Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Playboy's Cover-Up Is Barely Shocking

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Playboy's Cover-Up Is Barely Shocking

Article excerpt

In the distant past, men who did not want to seem like drooling voyeurs said that they only read Playboy magazine for the articles.

It became a joke, because everybody knows men are drooling voyeurs. If you doubt this, just ask some women.

With news arriving this week that Playboy will abandon its signature nude pictorials, it has come to pass that men who read the magazine will actually be reading it for the articles. Are we all happy now?

As one who did read Playboy for the articles - who can forget that one about (what's was it now?) and that other one I once read - I will be glad to have some company. I am not so sure about the rest of you.

Of course, I will admit that I occasionally peeked at the centerfold, because if a lady takes her clothes off it just seems bad manners not to notice, especially if she is there in the studio at risk of catching a cold.

If you do not approve of this change, you can blame progress, such as it is. According to The New York Times, this redesign is the result of changing times that can bring explicit material to any adolescent drooler with just one computer click. Playboy, which has been losing readership, needs to reposition itself in the market.

Hugh Hefner, Playboy's founder and still drooler-in-chief, is reported to have signed off on this revolutionary change, which just goes to show that even an old goat will eventually seek a more shaded area of the pasture, even if it takes him 89 years of living to find it.

Although the latest news restricts itself to the fact that nudity is being draped by the forces of marketing correctness, which is very like political correctness except people don't try to run for president on the issue, it is easy to imagine that more dramatic changes may be in the offing.

Maybe the name of the magazine will eventually have to change, too - to something like Literatiboy, Bookclubboy, Criticboy or Pretentiousboy, although admittedly none of these suggestions has the same ring to it.

Playboy will still carry pictures of women in provocative poses, but it seems they will be no more than PG-13 in nature. It's not the sort of thing that teenage boys would seek out, as they once shamefully did, as part of their development to full adult droolhood. …

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