Hugh Hefner, gone to his reward at the age of 91, was a pornographer and chauvinist who got rich on masturbation, consumerism and the exploitation of women, aged into a leering grotesque in a captain’s hat, and died a pack rat in a decaying mansion where porn blared during his pathetic orgies.
Hef was the grinning pimp of the sexual revolution, with quaaludes for the ladies and Viagra for himself — a father of smut addictions and eating disorders, abortions and divorce and syphilis, a pretentious huckster who published Updike stories no one read while doing flesh procurement for celebrities, a revolutionary whose revolution chiefly benefited men much like himself ......
.... But in every way that mattered he made those changes worse, our culture coarser and crueler and more sterile than liberalism or feminism or freedom of speech required. And in every way that mattered his life story proved that we were wrong to listen to him, because at the end of the long slide lay only a degraded, priapic senility, or the desperate gaiety of Prince Prospero’s court with the Red Death at the door.
Now that death has taken him, we should examine our own sins ......
..... that only prudish Christians and spoilsport feminists are willing to say that the man was obviously wicked and destructive, is itself a reminder that the rot Hugh Hefner spread goes very, very deep.
Rachael Lu echoes that perspective here.
Ladies, don’t let your sons grow up to be Hefner. If your boy turns into a lecherous porn-loving Playboy, you screwed up.
In the wake of Hefner’s death, it’s been interesting watching admirers try to gin up a few not-completely-laughable phrases to present Hefner in a positive light. We are told that he was a social justice warrior and an entrepreneur, who graced the public square with his intellectual firepower. If true, these observations should only serve to deepen our disgust at what Hefner became. He stands as an ominous illustration of an important truth about the lives of men. Just like women, men have to make choices .....
..... Across nine decades, he relished nearly every conceivable advantage, and then passed from this life with all the manly gravitas of a pimply fifteen-year-old. This was not a life well lived.
The Hefnerian credo is a manifest failure. Aspiring playboys should take note. No matter how much lipstick you put on the bunny, it is not possible to indulge every appetite and still be a man of sophistication and substance. Dirty old men are dirty old men, even in million-dollar bathrobes.