Saturday, July 16, 2011

Playboy editor with a conscience


Dear Hugh Hefner,
          Did you know that your Playboy magazine in South Africa is a family publication that every mother would like to have around the house? It’s full of incisive, well written and informative articles that can only educate and uplift everybody especially the young.
        Anybody who mistakenly thinks that it might corrupt the youth because it is full of naked girls and that sort of thing is terribly wrong. Nobody could understand why, in the old days, under the narrow minded Afrikaans Government that ran the country according to a rigid form of Calvinism, your mag was banned.
        Of course they never mentioned then that a lot of the Government’s supporters risked imprisonment by smuggling your mag into the country. These sneaks also thought nothing of having it off with their black maids when their wives were not looking.
       I’m not sure which was the greater crime, having a copy of Playboy or sex across the colour line. It probably would have been being in possession of that mag of yours especially if it contained a nude, black Playmate of the Month, although I’m not sure if the good old US of A was that emancipated in those days.
          Lets face it your country had its own form of apartheid once. Some say it still lingers on.
          Anyway what I’m trying to get at is that I see that the straight laced editor of your South African edition that was recently re-launched after a 16 year absence has resigned. Peter Piegl has such high standards that he would have made an excellent Minister of Morals in that old South African Government I was talking about.
          According to The Times he stepped down after only three editions of this monthly had been published. His conscience would not allow him to be associated with a magazine that was going to be sold in sex shops.
          This was after the publishers had signed a three month deal with the Adult Sex Shop chain. You couldn’t get much worse than that according to our prim and proper Peter.
          "My vision is that it is a lifestyle magazine, not a skin magazine," he was quoted as saying. He added, "My reasons for resigning have nothing to do with the Playboy brand or its sustainability in South Africa."
          I see he’s got a psychology degree. You would think he would have analyzed himself a bit better before he agreed to accept the Playboy job. And judging by what he says about himself on the internet he has no experience of play at all. He hasn’t got time for it.
          He claims to have"concemptionalised, planned and established Playboy SA from the ground up; determining the look and feel of the publication." I like that feel bit. Is this something new in magazine publishing to make the nudes really come alive?
          Tell me Hugh, where did you get this fellow from, some monastery or other. Last time I took your magazine out from under the mattress when my wife was at church I’m sure I saw quite a bit of skin in it. In fact some of the pictures were skin and nothing else. And you had to be blind to think they weren’t sexy.
          Also Hugh old boy can you tell me what a lifestyle magazine is? Does that have no mention of sex in it; no alluring pictures and is only sold at Church bazaars?
          I was pleased to see Karen von Wielligh, the general manager of your SA edition, has given us the assurance that its entry into the sex shop arena will not detract from its classiness. What a relief. I was so worried that aspect might be compromised.
          I wish my mother had realised that it was classy to look at pictures of nude women when I was two. As it was I kept having to have my  eyes washed out.
          It won’t change into something smutty, Von Wielligh promised.
          You don’t seem to be having much luck with that SA re-launch of yours. Not only has your Editor resigned but the publisher, Jeremy Lawrence has also copped out for personal reasons, whatever that means. It wasn’t because he also didn’t like that sex shop connection was it?
          Comically your managing director, Johann Botha had this to say, "We are confident Playboy South Africa will continue to be in steady editorial hands."
          Instead of hiring Peter Piegl as your editor your should rather have taken him on as your psychologist to vet the staff you employed when you started to make sure you took on no prudes and Mother Grundy’s.
          Regards,
          Jon, an avid Playboy reader in the hut at the bottom of the garden.

P.S. Hugh I know you are getting on a bit now, but don’t you think you should change out of your dressing gown now and again. But I suppose it makes hopping into someone’s bed a lot easier.


Buy my book "Where have all the children gone?" on Amazon.com   It's a thriller with an underlying love story that defied generations of prejudice.

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