Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Playgirl Is Zipping Up
I can't pretend it is likely to be as widely regarded as momentous as announcements go as hearing not so long ago that the Christian Science Monitor was shutting down its print publication the better to direct its energies to the cyberspatial sprawl. But, as you see, hearing Playgirl is now doing much the same gets a post from me, while the CSM news went unremarked hereabouts. After all, the CSM story meant little more to me than the realization that we had little reason anymore to consider that perfectly likable and truly venerable journalistic outfit more respectable or influential than, say, TPM is in our deliriously changed and changing p2p-mediated landscape, which is something I already long thought anyway. But losing the crinkly palpable pages of Playgirl does feel like it means something to me. And so I do want to offer up a brief salute to Playgirl in its eclipse, especially the Playgirls of 1979-1982, which were incomparably more useful to me in what was an otherwise sludge-gray Hoosier adolescence than they ever were for my mother, who subscribed to the publication for roughly three of the four years I was in high school as a protest against my Dad's Playboy subscription. Dad didn't get the point, or didn't much care if he did get the point, and as far as I could tell Mom never did more than snicker at the photo-spreads with her sisters occasionally if they happened to be around on the day of the latest issue's arrival. But if it hadn't been for the Dune books, old screwball comedies on public television on Saturday nights, and Mom's trashed Playgirls under my mattress there would have been far less light in those last years before I broke out of Floyds Knobs, Indiana for College at last. GiggleSugar provides a snarky slideshow of classic covers in tribute to the passing legend, and that seems quite good enough for me.