Hugh Hefner

I’m of two minds about Hugh Hefner.  On the one hand, he was a genuinely sophisticated man, who hired and nurtured some of the greatest artists and writers of his generation, and produced a magazine that, in its heyday, was one of the most influential in America.  Playboy was always more than just a skin magazine, and people really did read it for the articles as well as the women.  On the other hand, it was because I read the articles that I ended up dropping the magazine, which had declined in quality as it became increasingly liberal, as opposed to libertarian.  At the same time, Hefner’s personal life, which had once seemed on the cutting edge, descended into parody.  What was cool in his thirties and forties was pathetic in his eighties.  He continued to date beautiful women, often in groups, but their youth contrasted with his geriatric priapism.  In the end, he seemed to me to be a pathetic figure who never grew up.  RIP.

 

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