I remember when Hugh Hefner was the toast of the town, almost any town. Now things just don’t seem the same. With Playboy pinup girl Jennifer Sterger all over the tabloids with QB Brett Farve, his Indonesia man Erwin Arnada on the lamb for Indonesia’s brand of indecency laws, and circulation at an all time low – Hugh Hefner has to be frowning.
Despite this Playboy pin up or that going viral on the Web about every month, a world seeming to starve for anything sexually explicit, and digital opportunity a plenty, Playboy just isn’t what it was back in 1953 when Hefner began a vision. Back in my heyday, 1972, Playboy sold over 7 million copies (no I did not buy them all). These days making 2 million would be considered a banner year. And talk about loses, in 2008 when the recession hit Hefner’s losses totaled more than $150 million. You have to feel bad for Hugh Hefner a bit.
And then you don’t necessarily have to feel bad for him either. The permissiveness that Hefner and a generation are partly responsible for, the so called “free love” epic Hefner (and some of the rest of us too) promoted? Well, the world is not better off because of promiscuity and even mild pornography.
At 84, Mr. Hefner hangs in his silk pajamas still. There will always be a herd of blonde bimbos chomping at the bit for a taste of the good life – and if not there is always Loreal. One thing seems pretty clear to most people – Hugh Hefner is going to live to see one of pop culture’s most enduring fixtures fail. Finally.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot about Hugh Hefner, the legacy of the Playboy movement – the memories tied to that iconic system of belief – that fantasy. Heck, my heroes as a kid hung out with Hefner. Wilt Chamberlain to Jim Brown, way beyond them – so many had a place at Hefner’s table. Good times for the gentleman’s gentleman too. He surely cannot complain much. It’s just a little bit freaky to think about Playboy going South. As for Jenn Sterger, Brett Farve, the next ESPN sex disrupt? Well, we may have to track the trend by Penthouse images.
Like I said, the Jenn Sterger virus may be catching, and fatal. The image below and the home image courtesy of the Playboy website. I hope Hugh does not mind.
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