I am troubled. I’m not sure that this is worth it. Writing this, that is.
I’ve just read that Playboy is in trouble. No, not because of some scandalous, provocative pose of a has-been actress who is hoping that by showing her surgical enhancements in contorted poses she’ll be able to get work beyond dinner theater in Dubuque. Nor is it because there is a remarkable revelation in one of the magazine’s legendary interviews. (Has anyone noticed that they’re “legendary” in the sense of being from a long time ago, almost in a galaxy far away—that either what’s being said to the interviews isn’t particularly noteworthy, or that “Entertainment Tonight” scoops it?)
Playboy’s problem is that it is, apparently, having trouble. Readership trouble, that is. Apparently, ad sales are down. Circulation is suffering.
And there is that whole concern with the coveted 18-to-34 male demographic.*
Let’s think about this for a moment. Playboy is a magazine that is based on showing pictures of naked women. If I could somehow present this in a huge type font, I’d write it again that way: Playboy is a magazine that is based on showing pictures of NAKED WOMEN (your wish is my command, Mac – ed.).
You would think that those two words would have the same effect on the 18-to-34 male demographic as the words “FREE BEER.”
But, no. There is trouble at the Mansion. Hef may have lost touch. (One would suspect that Hef has probably lost all semblance of sentience, but who can tell?) So the former #2 editor at Maxim has been brought in. Just like the former #1 guy at FHM was brought in to sassy-up Rolling Stone.
Maybe the new Playboy approach will be pictures of (semi) NAKED WOMEN, just like in RS (and Maxim, FHM, Stuff, Etc., etc.). Maybe they’ll use musical instruments to hide the, uh, saucy bits.
And here we are, with just the occasional graphic, and a background with a full-clothed guitar player. How can we possibly compete? This is, indeed, troubling.
*I apologize to our female readers both within and without that demographic, as well as to men and boys who accidentally found their way to this site by searching for a reference to Scripture and who have never been the same since. But apology notwithstanding, realize that this whole publishing business is a true brawl with no rules, and damn it! we’re not giving up until we get our share fair of it.