there were two magazines that made an impact on teenage busblog

one of playboy, naturally.

the other was Cosmo.

living in a divorced home, my moms magazines were in her bathroom, neatly stacked.

and when i visited my dad, his mens magazines were in his closet. also, neatly stacked.

both had photos of scantily clad women, which was the bait for every teenage boy.

and both had articles, which were the Switch.

playboy was filled with stories about jazz, shiny cars, new technology, rankings of sports teams, and of course sex advice.

Cosmo also had articles which were about how to deal with your shitty husband, how to convince your shitty boyfriend to marry you, fantasies about cheating on your man, and quizzes to show you that you and your man are not compatible.

month after month Playboy showed me an, albeit skewed, take on life that I could be great in bed, rich, hunky, healthy, and well-versed in literature.

and month after month Cosmopolitan taught me that even if I lied in the quiz: men and women would never be happy together.

even though it was mildly depressing, I kept flipping through Cosmo because: omg boobies.

and once i got tired of looking at the omg boobies in Playboy, I would return to the articles I hadn’t read yet, and the comics, and the jokes, and the weird mail-order offers, and the letters, and the interviews. And the fiction that went on and on and on.

both magazines tricked me into reading. and both magazines delivered onto me a distorted look at masculinity.

one was devastating, the other hopeful.

and while so many who wish to judge Hef for airbrushing his models, i ask: have you ever seen what they do with the covers of women’s magazines? it’s even more exaggerated at times.

which doesn’t make it right. at all. and sure as hell doesn’t help prepare teen boys and girls everywhere for the reality of waking up next to someone in the morning.

but in a world that is so confusing, no matter what age, sign me up for the deliverer of Hope.

which is why I will defend and thank Mr. Hugh Hefner for his print product, even though I never became that suave dude in his pages.

yesterday a complicated man died at 91 years old

we are all complicated.

we are all super nice to some people and cant fucking stand others.

my mom is the greatest grandma and mom and friend and co worker

but if neighbor kids play on her lawn she freaks out like a dog does on a squirrel.


hugh hefner was even more complicated. he loved women so much that he wanted to look at them all the time. clothed, unclothed, sorta clothed.

and omg he wanted to live with them!

unlike a lot of his critics, i actually got to meet him a couple of times and i was invited to have a one on one interview with him when i worked for the LA Times. i asked him all the questions i wanted to ask him and he answered them openly and honestly.

some today are saying he was the saint of not giving a fuck. but he cared very deeply. in fact he cared so much about being misquoted that he had his own video team filming my interview so he would have proof if i was up to something. i appreciated that.

he was a friend of the First Amendment, Jazz, Civil Rights, good writing, science, humor, and the most sensitive topic of all: human sexuality.

weirdly he wasn’t able to rid the conflicts that people have in their minds about an untraditional sex life. but he tried.

one way he tried was by living by example. he told me the happiest times of his life was when he was married. he explained that he was a romantic but he also loved learning and exploring and experimenting. so when his previous two marriages failed, he did what most men would do if they could: he lived the life of a single man.

heres the things i loved about Hef: he made a magazine that had a naked superstar in its center during a time that was so uptight that naked bodies were only allowed if they were of black people in Africa. to display an American white woman was super dooper taboo. And he did it and it was an overnight success.

he made a magazine that championed quality music, style, fiction, nonfiction, sports, politics, interviews, cars, stereo equipment and even religion.

he loved animals so much he had a mini zoo at his house. And full time zookeepers. one of the very few private residences in LA that was allowed to have such a zoo.

who saved the Hollywood sign? (it was Hef)

i loved how he proved how important his magazine was (and is) simply by the reactions that people EVEN TODAY have about the nude body.

they still can’t get over the fact that he had pictures of boobies in his magazine.

even my beloved LA Times in the Metro Section today, written by one of their top editors has a story about his life but they simply couldn’t do it without putting “hedonistic” in the headline.

Hedonism is defined as the pursuit of pleasure. Who among us isn’t looking for pleasure?

and as much as i am truly madly deeply in love with my local paper, they are stuck in the same exact 1950s uptight sexually repressed mindset that Hef so successfully rebelled against.

Sex is part of life.

It’s ok to have fantasies.

It’s ok to be just as progressive about our sex lives as we are about our politics.

And if you were to have someone preach those messages, isn’t it nice to have that same person not be a hypocrite, and actually live that way.

Hugh Hefner was a fascinating groundbreaking publisher who loved journalists of all kinds.

He loved film and scrapbooking.

But most of all, at his heart, he loved love.

That’s what I loved the most about him.

dear canadah

you know i love you, right? you know i think of you fondly whenever hockey season starts – when does it start, btw?

you know i love your rock stars and values and party mentalities. i love your cabins and your poutine, and all of your kickass bloggers.

well, last night i met the 2008 playboy playmate of the year and shes from a tiny town north of TO and shes in her early 20s and looks younger, she has a tattoo right above her yahoo and it says Respect. in goth. and i love her almost as much as i love you.

i was at the mansion for their annual haunted house. i dont know why. maybe they liked my scary mask. anyways i got to meet a half dozen playmates and i got to interview them. i even got to interview 2/3s of the girls next door and mr hefner himself.

i learned a lot about the change of seasons at the mansion, including the fact that hef not only has two new girlfriends who are twins (one is named karissa), but he has two more, cuz why not?

they had the whole mansion decked out with crazy lights and scary monsters and look someone dressed up like amy winehouse!

they had funny tombstones everywhere. crazy crashing sounds. and a killer haunted house.

i got to interview pretty much anyone i wanted. everyone was super nice and funny.

but, friends, when i got to interview hef, hero to all men, i swallowed my tongue, so to speak, i froze up, i got cold feet, i saw the legend and i was blinded.

i may have access now to some legendary people and places. even more than ever before. but i have a lot to learn about being a good reporter, especially on video. but if you will be patient with me i promise to learn from these mistakes and kick ass next time.

reporting from heaven, tony

don knotts is dead

and he never got to see the cubs win the world series. don knotts is dead and he never got to see ac/dc play for the president of the united states. don knotts is dead and he never got to see Tsar get a grammy.

bono is singing bullet the blue sky and i wonder if don knotts ever saw U2.

i saw don knotts get out of a limo at the gas station i worked at 19 years ago and he looked old as fuck then. with him was former playboy playmate barbie benton and she was falling out of her dress and i was very curious if she was falling out of it because of don knotts or because she had a loose fitting dress.

either way when he climbed out of the limo and asked if our bathrooms were open i said yes even though i had just given them a nice sweep and a mop so they could be closed.

then i worried that he would slip and die and it would be all my fault but he was floating on air riding around in a limo with barbie benton so he didnt die till 19 years later.

when i was a kid we didnt have this fancy cable tv that you people have. we got whatever stations came in clear thanks to whatever antennae we had attatched. if you were at your grandmas house you were lucky if she even had an antennae so odds were if you were at her house over the holidays or stuck at some cousins house or some friend of your mom’s you were bound to watch a heaping helping of some beverly hillbillies and or the andy griffith show.

in many ways those were simpler times, however in more ways those were times that made you want to stick your head into an oven. i firmly believe that silvia plath would be around today if they had the internet around back then. and better crazy pills.

instead all they had were a handful of tv stations, far too many black and white shows, and no music videos. people who say television bores them get a nice stomp on the foot if they say it to me.

so don knotts, dude who made threes company funnier than expected, dude who wasnt allowed to carry a loaded weapon when he was the deputy in mayberry because he had accidentally shot himself in the leg, dude who was a very convincing fish

dude we will miss you and im glad you didnt split your head open at my gasstation back in the 80s when you were showing us all how its done.