Patterico's Pontifications

9/27/2017

Hugh Hefner, 1926 – 2017

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:57 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine, died earlier today at the Playboy mansion at the age of 91. As of this moment, no details have come forth as to the cause of death, but he had apparently been in failing health for some time now.

The basic rudiments of Hefner’s life are pretty well known (this link to his biography on Playboy’s website is potentially NSF; this link to an entry at biography.com should be ok): born in Chicago, educated at the University of Illinois, service in World War II as a reporter for an armed forces newspaper. While working at Esquire, Hefner scraped together enough money to start his own magazine in 1953, and fortuitously acquired the famous Norma Jean Baker (later known as Marilyn Monroe) nude photos from a 1949 calendar shoot, one of which became the centerfold in the magazine’s first issue published in December 1953. Playboy would go on to spawn an early cable television show, a set of private clubs, a resort, movies, and later a television channel and subscription website.

Contrary to conventional belief, Playboy was far from the first magazine to print nude images of women, but it was the first to attempt to bracket those nudes with insightful commentary, fashion tips, fiction from noted authors, and reviews of literature and the arts. If you look at a Playboy from the 1950s, one striking feature is how innocent it actually seems. The nudity is usually coy and subtle, and early issues of the magazine often only featured one or two actual nude pictures (most pictures were semi-nude, where the subject discretely covered herself in some way). As the Eisenhower Fifties morphed into the Kennedy Sixties, then to the age of hippies and free love, the magazine expanded its boundaries and gradually became bolder and more assertive in its nudity, helped along by competition from other magazines and the ubiquity of nudity in movies, theater, and even in public. In 1975, 20 years into the magazine’s run, Playboy had a circulation of 5.6 million for each monthly issue.

Today the magazine’s circulation is at about one-twelveth of that peak, back when it was estimated that one in four college men purchased the magazine every month. Playboy disastrously decided to stop running nudes in late 2015 only to reverse course and go back to the nekkid gals about a year later. But with the mainstreaming of sex and nudity in our society — in movies still, but now also on television and the Internet — Playboy is having a difficult time finding its market niche. Seeing “the girl next door” naked in the centerfold is no longer as big of a deal now that the she is posting nude selfies on Snapchat.

While there are likely some positive contributions from Playboy over the years — the Playboy Interviews (some of which were conducted by Hefner), Robert Christgau’s music reviews, Dan Jenkins’ column on sports, and fiction from some top authors — the overall influence of Playboy on our society is far more mixed, perhaps even largely negative. Hefner used his monthly column in which he laid out “the Playboy Philosophy” to advocate for a rather left-wing/libertine political platform, haughtily disdainful of anything that he thought faintly echoed of conservatism or traditional American values. Playboy made many young women into household names (well, in a certain kind of household if you know what I mean), and launched the careers of Jayne Mansfield, Stella Stevens, Shannon Tweed, and Pamela Anderson among others. At the same time, Playboy also caused considerable grief and tragedy in the lives of several of its models. A very good 50th anniversary of the magazine which ran on the E! network fourteen years ago was very direct in discussing the Playboy Playmates who ended up regretting their decisions to pose, oftentimes dealing with substance abuse, eating disorders, and even in a few cases suicide. If sexual urges were indeed sublimated in post-war America before Playboy came on the scene, surely we must acknowledge that today we are saturated with base lust and carnal desire, and perhaps that is not really progress after all.

As the final chapter of his life has now drawn to a close, let’s acknowledge that Hugh Hefner built a business and had a very major impact upon our society, and that it remains an open question of whether or not it was all for the better. Rest in peace.

– JVW

91 Responses to “Hugh Hefner, 1926 – 2017”

  1. I know that at least once I have mentioned that I was a stock holder for Playboy Enterprises, Inc, back before all the shares were called in. Hefner no doubt made a lot of money in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, but his libertine lifestyle and seeming indifference to profit made the corporation a money loser for most of its last 30-some years. The corporation owns the Playboy Mansion in Brentwood and Hefner was paying a rent of $10,000 per month to live there. People with inside knowledge say that the mansion is an absolute dump, and if you hear some of the stories from the women who have been hangers-on there you will quickly come to the conclusion that Henfer had some major issues with women and sex that he dealt with as he aged. It actually sounds like he had a rather sad life the last 20 years or so. Hopefully he is now at peace.

    JVW (42615e)

  2. print as a medium has no purpose anymore

    in that way Mr. Hefner’s death is symbolic i think

    but perhaps we can read more about his life and its meaning in Rolling Stone

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  3. oh… but – just as an americana observation

    in my experience with print there’ve been two books you Americans have felt this odd compulsion to save and to save and not to throw away

    Playboy and National Geographic

    that’s honestly something very poignant and american when you think about it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  4. Try and picture the second part of the 20th century without Playboy. Then imagine what fine writers, music, and lifestyle tips from that era young men would have missed out on– among other treats of the times.

    Certainly the angst of the models post-posing is a story unto itself– but it also, as you note, was a pathway to launch a career– or sometimes, a platform to rekindle one. But by luck or intent, the publication was a cultural fixture which fit and influenced the character of its times. From the clubs in cities across the country and capitals worldwide, to the round-bedded jet– to cable TV– the world knew the logo and the name Playboy as wel as it did Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Coca-Cola.

    @1. JVW– Back in ’99 our department rented Hef’s LA Playboy Mansion out for an evening sales gathering. It was made available for entertaining gigs like that. The $5000 fee was a package including an evening of open bar around the famed ‘Grotto,’ one quick, be-robed Hef meet-and-greet walk-thru and a peppering of five or six young ladies in traditional bunny garb serving cocktails until midnight. “Dump” may be a little harsh but can say from personal experience the place was most decidedly frozen in time: like around 1975. It was startling. Vibrant, orange shag carpeting in the bathhouses by the pool– w/rotary phones– some working, some not, no less. You literally expected to see a young James Caan or Barbi Benton strutting by– instead, there were a pair of peacocks. And the scent of a rather odorous ‘zoo’ of caged animals hung in the evening air. It was all a little sad. Still the best souvenirs from the evening– as the bartender reminded us– were a few books of Playboy matches — with the name Hugh M. Hefner embossed on the covers, available only at the mansion.

    Yes, RIP Hef. Thanks for the memories of an era long gone.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  5. Certainly the angst of the models post-posing is a story unto itself. . .

    The 50th anniversary shows on E! were really good. They were generally respectful, but they didn’t shy away from talking about the darker side of Playboy and interviewing some ex-Playmates who regretted being in the magazine. One in particular was from the late 50s, and she told the typical story of a small-town Midwestern girl who wanted more excitement in her life so she took off for Chicago right after graduating high school, got a job as a sales girl at a department store and did some modeling on the side. She ended up posing for Playboy and she thought that it would be a one-time lark: the magazine would be around for a month and then disappear and it wouldn’t be sold in her small home town anyway. She said that she was entirely wrong, lots of young men in her small town turned out to be Playboy readers, and it caused her a great deal of friction with her conservative family. Worse of all, she didn’t really read the contract she signed and Playboy ended up republishing her pictures every 10 years or so when they did retrospectives on the Playmates. According to the woman, she ended up having to break off a couple of very serious relationships with men once they found that she had posed nude. Finally she married and had a family, and she eventually told her daughters the story as a kind of cautionary tale of what can happen when you are young and impulsive, but then in the 2000s she suddenly discovered that her pictorial was now widely available via the wonders of the Internet, when her teenage grandson ended up stumbling across them online. She pointed out that there was no way that an 18-year-old in 1958 could have anticipated that photos would be widely accessible with a click of a mouse 50 years later, and she feels to this day that even though she was technically an emancipated adult, Playboy took advantage of her.

    And of course the series touched on the Playmates who have had really tragic lives: the one who ended up working for a drug dealer and going to jail, the ones with bad drug and alcohol problems, the one who ended up HIV positive, and the few who ended up committing suicide. I’m all for adults being free to make their own choices, but it sounds like Playboy is far less interested in the general welfare of their girls than they pretend to be.

    JVW (42615e)

  6. @5. JVW. Postscript.

    OTOH, some of those lovely models were literally out of this world, as Alan Bean and Pete Conrad discovered during their Apollo 12 moonwalks back in November, 1969.

    Seems unbeknownst to the moonwalkers, their backup crew had secretly pasted a few Playboy centerfold images into the cuff checklists which they wore on their spacesuits. And while they were at work on the lunar surface, broadcasting live audio, they flipped the pages and discovered them– and laughter whose meaning was known only to them– and the mischievous back-up crew– was beamed back to Earth.

    A much older Bean discusses it here in this brief video clip and shows the checklist w/t centerfold girls from ’69 still in place on his checklist he brought back:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3zqGW9d_bw

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  7. Far be it for me to be the judge.

    Lord, I ask the same for Hugh Hefner as I would for me. Lord, do you as you see fit. R.I.P.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  8. Hefner knew what he liked and he went for it. His magazine, and to some extent his life, are monuments to red-blooded American adolescent heterosexuality. We need more of it, I’d say.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. Really, nk? We need more of it?

    You clearly haven’t thought this through.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  10. Yes! Yes! We do need more of it. Or do you prefer the internet’s “non-cisgender, binary, asexual, gender-blending, LGBTQ” pickle-biters and carpet munchers?

    nk (dbc370)

  11. One of the earliest stories in his magazine was about a future society ruled by homosexuals where heterosexual men were persecuted. (I thought it was by Anthony Burgess (Clockwork Orange) but it seems it was by some other guy.) Well, Hefner, did his best to make sure that this wouldn’t happen here. “Kid, this is a woman. Ask your dad what they’re for.” Besides, he drove the Gloria Friedans and the Betty Steinems bananas (or to their bananas, snicker) and that was a very good thing.

    nk (dbc370)

  12. Offspring generational span (time between first born and last born child) of 39 years, not too shabby but not the 55 years of Anthony Quinn.

    urbanleftbehind (3c8eef)

  13. I also think that he was a positive influence on the matriarchy. It made them question the opacity of the cobwebs over their men’s eyes and wonder if they should not try to look a little more attractive. Like by at least wearing clothes designed by heterosexual men? I wonder, would we have had the bikini and the mini skirt if not for Playboy?

    nk (dbc370)

  14. Cause of death?

    Results of Autopsy: All F’d out.

    Colonel Haiku (6c3294)

  15. RIP takes a whole new meaning in his case.

    Colonel Haiku (6c3294)

  16. I wonder, would we have had the bikini and the mini skirt if not for Playboy?

    Given that the bikini was introduced in 1946, I’d say we would have had it even if Playboy had never existed.

    Chuck Bartowski (211c17)

  17. Hey, Chuck. You know he was from your neighborhood? Sayre Elementary and Steinmetz.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. Or is that Ipso Fatso’s neighborhood?

    nk (dbc370)

  19. You’re misidentifying the symptom for the disease, hefner wee about celebrating the self the id over all, family, (what is that), church, and nation. Yes the models were tame by today’s standards but that’s where it began. This is not of course exclusively a western hemisphere problem, as the degeneracy has settled in even more readily in Europe.

    narciso (d1f714)

  20. Hey, Chuck. You know he was from your neighborhood? Sayre Elementary and Steinmetz.

    I have no idea where that is, nk. I grew up in southern California, now I live in Reno.

    Chuck Bartowski (211c17)

  21. Sorry, Chuck. I thought you were from Chicago.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. That is another way of looking at it, I suppose, narciso.

    nk (dbc370)

  23. i’ve heard tell of a playboy mansion in chicago, it was over in gold coast somewheres (?) but i’ve never nailed it or the story down

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  24. here you go

    easy to pass right by it and not know

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  25. Isn’t it a more accurate one, when you look at the big picture, yes gucccione was worse and of Larry flint the less the said the better, but Hugh cracked the door open.

    narciso (d1f714)

  26. Playboy itself is a Chicago native, like Hefner. Started here, and had its headquarters here until recently. The first Playboy Club was in Chicago too.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. In perspective, narciso, it seems naive and innocent. Adolescent.

    nk (dbc370)

  28. I don’t think so, playboy along with rolling stone, encouraged all the rot we see now, it is the benign view of the pajamas clad pied piper that seems naive.

    narciso (d1f714)

  29. The summers of 1955 and 1956 I worked in a warehouse on North Water Street across a vacant lot from the original Playboy office. I would sometimes see girls who had posed or wanted to pose catching the bus to go home at the end of the day. They always looked a bit pudgy to me and I later learned that they photographed better naked.

    One of the first centerfold girls, whose name I cannot remember right now, was a secretary in Playboy’s office. She was very pretty.

    Janet Pilgrim. Centerfold three times. Died last May 1 at age 73,

    Mike K (b3dd19)

  30. Hefner did pretty good for a Midwest preacher’s son. BTW, his cause of death was boordom.

    ropelight (c5dd75)

  31. Wow. Overnighter on Hef has 29 comments already..

    A certain six-part series recently managed to top 240.

    Ben burn (101c24)

  32. I forget that Hefner’s neighborhood at the time of his teen years may as well have been a bucolic Kane or McHenry County subdivision of today. It was his future first wife’s admission of infidelity during his stint in the Army (’44 -46) that set him off.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  33. It’s still not bad. I drive by both Steinmetz and Sayre regularly. A little bit more “ethnic”, more Polish immigrants and Puerto Ricans, but still the same people whose property tax deduction Trump wants to take away — working middle class.

    nk (dbc370)

  34. This is just kabuko with a different set of strings.

    narciso (d1f714)

  35. I just read it for the cartoons, which were world-class. Gahan Wilson, Vargas, many others. Perhaps the New Yorker’s were better, but Playboy’s were more interesting somehow.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  36. 5. JVW (42615e) — 9/27/2017 @ 11:49 pm

    She pointed out that there was no way that an 18-year-old in 1958 could have anticipated that photos would be widely accessible with a click of a mouse 50 years later

    The problem was she’d sold all rights. So maybe it shouldn’t be so easy to sell rights, especially for unintended and even unanticipated uses.

    The first problem for her was the photos circulated more widely than she thought they would, and in places she didn’t anticipate. That would have happened even if she had not sold all rights.

    The second problem was Playboy republishing them ten or more years later.

    The third problem was the invention of the Internet about 35 years later.

    Sammy Finkelman (4bb3ca)

  37. In perspective, it seems a proof of Chesterton’s admonition Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.” A reasonable claim can be made that the level of ignorance required to envisage a probable outcome is rather endemic. Griswold made the true depth and breadth of that ignorance glaringly apparent.

    Rick Ballard (c15cdb)

  38. That assumes that Griswold was not enemy action, which increasingly an untenable
    argument to maintain. Like wise tinker was the seed fir the virtue signaling we see today.

    narciso (d1f714)

  39. narciso,

    You mean the diseased vulture appearance of the progressive Phoenix might be intentional? That would mean that the 150 year progressive push towards utopia was founded upon absolute lies.

    How shocking.

    Rick Ballard (c15cdb)

  40. As Constitutional law, Griswold v. Connecticut was a froth-mouthed rant by Douglas, having no relationship to the Constitution, American jurispridence, or the facts of the case. Notwithstanding that, anti-contraception laws are really evil things, with no legitimate relationship to a valid governmental interest. Nothing more than the government imposing its will on the most intimate aspects of the relationships between men and women just because it can. A raw exercise of government power.

    nk (dbc370)

  41. 36, that reminds me of a WKRP in Cincinnati 2-parter where the some unscrupulous photogrpaher for a charity campaign took photos of Loni Anderson through a two-way mirror, and Johnny Fever and Bailey Quarters (the true hot one) had to pose as German magazine publishers to “buy” the photos and negatives back.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  42. Shirley you can’t be serious after 50 years Griswold aided in the didolution of the family unit.

    narciso (d1f714)

  43. And add miller v. California as another solvent on our body politic.

    narciso (d1f714)

  44. I’m totally serious. Whether “sex without consequences” is a good thing or a bad thing is a debate for someone’s individual conscience. For a government, “sex without consequences” is only a good thing. Moreover, I don’t see how unwanted pregnancies or venereal disease promote the family unit.

    nk (dbc370)

  45. Let me put it this way: Do we want every roundheels and every horndog to reproduce themselves?

    nk (dbc370)

  46. Thank you for this thoughtful post, JVW. It’s among the best I’ve read yet on the occasion of Hefner’s death. I respect and understand your criticism, and I don’t dismiss it, but neither do I join you in most of it.

    Hefner ran an entertainment business. If you want to compare numbers of young women and indeed, young men who got sucked in and chewed up in an environment in which they were exploiting and in which many of them made bad decisions, I think Hollywood, or for that matter Broadway, affected vastly larger numbers, and does so to this day. Some had tragic experiences, others simply banal ones. I’m disinclined to believe that very many of the people who had tragic ones wouldn’t have found some other means than through Playboy to find their fates, and I definitely don’t believe that it was Hefner’s intention that they find tragic fates. When you say Playboy “caused” those, I only agree with you insofar as Playboy was one of many steps in a chain of causation that typically started before contacts with Playboy, without being the most important or proximate cause. Dorothy Stratten was murdered by a crazy boyfriend from her hometown, for instance — not by anyone she met at Playboy. And we can certainly find stories in ancient history, back to and beyond the Old Testament, of beautiful young women becoming the focus and object of desire on the part of men, including powerful men and including wicked men. Playboy wasn’t about candid upskirts — the models posed, evidenced their consent in writing, and flocked to the opportunity, and while some of them came to regret their decisions, others (as you recognize) emphatically did not and do not today.

    Hef and the magazine skewed liberal on matters political, but so did practically every other major magazine except Readers Digest and National Review, and they still do. But it hosted a far more robust political and intellectual debate, embracing a wider range of opinions along the political spectrum, than, say, Rolling Stone or Mother Jones or many other left-leaning publications. Playboy had a conventionally liberal approach to, for example, the Vietnam War. But on matters of personal responsibility and liberty, it skewed pronouncedly (small-l) libertarian, emphasizing both personal choice and personal responsibility.

    And I just don’t agree with this statement:

    If sexual urges were indeed sublimated in post-war America before Playboy came on the scene, surely we must acknowledge that today we are saturated with base lust and carnal desire, and perhaps that is not really progress after all.

    Sublimation was the product of repression, which relied upon suppression of information on human biology and on birth control methods, and suppression of discussion that could lead to informed free choices. I deny that there has ever been a time in human history when we have not been “saturated” with “base lust and carnal desire.” Playboy became an outlet for those subjects to be discussed openly, intelligent — as we are doing right now on this blog, and as we could not have similarly done in the 1950s because of frankly hypocritical social and especially sexual mores. It became the cultural bridge from “lie back and think of England” to a culture that could instead frankly acknowledge that women are sexual creatures no less than men, and thank goodness for that for the perpetuation of the species, whether acknowledged or not.

    My father subscribed and collected. In a very small and remote west Texas town with no surplus of reading material, I became grateful for that as quite a young boy, for I became as fascinated by the writing as by the photos. I read my first John Updike there, my first John Irving, my first Kurt Vonnegut. I have no doubt whatsoever that Playboy was a material part of my cultural education, and that that was for the better. I wouldn’t say that Hef was one of my heroes, but I am more than a little grateful to him. Of course, YMMV. We can at least agree that he was consequential, even if we can’t agree entirely on whether they were mostly good, mostly bad, or mostly inevitable consequences.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  47. Excellent, Beldar. I wish I had said that.

    nk (dbc370)

  48. As I wish I’d said what you wrote about Griswold, nk. :-) But thank you, and back at you.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  49. Without a doubt, Hefner had an influence and left his mark.

    However, it also seems that after a time, he became fixated and suffered from arrested development.

    Still a Playboy at 50? 60? 70? 80? 90?

    See, 1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” (Substitute boy for child, and repeat.)

    Hefner’s act was well past its season and expiration date. https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=A0SO8yZyEs1Zf6MAuGNXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyYTNwbDkzBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjM5MTlfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=There+is+a+season%2C+Turn+turn+turn&fr=mcafee#id=2&vid=0026170eb9e1805aabc696413cd229c6&action=view

    Which brings to mind another very recent example of arrested development and leaving your mark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-F0Ic2OJ0v0

    Of course, it was Hefner’s life, and it was his to spend as he chose. As with each of us.

    But with his death, one should stop for a moment, look at your own life.

    And as a nation, perhaps we should stop and ask, in our current culture and society, are we willing to give up childish ways?

    As so often today it appears that there are too few adults around. GLZ.

    Gary L. Zerman (ab669e)

  50. By the way, nk, even from my perspective in a small west Texas town, the “Chicagoness” of the early Playboy was apparent. It wasn’t quite New York or Hollywood, but it was nevertheless very metropolitan, and perhaps a more all-American metropolitan than New York, if that makes sense. Indeed, before Hef decamped for LA, there were often elements of the New York-Chicago rivalry apparent in the pages of the magazine, with Chicago as the underdog and hence sentimental favorite.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  51. Years back, I’d asked one of my friends if he’d seen the Pattie Hanson (the gal who went on to marry Keefe Richards) centerfold in that month’s Playboy.

    “Seen it?”, he says, “I ruined it!”

    Colonel Haiku (6c3294)

  52. @ Urban (#41), re Bailey Quarters: Totally agree.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  53. After a cursory internet review, she hasnt held up well….

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  54. Yes it wee true even back in the corinth to whom Paul was addressing from Rome, but we speak of elwmwnts that helped corrode and dissolve the body politic.

    narciso (d1f714)

  55. Great post, JVW. You write well, cover the important points, and take a fair approach the nuances of Hefner and his life.

    I won’t be as nuanced. He was a flawed man who appeared to use or hurt people more than help them. I hope he does RIP in the ancient sense of the term.

    DRJ (15874d)

  56. …or you could use the RIH in Chicago gang member social media put-downs.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  57. I care for his soul even if he didn’t seem to.

    DRJ (15874d)

  58. @11. nk, remember, back in the day, Steinem went undercover and held a gig as a bunny for a time to ink an expose of ‘hutch’ life for the young women working at the clubs. Still, when we were living in the UK in the late 60s and early 70s, my late father took my mother to dinner and to play roulette into the wee hours nearly every Saturday evening at the London Playboy Club. She still remembers the food was good and the roulette wheel was generous. One evenings winnings paid for their small sailboat which was aptly named, “29 Black.” It was just a part of business life and entertaining in that era.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  59. i bet the smithsonian wants a bathrobe

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  60. Jesus lived a life of little means and much personal hardship. Many who claim to follow seem to enjoy beatific lifestyle that is contrary to the difficult path they were warned of. Are such persons on the wide and well travelled road truly on the Path?

    http://www.russellmoore.com/2017/09/28/hugh-hefner-not-live-good-life/

    Ben burn (101c24)

  61. @49. Well, don’t forget, Hefner’s daughter, Christie Hefner, ran Playboy Enterprises from ’82 ’til ’08. He’d pretty much plateaued ‘the act’ by the end of the 1970s– and the culture was changing by then as well.

    @35. It made for quite a canvas for artists of all kinds. Did wonders exposing Leroy Neiman’s work.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  62. FWIW: “The Playboy bunny costume is recognized around the world and has become part of Playboy’s corporate identity. The form-fitting outfit, with its fluffy tail, white collar and cuffs, and satin ears, reportedly is the first service uniform ever granted registration by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: No. 762,884.

    Accessorized with oversized ears and a tail, the original costumes came in 10 colors but no collar and cuffs. Name tags and rosettes were added to the costumes in 1961.

    In 1964, a foundation manufacturer worked with Playboy to develop a washable and highly durable costume. The lightweight one-piece, boned foundation outfit came in a variety of colors — but only two sizes: 34D and 36D.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  63. Thanks, everyone, for the lively discussion. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness everyone brought.

    Beldar, as always you make some terrific points. I didn’t want to leave the impression that I thought Playboy was responsible for the Sexual Revolution (quick digression: I was watching some show on live in America after WWII and a veteran said, “You know, our kids think they invented the concept of a wild sex life but let me tell you, when we returned from the war we all had some GI bonus money and the single women had taken jobs while we were away and had moved out of their parents’ homes into apartments of their own, so we had a wild and crazy time too.”). And I’m sure in some ways that the loosening up of sexual mores made life more comfortable, especially for younger women. But when you look at the rate of out-of-wedlock births today along with the number of abortions, and when you hear stories of high school kids circulating nude pictures of themselves or of college kids who record themselves in flagrante delicto and then later have lots of reason to regret the decision, you can’t help but wish that we were a little more modest culture. We don’t have to be Saudi Arabia, but it would probably be good if we were less like Rome under Caligula.

    DRJ, thanks as always for the kind comment.

    JVW (42615e)

  64. The summers of 1955 and 1956 I worked in a warehouse on North Water Street across a vacant lot from the original Playboy office. I would sometimes see girls who had posed or wanted to pose catching the bus to go home at the end of the day. They always looked a bit pudgy to me and I later learned that they photographed better naked.

    Thanks Mike K. When I was in college, Playboy did a photo layout on “The Girls of Women’s Colleges.” They went around to a bunch of women-only schools and got some of the young ladies to pose. They were only able to get one girl from a Seven Sisters school to pose, a girl from Smith. A few weeks after the issue came out, she apparently agreed to go to a party at one of the Harvard finals clubs. I knew another woman who was invited to that party, and she told me that half the club guys where breathless in anticipation that this gal who had been in Playboy would show up. Come to find out, she had been there for the past hour, but she looked so different in real life from her made-up, styled, and airbrushed Playboy photo that no one recognized her.

    JVW (42615e)

  65. @65. JVW- our building shared digs w/some Playboy offices in LA and many morning elevator rides were made all the more pleasant w/young models heading up for meetings and such. But it is a common thread noting how what presents itself in reality underwhelms from what was dished up in the pub. The young ladies who cocktailed our gig mentioned in #4 were surprisingly young– and you almost felt sorry for them going through the motions in those ears, heels and cottontails.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  66. Oh boy… Here we go again with Zelig…

    I went to a bachelor party at the LA Playboy Club in ’84 and the place was looking shabby and kind of depressing.

    Colonel Haiku (6c3294)

  67. Civil war soldiers on both sides traded — sometimes across the lines — in “French postcards.” Pre-battle preparations included writing wills and final letters to loved ones, writing one’s name in one’s clothing so that one’s body could be identified (and using the then-new science being aggressively peddled by a new class of entrepreneurs, embalmed for return home in the case of some better-off soldiers & especially officers), and making arrangements for survivors to remove all those French postcards from among their effects — the 19th Century equivalent of clearing one’s browsing history.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  68. @68. I went to a bachelor party at the LA Playboy Club in ’84 and the place was looking shabby and kind of depressing.

    =Haiku!= Gesundheit!

    No doubt you felt right at home.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  69. No, the shabby/depressing part comes into play when I scan your fantasies that encompass most of recorded human history and your prominent place in it, lol.

    Colonel Haiku (6c3294)

  70. Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine, died earlier today at the Playboy mansion at the age of 91.

    This is clearly a metaphor for the modern version of what passes for Western Civilization. We’ve turned into playboys. We can’t be bothered to actually become mothers and fathers. No, we’ve farmed that out to the lower orders. In Europe that means Muslims euphemistically called Syrian refugees which also mysteriously includes Tunisians of the type that crashed a semi into a Christmas market in Germany.

    In the US that means south of the border. Do any of you actually have Mexican or El Salvadoran friends? Because a lot of these new illegals don’t even speak Spanish. They speak various Indian dialects and the Spanish-speaking are getting irritated that they keep urinating in public and littering their front yards.

    The solution to our problems, according to our leading aesthetes, is gay marriage and open borders. We’ll just live for the moment and outsource all the nasty breeding to outsiders. Who, we imagine, will come here and become us. Like in five years the Afghans and Moroccans fleeing to Germany as “Syrian refugees” will be wearing lederhosen and serving beer at Oktoberfest.

    No. We’ll become them. We’ll die off like Hefner and be replaced by his landscapers.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  71. nk, I’m actually from beautiful & exotic Calumet City, IL. The Original Sin City!!!

    Walt Disney was also from Chicago, so I guess you could say Chicago contributed two of the more significant characters of the 20th century entertainment industry to the world.

    Beldar mentions the rivalry between New York & Chicago in the pages of the early Playboy. I have always found that curious as Chicago is to New York what Indianapolis is to Chicago as far as population is concerned or about 1/3 the size. Not very close in reality. Maybe it was a function of the times in the 1950s or early 60s when Chicago was actually growing in size, unlike now.

    Hugh RIP.

    Ipso Fatso (7e1c8e)

  72. the essential rivalry is mostly commodities versus equities would be my guess

    but the whole “second city” thing points at something broader

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  73. Mr Feet:

    Chicago actually was second in population to NY for most of the 20th century until being passed by LA in the 1970s. We will soon be passed by Houston, if we haven’t already.

    Ipso Fatso (7e1c8e)

  74. I should add, recent hurricane events notwithstanding.

    Ipso Fatso (7e1c8e)

  75. @73. “Second City.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  76. “They speak various Indian dialects and the Spanish-speaking are getting irritated that they keep urinating in public and littering their front yards.”

    That’s a smear like “all Christians are scabby hypocrites ”

    I’ve found these people have outstanding family values and work ethic. You are a self-righteous pri*k.

    Ben burn (101c24)

  77. oh my gosh yes that makes sense

    dallas is bigger than houston but they have third whirl finances and pissed off pension piggy firemen and popo

    i want them both to succeed

    but I’d put my money on houston

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  78. nk and Beldar, Oui.

    mg (31009b)

  79. Dallas proper is not as big and is stagnated not unlike several cities elsewhere in bluer regions. It’s those big suburbs (200,000+) north of 635 and closer to Ft. Worth that are going

    urbanleftbehind (3c8eef)

  80. Ben, you didn’t catch the nuance. Any splitbaby partial amnesty is dependent on prying away Mexicans from triangle Central Americans, although that does at disservice to those who fled the 70s-80s

    urbanleftbehind (3c8eef)

  81. Most of them qualified under the first amnesty, the bulk of the second group cane after the devaluation, the zapatwro uprising, and the post NAFTA cartel expansion drive

    narciso (d1f714)

  82. The Zapatistas were a joke north of Mexico city, if weren’t, wouldn’t Che t-shirt sales have been eclipsed by the wanna be ninja visage of commandant marcos?

    urbanleftbehind (3c8eef)

  83. I’m just setting a marker, on cartel TV, they are still pushing dacha along with incipient zombie apocalypse in Puerto Rico.

    narciso (d1f714)

  84. Doesn’t PR exodus to mainland kill Daca?
    Rather than bitch, what kind of shows/dramas would you countenance and greenlight?

    urbanleftbehind (3c8eef)

  85. How about some shows about the cops and not the criminals, some more of those frothy the
    Enivelas there are even some interstubg Turkish soaps, I guess its the sultans public devotuon

    narciso (d1f714)

  86. The golden age was on univision (via televisa) from mid 1990s to late 2000s. Theres not a credible police image like our Blue Bloods or Adam 12 down that way, and even now we have to be sated by Broklynn 99.

    urbanleftbehind (3c8eef)

  87. Well its function, I’m safe they Could do it, like in that series the bridge.

    narciso (d1f714)

  88. Dan Jenkins has always made me laugh.

    mg (31009b)

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