The Fall of an American Icon: An Op-Ed Piece by Methusaleh
06-19-2006 04:45 AM
The Fall of an American Icon: An Op-Ed Piece by Methusaleh
After careful consideration of where to post this and how to stimulate the discussion, I chose this site and I chose to write a sort of opinion column.
Although my baseline question is still...what happened to that American icon?
I can't say the word argument, though my fingers were about to type it, so instead I will say this...
My ASSERTION is that a powerful American icon has lost it's once universally-recognized significance. Though I am about to relate some factual statements, remember that the undercurrent of this is the question of WHY.
Whomever you are, I wish I was sure of your name but I'm not...this one is for you, The Playboy Bunny!
I was a spoiled brat growing up and my parents were very wealthy, two things I have come to loathe as I get older because it's taken me years to get rid of my awful spending habits and I am still paying the price (ie credit card bills). My family was stuck-up and materialistic, and I am now the exact opposite. Though my father matured out of that phase, my uncle still lives like that even after retirement. That said, it was my uncle, not my father, who gravitated toward what I call The Playboy Lifestyle. The magazine was created for men like him, what with the ads for $500 an ounce cologne, $10000 wristwatches, and annual reviews of ultra-high-end home theater gear. Though my uncle has grown up to be more of a "Robb Report Kind of Guy," I won't digress.
When I was young, the word Playboy conjured up not just images of impossibly beautiful women, but for me it also stood for wealth, a comfortable lifestyle, and having money to spend on luxury items. I read my uncle's Playboy magazines from cover to cover and I suspect he did as well. I digested all of the information contained therein, and my mind filled with images of lovely bejewled ladies in gowns chasing after the men who owned some of the things the magazine advertised.
The other side of Playboy is represented by my cousin Andrew. The Playboy magazine that hinted at a wild lifestyle, one of overabundance of all things good, and a celebration of free speech. The pictorials were where many a celebrity female would bare it all for the first time. The articles by up-and-coming political writers would mesmerize my young mind and open it up into realizing that the liberal media in my area wasn't the world's only conduit through which information flowed.
Put it all together and what do you get? Playboy magazine and the Bunny being a constant reminder of some of the better things in life in this country, from the tangible to the emotional. I did ten minutes of research and learned that my impressions were pretty much on-target with what Hugh Hefner's original impetus was for starting the magazine.
What inspired me to write this was one monumental event that occurred in the last 24 hours. My friend's band is away on tour and I am managing their email, website, and MySpace page. So naturally this all takes up a good few hours each day (of course I'm being compensated). The band is very selective about whom they want on their "MySpace Friends List," and I've been entrusted to be a judge of character.
Well! Let me tell you! It was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. A can hear the death knell for the Playboy Bunny now, ringing in my ears!
What the heck do I mean?!?!
It began a few years ago when I noticed women flaunting the Playboy Bunny logo here and there. I did not think much of it. Then I noticed it more and more, and it began to dawn on me that based on my observations, many of these people were not living a lifestyle that Bunny would approve of. Not only that, but they just seemed to have no clue in the world of just how powerful of a symbol Bunny is to some people.
I knew I wasn't alone when my uncle and I observed a girl-- I don't know how else to say this, but here it goes-- whom could best be described as "total white trash" wearing a Playboy Bunny logo shirt at a mall. My uncle made the comment just as my brain was silently thinking it: nothing about the girl was reminiscent of any Playboy-like image. She didn't look pretty. Appeared to have made no attempt to make herself presentable. Walked with the dejected and bored attitude of a routine trip to the mall, not at all filling her steps with smiles and bounces of joy of living the wild Playboy "good life."
About an hour ago I had enough. It was MySpace that did it. There are literally dozens, and probably hundreds, if not thousands, of women out there with the Bunny logo somewhere on their MySpace pages, yet whom exhibit no regard whatsoever for the cherished Playboy images...free speech, good times, and beauty. No! Many of these girls seem to be loser conformist slobs with no sense of "fun" whatsoever. It is absolutely mind-blowing. Take a look on MySpace yourself. I bet that within half an hour you can find a few girls to whom you will be scratching your head and wondering why the heck they are displaying Bunny in their profile when they probably have no idea what the content of the magazine is and what Hef's vision was when he created it.
That's about it. I just had to get that off my chest. I am sure that if I sat down and thought about it, I could think of other iconic corporate symbols that are being overused and losing their meaning. It's just the cherished memories of the Playboy Bunny that drove me to get this worked up. But I feel a lot better now. Thanks for reading this.
06-19-2006 05:07 AM
06-19-2006 08:19 AM
Running with the Big Boys
Originally Posted by methusaleh
I knew something was wrong with society. The concept of the Playboy has been feminized away from our culture. Some say it was the emergence of "Family values" agenda, but when Playboy mag was born it was the 1950's and family values were the norm. I think it is a more devious chain of events that I call " the pussification of the American male" I feel that the membership of AM is the last bastion for "non- femimen". please help fight the good fight.
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