We are going on a trip this coming Thursday, first to Miami to visit relatives, and from there to Akumal, Mexico for some sun, snorkeling and sand. These days everything is always up in the air, as Covid Nazis can alter everyone’s plans at will. But at this time Mexico requires no PCR test or vaccination documentation, no masks on arrival. To return to the US requires a PCR test, and given that the Moronic variant is said to be running rampant, the country may by then be in lockdown as Joe Biden’s Dark Winter sets in. It’s out of our control, but this is key: If we test “positive” for this fictitious entity, Mexico does not care. We simply extend our vacation. They do not quarantine. Maybe it is time to be looking for housing down there, as the country seems to have escaped the psychopathic insanity, On our trip to Baja a few years ago, I learned to appreciate fresh seafood – I can deal with being stuck on the Mexican coast.
I am reading Mask of Sanity by Hervey (yes, “Hervey”) Cleckley (1903-1984), an inquiry into the nature of psychopathy. I did not expect such good writing an potent insight from it. The man was deeply observant.
One of the later chapters (Chapter 34, page 303 of my 1955 third edition) describes a patient of his, an attractive woman in her middle twenties, who had slept with 20 consecutive men, each only once (one or two twice but no more). She was not uninhibited, and knew that she needed to come to grips with her own behavior. She was quite aware it was aberrant. She had no feelings for the men, but she was not a psychopath. Further inquiry by Cleckley formed a new idea of the reason behind her burst of promiscuity. She had a friend, a woman somewhat older, married. The two were attracted to one another, and the patient described their intimate interludes with this older woman as the most pleasurable and satisfying she had ever encountered.
Then the older woman simply ended the affair, moved away, and this was when the patient became promiscuous. She was grieving. Sex with men was an outlet, as the alternative, sex with women, was hard to come by, everyone being closeted, or at least the woman was not in tune with underground networks that surely existed at the time.
Another aspect of her personality that caught my eye … this was in an era in which women were home bound to cook and clean and raise children. She absolutely rebelled at that idea, and realized she could never settle into that life. She regarded it as a prison.
So we have here a woman trapped in an era … like so many, a lesbian who has to stay in the closet, and a feminist who had no outlet for expression of her skills and creativity.
I know that Intelligence was behind both the Civil Rights and Feminist movements, that Gloria Steinem was CIA, and yet have to say I do not care. Blacks needed to find their voice, and women needed to be able to express both their talents and natural sexuality. These movements have freed people up to live more fulfilling lives. Of course, the Intel folks probably had more malevolent ideas, slowing down reproduction, breaking up the nuclear family – that’s always been their thing, that’s why we have Men Are Pigs and AIDS, etc., but there is an upside to their activities. Blacks and women were unchained. That’s ongoing, and not a bad thing.
Cleckley’s book was published in 1941.His insights were prescient.
There’s a series now playing on Amazon Prime, American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story that screams ZAL! For those unfamiliar, Zal is the concept brought to us by Tyrone that if an event is made into a major motion picture, that event was fake. With American Playboy we are told that a man of limited means in Chicago was in 1953 able to acquire high quality nude photos of the movie icon of the time, Marilyn Monroe. This was the origin of Playboy magazine. That does not happen. What happened is called a “rollout.”
Playboy is now online only. As a teenager in the sixties, I was of course aware of it, my parents having found a copy under my mattress. Later, when I learned to read as well, I would follow Playboy into subjects beyond my grasp, such as civil rights and the anti-Vietnam war movement. Playboy was right in the middle of all of it, controlled opposition for sure. The magazine had a self-image that was contradictory, wanting to normalize pornography while at the same time delivering (pseudo) intellectual content, along with fashion notes, humor and cocktail advice. As I watched the series I now cannot help but note that the people in the Playboy interviews were all those who I now know to be juiced – Malcolm X (fake death), Martin Luther King (fake death), Jimmy Carter, William F. Buckley for instance. On the latter, I ate up the entire Playboy interview in the early 70s, as I was a National Review subscriber and I idolized the man. I still have latent admiration for him (he died in 2008), as my conservative views were then and (after traveling the spectrum) are now in line with his.
National Review once did a take-down of the Playboy empire in one of its issues in the 1970s, concluding that the magazine did nothing more than give men at once what they wanted and what they thought they should want, like using a copy of Tragedy and Hope to hide Mad Magazine.
As I matured, I gave up on pornography, including that of Playboy. My reaction to it was this: Vague and distant airbrushed naked women hold no appeal for me. I need close and personal, and real. A beautiful woman in her early twenties, a centerfold with one foot in a bucket of ice water and sporting a baseball cap and bat who says “I need things that are real in my life” (OK, I made up that whole scene) do not fire me up. I realized that the Playboy centerfolds were classic bimbos, and Hefner a lightweight.
Yesterday at Barnes and Noble I can across a thick coffee table book that had in it all of the lyrics of songs written by Paul McCartney. “Sheesh!” I thought – the man is a total poseur. Did he write the music? Did his twin brother? Far more likely, neither. The man is a walking phony, every day pretending to be something he is not. Lorne Michaels has called him a “fucking modern-day Mozart.” Nah. He’s just another Bezos, Gates, Musk … men who are public actors, fake geniuses, behind whom are people of real talent supplying their achievements.
In the same manner, I have come over the years to regard Hugh Hefner (real death – 2017) as a public actor behind whom was Intel. You don’t just stumble on a very high quality nude photo of Marilyn Monroe in 1953. That was handed over to him as he was selected to lead a project to objectify women, loosen morals, break up the nuclear family, create a generation gap, and slow down the reproductive machine. Maybe that is seen as necessary by the people who control our perceptions. maybe it even needed to happen, or was at least inevitable. If you happen to watch this series, you’ll see that Hefner is portrayed as the beating heart of the enterprise. I doubt it. In later years he could be seen watching baseball games in Los Angeles, three playmates at his side. That, to me, screamed impotence, but to keep the empire alive, Playboy needed a public images of a rabbit-like mogul banging every nude woman who crossed the pages of the magazine. Hefner by that time was used up. I have to wonder if Hefner in the 1950s was shy, insecure, retiring, and surrounded by men and women of greater talent.
The intellectual pretense of Playboy was also off-putting. Hefner in his public appearances and interviews did not come across as much of a genius. His “Playboy philosophy” was cheap justification for the existence of the magazine – but honestly, I never read it. And anyway, he gave up on it before it was finished. Probably best. It was going nowhere. He did not have the salt to see it through.
Every man reading this has had masturbatory fantasies fulfilled by Playboy, but also, hopefully, outgrew them and went on to form mature and fulfilling relationships with partners of substance and quality. To roughly quote Jerry Seinfeld, adults in adult relationships are playing baseball. People reading (or these days viewing online) Playboy are playing Wiffle Ball.