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the blonde

The narcissism is what ties the Donald and Hef together. How loathesome.

Brian

“People see what they want to see.”

True. And, people learn only what they’re ready to learn and only when they’re ready to learn it. I have no doubt many people saw what you describe in "Playboy" and in Hugh Hefner. There were, however, other things to see and other lessons to learn.

In our childhood and adolescence, oppressive attitudes designed to enforce conformity were smothering everyone with a soul. We were taught that sexuality was shameful and shouldn’t be discussed. We were taught that the only responsible path through life was to marry right after school, get a job with the biggest company in town, buy a house in the suburbs, raise children, go to church on Sunday, stay married even if we’re hopelessly miserable, and quietly work our way up through the newest Ford or Chevy car models until we could afford a Cadillac.

As children and young adults, we had "Boy’s Life" and "Field and Stream" to reinforce acceptable notions of “manhood.” We learned, through these magazines and others like them, that real American men would: rise at 4 AM in order to go out in the woods and shoot defenseless animals; discuss the relative merits of fishing lures; and leave their wives at home while they finished the day at a corner bar, drinking Miller High Life and watching sports with the boys. Fortunately, some of us had a sympathetic sales clerk at a local drug store who would sell us copies of "Playboy" from behind the counter.

From "Playboy", I and others learned that a more genuine and humane road to American “manhood” could include: supporting civil rights and the integration of public facilities; not considering human sexuality shameful; taking your wife out to listen to jazz while drinking martinis; driving foreign cars; living in an urban environment; and discussing the relative merits and works of Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Kerouac, Joseph Heller, and Hunter Thompson (yes, many of us actually did read the articles in "Playboy", even when we were kids).

I’m sure I would have learned these things at some point even without "Playboy." But, I’ll always be grateful to Hugh and to "Playboy" for giving me a head start.

[I don’t know if you saw it, but in a recent interview Cooper Hefner, quite rightly, apologized for that Trump cover and, also quite rightly, called it an embarrassment].

Fiddlin' Bill

The "Trump cover" is not an embarrassment to Playboy or Hefner, it's an historical document that should be recognized by the myopic, manipulated people who voted for Trump for President.

CJColucci

Lenny Bruce used to do a bit where he credited Playboy with making racism un-cool. You couldn't be the hip, urban, jazz-loving, martini-swilling sophisticate tooling down the road in your convertible sports car and yell "N****r."

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