much.
Loon was a perfect fit for Carol Hawkins gambled, stole
crack from dealers and even
bad boy. cooL, cocky and hand- helped herself to her sons stash,

some, he personified turn-of- which was hidden in a hollowed-

out stuffed animal. My mom

the-miLLennium harLem swag. stole so much money from me

that it put me in debt to some
malicious guys, Muhadith says.
Once hed paid back his suppli-
Everything was hearsay. There was no tangi- Muhadiths biological father. Carol worked for ers, he made a deal with his mother: I told
ble evidence. To hear him tell it: One night the drug lord Nicky Barnes, dubbed Mr. Un- her, If you stop using drugs, Ill stop selling
at Hot Beats Recording Studio in Atlanta, a touchable by The New York Times Magazine. drugs, because you are about to get me killed.
rapper he was advising asked Muhadith to in- When she became pregnant, Carol says, Barnes From that day on, my mother was drug-free,
troduce him to a heroin supplier. Muhadith threw her a million-dollar baby shower. and I left the streets. I never sold drugs again.
complied, which he says was the end of his in- Born in 1975, Muhadith had everything
volvement but enough to place him under the growing up but supervision. I was a great Although hip-hop was born nearby, in the
umbrella of conspiracy once federal charges provider, because I hustled, Carol says. It Bronx, Harlem wasnt fertile ground for rap-
were brought against the other artist. didnt change until he was about five, which pers. Rap was considered a reach, while crack,
Muhadith says there are discrepancies in was when a lot of the crackdown started. Then on the other hand, was making a lot of people
the case, including one that should have got- that crack demon came along. Barnes was a lot of money. That route closed for Muhadith
ten it thrown out: The indictment states that sent away in 1978, a few years before crack with his mothers sobriety.
he was involved in this conspiracy from 2006 replaced heroin as the neighborhood scourge. He started by writing rhymes in a diary.
to 2008. But, he says, he didnt meet the indi- By the time that transition was complete, in Eventually, after filling notebook after note-
vidual until 2008. Why did he even make the the mid-1980s, Carol, once a budding queen- book, he found the courage to spit for hip-hop
introduction? That, um, was just me being pin, was a junkie. pioneer Fab 5 Freddy, a friend of George Jack-
stupid, really, he says wistfully. It was just While Carol battled addiction, her mother, sons and the host of Yo! MTV Raps. Freddy
a brief introduction. It cost me 168 months. Evelyn Hawkins, a pious beautician, and wasnt impressed. Thats a freestyle, he said
Muhadith, who sprinkles his speech with her father, John, a World War II vet, raised dismissively after each rhyme. However, he
Arabic and verses from the Koran, remains Muhadith in Esplanade Gardens. The 1,872- did offer some constructive criticism: Write
upbeat despite his long sentence. The thing unit complex situated on the Harlem River complete concepts and complete stories. With
that makes this easy for me is my religion, was originally sold as a middle-class oasis that advice in hand, the newly named Loon set
he says. As long as I accord to what Islam with an Olympic-size swimming pool and out to pursue a career in rap.
teaches, it doesnt matter where Im at. the subway at its doorstep. But when Muhad- In 1997, Harlem finally produced a bona


left: loon (right) in 2003 with music industry legend l.a. reid. right: now known as amir Junaid muhadith, loon resides in the butner Federal Correctional Complex in north Carolina.

fide rap star, Masea former high school verses or hooks. I saw an opportunity in that dered; Burger died of cancer when Loon was a
basketball player who shelved his hoop dreams blackboard, Muhadith says. What was meant teen. Puff and Loon bonded, and one night in
to hit it big with Puff Daddys Bad Boy Records. to be a four-day gig stretched into a two-week- the studio Puff spilled his guts about his re-
After his 1997 debut album, Harlem World, long residency that produced 11 songs and a cent breakup with Jennifer Lopez. This was
went quadruple platinum, he asked Loon to relationship that would alter both of their a broken guy, Muhadith says. Hes telling me
anchor a rap group also named Harlem World. careers. Loon even postponed his wedding, the story of him and J. Lo. I lost my girl. I got
There was a problem: Loon and Mase were en- scheduled for the week after he first arrived it all and no one to share it with. Then it hits
gaged in a cold war of sorts. The two rappers in Miami, to write for Puff. me. Loon took Puffs tragedythe personal
shared a similar voice and flow, which in the Every day he said he was coming home. anecdotes, the feelings, the emotionsand
provincial world of Harlemand hip-hop in Finally I was like, All right, what is going on? crafted I Need a Girl (Part One), a post-
generalwas a violation. Still, Loon joined He was like, I cant leave. I have to finish this breakup love letter from Puff to J. Lo for the
forces with his longtime frenemy. The groups album. This was days before the wedding, entire world to hear.
album tanked, and Mase left the music indus- says his wife, Nona Crowd. He convinced me First we were friends then became lovers
try for the church shortly thereafter. we werent canceling the wedding, just post- You was more than my girl, we was like
Following a string of failed deals at Sony poning it, because this was his big chance. The brothers
and Arista, Loon turned to ghostwriting for wedding was postponed for nearly nine years. All night we would play fight under covers
artists including Shaquille ONeal and Puff Puff was impressed with Loons drive. Puff Now you gone, cant love you like I really
Daddy. Then, in the summer of 2000, he found loved the work ethicwell, Puff likes whoever wanna
himself in Miami, writing for Puff Daddys can make him money, says Loons former But every time I think about your pretty
upcoming album The Saga Continues. It Harlem World group mate Michael Blinky smile
was an important comeback attempt for Bad Blink Foster. He also likes people who dont And how we used to drive the whole city wild
Boy following the Notorious B.I.G.s death, complain. If Puff didnt like what he wrote, Damn I wish you wouldve had my child.
Mases retirement and the disappointing Loon would just write another verse.
sales of Puffs previous album, Forever. Noth- The two Harlemites shared more than am- I Need a Girl (Part One) and its sequel, I
ing was left to chance. At Circle House Stu- bition: Their fathers, it turned out, had been Need a Girl (Part Two), both featuring Loon,
dios, a blackboard loomed on the wall, marked friendsand largely absent from both of their were Puffs biggest hits in years, peaking at
with song titles and progress reports denoting lives. Puff was three years old when his father, number two and number four respectively on
which songs were complete and which needed a hustler named Melvin Combs, was mur- the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Bad Boy Records


in the distance. When he went inside to un-

pack, the three seagulls landed on his balcony.
Something really special was happening in
my heart, Muhadith says. His mind swam
with the recent positive exchanges hed had
with Muslims in Senegal, Kazakhstan and
Dubai. The solution to his problems became
clear. He ran to the lobby, asking, How do I
become a Muslim? A man led him in reciting
the shahada, the Muslim profession of faith.
From then on he decided to abstain from
past sinsdrugs, alcohol, adultery and music.
Crowd saw an immediate difference. He was
more caring, honest. He paid more attention,
she says. Seeing the changes he was making
was an inspiration.
Being a Muslim in Butner isnt that bad,
Muhadith says. Inmates can prepare their
own food and are provided with a meal be-
fore dawn during Ramadan. As the prison
imam, Muhadith continues to study Islam and
teaches Arabic.
You see this guy behind us? Military guy,
he tells me without lowering his voice. He
loon (left) with Puff Daddy at the premiere of Bad Boys II in new york City in 2003. said some derogatory remarks about Muslims
that got back to me. I didnt get mad. I ap-
proached him and said, Seventy-two percent
of Americans have never met a Muslim. Is it
safe to say that youre one of them?
was back, armed with a new star. Loon gave or marketed properly because, he says, he Muhadith places his hand on my shoul-
Bad Boy a boost, says former Hot 97 DJ Mis- was receiving a higher percentage of royalties der. Look, I dont want people to think Im
ter Cee. I Need a Girl dominated radio. It than most Bad Boy artists. I had a few heated a square, he says. Im not a holy roller. I
got the Bad Boy train rolling again. moments with Puff. I wanted to fight him, still have a personality. I still have a sense of
Muhadith says. But I liked Sean John Combs; humor. His high-pitched giggle and dead-
At first glance, Loon seemed to be a perfect I wasnt really a Diddy fan. In December pan witIts my cheat day, he says when
fit for Bad Boy. Cool, cocky and handsome, he 2004, he left Bad Boy on a good note. (Combs selecting an Almond Joy from the vending
personified turn-of-the-millennium Harlem and Bad Boy president Harve Pierre declined machineare apparent. I just have bound-
swag. His music also slotted nicely into the requests to comment.) aries. Before, I had no boundaries.
space left vacant following Mases departure: Loon grew frustrated as he attempted to
sly wordplay and a lethargic flowwhich, yes, reignite his career out from under the shadow Soon after his spiritual awakening, Muha-
was similar to Masesover bubbly produc- of Bad Boy. Performances and royalties paid diths life took another significant turn. For
tion built for the clubs. the bills, but he lived check to check. He was years hed heard whispers that Joseph Jazz
Loons ascent continued with cameos on drinking more, smoking more weed, playing Hayden, a former associate of Nicky Barness
hit records from Mario Winans, Toni Brax- video games all night. In interviews he lashed whod served 13 years for manslaughter, was
ton and 3LW, but the business of music inter- out at Mase and others. He hit the rapper 40 his biological father. After hanging out with
fered when Bad Boys transition from Arista Cal with a shovel during an altercation at a Hayden, Muhadith noticed similarities.
to Universal delayed his solo album. There Harlem barbershop. He felt overwhelmed: A Something about his style, he says, the
were also artistic differences. Loon was un- hit record meant hed have to write another way he walked, the way he talked. Muhadith
comfortable being the labels token dream- hit record and another after that. There was hopes to take a DNA test soon.
boat rapperthe wedding singer, as he calls no end in sight. Who does he think is his father, Burger
itand yearned to make grittier records simi- I was empty, Muhadith says. I hadnt Hughley or Jazz Hayden? I dont know. Im 41
lar to his 1995 single, Scotch on the Rocks, cried in a long time. I hadnt felt anything in years old and Im not sure who my father is,
or You Made Me from the Harlem World a long time. He was searching for something, he says. It doesnt matter. Both are hood roy-
album. But, he says, Puff frowned whenever and he found it early one morning while on alty. He then smiles. Ask my mom. Im curi-
Loon strayed from his lane. tour in Abu Dhabi. ous what shed say.
Released in October 2003, Loons self-titled The story of how Loon converted to Islam is Two weeks later, I meet Carol Hawkins on
debut was a modest success, peaking at num- neat and convenient, almost like a superhero the corner of 116th Street and Adam Clayton
ber six on the Billboard 200 before plummet- origin story. From his balcony at the Emir- Powell Jr. Boulevard, outside the First Corin-
ing. He believes the album wasnt promoted ates Palace hotel, he saw three seagulls flying thian Baptist Church, where she worships.


She wears furry Steve Madden boots, khakis was Burger. It kept away a lot of hurt and ex- with his wife, who works as a chef in North
and a plaid shirt with a cream wool sweater plaining. Hayden, now a community activist, Carolina and visits him regularly, and his
coat over it. Her hair is pulled back in a tight did not respond to e-mails. seven children, and he hopes to return to the
ponytail. We drive uptown in her black Nissan We sit quietly in the Pathfinder. Then she lecture circuit to share his story with Muslim
Pathfinder before parking on 148th Street in calls her parents. You wanna go up and meet youth. A move overseas, once its possible, is
front of Esplanade Gardens. Then she tells the them? she asks me. more than likely. He wont write or record new
story of how she met Nicky Barnes. Hawkins exits her car gingerly. Shes 61, and music, though he does admit to sometimes
One day on her way home from tennis, she her knees are shot. As we make our way to the thinking about rap, comparing the sensation
spotted a handful of police officers with bin- entrance, she gives an improvised tour of Es- to what a recovered alcoholic must feel when
oculars at a gas station on 150th Street. As she planade Gardens. This is the smoking cor- walking past a liquor store. And sometimes
walked toward her building, she recognized ner, she says. It was my smoke corner, then its unavoidable. At one point during the af-
Barnes, by that point a notorious neighbor- my kids, then my kids kids. ternoon, the visitation-room radio blasts Mo
hood figure, at the bus stop. She warned him On the 27th floor sits the Hawkinses three- Money Mo Problems by the Notorious B.I.G.,
about the surveillance and offered to hide his bedroom apartment; a balcony offers stun- Mase and Puff Daddy.
stash in her parents apartment. Ever since ning views of Harlem to the west and Yankee Muhadith was disappointed to learn about
then, I was holding drugs, she tells me. After Stadium to the north. My mother loves them the current Bad Boy reunion tour. What kind
I started making all that money, I didnt want damn Yankees, Hawkins says. And here she of reunion will it be? he asks. A fair question
to go to school no more. is, Miss Hawkins, 86 years old but still going considering Biggie is gone, Craig Mack has
She met Burger Hughley soon after. He was strong. She wears a shirt that reads when reportedly joined a religious cult, and Loon
older, at least 15 years her senior, and he show- god closes a door, he opens a window. She and G. Dep are incarcerated. When asked
ered her with money, clothes and attention. makes sure I see the ASCAP award her grand- why so many former Bad Boy artists either
The fact that he was married didnt affect son won for I Need a Girl. find religion or become incarcerated (or, in
the relationship. I wouldnt
have cared if he had five wives,
Hawkins says. He was making
me happy. i toLd her, if you stop using
The drug game was lucrative,
and Hawkins soon owned fur drugs, iLL stop seLLing drugs,
coats, a Cadillac, a Mercedes.
Sometimes theyd drive to the because you are about to get
airport and, on a whim, pick
somewhere warm to fly. San me kiLLed. i Left the streets.
Juan, Vegas and Acapulco were
among their favorite destina-
tions. When I ask her what specifically the Miss Hawkins plans to write a character let- Muhadiths case, both), he says, I dont attri-
money was like, all she can do is look up and ter for Muhadith later in the week. Oh God, I bute it to Puff. Being on Bad Boy youre riding
mutter, Oh God, oh man. A beat passes be- miss him, she says. He calls me, sometimes this tidal wave that you cant prepare for. Like
fore she turns and says, I used to make more twice a week. I said, You see this situation you most people who ride waves of that magnitude,
than $20,000 a day. in now? Thats what I tried to get you to by- they often wipe out.
It didnt last, of course. I got up with pass. Thats why I worked so hard with you. The wave no longer appeals to Muhad-
that crack, she explains. After her sons Thats why I brought you up in the church. I ith, but the fame is residual. Just before
propositionhed stop selling drugs if shed was very disappointed with his situation. visiting hours end, a young inmate and his
stop using themHawkins went to rehab in Later, on our way out, Carol Hawkins greets girlfriendlong black wavy hair, green eyes,
Rochester, New York, where she found God. nearly every person she passes. ballet flats, skinny jeans, stunning curves
She is now sober and works for a community You know everyone, I joke. approach Muhadith. Hey, man, she saw you
health organization. A devout Christian, she Yeah, she says. I been round here a long and wanted to meet you, the other inmate
tells me shes nothing but supportive of Mu- time. says. Muhadith appears embarrassed. The
hadiths conversion to Islam. He has found woman is starstruck, standing on her toes,
peace in his life, she says. He found a god Although hes not scheduled for release until head tilted, big smile, giggling nonstop. Uh-
he loves and serves. Even though he calls him August 2021, Muhadith is doing everything oh, I better watch her around you, her boy-
Allah, hes the same God I love and serve. he can to expedite things. He has applied for friend cracks.
I ask if she knows definitively who fathered executive clemency, a pardon that would ar- Muhadith laughs afterward. The encoun-
Muhadith. No, I dont, to be honest, she says, rive during President Obamas final days in ter reminds him of a past that shaped him but
speaking deliberately. I do know for sure that office. It has happened beforeGeorge W. no longer defines him. This whole situation
I was in Vegas with Jazz and the math added Bush pardoned John Fort, the exFugees has been a purification for me, he says. My
up to Jazz, but I didnt want to hurt Burgers associate who was serving 14 years in prison life from the streets to the music industry was
feelings because he was walking around being for smuggling cocaine. always ripping and running. It was nonstop.
such a proud dad. I dont know. I was young. I Muhadith already has plans for when hes This has become a vacation. Am I over this
made an executive decision to just say that it a free man. Hell reestablish his relationship vacation? Yeah, I am. n

p h oto g r a p h y by GREG MANIS Model HANNAH GlASby

artist in residence

Black metal, satanic imagery and biker-gang iconography are all subjects that San Franciscobased
artist Ben Venom (a.k.a. Ben Baumgartner) lovingly transforms into quilts. Yes, quilts. How exactly
did a metalhead with an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute gravitate toward the methods of
your great- grandmas sewing circle? As a graduate student in 2006, Venom saw an exhibit of works
by the legendary African American quilters of Gees Bend, Alabama in which scraps of clothing were
sewn into bold geometric patterns. He says he was inspired by the craftsmanship and by the idea of
up- cycling. Applying his own interests to the medium, he arrived at a body of work he describes as a
collision. Venom says, I combine various macho, loud and disparate elements of culture with the
relatively soft and functional medium of textiles. I turn it up to 11 and push it past the red. Instead
of using folksy ornamentation and calico quilting patterns, Venom mostly works with recycled scrap
fabric and concert T-shirts purchased online. In his I Am the Night Rider, a skeleton holding a flam-
ing torch in one hand and in the other a frayed American flag, its stars replaced by a pair of rolling
dice, rides on the back of a racing wolf. Sewn-together bits of Harley-Davidson T-shirts and tie-dyed
material flesh out the body of the wolf, while the entire piece maintains the symmetry and compo-
sition of classic patchwork quilting. Into other pieces, Venom stitches rallying cries and outsider
credos such as Live fast, Dont tread on me and Fly by night and makes playful use of iconic
PhotograPhy by randy dodson

figures including Hello Kitty and the Playboy Rabbit Head. His work has been shown nationally and
internationally, yet Venom constructs each of his pieces to be practical and durable. He contends
that his quilts, while decorative as well as thought-provoking, are still functional. When hell freezes
over, Venom says, the beasts of metal will have a warm blanket to sleep with.Eric Steinman
Opposite page: Artist Ben Venom with Dont Tread on Me! (handmade quilt with recycled fabric, 87 x 155 inches, 2015) and a collection of customized clothing.


Top: Member's Only. Handmade quilt with recycled fabric,

17 x 17 inches, 2015. Bottom: Use Your Illusion. Handmade quilt with recycled
fabric, 25 x 25 inches, 2016. Right: I Am the Night Rider. Handmade quilt
with recycled fabric, 47 x 58 inches, 2015.

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Our U.S. Armed ForcesArmy, 9 3 4 5 Milw a u ke e Ave n u e N ile s, IL 6 0 7 1 4 -1 3 9 3 Price
Navy, Air Force, Marinesand

YES. Please reserve the Military I.D, Bracelet for me, as described in this announcement, checked at
those who have served under Please print initials (up to 3) that you want in the boxes. If you want more
right, with the initials indicated. than one bracelet, please indicate on a separate piece of paper and mail along Logo &
their proud emblems have with this order form to the address above in a separate envelope; or order
online at Address
stood strong through the years United States Marines Bracelet 01-20544-001 U.S. Army Bracelet 01-21238-001

defending freedom wherever U.S. Navy Bracelet 01-21233-001 U.S. Air Force Bracelet 01-21329-001
challenged. Now, you can show LIMITED-TIME OFFER... ORDER PROMPTLY Code
your pride with our leather ID
bracelets, honoring each military Signature
division. Code
Mrs. Mr. Ms.
Name (Please Print Clearly)
Over, please
Address Yellow
Snipe City State Zip
E-Mail (Optional) Shipping
2015 The Bradford Exchange
01-20544-001-JISMPO *Plus $9.98 shipping and service. Please allow 4-6 weeks after initial payment for shipment of your jewelry. E30201 Service
Sales subject to product availability and order acceptance.

Book 222619 Ad#: 01-20544-001-JISMPO Code: E30201 Dest: Sussex Quad Graphics

U.S. Military
Mens Leather ID Bracelets
in Your Choice of Service Branch



Reverse side personalized

with initials of your choice...

A Distinctive Statement
This bold design features a braided genuine leather bracelet, with a cylinder at the center in durable solid stainless steel that showcases
the service branchs sculpted emblem, and branch name or motto. The reverse side of the cylinder is personalized with the 3 etched
initials of your choice... at no extra cost, along with the service branchs core values (for USMC, Navy and Air Force). Two stainless steel
and black enamel beads emblazoned with branch name on each side of the cylinder have ion-plated 24K-gold accents. Sized at 8 to
fit most wrists, the bracelet closes with a stainless steel magnetic clasp, making it easy to put on or take off. An Exceptional Value
This custom bracelet, in your choice
of 4 service branches, is a remark-
able value at $89* each, payable in
4 easy installments of just $22.25
and is backed by our unconditional
120-day guarantee. Each brace-
let arrives in a jewelry pouch and SPINE/GUTTER
gift box along with a Certificate
of Authenticity. To reserve yours,
send no money now; just mail the
Priority Reservation. This limited-
time offer is only available from The
THE BRADFORD EXCHANGE Bradford Exchange. So dont delay...
9345 N MILWAUKEE AVE Order today!

Officially Licensed Product of the United States Marine Corps.
NILES IL 60714-9891 By federal law, licensing fees paid to the U.S. Army for use of its
trademarks provide support to the Army Trademark Licensing
Program, and net licensing revenue is devoted to U.S. Army
Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs. U.S. Army name,
trademarks and logos are protected under federal law and used under
license by The Bradford Exchange.

Department of the Air Force. Officially licensed product of the Air
Force (
Neither the U.S. Navy nor any other component of the Department of
Defense has approved, endorsed or authorized the Navy product.

2016 The Bradford Exchange 01-20544-001-JISMPO

Book 218622 Ad#: 01-23769-001-SI Code: 904505-E30291 Dest:

Authentic Zippo windproof

lighters with evocative fantasy
art by Anne Stokes

$100-value custom display

with sculptural Gothic figures
inspired by the artwork

Limited to 10,000
Complete Collections



Logo &

Display shown smaller than actual size of 12 H x 6 W. Lighters ship unfilled; lighter fluid not included. Job
Mrs. Mr. Ms. Tracking
Name (Please Print Clearly)
9345 Milwaukee Avenue Niles, IL 60714-1393 Address
YES. Please reserve the Anne Stokes Summon the Yellow
Reaper Zippo Lighter Collection as described in this City Snipe
announcement. Limit: one per order. Please Respond Promptly State Zip
*Plus $8.99 shipping and service per edition. Display will be shipped after
2016 BGE 01-23769-001-SI second lighter. Limited-edition presentation restricted to 10,000 complete Email (optional) Shipping
collections. Please allow 4-6 weeks after initial payment for shipment.
Sales subject to product availability and order acceptance. 904505-E30291
Over, please
Creator of captivating fantasy characters and richly stylized Gothic
designs, Anne Stokes is one of the most sought-after fantasy artists of
her time. Now her vivid imagination sparks an intriguing collection
that will soon have you under its spell: the Anne Stokes Summon the
Reaper Zippo Lighter Collection.
The eight genuine Zippo windproof lighters in the collection
are boldly emblazoned with Anne Stokes mesmerizing blend of
hauntingly beautiful fantasy maidens, skeletons, crosses, and
entrancing designs on shining chrome finish. Each bears the Zippo
bottom stamp, your assurance of the genuine article. A magnificent,
one-of-a-kind masterpiece display, valued at $100.00, is yours for the
price of a single lighter. Customized for this collection, this octagonal
display brings Anne Stokes immortal Summon the Reaper artwork
into your world in three hand-painted dimensions.


Order the 9 limited editions (8
lighters plus display) at the issue

price of $39.99* each, payable in
Back View
two installments of $19.99, the
Fear Not the Reaper
A door to fantasy and legend opens with the dramatic,
first due before shipment. Youll
hand-painted character display with crypt-inspired base receive one edition about every
other month; cancel at any time by
Anne Stokes and the Licensed notifying us. Send no money now.
by Return the Reservation Application today.
Distinctive bottom
stamp authenticates
this collectible as
a genuine Zippo
windproof lighter.

,ZIPPO, , and are registered

trademarks in the United States and in many
countries. The listed Trademarks are used in the
United States under license of ZippMark, Inc. All

Zippo lighter decorations are protected by copyright.
Zippo Manufacturing Company.
All Rights Reserved. 2016


NILES IL 60714-9891

2016 The Bradford Exchange

2016 BGE 01-23769-001-SI
A real working HO-scale electric train collection in t A
A v
n a
Featuring sculpted replicas of the legendary Indian Motorcycle y ila
S t b
Express officially licensed by Indian Motorcycle International, LLC
or le
Lights Up!
Everything you need to run your train!
14-piece track
set, power-pack &
F RE speed controller
Incl included with
Shipments 2 & 3 Fine collectible. Not intended for children under 14.
a $100 value!
FREE Track, Power-pack & Speed Controller with Shipments 2 & 3$100 value!
Yes! Please enter my order for 9 345 Mi lw au kee Avenue N iles, IL 607 14-1 393
one Indian Motorcycle Express
electric train collection, beginning Signature
with the Diesel Locomotive as Mrs. Mr. Ms.
described in this announcement. Name (Please Print Clearly)
The 1928 Indian 101 Scoutknown for City
its combination of stability and handling Certificate of Authenticity & State Zip
is still in use today for stunt riding. This 365-Day Money-Back Guarantee
faithful replica is removable and free-
*Plus $9.99 shipping and service. All sales are subject to acceptance and product availability. 917855-E30202
standing for display wherever you choose! Please allow 4-6 weeks after initial payment for shipment.
01_J_I_S_H = 10.5 X 7.375, Free-Standing Insert, Installment, Supplement to Reiman Pub, 1 Product, Horizontal updated 10/2012
14-01617-001-JIPB.indd 2


Shipment Three Shipment Two Shipment One
1928 Indian 101 Scout Flat Car with The Legendary Genuine Brand Engine with Indian Motorcycle
FREE Power Pack & Speed Controller FREE 14-piece Track Set Diesel Locomotive
In tribute to the legendary American motorcycle that is still Indian 101 Scout and the 1948 Indian Chief. These beautiful reproductions
made in America, Hawthorne Village proudly presents the Indian each ride on their own Flat Car with backdrops featuring the look of
Motorcycle Express. This real working HO-scale electric train is boldly vintage Indian Motorcycle advertising and are removable and free-standing
decorated with the famous colors, official logos and classic slogans of this for display wherever you choose!
true American motorcycling legend. Youll appreciate the extraordinary An incredible train at an exceptional value.
wealth of impeccably authentic details devoted to every inch of this heirloom- Begin your train collection with the Indian Motorcycle Diesel Locomotive
quality train. Plus, youll enjoy the faithfully sculpted replicas of some of for three easy payments of $26.66*, the first billed before shipment.
Indian Motorcycles most popular and legendary bikes including the 1928 Subsequent carssome with sculpted Indian Motorcycleswill each
CUT ALONG DOTTED LINE be billed separately at the same low price and sent about every other
month. In addition, youll receive the track set, power-pack and speed
controllera $100 valueFREE with Shipments Two and Three! With our
best-in-the-business 365-day guarantee, your satisfaction is assured and
you may cancel at any time.
D TIME rve your Not available in any store! Order today!
LIMMaIilTthEis toledatryatoin recoslleection!
incredib This is a limited-time offer and strong demand is expected. You need
send no money now.
Just sign and mail the
post paid Reservation
Application today!
SHIPMENT FOUR - 1948 Indian Chief Flat Car
9345 N M ILWAU KEE AVE The 1948 Indian Chief satisfied the riders
N ILES IL 60714- 9891 need for speed as it was capable of over
100 mph when tuned just right.
12/3/15 8:38 AM

Official licensed product of Indian Motorcycle International, LLC, all rights reserved.
INDIAN MOTORCYCLE is a registered trademark of Indian Motorcycle, LLC
Hawthorne Village 14-01617-001-JIPB


ChiCago, 1972
The Rolling Stones visit Hef at the original Playboy Mansion.


1 part EFFEN Blood Orange Vodka

1 part orange juice
3 parts sparkling wine
Cherry garnish

Shake first two ingredients with ice

and strain into a chilled champagne
flute. Top with sparkling wine.
Garnish with a cherry dropped in.



Drink Responsibly. EFFEN Blood Orange Flavored Vodka, distilled from wheat grain, 37.5% alc./vol. (75 proof). 2016 EFFEN Import Company, Deerfield, IL.

1 parts EFFEN Green Apple Vodka

3 parts lemonade
1 part lemon-lime soda
Lemon & lime wedges

Build over ice in a serving glass

in the order listed. Garnish with
lemon & lime wedges.


Drink Responsibly. EFFEN Green Apple Flavored Vodka, distilled from wheat grain, 37.5% alc./vol. (75 proof). 2016 EFFEN Import Company, Deerfield, IL.