Monday, November 16, 2009

Old Age Isn't Pretty

Playboy Enterprises is up for sale. Who'd want such an old dinosaur?

Anyone looking for something particularly creepy to watch on television can spend time with a very geriatric Hugh Hefner, looking more and more senile by the week. This is the face of Playboy? It's isn't pretty.

The man who helped to launch the sexual revolution is now watching the revolution pass him by. There's so much porn on the Internet that no one needs to pick up a copy of Playboy's magazine. It's not the only game in town, and apparently no one was reading the thing for the quality articles either. The prose is still there but the sales are not.

The corporation is bleeding red ink. A casino project from the 1980's fell apart, and there went that source of outside, non-porn, income. When the business is sex, and the competition is fierce, where does a CEO go to diversify the portfolio? The nightclubs are long gone, just as the habit of going to nightclubs is long gone. What passes for entertainment fifty years after Hugh Hefner launched the bunny on the world is radically different.

For now, that is. Pay attention to the commercials for liquor that feature handsome (a bit gay, actually) men sipping things like scotch or expensive bourbons. Dressed in tuxedos. All very formal, like something our parents might have thought was a look to aim for.

Then look up old videos of Hugh Hefner's television program, in which he roamed a room filled with sophisticated types, sipping scotch or expensive bourbon. Dressed up, not down.

It seems as if the style pendulum is going back to the 1950's, to the age of cocktail parties that flowed with witty repartee and not a single glass of white wine to be seen. It's the Playboy image that Hugh Hefner promoted, and it may be making a return appearance. Just in time for some investor to buy up the potential that could be residing in Playboy Enterprises.

Then they could put Grandpa Hugh out to pasture and bring in a younger, hipper spokesman. One far less creepy.

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