Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Irony And The Romance

This struck me as I read The Playboy Legacy
Lest we forget that there was actually a "Playboy Philosophy" to go with the pictures, Mr. Hefner has also reissued, online, all 250,000 words of his early-1960s disquisition on the good life and the evils of sexual inhibition. Still endlessly indulged by reporters, he has slipped into his best bathrobe for another round of clubby interviews in which to showcase his three salaried "girlfriends" and to reminisce about the original Playboy "dream." (emphasis added - ed.)

Always a "dreamer" and "romantic at heart," in Hef's telling of the story, he dared to challenge the repressive attitudes of his day and left America a freer, happier place. He is guilty only of living out "every man's dream," and if anyone thinks otherwise it must be envy. "I consider myself the luckiest cat on the planet," he often says--a sort of graying libertine's version of the Lou Gehrig line. Hef is also devoted these days to various charitable causes and, he eagerly notes, was recently voted American Charity Events Man of the Year.
. . . . .

Looking to the day when Shangri-La falls silent and dust returns to dust, he has even made arrangements for a final resting place, with that exquisite Hefner touch. It turns out that there is a tomb in Los Angeles's Westwood Memorial Park directly adjacent to that of Marilyn Monroe--the first "girl next door" to appear nude in Playboy--and no one had yet claimed it. "When I found the vault next door to Marilyn was available," he explained to the Daily Telegraph, "it seemed natural." So there, next-door to Marilyn, his permanently pajamaed remains will lie, and all who come to remember her can cast a glance at his name, too.
They say "Old age is hell" and there is a special hell for those who live out their old age without love. Hugh Hefner seems oblivious to the irony that his relationships are reduced to the type of transaction that, in my inner city neighborhood, is consummated between johns and hookers. On the other hand, none of those people will be buried next to Marilyn Monroe. I wonder if that will make them "more dead" than Mr. Hefner - as he lies resplendent in his finest pajamas. (Hat tip to Orthodoxy Today.)