Some jokes are the opposite: laughter requires that you do not think about the joke, at all, and that as soon as you hear it you must jam a screwdriver through your eminence ridge, giving yourself a frontal lobotomy.
Playboy’s recent announcement that it will stop featuring pictures of nude women provoked in me a “hahaha” reaction followed by “…makes sense, I guess. Not like they signed a contract saying they’d print porn forever. They’re in a declining market. Or rather, a market that has declined so much that it has ‘declined’ into a hill on the other side of the world. Might as well jump ship and start doing something that makes money.”
Welcome to 2015: there isn’t a market for print porn. Photographs of naked women are worthless now. This isn’t the 70s, or an Amish community. We have a military-funded porn delivery system in our houses now. Porn is so common and ubiquitous that they might as well have decided not to print photographs of wallpaper.
Playboy’s selling point was that it had a thin veneer of class, you could read it without feeling like a total sleazeball. So why not focus on the class? Playboy’s value is not that they provide porn. Any idiot can find porn. Their value is in their brand. They’re an iconic household name. There’s all sorts of ways they can spin it to make money. They don’t have to do porn. And that’s good, because they’d file chapter 11 if they did.
The magazine actually has really good content. Porn is worth literally nothing against exclusive new writing by Stephen King and Haruki Murakami, or interviews with Metallica. It’s safe to say that the average person in 2015 actually is reading Playboy for the articles.
Times change. Playboy’s Playmates have their time in the spotlight, then they gracefully age into real estate agents and radical feminists. Hugh Hefner’s changing too – once he was the icon of crazy wild partying, now he’s the icon of crazy wild oxygen therapy (does he even have sex anymore? At that age all I’d want from my girlfriends is a nice long foot massage.). Why shouldn’t the magazine itself be ready for change? Remember, there’s no stasis anywhere in nature. If you’re not evolving, you’re regressing.
(Also in the funny if you don’t think about it category: this. That’s like a 50 meter walk. Would you want to carry heavy bags of groceries and furniture that far? Let the man have his car. Jeez.)