Reading Playboy For The Articles

Some time ago my brother was working a job where he found vintage issues from 1971 of Playboy. Reading through these magazines I couldn’t help but see evidence of the dumbing down of America. I’m certain there were as many centerfolds eligible for Mensa back then as there are now, but what was different between Playboy then and now was found in the pages not dedicated to what they once called, “pictorials”.

The Playboy of 1971 was so text heavy some sections of it could be confused with today’s New Yorker. With so many articles in a magazine famous for nude pics you could see how it was possible to make a living as a writer back in the twentieth century.

They had short stories by authors like Arthur C. Clarke and Nabakov. The interviews were lengthy and featured people more likely to be described as intellectual heavyweights than brain dead actors. Most of the cartoons were weak and involved some variation of a guy making out with an undressed married woman whose husband was absent, but there was occasionally an amusing one (like the cartoon where David slingshots a rock at Goliath and a Philistine saying, “What a cheap shot. No wonder I’m anti-semitic.” ).

Were the articles included becuase of censorship laws back then? Did a magazine need a certain percentage of text per smut to be sold on newsstands? Or were readers more demanding  and wanted metaphors with their tits and ass?

One thing’s for certain from yesteryear’s Playboy, women were much more fond of their pubic hair in 1971 then they are today.

3 thoughts on “Reading Playboy For The Articles

  1. You kinda hit the nail on the head there already before your questions. “Dumbing down of America.” Back in 1971, that particular issue probably was taking things to the extreme, but in the era of the X Games, extreme has become much more than an adjective. If you aren’t taking it to the extreme, rather than the limit as the song implies, then you don’t matter. Thus extreme nature wins out over things like intelligence, common sense, good hygiene, and in some cases wearing clothing EVER.

    I had a teacher recently talk about how being published in Playboy is still considered an honor amongst writers because of the publicity. Unfortunately, though, I think a lot more people in this country only look at the pictures. BUT, that’s the case with A LOT of stuff now. Even children’s books are more heavily laden with pictures than words. So the emphasis on increasing knowledge through reading is not there from the time they are old enough to see a book. It’s all about the vibrant colors and designs on the page, which movies are using to a T as well, such as Avatar. Your favorite

    I will say though that I’m glad the 70’s look for women in those, ehm, “situations” went away. But, the ones appearing in the center now are taking THAT to the “extreme.” Not really my cup of tea either. Whatever happened to the girls next door? The “real” girls next door showing up in that magazine? I mean if you’re wanting to look at that magazine, isn’t that what you really want to see anyway? Someone you might actually know and might actually have a “real” chance with? I honestly thought that was what Playboy was supposed to be about. Not trashy girls in erotic poses, but classy looking women in more artistic poses?

    Doesn’t matter anyway. Thanks to the Internet, magazines, books and newspapers will all disappear by the time my daughter graduates high school. Well, maybe not completely, but they won’t be used as widely, let’s say that.

    • With the invention of sudoku I think newspapers have ensured their continued existence at least until 2030.
      One positive thing about today’s society I gleaned from 1971 Playboys is there’s a lot more tolerance for diversity. I can’t imagine you’d get away with saying Blacks shouldn’t be fully integrated into positions of power until they get smarter as John Wayne said in an interview.


    #3 – Porn in General.

    In supposing what an audience wants to see, it’s all the same shots of the same shit. Even the movies from the 70’s were better with stories and decent settings. Now it looks like a naked workout video.

    #2 – 3D

    It used to be 3D came out at you. Now it just goes from the screen, backwards. What’s the point of that?

    #1 – Instant Coffee Machine

    About 100 years ago, drip coffee made it’s way into the office. No one has a problem with drip coffee. Then in the last decade, those have all been replaced by these shitty new machines that shoot out single serving coffee from these plastic packets. They even advertise a home model. This is like those Japanese sex robots. When you think about it, hi tech isn’t always the best option. Juan Valdez and his burro will always win out.

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