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Hugh Hefner has died, aged 91.
#1
High Hefner, the man who built the Playboy empire, has died at the age of 91.

He started his famous magazine back in 1953 and it has had varying degrees of success and failure over the years. It was probably the only truly mainstream pornographic magazine and many people actually bought it for the surprisingly high standard of journalism employed and also for interviews with many top celebrities. This element has probably ensured the survival of the magazine and possibly the whole Playboy brand in the day of free on demand porn as the magazine always was relatively tame but the magazine actually doesn’t do explicit nudity now and the models cover themselves in shots, either with clothing or careful placement and now the magazine is actually tamer than the UK versions of magazines like Loaded, FHM and Maxim were and those were just general men’s magazines (although US versions were tamer than the UK versions) and Playboy actually hasn’t had nudity on their main website for several years. Even Gail Simone did an interview for the website a while back so it shows the change in attitude at the company and while they still had the mansion and the girls milling around, much of the old Playboy died long before Hef. The clubs he established were huge business for a long time but those faded out of sight in the 70s as attitudes changed and the company went towards media again as well as merchandising the brand heavily. TV helped keep the brand relevant for a while and the magazine has never been scared of reinvention.

I read the current (clean) version of the magazine through Readly, a digital magazine library service.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41423845
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#2
Ah yes, Hugh. We will always have Beverly Hills Cop 2. I've never read Playboy, by the time I was old enough to buy it I had dial-up, but a lot of short fiction in Playboy ended up in anthologies I liked or expanded to full novels.
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#3
Well, Playboy was never "pornography." Just nudity. And they are going back to full nudity now.

In its heyday from the late 50's to the early 80's, it was probably the best magazine out there. I know it's considered a joke to say so, but the articles... the interviews... the fiction... the artwork and physical design... were the best you were going to find in any mainstream magazine. The Reagan era took away most of its advertisers and left it a shell of its former self.
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." --Thomas Jefferson

“Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” --Benito Mussolini
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#4
Playboy paid its writers more per-word than any other periodical. It was the magazine for up-and-comers to try and break into, and many titans of literature spook of it as their crowning achievement.

I've always been conflicted as to my opinion of Hugh Hefner himself. While he was always polite and courteous, and to his dying day he was adamant in his support for respectful treatment of women, his fortune and publishing empire was founded on exploiting young women. And yes, it was exploitation, because the models were almost always young girls barely out of their teens desperate to enter the modeling/acting world. They might have given their legal consent, but they were in very poor positions to do so.
Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

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#5
I should have known this but I found out today he was very big in the civil rights movement. I'm grateful for that for obvious reasons.
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#6
(09-28-2017, 02:43 PM)JBK405 Wrote:  I've always been conflicted as to my opinion of Hugh Hefner himself.  While he was always polite and courteous, and to his dying day he was adamant in his support for respectful treatment of women, his fortune and publishing empire was founded on exploiting young women.  And yes, it was exploitation, because the models were almost always young girls barely out of their teens desperate to enter the modeling/acting world.  They might have given their legal consent, but they were in very poor positions to do so.

I get that, but... they were adults with the right to choose what they did with their own bodies. It was exploitation, but was it any different than a football team exploiting a young athlete for his physical qualities? Voluntary exploitation is just... life, really.

The age of the models was actually quite a bit higher than that... most of them were in their 20's, some in their 30's. And the quality of the photography was excellent... not so much in recent years, but definitely through the 20th century.

I'm just kind of amazed that, given the life he led and how long he led it... I don't recall any allegations of sexual misconduct on his part. I'm sure some nasty stuff must have happened from time to time at those mansion parties, if just from the law of averages. But these days when people like Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes are reaping the consequences of bad behavior... nobody seems to have a problem with Hefner. He seems to have really believed in the worldview he espoused.
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." --Thomas Jefferson

“Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” --Benito Mussolini
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#7
(09-28-2017, 02:26 PM)AndrewCrossett Wrote:  Well, Playboy was never "pornography." Just nudity. And they are going back to full nudity now.

In its heyday from the late 50's to the early 80's, it was probably the best magazine out there. I know it's considered a joke to say so, but the articles... the interviews... the fiction... the artwork and physical design... were the best you were going to find in any mainstream magazine. The Reagan era took away most of its advertisers and left it a shell of its former self.

They haven't reverted back actually. They have had women covering themselves but nothing more than that.

The magazine is on Readly and it isn't graphic. It is far tamer than the non porn men's magazines that were common in the UK for 20+ years from the 90s.
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#8
They announced they were going back to nudity (Hefner's son Cooper is in charge now and made the decision). The change may not have gone into effect yet.

They dropped nudity originally because the Playboy brand was very popular in China and India, but both of those countries ban nude magazines. Also they wanted to get back on the newsstands in the U.S. instead of being behind the counter. But apparently it didn't work. I never saw the magazine on any newsstands during the non-nude period.
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." --Thomas Jefferson

“Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” --Benito Mussolini
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#9
(09-29-2017, 03:30 AM)AndrewCrossett Wrote:  They announced they were going back to nudity (Hefner's son Cooper is in charge now and made the decision). The change may not have gone into effect yet.

They dropped nudity originally because the Playboy brand was very popular in China and India, but both of those countries ban nude magazines. Also they wanted to get back on the newsstands in the U.S. instead of being behind the counter. But apparently it didn't work. I never saw the magazine on any newsstands during the non-nude period.

The very first issue after that announcement was meant to be their return to nudity but they only show butts and (at least partially) covered breasts. I'm glad they didn't go back to the old style.

I wouldn't be reading the old version but the current version is far more moderate.
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