Tag Archives: Playboy

Sunday Scraps 98


1. CHINA: Excellent long-form piece for the NYT Magazine about the marriage market in China. A huge gender imbalance has created a strange and stressful dynamic at every economic strata of society.

2. LENA: In this Playboy interview, Lena Dunham explains, among other things, why she’s pleased she doesn’t look like a supermodel.

3. JOURNALISM: Super fascinating look at the work of Bob Woodward. In researching his own Belushi biography, journalist Tanner Colby unravels the shoddy work of one of the most famous journalists of all time.

4. WRITERS: The relationship between writer (George Saunders) and editor (Andy Ward) is pulled apart in insane detail in this Slate interview. Jesus, these people are smaaaart.

5. BULLY: In the XX Factor‘s ongoing series about bullying, a current rabbi confronts her past as a member of a menacing tween gang.

6. GENDERMother Jones measures the voting records of members of Congress on women’s issues. Unsurprisingly, there’s a correlation with having daughters and a pro-woman voting record. Sigh.

Related Post: Sunday 97: Anita Sarkeesian, DNA exploring, Cindy Gallop and Ta-Nehisi Coates

Related Post: Sunday 96: Philip Roth, duct tape art, Playboy mansion visits


Filed under Body Image, Books, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

Sunday Scraps 96


1. ART: This Colossal photo series of art by Takahiro Iwasaki is called called Topographical Maps Carved from Electrical Tape. I think that about covers it.

2. DATING: Jory John’s take on Nate Silver’s take on the statistical realities of your relationship (from McSweeney’s). 

3. FAMILY: If you don’t cry, you have a heart of stone. Twelve years ago, a young gay couple found a baby on a subway platform.

4. GENDER: The always excellent Amanda Marcotte for Slate writes about Philip Roth’s relationship with women. Wanting to fuck them is not the same thing as respecting them.

5. PLAYBOY: Fun little personal essay from Lynn Levin on meeting her father at the original Chicago Playboy mansion in the early 70s.

6. EDUCATION: Part 2 of This American Life’s series on Chicago’s Harper High School.

Related Post: Sunday 95: Seth McFarlane, missed connections, Leslie Knope’s wedding dress

Related Post: Sunday 94: Connie Britton, Queen Bey, Jane Austen


Filed under Art, Books, Chicago, Education, Family, Gender, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

Braille Playboy and Censorship

Someday when I’m rich, I will buy things like this just so I can say that I have them:

This was very much not for sale (as the sign indicates) at an independent bookstore in, of all places, South Haven, Michigan. I did not pay $10 for a feel. I’m kind of regretting that now.

So tickled was I by this find, I did a little wikipedia hole-diving, just to satiate my curiosity. Here is what I learned:

  • The National Library Service for the Blind and Handicapped began publishing braille editions of Playboy in 1970.
  • No, it does not have braille boobs to touch. It’s just the articles (much like the wings at Hooters, the articles are the real reason people read Playboy).
  • In 1986, Congress withheld from the Library of Congress exactly the amount ($103,000) that was required to print 1,000 editions of braille Playboy. The case went to court, and the judge sided with Playboy (and The Library of Congress), declaring that Congress had attempted some sneaky censorship. Other plaintiffs included the Blind Veterans Association.
  • Braille is expensive!!!

Related Post: Amalgamations of Playboy centerfolds over time.

Related Post: Playboy photobombing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Books, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Sex

S(Monday) Scraps 56

1. HERPES: Fantastic essay from The Hairpin about the perks of having Herpes. Yep, you read that right.

2. VLOG: My lovely friend Bryn and her friend Caro have officially launched their new vlog, Come to Bed with Bryn and Caro, which is “devoted to sitting in bed, eating snacks, and discussing important queer lady issues like alternative lifestyle haircuts, hot celebs, and the butch/femme dichotomy!”

3. JULY: The Rumpus interviews writer/actress/director Miranda July about her latest project, which involves interviewing people who sell objects on the internet.

4. BARNEY: Oh man, do I love Barney Frank. The Masschusetts congressman speaks to New York Magazine about his impending retirement, being the first congressman to come out, and the excessively divisive political landscape. One of my favorite lines (of many): “Half of them are Michele Bachmann. The other half are afraid of losing a primary to Michele Bachmann.”

5. PLAYBOY: The Chicago Tribune publishes an open thank you letter from Hugh Hefner to the city of Chicago, where he founded Playboy (and built the first Playboy mansion) 60 years ago.

6. EVERNOTE: The New York Times interview with Phil Libin, founder of everyone’s favorite memory aid, Evernote, on his approach to developing company culture by adding cool training shit and removing unnecesary technology (no desk phones!).

Related Post: Sunday 55: Juvenile detention centers, geeky tattoos, deal breakers, etc.

Related Post: Sunday 54: Peter Dinklage, baby ear piercings, remixing gendered advertising.


Filed under Books, Chicago, Gender, Media, Politics, Sex

The Law of Averages

This is a piece by Jason Salavon. They are composites of the center folds of Playboy from the last four decades. This is super neat for two reasons. 1) His work is a fun intersection of art and math; he digitally averages the images point by point. 2) It’s cool to see how Playboy centerfolds have changed in forty years. Blonder, thinner, paler. Likely less pubic hair, though it’s hard to tell.

I bought a Playboy once. I had finished reading a really good biography of Hugh Hefner and wanted to check out the current state of his affairs. I tried to read it on a plane, but even though there was some really good writing (and a great essay about the resurgence of medicinal LSD), I couldn’t make my face stop flushing every time I turned a page to skip past a naked lady.

I’d like to see what the last decade would look like. I don’t have much evidence, but that one Playboy I bought was packed with photos of what seemed like the same model over and over again. There may have been more than one, but they all fit the same bill. She was blonder, tanner, and her breasts were ridiculously outsized for her body. I’d like to see that in composite.

Related Post: Playboy still has some quality writing.

Related Post: Playboy readers in times of war.


Filed under Art, Books, Sex

Sunday Scraps 9

1. WIN: Fey +Poehler + Jersey Shore. Ahem, that’s Jersey Floor, a sketch on Jimmy Fallon in which an elevator button gives everyone the poof, a leathery tan and Jimmy Fallon an inexplicable Boston accent.

2. TWEET: Flowing Data tracks the record-breakng tweets per second as Sunday night’s Bin Laden announcement progressed.

3. PLAYBOY: The Hairpin has a 1968 Playboy Club handbook for all the bunnies.  How many demerits for incorrectly bent bunny ears?

4. GAY MARRIAGE/IMMIGRATION: The deportation of a Venezuelan man who is legally married (in CT) to an American man was delayed. NYT says “sign that the Obama administration is exploring legal avenues for recognizing same sex couples in immigration cases.”

5. VINTAGE: Another excellent gallery of sexist vintage ads. Women belong in the kitchen, don’t you know, and they’re dumb!

6. GOOGLE: The latest Google Chrome ads are sooo good, but this one, featuring Dan Savage and the advent of the It Gets Better Project, takes the cake.

Related Post: Sunday eight, seven, and six.


Filed under Advertising, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Sex

Playboy Photobombing

A 1966 issue of Playboy

If you dig through our family photo albums, you’ll find photo after photo of me with a book peeking into the corner of the frame. There’s one where I’m intently reading an Animorphs, another with Stranger in a Strange Land, and my favorite of all time… a cruise ship cabin with a giant hardbacked copy of Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream.

But my litany is easily topped by this collection of photos from real Playboy readers, ones who wrote in to share shots of themselves as young soldiers carrying Playboy across Vietnam. There’s a strange sweetness in the contributions… maybe because in the act of writing, we know that each of these gentleman made it back.

General Order 1, issued by U.S. Central Command in 2000, prohibits soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq from possessing explicit materials. Unsurpisingly, the troops have worked around this barrier, with photographic evidence. The logic of the order is baffling to me; the material is prohibited because it’s content might offend locals. We do a lot of things that might offend locals for a variety of social and religious reasons, Playboy is really what we think is going to cause the biggest problem? I get the need to work within the parameters of civilian foreigners… but I place a pretty high value on soldier morale. Whether that’s Playboy, or a Bible, or the New Yorker (with a turbaned Obama? Like that’s not supremely offensive?) or a Honcho… who cares? Whatever lets you fall asleep at night and get up in the morning with enough energy and endurance to keep your shit together.


Related Post: Female Engagement Teams in Afghanistan



Filed under Gender, Media, Sex