Pop Culture

Playboy Magazine

playboywall 004

In November of 2010 I got a letter published in Playboy. I’ll let you consult your own archives to see what it said, but I will show you what they left out:

Thanks for republishing that “What Kind Of Man Reads Playboy?” ad. It looks very nice framed on my wall. I’ve gone to bat for the cultural value of Playboy many times. The picture of this swinging cat and lady in tow sums it up: It’s for the distinguished gentleman.
Your pal,
Rocko Jerome

You see, Playboy isn’t for snickering frat boys or drunk girls gone wild. It’s not about making mistakes. It’s about making decisions. It’s about behaving like an adult. It’s also about 138 pages, roughly only 25 or so feature pictures of naked women. The rest are articles about high living and the only insightful, in depth, cut-the-shit interviews that exist in modern publication.That simple extended Q&A format has led to so much truth from so many interesting people that I trust none other to get to the bottom of anybody’s psyche.

You know the old chestnut routine of some yutz saying “I get it for the articles” followed by a housewife or somebody saying “Yeah, right,” cue the laugh track? It’s a real dope who is only in it for the pictures. It’s 2013 and I can’t turn around without gratuitous sexuality in my face. Who needs Playboy unless you’re going to read it? Now and back through the years, you won’t get the straight dope on anything anywhere else.

And the talent that’s provided material is absolutely staggering. Noted children’s book author, artist, and songwriter Shel Silverstein provided wonderful work. That was the place you would’ve read Hunter S. Thompson for the first time. A number of novels were originally serialized there.  Fahrenheit 451 was first published in Playboy.

I feel dread and consternation for today’s youth. The first time I saw an attractive nude woman it was around age 10 and it was in the Playboy that my friend had bogarted away from his pop. I don’t recall exactly who the lady in question was, my head was spinning. I just remember there were pages and pages that had to be rifled through full of text that were absolute Greek to me. Politics, sports, cooking, clothes, cars, things beyond the juvenile. The implication was clear:

This is for adults. When you can read and understand what you see here, you might be able to earn the company of women like this.

I made it, Hef. Thanks for everything.