Saturday, September 24, 2011

Read it for the words

Here is the September 2011 issue of Playboy. It is not a magazine I pick up often (at least, not in its current form – more on that later). Why did I buy it now? (Hint: see what the little gray mouse is looking at.)

There was a time when Playboy didn’t need to interview a favorite actor to get me to read. I have collected issues from the early 1960s to the 1980s – and if any interesting issues cross my path at the right price, I will add them to my collection.

It’s not because I find pictures of naked women all that interesting. Oh, no. I am that creature that most people think is as mythological as the Easter Bunny: the person who reads Playboy for the words.

Those little black things in between the booby pictures aren’t ants.

If you’ve got Playboy in your house and you’re not reading the words, you’re missing out. (The same can’t be said for Juggs. Juggs doesn’t have any words. At least that’s what I think – I’ve never even touched an issue. You tell me!)

My personal favorite section is the Playboy Forum, which investigates current events in a way you almost never see in major newspapers, much less on TV. This month, I read about why the “War on Drugs” is no palliative against terrorism, and the somewhat-no-definitely-less-than-successful results of Alcoholics Anonymous. (It’s hard to expect much from an organization who urges people to “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”)

However, the September 2011 Forum consisted of just five pages. I can’t say for sure, but in earlier issues (up through the 1990s) I remember it being longer. Did the Forum lose pages to extra Playmate pictures? (A future post will discuss where the gravitas went in commercial magazines – did it get brushed away, like the “yellow,” with Pepsodent?)

Oh, well, back to the past!

I can’t wait to have my old Playboy collection nearby again. I need to read decades-old but timeless debates about censorship and prudery and homosexuality and drugs and the perpetual battle between the individual and the state. I need food for my mind, and not just my eyes – witness the rainbow of clothes and shoes and jewelry and makeup that today’s women’s magazines throw at us.

(I need to end this post. It’s Saturday!)

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