V-log: Some Thoughts on Hugh Hefner, Playboy & The Protagonist Of The #Novel I’m #Writing

Some thoughts.

V-Log: The FOTUS Affair (Theory) & Citadel Playboy

by Shelton bumgarner
@bumgarls

I wonder what would happen if someone from a major media organization asked Cooper Hefner what Playboy Enterprises knew about the FOTUS Affair theory. Would he stonewall or would he fold like France in 1940. That’s a very interesting question.

My gut tells me he’d fold.

He has every reason to help someone from another media company find out the truth of the matter. In this video I talk at great length about all of this. It’s pretty good.

Waiting For Peter K. Stris Comment & Playboy’s Community As Source Material

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The point of me continuing to talk about this is I just want to know one way or another what happened. I want closure. If Elliot Broidy is Bechard’s babydaddy, then I can go back to working on my novel. I just hate this not knowing. I hate the cognitive dissidence of it obviously being Trump on the face of it, and yet there being, like, zero datapoints for it being either Trump or Broidy.

It’s really frustrating.

I would be, at this point, content with a blanket denial from Bechard’s lawyer Peter K. Stris. Just tell me she didn’t bang Trump, doesn’t even know him and I’ll be content. Then we’d have the official statement.

Meanwhile, if I had the resources, I will fly to LA and try to ingratiate myself into the Playboy Bunny community. If I worked for The New York Times I will, like, call Cooper Hefner up directly say, “Bruh, what do you know?” I think if there’s any there there — which there may not be — we could guilt Playboy into fessing up. They have a huge vested interest in being the good guy in this imbroglio. Think of the sudden relevance and positive buzz they would get if they helped bring down Trump — or at least gave him a nasty political bruise? I would be shocked if their corporate self-interests would trump them helping The Resistance. If they did help in any cover up that would be seriously uncool, Playboy.

I guess what I’m saying is if you want to know the truth of this imbroglio, figure out a way to crack the Playboy Bunny community nut. Think of who we’re dealing with. Gorgeous, catty, gossipy young women who share everything and see themselves in a sorority. I would be completely flabbergasted if Bechard had not confided in one of them about who she was seeing, be it Broidy or Trump.

Anyway. I guess I hope we could shame Playboy into confessing whatever they know.

But simply don’t know. It could go either way at this point. It really could.

Talk To Me Internet: Some Thoughts On Hugh Hefner’s Complicated Legacy

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

This one is pretty good. Enjoy

Some Idle Musing On Playboy Upon The Death Of Hugh Hefner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

While he wasn’t perfect, Hugh Hefner was a personal hero of mine and influenced me in ways large and small. My personal politics are pretty much the editorial page of Playboy in about 1976. Anyway, with his death, Playboy is at a crossroads. I have a little time on my hands and so I’m going idly muse on my personal vision for the great publication that he founded. I have written about most, if not all, of this before but I feel like talking about it again now that Hefner is dead.

If I had any control over Playboy, I would try to bring back its coolness factor from the ’50 and ’60s. I would bring back the old Playboy TV show, maybe in partnership with YouTube or NetFlix and restore the brand to its glory days. I think there is a huge market for that old school cool and if they did a regular show that featured cool people talking about cool stuff and great bands, then people would respond.

Additionally, I would re-imagine the Playboy ideal. As it stands, for decades, the Playboy man has supposed to covet the attention of the “girl next door” who was hot and surprisingly easy given her ostensible persona. I would do something cool like obsess over Ilana Glazer and make her the “mascot” of the publication. She’s not your traditional beauty, but she’s very sex-positive and she would fit perfectly with the modern concept of the type of woman the Playboy man is supposed to lust after.

All of this would be in the context of trying to turn Playboy.com into the second coming of Gawker.com. If Playboy wants to be relevant again, it needs to flip the script, shake things up a little bit — or maybe a lot — and get people talking about it again. And the best way to do that would be to hire a lot of former Gawker writers and get them to rile up the elites with thought provoking commentary. That’s the thing about Playboy right now — it just doesn’t really generate all that much buzz like it used to. It’s a “legacy brand” as they say, and as such it’s more something a middle-aged man like me likes as opposed to the 20 somethings whose attention advertisers long for.

I would also suggest that — in conjunction with Ilana Glazer — the publication go into video in a big way by maybe having Glazer be a roving reporter for them in little shorts. She’s probably really busy right now and it might cost a bit more than expected to get her to do it, but the cost would be worth it. She would bring instant buzz and street cred back to Playboy in a big way. I know I talk a lot about Glazer sometimes, but she’s a personal favorite and I enjoy thinking up new and different ways to exploit her great personality.

Anyway, thanks for the memories, Hef.

Some Things The Resistance Needs

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

As I keep saying, I’m hard at work on a novel about this bizarre era we live in, so I kind of have all of this on the brain right now. Here are two things I’ve mentioned before that The Resistance needs that I will review.

1. A Gawker-Like Website
The Resistance needs a Gawker-Like — or Spy Magazine — for this era. We need a go-to site for woke commentary in blog form about what’s going on in this era. Trump isn’t going anywhere and the sooner we understand that, the better. It seem as though some people think they shouldn’t start anything that would help The Resistance because they think Trump is going to resign or be impeached sometime soon. That just isn’t going to happen. I have suggested Playboy could be the media organization that would most benefit from such a thing, but it doesn’t seem they’re going to pay me any attention or even know that I’m talking about it.

2. A Twitter Killer
We need a better mousetrap. Twitter is great in some ways, but a real pain in the but Trump became president, in part, because of his use of Twitter. All of this is insane. We need something that uses the concepts of the old Usenet from 20 years ago in a modern way. At least I thin we do.

Anyway, no one cares. No one is listening to me. We’re going to just suffer as the Trump era grinds on and nothing changes, except for the worst.

Playboy Should Position Itself As The Anti-Axios

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have spoken at length about this before, but I really enjoy this topic, so I will come at it from a slightly different angle. I have written about how I think a startup blog should try to be the Spy Magazine-like Anti-Axios of our day. A neo-Gawker, if you will.

And, yet, I suspect that due to the changing nature of the broader Internet, that’s just not going to happen. No one with the means, motive and opportunity is going to invest in such an idea simply because Twitter exists and the blog universe has become so large and saturated that it would be difficult for such a person to see any immediate ROI. Or something like that.

So I turn my attention, again, to Playboy.

It just makes too much sense for Playboy to throw everything up in the air and completely switch gears. It makes too much sense for it to hire a bunch of Jezebel writers and turn Playboy.com into the biting political site that we’ve all been looking for. I really enjoy what The Atlantic has been producing and Crooked Media does a good job, but it is, to date, a podcasting company. It just doesn’t seem all that interested in doing what I want.

But Playboy not only has an existing audience, it has a name brand that is already associated with liberal progressive causes. And it’s really, really desperate to be relevant again. Doing as I suggest would do just that. It would really get people buzzing again about the brand and I feel the market would be there, as well.

It’s possible, though, that what I want is not something a legacy brand can provide. It could be that only a startup could do it. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for someone to see what I see. Maybe they never will.

Meh.

The Continued Absence Of A Spy Magazine-Like Anti-Axios Is Curious

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It is very curious that we’re this far into the Trumplandia era and someone, somewhere with the means, motive and opportunity hasn’t founded a Gawker or Spy Magazine for this new age. I just don’t get it. It’s really weird.

The Atlantic, strangely enough, is doing a really good job providing people like me with the thought provoking content that I’m looking for during this Cold Civil War. And Crooked Media, too, with its podcasts is doing a good job giving me content that enrages me, if nothing else. It enrages me because I feel like they’re telling us how Trumplandia is successfully destroying America and there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about at this point. New York Magazine’s site also does a good job, but it’s a little bit bland liberalism for me. And The New Yorker and Vanity Fair continue to do yeomanly work.

But these are general sites, general news organization. They’re not devoted to specifically tearing Trumplandia to shreds. That’s what I want as a reader. That’s what I’m interested in right now. The closest thing I have at this point is Twitter, but that’s just because of who I follow.

Meanwhile, Axios is everything a Gawker or Spy Magazine would be against. It’s access journalism that sucks up to Trumplandia in the effort to get a steady flow of scoops. But there’s no opposite. There’s currently no snarky, rough-on-the-edges journalism site that’s popular enough to get the media world buzzing. Vox is meh.

I want a site like Gawker in 2003 or 2004 that you woke up excited to read. I want a site that really tears into Trumplandia in a way that makes people like me cheer. I have suggested that Playboy might be the news organization to do what I want, but I’ve heard crickets. I mean, I’m a nobody. No one listens to me.

Maybe it’s because in the last 10 years or so, the online media world has changed to such an extent that it’s just, in real terms, impossible to start a blog like Gawker. Maybe that’s what is obvious and yet I can’t accept it for some reason. It could be that moment in time has faded and will never return.

Oh well.

Still think Playboy should do it, though. The have the most to gain from doing as I suggest. It would really give them a purpose that the currently lack. They have the name and the resources, they could do something really cool if they came out swinging against Trumplandia on a daily basis.

If such an organization ever did get founded, I would probably bug the crap out of them to write for them in some capacity. They would get a huge amount of buzz and I think the advertisers would come with the associated traffic. It’s just a matter of someone with some vision and resources to actually make what I suggest a reality.

Playboy Needs To Get Woke Like Teen Vogue

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Teen Vogue has won itself all kinds of accolades and buzz for becoming “woke” in the face of Trumplandia. People have given what could otherwise be sort of a teeny-bopper version of the adult Vogue some real respect for its willingness to get political in an unexpected manner.

I have suggested on more than on occasion that Playboy Magazine should follow a similar path. Now, I know Playboy is doing something akin to what I suggest already. It’s always had progressive leanings. And it’s different for a traditional men’s magazine to bask in the buzz of being woke than it is a young women’s fashion magazine.

But I guess why I keep talking about this is it seems of all the legacy publications with legacy brands that could benefit from being woke, Playboy seems the most in dire need of it. Yet it wouldn’t be easy. It would really have to shake things up for my proposal to be effective. They would need to poach the best writers from, say, Jezebel to really get the buzz machine going.

The only reason why I even mention any of this is that now that Gawker.com no longer exists, I really don’t have a brand that I have a personal affinity for other than Playboy. I really like how cool Playboy once was, way back in the 50s and 60s before it lost its way in later years. So, I want Playboy to thrive and prosper and it seems as though it being exceptionally woke would do the trick.

If Playboy.com became the personal one-stop-shop for woke news on the Trumplandia experience, then it would be serving both an audience and a marketplace that is woefully under served right now. People like me are so desperate for what I’m talking about, that we feel forced to do it ourselves with blog sites like this one.

Regardless, it’s fun to think about. I doubt seriously that Playboy will ever know of my suggestions, but it would be so cool if I woke up and the media world was buzzing about a new, woke vision for Playboy. If Playboy was able to start to be relevant again, I think it would reap some great rewards and it wouldn’t risk simply drifting off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

All of this, of course would depend on how much power and vision young Cooper Hefner has. Cooper Hefner apparently has gotten more power of late and he seems like just the young, brash fellow who might follow the vision I have articulated. But anyway. No one is listening to me and all of this is little more than mental masturbation at this point.

An Idle Shout Into The Void: Playboy Should Be The Voice Of The Resistance

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have talked about this at length before, but I figure if I talk about this enough maybe someone, somewhere connected to Playboy Enterprises might at least humor me. I am doing my part for my little corner of the media world with The Trumplandia Report, but I don’t really have the resources to do it right.

In my mind, however, I can see that there is a niche in the media ecosystem that is not be served. That niche is a site that would serve as the effective voice of The Resistance. There are any number of sites right now that I go to, The Atlantic, New York Magazine and The New Yorker to name a few. But none of them have the biting snarkiness of the late Gawker.com.

That’s what I want, I want a site that is snarky, edgy and informative. And, given Playboy’s history of progressive values, it would make a lot of sense if it positioned itself to do as I suggest. It seems inevitable that if an established media company like Playboy doesn’t do what I suggest, then a scrappy startup may do it.

But of all the media outlets out there, it seems Playboy is sufficiently desperate for relevance and buzz that it might be willing to do as I suggest. Doing following the vision I am trying to articulate comes with a certain amount of risk.

There is a very real possibility that you would turn off a lot of readers. But I am of the belief for every reader you’d turn off, you’d pick up two or three more who, like me, are energized in their opposition to Trumplandia and they want quality content that would help them make sense of it all.

But let me stress, no one listens to me and so all of this is an enormous waste of time. Yet is is fun to articulate a vision. It is fun to see if I can catch the attention of someone at Playboy Enterprises, see if I can get someone to listen.

This video goes into a little bit more detail, and I suggest you watch it.