Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
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.
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…
We knew things were getting bad at the Playboy Mansion, but today’s Wall Street Journal suggests it’s worse than we thought. Here’s the takeaway: That logo is about to end up a lot more places, and mean a lot less.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 pair of econometricians have pored through the *Playboy* archives with an eye to economic trends and confirmed a preexisting theory that in times of economic crisis—like now, for instance—men like their women a little taller, a little older, and a little more muscular. In short, we want farmer women to help us till the soil after the revolution comes.
With a $500 price tag, its own velvet-lined suitcase and more melons than the fruit aisle at Whole Foods, *Playboy*’s limited edition *The Complete Centerfolds* book we told you about last November was one of those overly-ambitious ventures – much like the seven girlfriends – that seem to characterize Hef’s evening years.
Now however, perhaps responding to market pressures, they’ve released a more recession-friendly edition without all the bells and whistles, but still including every single strumpet to grace the famed gatefold since 1953 – over 600 of them to be exact. Presented chronologically in large format, it’s remarkable to chart the progression of soft porn aesthetics over the decades, changing with tastes and times. One thing’s for certain, however: melons have been in season for 50 years.
Hugh Hefner must have had a good chuckle over our post on the porta-nymphs at the Hugo Boss / *Interview* party the other day. “Ha,” we can practically hear him snort, “fucking amateurs.” They should have known better than to try and bite his style.
There are some pretty great life stories out there, but Hugh Hefner has to be one of the better ones. So we’re understandably excited to hear that someone’s finally thinking about the movie version.
In an interview with Comingsoon.net, Hef gives some details on the project including attached director (Brett Ratner) and hopeful star (Robert Downey Jr.). Although Hef claims *Iron Man* has nothing to do with it, it’s hard to ignore Downey’s recent take on Tony Starks as a techier version of the Playboy magnate. As for Ratner, we assume he’ll go easy on the car chases.
Apparently not only is there such a thing as French *Playboy* but it seriously puts the American version—actually, make that *America*—to shame. While our original iteration of the classic men’s mag is irredeemably cheesy, the French version puts a high-fashion spin on things which elevates it above the onanistic urges of, well, the kind of guys who buy *Playboy*.
Pop quiz: What has a $500 price tag, its own velvet-lined suitcase and more melons than the fruit aisle at Whole Foods? *Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds*, the new 720-page, 32-pound limited edition due out from Chronicle Books on Thanksgiving Day.
Hugh Hefner has been fulfilling male fantasies with a heavy dose of *fromage* since 1953, and he’s probably bedded the lion’s share of the 600-plus pinups inside—and paid for plenty of implants along the way.
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