From out of the West, where sniveling isn't allowed, comes the first issue of Vigilante, "the magazine of personal security." Its symbol: an American eagle carrying a hangman's noose. Its shoot-first, ask-questions-later motto: "Better to be tried by 12 than carried out by six."
The first issue, as advertised, is chock full of "practical, steel-spined, hard-hitting articles on the real-life side of personal and physical security." "The Combat Handgun" lets you know what to look for in "a life-defending weapon,' while "Don't Be Another Helter Skelter! Shape Up Your Home Security" gives you neat tips on keeping the bad guys out. There is even a classified section where a young man from New Mexico advertises his availability for "black bag jobs." If you don't know what those are, don't ask.
The man behind this venture, editor-publisher Everett Moore, sounds amiable enough over the phone. Having published around 200 books with titles like "Deal the First Deadly Blow," "Improvised Weapons for The American Underground" and "Lockpicking Simplified," he is no stranger to the personal security field.
"The criminal is programmed for a weak victim submitting to him, not for an offensive position," Moore explains. "I'd like to see a potential attacker left for dead, or wishing he was, perhaps with an eye gouged out. I don't go for this roll over and play dead stuff."
Future issues of Vigilante, which already has a circulation of 3,000, will carry articles on "Selecting and Training a Doberman" and "How to Carry a Concealed Weapon." Anyone with guts enough to subscribe can send $8 to P.O. Box 31085, Phoenix, Ariz, 85046. And I wouldn't try anything funny if I were you. Oliver Redux
You remember Oliver, wealthy, fat-headed WASP about town Oliver Barrett who learns a lot about life and love and when not to say you're sorry in Erich Segal's "Love Story." Well Oliver's back, fat-headed as ever, in Part 1 of "Oliver's Story" (what else?), excerpted in the March Ladies' Home Journal.
Prodded by his busybody father-in-law, who tells him "You're out to win the Nobel Prize for suffering," Oliver manages to get himself a couple of dates. The first, with an "intelligent and gentle doctor lady" named Jonna Stein, is obviously a red herring. But then comes Marcie Nash.
Marcie is a chic but athletic type who out-jogs Oliver and even gives him a good game at tennis. It will be obvious to everyone except people of the most limited intelligene - a group which couldn't help but include Oliver - that she is also the heiress to that fabulously fashionable New York department store. Binnendale's. Oliver likes her, but he doesn't like her, if you can understand that, and Part One ends with him inexplicable cussing her out because she won't tell him why she doesn't register in hotels when she goes to Cleveland. Can Ollie get the old tub through? Tune in next month for more exciting developments. You Are What You Sleep
Even in he dead of night, you can't hide from Dr. Samuel Dunkell. The very positions we sleep in, the canny doctor claims in the March 8 Family Circle, "tell the true story of our changing lives, of how we feel about ourselves, our world and the important people in it," and, if possible, much much more.
People who sleep in the full fetal position, for instance, "resist exposure to the full open experiencing of life's joys and difficulties," while folks who doze on their stomach reveal for all the world to see "a compulsion to regulate the events of their waking lives."
And Dr. Dunkell dares to go even further. Who would imagine, for instance, that "In sleep, the positioning of the feet speaks volumes about how the individual stands in life and how he or she moves forward." You live and learn. Mutton Glutton
Calvin Trillin is worried about Kentucky, worried most especially that Kentucky Fried Chicken is becoming the world-wide symbol of that great state, as serious a misfortune "as if French cuisine were associated in the minds of all foreigners with the sort of frozen french fries dished out to hot-rodders in greasy drive-ins." Resolved to find another state speciality that would blot out all memories of Colonel Sanders, Trillin ends up, in the Feb. 7 New Yorker, "Stalking The Barbecued Mutton.'
Trilin had first heard of said mutton when a friend sent him a menu reading, "Mary Had a Litte Lamb. Won't You Have Some, Too?" The menu led him to Owensboro, Ky., barbecued Mutton Capital of the World, whose citizens "might have arrived at barbecued mutton by a process of elimination, since people in the area seem willing to barbecue just about any extant mammal." The Shady Rest. one of the town's premiem establishments, even goes so far as to note, with understandable pride, if uncertain rhyme, "If It Will Fit On The Pit, We Will Barbecue It.
"It is probably fortunate." Trillin concludes, "that the people of the area settled on barbecued mutton as the local delicacy before they had a go at a beaver or polecat." Dressed To Kill
Well, darlings, letting an assistant editor for People magazine sit on the panel picking the 37th annual Best Dressed Women list is just an open invitation to kiss and tell, and that's exactly what rascally Lee Wohlert did in the Feb. 28 issue.
Weilding the most influence on the list turns out to be columnist Eugenia Shepherd, even though she is so near-sighted that "she often relies on photographers to tell her what people are wearing when she covers parties." One woman sent her 90 post-cards last year, each telling what she wore that day, but was dismissed out of hand for trying too hard, the poor dear.
The reasons people didn't get on the list turned out to be more interesting than the reasons they did. Liza Minelli was said to look terrible. Princess Caroline of Monaco was tacky. So was Marisa Berenson, who apparently was included by mistake last year. The name Diane von Furstenberg "got only low moans." A Cher suggestion was not even acknowledged. Barbara Walters was deemed "depressed and it shows" while Barbara Howar "was, it seems, just too boring to discuss." And so on into the night. Booked Up
The proper study of mankind, Alexander Pope once ventured, is not man, but books.In the February Travel & Leisure, man of letters Louis Untermeyer, who has studied more books than most, takes a crack at listing the eleven volumes a transplanted Adam and Eve would want to be stranded on a desert island with.
Top choice is the Bible, "a golden story book as well as a holy book." Then comes Shakespeare and a dictinonary. A volume of poetry is thought essential, with Untermeyer preferring Collins' "Albatross Book of Verse." Also chosen are three novels - Dickens' "Great Expectations." Tolstoy's "War and Peace" and Jane Austen's "Emma" - Boswell's biographic "Life of Johnson" and a collection of three Shaw plays. The tenth book is the droll "Alice Adventure's in Wonderland," and number eleven is a droller choice still: Dr. Spock's "Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care."
Untermeyer also couldn't resist the tale of a London Times contest aimed at naming just one indispensable book for that legendary island. Winner was supposedly G. K. Chesterton, who said the one he'd want would be "How To Build A Boat." Adding It Up
Magazine success is measured in more than circulation. Of greater importance, since they mean nothing but money are the number of advertising pages and total advertising revenues.
In figures just released for 1976, People magazine made the great gain in the listings in both categories, rising from 26th to 9th in pages and jumping from 36th to 19th in ad revenue. The biggest percentage gainer in both categories was Book Digest, up 205 per cent in pages and 231 per cent in revenues.
Too three magazines in revenue - all over $100 million - were TV Guide; Time and Newsweek, while the top three in ad pages - all over 3,000 - were Business Week. The New Yorker and TV Guide. Every magazine in the top 20 in pages showed an increase in 1976, while only one - Playboy - decreased in the revenue category. Tidbits
Ladies' Home Journal surveyed Americans on what their favorite foods are, and the results are hearty and straightforward; roast beef rated a high 91 per cent, macaroni and cheese, 83 per cent, fried chicken, 76 per cent. Chilli con carne was the nation's favorite one-pot dish, but muffin fans were less decisive; the South likes corn, the Northeast and West bran . . . Esquire magazine, which kinda hinted that a short story in its February issue was by J. D. Salinger now revels it was all a parody by fiction editor Gordon Lish. The reclusive Salinger, according to his agent, feels the whole thing is "despicable - an absuridty."
While Australian Rupert Murdoch was dickering to buy all those magazines, publisher Al Goldstein sent him the following telegram: "Why is Screw the only New York publication you haven't tried to buy? P.S. I have feelins too." . . . Sports Illustrated's current "A Year In Sports" special issue is the magazine's first special in 22 years of publication. About time, too . . . New West reports that Playboy, former hotbed of nymhets, is planning a "Women Over Thrity" pictorial . . . Sibyl Child, which bills itself as Washington's only women's arts and culture journal, has just celebrated its second anniversary. A recent issue featured Sibyl-Trek, a woman's board game described as a satire on the usual competitive, patriarchal, macho-sexist games." So there. Address is 12618 Billington Road in Silver Spring . . . For the dope user who has everything the March High Times has a rundown of "Tramp Freighters of the Sky," offering tips on which old crates are best for smuggling drugs across the border . . . Five women on Sen. Thomas Eagleton's staff are featured in a Glamour Group Makeover in the March issue. Reports Glamour gaily, "the makeover spirit seemed to affect the entire floor."