And we’ll mean it — if we bother. Which I doubt. Seriously, those of you who are no longer adolescent boys — when was the last edition you bothered to pick up?
The shocking news:
Last month, Cory Jones, a top editor at Playboy, went to see its founder, Hugh Hefner, at the Playboy Mansion.
In a wood-paneled dining room, with Picasso and de Kooning prints on the walls, Jones nervously presented a radical suggestion: THE magazine, a pioneer of the revolution that helped take sex in America from furtive to ubiquitous, should stop publishing images of naked women.
Hefner, 89, but still listed as editor-in-chief, agreed. As part of a redesign that will be unveiled in March, the print edition of Playboy will still feature women in provocative poses. But they will no longer be fully nude.
Its executives admit that Playboy has been overtaken by the changes it pioneered. “That battle has been fought and won,” said Scott Flanders, the company’s chief executive. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”
For a generation of American men, reading Playboy was a cultural rite, an illicit thrill consumed by flashlight. Now every teenage boy has an Internet-connected phone instead. Pornographic magazines, even those as storied as Playboy, have lost their shock value, their commercial value and their cultural relevance….
In other developments:
- Apple will no longer produce cool gadgets for the consumer market.
- Coca-Cola will drop its line of sugary soda.
- Carter will no longer produce its little liver pills.
OK, that last one might have actually happened. At least they don’t call them that any more. But you get the idea.
Frankly, I’d call this a desperate plea for attention. I mean, seriously — if nudity has become passé, why remove it? Why not have your models nude sometimes and not nude other times, as the photographer chooses? Since it’s so last century and all.
Also, you know, there’s nothing particularly new about this. In the past, the centerfold models were often partly clad. Partly because that was sexy, and partly to distinguish “Playboy” from “Penthouse” and “Hustler.”
I’m thinking the plan is to get people to run out and buy the first edition under the new policy just to see what the clothed centerfold looks like, then everybody will say “uh-huh,” and go back to not buying the magazine, ever.
Because, as everyone knows (hence the joke), the articles around the nekkid women weren’t really that “in-ter-esting.”
The last “Playboy” I bought for the “interesting articles,” and I suppose the last one I bought, period, was the November 1976 edition — the one with the Jimmy Carter “lust in my heart” interview.
And you know, I haven’t missed it. I don’t think I will in the future, either.