Posts Tagged ‘1988’

E.E. Cummings Month: “Humanity i love you”

August 7, 2010


October 2009.

Humanity i love you
because you would rather black the boots of
success than enquire whose soul dangles from his
watch-chain which would be embarrassing for both

parties and because you
unflinchingly applaud all
songs containing the words country home and
mother when sung at the old howard


via Square America.

Humanity i love you because
when you’re hard up you pawn your
intelligence to buy a drink and when
you’re flush pride keeps

you from the pawn shops and
because you are continually committing
nuisances but more
especially in your own house


Humanity i love you because you
are perpetually putting the secret of
life in your pants and forgetting
it’s there and sitting down

on it
and because you are
forever making poems in the lap
of death Humanity

i hate you


Jo Champa photographed by Helmut Newton at Hotel Chelsea, New York. 1988.

That is all just exactly the way of it, yes? I thank god that Mr. Cummings did not live to see the antics humanity gets up to when they’ve got a reality television show’s camera aimed at them. I don’t think he could have stood it. But we all say things like that, and yet those type of programs remain on the air every hour and continue to spawn off of one another like roaches scuttling over a pile of dollar bills, so someone here is lying.

Post-Holiday Pick-Up Day: Kata Kärkkäinen, Miss December 1988

December 26, 2009

She may look like an icy-hot Spy Who Came In From The Cold (I have mentioned before my Bond-based, niggling Eastern European fetish), but the lovely and talented Kata Kärkkäinen, Playboy’s Miss December 1988, was actually Finnish.


Photographed by Stephen Wayda and Byron Newman

Kata was a girls’ bowling champion in her native Finland before coming to America for her senior year of high school, where she was actually kicked off the bowling team. I have a feeling it was less to do with being a girl, as she insinuates, than it was to do with her other behaviors:

Kata joined an exchange program, jetted to remotest Rapid City and gave her high school classmates a crash course in Eurostyle. Stevens High School is still reeling. “They found me pretty wild,” Kata says of the teachers and schoolmates she bowled over at Stevens High. “I dressed punk. I dyed my hair blonde — or red and black — or wore it in a Mohawk. I wore wigs, and sometimes a tuxedo, to school.” (“Photo Finnish,” Playboy, December 1988)

Kata is a Scorpio who shares a bappy with the Cappy (October 27th – a BIRTHDAY OF CHAMPIONS!) and Napoleon. Auspicious company for a girl who used to go for the 80’s version of guyliner and striped sweater boys.

“I don’t go crazy over how many muscles a guy has or how hairy his chest is. I kind of like skinny, feminine guys. One of my boyfriends in Finland used to wear make-up. We’d go out and some people thought we were sisters. It was kind of embarrassing, but kind of interesting, too.” Don’t abandon hope, American guys: The more she sees of American chests, Kata says, the better she likes them.


I like the implication that American guys in this time were unilaterally buffed-out, tanned, models of masculinity who drove stateside women wild with their oozing sexuality, and we ladies went for that or we burned in hell. I’m not so sure that was the case. (*cough* Duckie.) But on the other hand, I’m all for bashing pretentious emo Eurotrash, so good on Playboy.

These days, Ms. Kärkkäinen is a novelist. You may visit her official site here, but be advised it is in Finnish. Her 1999 novel Minä ja Morrison was adapted into a film in 2001. The movie functions loosely as the second part of female director Leena-Kaisa “Lenska” Hellstedt’s (and friends’) Levottomat trilogy.

Kata Kärkkäinen has an IQ of at least 148 (sd 24) according to Cattell & Cattell Culture Fair IQ test (see Ilta-Sanomat, 5 Oct 2006). (the wiki)

Finally, when the centerfold is this hot, you’re damned tootin’ you put her on the cover, too. The girl can move some magazines, y’all!

NSFW November: Miss November 1988

November 24, 2009

The lovely and talented Miss November 1988, was reported in her interview to be the first Filipino model to appear in Playboy.

“I am an ethnic jumble,” says [name]. … “My parents had their Filipino friends — my Mom was always cooking this smelly fish — but I grew up like a white suburban kid. I played lacrosse, basketball and tennis. (“Thrilla from Manila,” Playboy, November 1988)


They called her article, “Thrilla From Manila,” but actually she grew up in Havertown, Pennsylvania. In case you don’t get the title (which makes you absolutely no son of mine), it is a reference to the third and final fight between heavyweight boxers Cassius “Muhammad Ali” Clay and Joe Frazier for the title of Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World, which took place in the Philippines on October 2, 1975.

The fight finally brought to a conclusion a bitter rivalry that had been going since 1971, that for my money is one of the best stories in the history of sports (where is its movie, Hollywood???). This one’s got it all, guys: draft-dodging, personal jealousies, the backdrop of major historical events, the freaking President getting involved, even. And through it all, two very different but very contentious personalities, Frazier and Ali, duking it out verbally and physically, in the press and in pre-fights. In the Thrilla in Manila, they went fourteen grueling, brutal rounds, both fighting to the point of almost total physical exhaustion before boxing official Eddie Futch declared Ali the victor (he said at the time it was to spare Frazier’s life, although really either could have gone).

Frazier protested stopping the fight, shouting “I want him boss,” and trying to get Futch to change his mind.

Futch simply replied, “It’s all over. No one will forget what you did here today”, and signaled to the referee to end the bout. Ali was therefore declared the victor.

He would later claim that this was the closest to dying he had ever been, and also stated, “Joe Frazier, I’ll tell the world right now, brings out the best in me. I’m gonna tell ya, that’s one helluva man, and God bless him.”

In a brief post-fight interview with one of the commentators, Ali announced, “He is the greatest fighter of all times, next to me.” (the wiki)

Do you even understand how major all of that is? Boxing is not as violent as you think, and it’s not always just big fat guys hugging (I always say, “Get a room or start punching”), not when you have two men in the ring as skilled as Frazier and the Greatest. Though you seldom see it at the heavyweight level, you see it more often with middle and welter (not bantam as much cause they’re so quick it’s like the cockfight from which their category’s name comes), it’s a graceful and carefully plotted series of moves, like a bloody ballet, it’s like … like art. It’s a dance. And you have these two combatants who are so equally matched that they are like hell-soul-mates, made to fight each other. That’s just, it’s just — like… god… oh, man, I honestly get misty just thinking about that event. That is some great motherfucking sports right there. I wish I had been born to see it firsthand, but I’ve watched clips of it on ESPN classic. (Boy, I miss having that) Le sigh.

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As an epilogue, this story gets even better, in my opinion, because dig this: In June of 2001, guess who met for a grudge match on the Thrilla in Manila fight? Their freaking daughters. The fight was re-enacted, sort of, in New York by Laila “She Bee Stingin'” Ali and Jackie “Sister Smoke” Frazier-Lyde in what the press called Ali/Frazier IV. Laila, sixteen years younger than Jackie and with a little more training under her belt, took it in eight. But I love that both of them went for it! What a great story.

Finally, dig the Jessica Rabbit cover! God bless ya, Roger Rabbit and all of 1988. And to Miss November 1988, about whom this entry is not even at all remotely concerned, sorry. It’s not your fault that I think boxing is more interesting than whatever your little turn-ons and ambitions were. I feel kind of badly now. How about this? I will try to make it up to you another day, I swar to gar. You will get more attention from me later. Unless I forget.