Kempt

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The Reentry: December 19

Minor nuclear weapons power dictator and bouffant hairstyle icon Kim Jong Il has died.

So ronrey, indeed.

If it seems like the 2011 holiday season is endless this time around, that’s because 2011 has blessed/cursed us with five weekends in December, the third of which saw the Iraq War officially come to a close, Christian Bale roughed up by Chinese thugs and, in our opinion, the best Saturday Night Live in over a decade.

Oh, and Playboy’s sales apparently weren’t affected by those leaked naked Lohan pics...»

Dispatches From Lollapalooza

  • Chris LaMorte

Lindsey Gayle Evans

As you may have heard, there was a pretty big show going on in Chicago this past weekend, and we were lucky enough to have a man on the ground. After three days of untold debauchery, he returned to enlighten us on the ways of rock stars. Behold, Lollapalooza…

Prior to putting on a soon-to-be legendary rain-soaked rave to cap Lollapalooza this weekend in Chicago, electronic superstar Deadmau5 quietly milled about in the media tent.

But we missed him. We were distracted by a certain milky-white shoulder adorned with a somewhat tattered Deadmau5 sticker. We had to find out who it belonged to. So we tapped…

Meeting Deadmau5’s girlfriend, Miss October 2009»

Kirstin Davies is Impressed By Your Choice of Tie

The Retrofitted Pant: Adding cargo pockets to your shorts is the new sartorial power move. [Midwest Style]

The Eye in the Sky: A crop of Chicago photos from Stanley Kubrick, before he was Stanley Kubrick. [Flavorwire]

Red Laundry: How to sew up a communist spacesuit, in case you needed a weekend project. [Gizmodo]

Rabbit, Run: Life lessons from the 1968 Playboy Club bunny manual. Note the dance steps, in particular. [The Hairpin]

The Bunnies Race into the Future

Playboy Bunnies

An Illustrated History of the Playboy Bunny: It’s just what the title promises. [Vanity Fair]

Shivs Quarterly: Valet gives into the knife-wielding horde, and rounds up the best pocket knives for your buck. If you need help, a man named Chico can show you how to use them. [Valet]

Making Your Own Guitar: A photo tour of a small-scale guitar factory. Extreme handsomeness. [Wired]

The Man, The Brand: Sart Inc gets friendly with the Isaia braintrust. If they had a few spare blazers lying around… [Sartorially Inclined]

Hall of Fame

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Today’s pic comes from Playboy’s annual Rock the Rabbit issue, which saw fit to include our beloved Hall & Oates, shot by the legendary Mick Rock and styled by the men themselves.

Mr. Hall’s explanation for the rockabilly getup is as follows: “Rebellion is tradition.” Which is a pretty good summary of his discography, now that we think of it. We’re not sure how the Bono-lite shades play into it…but we'll let him get by with a warning.

Playboy’s New Playground

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Playboy.com has needed a polish for some time now, so it’s only natural that they roll out a redesign on the heels of their archive's recent online move. And ad units don’t grow on dead trees…

The stated goal of the new site is to get viewers to stick around for upwards of half an hour, but we’re not so sure. There certainly is a lot of new stuff to look at: style, nightlife, a full-scale culture section and a decent catchall section for Playboy’s typical idiosyncratic humor. But there’s still something missing.

Where are all the listicles? Where are the pointlessly provocative screeds? We looked for something making fun of Kanye—for more than half an hour, in fact—but we couldn’t find one. All we got was a centerfold jigsaw puzzle and a flash cartoon about a monkey on a road trip.

Hef’s got a lot to learn about the internet.

Light Reading

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The digital revolution has brought a lot of changes to the world of gentleman’s publishing, but Playboy has been remarkably slow catching on. Thankfully, with a little help from Bill Gates, they’re finally making up ground.

The first step is putting all of their archives online, thanks to Bondi Digital Publishing and MSN’s Silverlight viewer. To put that in perspective, we’re talking about 53 years worth of magazines…and more than 600 centerfolds. Not bad for a days work.

Of course, we’re guessing you already know about the publication’s storied history, the Marilyn spreads crowding Nabokov interviews, and the general legacy of Hef. But on the off-chance you don’t, this would be a pretty good place to start.

Stimulating Sights

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Playboy may be in dire straits at the moment but we’re pretty sure they’ll land on their feet. For one, they’ve got quite an art collection.

Well, the auctioneers must have been quite persuasive, because Hef & Co. are going in for their second art auction in less than a year. Of course, the previous one grossed just under a quarter of a million dollars, so we understand the temptation.

It’s enough to keep the empire running for another weekend.

See more of the pictures»

Rabbit, Run

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If we were to write up a list of recession-proof commodities, nudity and beer would be pretty near the top. But apparently beer isn’t the staple it used to be, and nudity isn’t doing too well either.

Playboy lost $156 million last year, prompting the CEO of its parent company to say they were “open to discussions” on a sale. It’s the media equivalent of a fire sale…which makes us worry for the financial prospects of the Girls Next Door.

While Playboy has been rolling downhill for the past few decades, but it’s still jarring to think of a world without it. After all, you can’t hide a laptop under your mattress.

Playboy, Beards, and Bicycle Gangs

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Hef History: When pretentious literary quarterlies write about Playboy, everybody wins. We’re still waiting for the New Yorker’s 10,000 words on Hustler. [n+1]

Stiff Upper Lip: To Esquire, the whole world is a case study on proper facial hair grooming…but the Golden Globes give more of a range than you’d think. [Esquire]

Steel Wheels: Biker gangs are terrorizing the countryside! On bicycles! [PSFK]

All the Colors: The Boston Globe’s handy guide to non-chemical hallucination. Fair warning: you’ll want to keep some ping pong balls handy. [Boston Globe]

Turn the Page

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One of the great 50s pinups is in critical condition and getting the pre-obituary treatment today.

Although she’s far from a household name, Bettie Page will probably look familiar to any Dita Von Teese fans (and probably anyone especially taken by Ms. Joan Holloway). After a notorious string of pin-up shots in the 50s—which managed to inspire equal amounts of fervent admiration and moral outrage—she disappeared promptly from the public eye for a life of religion, marriage and missionary work, never to be professionally photographed again.

But as anyone interested in the early Playboy days can tell you, her legacy is still very much with us.

A few mildly NSFW mementos of Bettie’s career»