THRILLVILLE: Will "the Thrill" Viharo's weird, wild world of Pulp Fiction, B Movies, & the Lounge Lizard Lifestyle.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Five Easy Questions: JASON CROFT

JASON CROFT - AKA "Java Bachelor" - both embodies and enlivens the Long Lost Art of Bachelorhood. He is a class act in every way, and he is my spiritual brother. We were both inspired by the early '90s publication CAD: A Handbook for Heels. Since then I've founded Thrillville and Jason gave the world the primo web resource for All Things Atomic JAVA'S BACHELOR PAD. For the past couple of years his main project has been a modern version of the vintage Man of the World's digest, BACHELOR PAD MAGAZINE - cheesecake, lounge, cocktails, and tips for the Space Age Swinger (to which I humbly contribute a regular movies column). Now here's The Man himself in how own words - listen, and learn, lounge lizards and ladies:

Thrill: What is the enduring appeal, both for you and the public at large, of the Midcentury aesthetic?

JC: It wasn't called the Atomic Age for nothing. We were looking up at the stars and focusing in on the power of the atom. The world of possibilities was open to us. Car fins suggested a movement forward even when parked in front of a suburban ranch house. All the old ideas were being re-thought and re-imagined. Why does it still appeal to us today? I think the internet and the information age has put us in the same mind-set as the Atomic Age. The world is ours to reshape and rediscover. Just as with the 1950's, it is all about a vision of a better future.

Thrill: Do you think women were actually more realistically exploited back in the 50s? (as opposed to the fake boobed stick figures of modern times)

JC: I don't think exploited is the right term because exploited in its modern sense carries a negative connotation. And the truth is, in the 1950's, burlesque gals, pin-ups models, and aspiring actresses were treated badly. The casting couch is not a myth. I've heard plenty of stories of the darker side of the industry back them. But those are the things that have been covered over in our modern nostalgia of the Atomic Age.

But to the question of models in the 1950's being more realistic to what women actually look like. That's absolutely true. Back then, plastic surgery was in its infancy and risky at best. So, pin-ups had to work with what God gave them. And that's not a bad thing. Plus, during the 1950's big bosoms and womanly curves were in. The lean years of World War Two were over and the American public could celebrate its affluence. The taste for pin-up was the va-va-voom bombshell look. (Remember, Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, the apex of the bombshell, would be thought of as fat in our modern culture.) Of course, that all went out of favor in the 1960's with the Twiggy mod look, which I always thought was a shame. The resurgence of the classic pin-up in the last 10-15 years I think has done wonders for modern women. These gals with curves have actually found a culture where they can be appreciated and looked on as objects of beauty and desire.

Thrill: What are some of your favorite lounge albums?

JC: You're killing me with this question. I have hundreds of lounge CD and probably more vintage vinyl. On top of that, my mood changes from day to day. One day it could be Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" with it's Rat Pack bravado. Another day it could be Jackie Gleason and the subtle cocktail sophistication of "Music, Martinis, and Memories." That doesn't take into account all the spy jazz, mambo albums, space-age stereophonics, and bachelor pad bongo albums I listen to on a constant basis. If you really want to know where my tastes lie from week-to-week, tune into The Bachelor Pad Radio Show. That's the best barometer on why current hi-fi habits.

Thrill: What are your favorite cocktails?

JC: Whatever is set in front of me. And if it happens to be in a tiki mug with an umbrella, all the better!

Thrill: What is your advice for the aspiring Space Age Bachelor?

JC: Enjoy life. As the old song goes, "The best is yet to come." That's the first bit of advice. The second? Martinis are like breasts. One is too few and three are too many.

Catch Jason in action at the annual VIVA LAS VEGAS Sin City shindig on April 9th.