This Friday Amazon will premier a new docuseries on Hugh Hefner entitled “American Playboy.” An actor will portray Hefner, but there will also be unseen footage provided by the iconic libertine.
Hefner founded Playboy right when the Ivy League Look was taking off, and adopted the look along with many other urban professional men. The headline above is from a quote by him, which also listed foreign films.
Hefner gave up the look when it ceased to be fashionable, of course. His insistence on wearing pajamas for the past couple of decades is not a sartorial eccentricity, but a tragedy. Or a farce. Tough call.
Hef turns 91 this weekend — perhaps jazz, gin-and-tonic, pretty girls and Ivy League clothes are the secret to longevity?
Check out the trailer for “American Playboy” below. — CC
I can see it now, when he dies he will be maligned as the ultimate misogynist. His magazine is a shell of its former self, time to end it.
Has Camille Paglia written about him? I’m sure there are dissident feminists who would have to admit he paved the way for the Sexual Revolution and Women’s Liberation.
Interesting, I don’t think that she has but I’d be interested in her take on him. He certainly did pave the way for sexual liberation with his liberal approach to sexuality broadcast through his magazine, but I feel that modern feminists would painted him a misogynist who objectified women.
Yes, of course. Hence the term “dissident” in regards to Paglia.
Actually, Puglia recently praised Hefner in an interview (https://tinyurl.com/jf6b3m3 ). Here’s the quote:
In the book, you call yourself a pornographer. Some of America’s most influential pornographers, Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt, are aging toward death. What will be their legacy?
Although he’s been off the cultural map for decades, Hugh Hefner was one of the major pioneers of the sexual revolution, and history will honor him accordingly. To tag him as an antediluvian sexist would be quite wrong, because he was in the very forefront of redefining masculinity in the period following World War Two. Men’s magazines were all about hunting, fishing, or war—traditional male pursuits. Hefner, a descendant of New England puritans, projected a new, sophisticated model of masculinity, more in the urbane European style. He showed that a real man could appreciate fine tailoring and state-of-the-art stereo gear, as well as wine, cuisine, and sex. America had always been a practical, can-do nation, where work was a religion. Hefner elevated the pleasure principle—Playboy wasn’t just about sex! As for Larry Flynt, his importance at the time was his celebration of working-class populism, with its rude, crude, taboo-breaking sexual tastes and humor. But Flynt is merely a footnote to Hefner’s epic saga.
I never knew he was on trial for obscenity like Larry Flynt.
This miniseries is kind of like “The People vs. Larry Fynt” except that it is like the PG version of an R movie.
I saw a Playboy magazine for the first time in 1971, when I was drafted into the US Army. I used to daydream about wearing Hef type clothes, smoking my pipe, and driving a Clenet car, (a retro type 30’s roadster), with Barbi Benton in the passenger seat.
Something right out of the car scene with Cary Grant and Marylyn Monroe (Monkey Business).
Got the clothes and pipe, two out of four isn’t too bad.
FWIW, Hef’s tobacco of choice was Mixture #79. Hated the stuff, tasted like soap. Hard to believe that most of the rich and famous of the past smoked everyday 20-30 cent tobaccos.
Mixture 79? Yeah sounds like the tobacco of choice for a man addicted to Pepsi.
Someone once made the interesting observation that the scantily-clad seductive women in Playboy were a necessity to reassure red-blooded nineteen-fifties heterosexual males that it was OK to be reading a magazine with articles on attire, cooking and interior décor; areas considered at the time to be generally the realm of mothers, girl friends and wives.
As Whiskeydent has pointed out; Hef indeed had an outsize influence on mid-century life. I have a number of copies from that era; and in one issue alone, Letters to the Editor were sent in by Bruce McLaren, founder of McLaren Automotive and Sir David Brown, owner and chairman of Aston Martin.
Beatriz Colomina, Director of Graduate Studies at the Princeton School of Architecture, once declared that Playboy “arguably had more influence on the dissemination of modern design than professional magazines, interiors magazines, and even institutions like MoMA… Almost every male architect was reading Playboy.”
While lesser men never made it past ogling the pictures while drooling on the pages, intelligent men really did read Playboy.
Dissident, indeed. Steinem once said “…calling herself a feminist is sort of like a Nazi saying they’re not anti-Semitic” about Paglia. To which Paglia replied “[Steinem] is the Stalin of feminism.”
The memory remains vivid.
My dad and I are watching a ballgame on TV when my mom marches into the room and let’s the centerfold of a Playboy fall open.
Mom: “Sam, look what I found hidden under your son’s mattress.”
Dad: “So, that’s where it went to.”
Mom marches out of the room.
Dad (to me): “Next time, bring it back.”
James, hadn’t Esquire been doing that since the ’30s? Also there was a long tradition of stag girlie mags at the time. Hef’s early content was pretty highbrow, or pop-highbrow. I think he had a vision for a whole urban lifestyle, what he called the Playboy Philosophy, and wanted pretty girls to be part of the package, along with the serious fiction, progressive view on Civil Rights, etc.
Certainly Esquire had been mixing gals and fiction and what not (and on a slightly higher intellectual level) – I think the major differentiator was that Playboy went all-in on the consumerist angle. Playboy from the very beginning was full of pieces on buying the right hi-fi (later stereo) gear, the right sports car, the right wine and spirits, the right furniture, etc. It was much more of a “how to live the suave bachelor life” manual than Esquire was.
Agreed, Christian. Esquire magazine had been doing nearly all of it –including nude / risque cartoons and pinup illustrations– since the early 1930s. Playboy merely added nude photos to the mix.
Hef had worked briefly at Esquire. He was a quick learner.
Also, Esquire had been deeply consumerist since its beginning. In the ’30s, whole sections of each issue were devoted to reviews and promotions of male-oriented products.
Here’s a question. Not rhetorical. Honestly I don’t have an answer in mind.
Whatever one’s feelings about the medium he chose or the methods he employed, Hef was cool. Right? Like, really cool. Like Ron Carter cool.
And, as a guy that cool, he preferred, chose, and wore Ivy League clothes.
What the hell happened to the image of Ivy League clothes?
As far as I can tell Esquire never delved into consumer products anything like Playboy did. Take automobiles as an example, Playboy didn’t just discuss the merits of brand X as opposed to Brand Y, they designed their own: The Playboy Sports Car (September 1960), The New Urban Car (May 1970) and The Playboy Land Yacht (June 1975).
Or architecture; Playboy developed their own building proposals: The Playboy Penthouse (September 1956), The Playboy Townhouse (1962), The Weekend Hideaway (1959), The Playboy Patio Terrace (1963), The Playboy Duplex Penthouse (1970), etc.
That said, I only have copies of postwar Esquires, it is conceivable that they may have previously done pieces like “The Esquire Craftsman Bungalow” or “The Esquire Sports Car with Rumble Seat.”
The early Hef did indeed embrace and endorse the Ivy Style, occasionally adding a dash of Continental. But he abandoned his conservative and tasteful attire just as the Ivy Heyday was coming to a close.
From Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream: In 1967, Hef “Purchased a new wardrobe. Abandoning the white shirts, restrained ties, and trim, dark-colored business suits from earlier days, he hired a tailor and spent $10,000 on a new Edwardian wardrobe of wide-lapeled, double-breasted suits, colorful shirts, flashy ties, and leather overcoats, as well as Nehru jackets and pendants.”
Things went downhill from there; bathrobes, pajamas, silk scarves…
Verily, there were no Esquire Clubs and Esquire bunnies. No cult of personality for Arnold Gingrich.
Ivy ceased being “cool” when it became mass-market.
Alas; chasing the mass-market is what also contributed to Playboy’s decline in quality. In 1957, Playboy started their annual Jazz Poll, which made perfect sense as Hefner was a real Jazz aficionado. He loved Jazz, and it showed. In the late sixties, the poll was changed to the “Pop” Poll so that Rock and Pop acts could be included. Basically, it was dumbed-down to attract the masses.
The incongruity of what was happening in the magazine could also be glimpsed on the Playboy After Dark TV episodes of 1969-1970 which had Hefner and the older crowd dressed in black tie, while performing rock band members wondered around between sets in jeans and tees, including a barefoot Linda Ronstadt. At times the show looked like “The Rat Pack” meets “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
I could be wrong; but Esquire magazine was well known for always featuring very well written articles, essays, and short stories by new and recognized authors. They still do. The only reason I still read the magazine.
You are quite correct. My father occasionally would buy an Esquire, but the first one I bought for myself was the March, 1969 issue that featured a cover story on Howard Hughes. I was always fascinated by Hughes, a man so wealthy he could by the hotel across the street just to relocate the neon sign that was bothering him.
According to Forbes Magazine there are currently over two thousand billionaires. If I recall correctly, in the 1960s, there was but two: J. Paul Getty (who wrote a column for Playboy) and Howard Hughes; who was once said to proclaim, “I’m not a paranoid deranged millionaire, goddamit, I’m a billionaire.”
@James Kraus. I believe the hotel you are referring to was the “Silver Sliper” in Las Vegas.
Thank you for confirming that.
There was a time when many of the best barbershops in America subscribed to Playboy. One such was the barbershop in the basement of the Harvard Club on West 44th Street in New York. In fact it bragged about being a charter subscriber and in the 1950s had the cover with Marilyn Monroe on the first issue framed and hanging on the wall.
In April, 1998, I was down from Boston, where I then lived, and stopped in for a quick trim. One of the two barbers opened the cabinet and handed me the then current edition of Playboy. He explained that politically correct busybodies as well as newer women members had objected to the club receiving it and the management of the club had decided to cancel the magazine. Well, the barber told them he would comply but he did not and kept it hidden for the enjoyment of patrons he could trust to keep his secret. This barber kept this going for a few more years but then he won the NY lottery and resigned abruptly. I had to find a new barber and do not know what came to this deception.
The Wall Street Journal ran a front page story in the right hand column, I believe, but I could not find it when I searched just now.
I remember my father’s barber had Playboy, I thought I was so sneaky slipping it between the pages of Popular Mechanics, what a mastermind! Was caught, obviously, and my father just chuckled and shook his head. Great barbershop, big old leather chairs, all older Italians, and Joe the Barber had pictures of his daughter who was working as a Playboy Bunny framed and hung in places of pride.
Was also given my first Ivy crew cut when I was maybe 10, it was a sneak attack!
Hard to explain what a major impact this magazine had on Eisenhower America. A high-production-value mag that said that sex wasn’t dirty and evil, and which showcased nude women who could in fact be the “girl next door”, and not a burnt out stripper, that was shocking enough.
But then they went on to say that you could dress better, eat better, drive a better car, and live somewhere with a vibrant arts and social scene. Throw in a commitment to civil rights, articles that questioned organized religion and other authority, and some excellent fiction, and it was the Apocalypse a-comin’.
A lot of it in retrospect looks cheesy and adolescent, and even then the pre-occupation with “sophistication” seemed a bit pseudo-, but it was a game-changer.
Happy Birthday, Hef.
Yeah, sure, we read it for the fiction and the essays.
Why does everything here have to turn into right-wing autistic screeching? This is why we can’t have anything nice. For the record, I like jazz, ivy league clothes and pretty (nude) girls, too. I hate gin, though. My summer drink is tequila.
Obviously there was a time when a Brooks button-down, sack suit, and, heeding Hef’s witness above, wool challis tie, spoke volumes. The sort of quiet, subtle elegance one might affiliate with old New York. Why did certain gents decide to stick with some version of Ivy after the herd had made their way to all sorts of awfulness we now (correctly) affiliate with the 1970s? With all due respect to answers that involve Vietnam, assassinations, the “establishment,” and hippies, I wonder it has to do with the triumph of middle class tastes. With all due respect to the American middle class, they’ve been known to specialize in the kitschy and the chintzy. If the magazine in question was aspirational once upon a time, by the time I made the discovery, it seemed, to borrow a phrase, “cheesy and adolescent.” Kitschy. Like a lot of America.
Hardly anybody these days tries for elegance. A mindful minority in our better cities, I guess. But just look at the state of things. Including recent editions of Hef’s rag.
I grew up in a fairly right wing family, we had subscriptions to both Esquire and Playboy. Neither were hidden. I read Hefner’s Playboy Philosophy essay when I was in sixth grade around 1963. Playboy didn’t get trashy till they began competing with Penthouse.
Mac, that’s interesting I thought that Playboy was fairly liberal for its time.
SJW, why don’t you go be a troll somewhere else?
Kitschy and chintzy are in the eye of the beholder. The middle class purchases what they can afford, we buy what fits our cash flow. Some of us are very tasteful, some not so much. Not all old money has great taste. They also can as parochial as New Englanders.
Why don’t you go whine about feminism on /pol/ or the whatever sub-reddit you teenage pepe’s infest. Leave this place to adults who like clothing.
Playboy was mostly great articles, short stories and interviews of the famous and controversial. The soft “porn” was just a little more revealing than a Vargas pinup or a WWII fuselage painting.
Besides growing up on military reservations we were open to all kinds of ideas from all over America and the world. The Colonel even subscribed to the NY Times, he like the crossword puzzles.
I thought kitsch was more of a high prole signifier (think garden gnomes). I believe the middle-class ethos has more to do with presenting oneself as aggressively and self-consciously “classy.” Kind of being a tryhard out of anxiety for being perceived as lower class. Fussell gives the example of Victorian middle-class parents would dress up their children as Little Lord Fauntleroy (i.e. 18th century macaroni-type garb) in order to grasp at the fantasy that maybe they too would one day find they have secret aristocratic blood.
Makes me think of some of the folks in the trad-o-sphere who insist on every element of their clothing/lifestyle being 100% correct Ivy League-approved, or constantly drone on about their prep school educations or their supposed ancestors. It betrays a certain anxiety that one will be “found out” as not “truly old money” or whatever.
Can’t say I’ve seen a lot of bragging about prep schools or ancestors on here. Except DCG’s first article.
well, the trad-o-sphere is larger than this site. There is definitely a bit of humble-bragging about prep schools on here. There was even that one article you ran where the kid was whining about how he was singled out for being a prep school kid. As for ancestry-brags, you know to whom I refer.
More than anything, though, I was referring to the idea of being some sort of Ivy League purist. There’s a lot of that around and it’s very middle class. Real old money don’t go into a convulsive fit when they see a chest gore or a pleat.
Mac, that makes sense, I guess it was once an aspirational magazine as someone said on here. When I think of the ’50s I think of kitsch and pollyanna but in a good way. It seems as though it was a simpler time and Playboy was an exciting and revolutionary magazine then.
SJW, you certainly don’t sound like an adult. With a name like yours, you belong on Reddit or one of those sites. Also, I bet you my “whining” about what modern feminists will do to Hef will come true.
I always brag about my ancestors, my coal hauling bootlegging and butcher grandfathers. In my Irish Catholic white trash neck of the woods they are considered professional men.
My stellar government education gives me special dispensation to write horribly and ignore punctuation, it’s the law.
I’ve never subscribed to the 50s being pollyanna. Think about it, the adult men in power had just witness just how depraved mankind can be and the Cold War had begun. The roots and seedlings of the progressive 60s was in WWII.
Mac, that’s true but looking back on the ’50s it seems to have been a very simple, conservative time. Some would say that there was too much conformity, but it seems like a nice decade to me.
Or maybe, instead of being the strawmen you so desperately want to attack, feminists like, like Betty Friedan, will have nuanced viewpoints and pro-life conservatives will blame feminism for creating pornography.
Any my name? Really? Because I clearly picked an alt-right snarlword for my handle without any modicum of self-awareness or irony. Maybe my name should just be “PC Statist BernieBot.”
Thomas Frank, in “The Conquest of Cool” actually makes a very interesting argument about the 50’s. He argues, based on the popularity of books like “The Organization Man” by William Whyte, the supposed “counter-culture” critique of 1950’s conformity and conservatism was actually quite mainstream. The narrative of 50’s repression existed in its own time, but primarily as something to complain about. The actual mass culture of the 50’s was a grey flannel collective made up of ersatz iconoclasts.
Frank has a very negative view of the 60’s hippie culture as being essentially the logical extreme of this narrative where everyone is a rebel, rebelling against something that nobody is a part of, and argues that it is the necessary foundation for a consumerist society where everyone expresses their “individuality” through their purchasing habits.
The book is a good companion for David Brooks’s “Bobos in Paradise.”
I’m familiar with the Brooks and Whyte books, I’ll check out Frank’s, thanks.
SJW, thanks for that article, you helped prove my point that modern feminists malign Hefner over his supposed sexual objectification of women. Also, your handle is quite politically charged for someone who claims that this is a site for adults who want to discuss clothing.
The article you linked has no quotes of “pro-life conservatives” opinionating on feminists being responsible for the oversexualizing our culture. It’s basically an article quoting different generation feminists comments on a statement made by Hefner that women are “sex objects”. Of course the quote is taken out of it’s biological meaning. Yes, Friedman is the most understanding and reasonable, but she is not the “new” feminist who seem to think telling a woman she is wearing a beautiful dress is sexual assault. 😉
In addition to The Organization Man, I can recommend the following books to give a good insight to the 1950s:
The Fifties, David Halberstam
1959, Fred Kaplan
The Exurbanites, A. C. Spectorsky (later to become Editorial Director of Playboy)
The Split-Level Trap, Gordon, Gordon and Gunther
The Fifties is a great overview covering pretty much of everything of note that was going on. Highly recommended. 1959 is a detailed look at that particular year, making a good case for it being the spiritual start of the 1960s.
The fifties did change into the sixties pretty much as the calendar changed over, very much unlike the sixties-to-seventies transition, which actually began in mid-1967 from several political, sociological and aesthetic perspectives.
I can’t really respond because you don’t make any substantive arguments, but I will say this. Even for a high school student, your reading comprehension and rhetorical skills are pitiable.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List told The DC that feminists hurt themselves by seeking empowerment through sex. “Women decided the best way to get themselves out of oppression in the modern era was to emulate men,” Dannenfelser said. “They were trying to get power, but when women decided that disconnecting sex from relationships — which is what they saw men doing — was liberation that is where the floodgates opened. And that is how our undoing as a gender has come about.”
She doesn’t literally say feminists are pushing porn as a form of sexual empowerment, but this is in the context of a discussion about pornography and women as sex objects, so…
Can we talk about Slutwalks and #FreeTheNipple now?
Here’s my position. I personally dislike it when women wear trashy clothing in public and I fully support public nudity laws and dress codes in general. I do not, however, think that anyone who violates them deserves to be raped. Is that controversial?
As far as #freethenipple goes, neither men nor women should walk around shirtless in public, other than at the beach or swimming pool.
What person in their right mind thinks a woman wearing “trashy” clothing, as you put it so well, “deserves to be raped”?
I mean outside the Middle East.
or in certain sections of European cities
Old Money shabbiness is one thing. It may or may not come across as any other sort of shabbiness. A wealthy grandfather and a trust fund don’t ensure beauty, good taste, or good humor.
I’m referring to elegance. Gracefulness. Attractiveness. Beauty.
One of the more attractive women I know is now approaching her late 60s. She dresses LL Bean catalog circa 1980. Ruddy complexion. Long, graying hair in a ponytail. The way she carries herself–speaks, walks, gestures, smiles, laughs.. My God, just lovely. I have no idea if she’s “Old Money” (and I don’t care). She embodies elegance.
What middle class strivers haven’t yet figured out is that it’s one of the few things you can’t buy. No matter the size of your house or Range Rover, if you’re pale, hunched over, foul mouthed, rude, terse, sloppy, and/or obese, elegance will evade you.
Churchill being the exception. His cheeks were rosy, his suits were works of art, and his remarks were clever. So, he gets a pass.
I’ve met Mississippi share croppers to billionaires and every level of economic class I’ve known people with grace. I’ve also met pigs and d-bags. I agree you can’t buy grace, but why denigrate strives of any class?
Funny, I went out to my mail box before responding. No Range Rovers in the parking lot of my Kansas City suburban office. Mostly Hondas , Fords with a smattering of GM products, F-150s seem to be popular. There was a Tesla owned by a guy who I know is wealthy, he’s got a fleet of expensive cars.
SJW, try making sense and then I’ll start comprehending. I have repeated my opinion that given the current climate of modern feminists, when Hefner dies he will be blamed for popularizing the objectification of women. All you have done is provide an article which backs this up. I sincerely hope that with a handle as juvenile as yours, you are in college.
Mac, certain sections of European cities that have been commandeered by “refugees.”
“…but why denigrate strives of any class?”
You are correct. Point well made.
Also, on your point about Friedan, hers was the last feminist movement I could get behind. I have no respect for modern feminists who feel that femininity and masculinity are abhorrent. I needn’t delve into the multitude of reasons why modern feminists are awful, thankfully others are realizing that they are insane.
Gentlemen. Certain sections of our US cities have been commandeered by illegal refugees. Have you not been listening to President Trump.
I think you mean illegal immigrants and yes it’s a shame.
@GS. No I meant refugees. People who have fled their native land because of proverty or political persecution to the safety of America. The shining city on the hill, as the late president Regan described our country.
President Kennedy also referred to America as the shining city on the hill in 1961.
Man, the righties and lefties would sure disagree on whatever it is now!
… or maybe both would agree “stinking city on the dunghill,” just for different reasons.
Korn, that is the reason why people come to America: for a better life. However, one must immigrate legally, assimilate and abide by the laws.
@ GS. What exactly do you mean by one must assimilate?
I mean that immigrants should, at least partially, adopt American culture and give up their own culture, to an extent. Integration, is what I meant. It is essential to American culture.
You forgot don’t gang rape fourteen year olds in restrooms or launch homosexuals off buildings or fly airliners into skyscrapers. Mostly, don’t come here just for our generous welfare.
If those fourteen year olds don’t want to get raped, they probably shouldn’t dress like sluts. Pretty simple, at least according to the Toronto PD.
Also, the idea that immigrants come here for our welfare system isn’t supported by the data. Even some of the more rational right-wing think tanks, like Cato, admit that.
Please explain why my moniker is juvenile.
Also, please provide citations to the article as to how it supports your point. Or any citations. Also please explain what you find abhorrent about modern feminism, with examples. This will help you avoid repeatedly falling into your most favored strawman fallacy.
See above comment regarding Toronto PD.
On a fashion note. Based on the comments of lot of the lefties and righties here — Maybe they should consider abandoning the ivy style, and adopting the style of clothing created by the designer, Hugo Boss, in the early 1930’s. On second thought, many of these fellows seem to hate logos.
There is no single American culture. And even if there were one, it would be something created by the many cultures that have contributed so much to our country. Give me tacos or give me death.
I think that’s the melting pot point he was ultimately trying to make. The assimilation is to the melting pot.
I totally agree with the melting pot analogy, but I did not see it in his argument. I took it that he wants immigrants to adopt some mythical American cultural behaviors.
Isn’t that what they more or less did before 1965, when immigration was opened up to other parts of the world?
Just asking. Have things changed and we are no longer in the position to encourage it, instead accepted the new “tossed salad” analogy?
I have no idea. I will say that the closer one gets to the actual border with Mexico, the more nuanced the issue of illegal immigration becomes. As a Texan and frequent visitor to the Big Bend, I think a lot of folks would benefit from visiting the border and learning about its history and culture.
whiskey, I was referring to the melting pot; you give up a part of your culture and contribute to American culture. American culture is like a canvas that has been painted upon by many different artists. The canvas was made by the British and painted upon by the Dutch, French, Irish, Italians, Jews, etc. Each contributed something to American culture but each knew that by coming to America they would be living in a new, pre-established land. When my grandparents came to America, they wanted to live in America, not Italy. They knew that they would be living in a different land with different customs and culture and made sure that their children knew they were Americans first and foremost. They adopted that culture but still kept a semblance of their own culture. I feel that we cater too much to immigrants these days, like with language. Mexican immigrants aren’t expected to learn English anymore they have signs and what ever they need written in Spanish. Nothing was written in another language for immigrants in the past. Also, right now American culture is not so great there seems to be a lot of hatred for America and a great lack of pride. I may not like the current American culture but I still show my love for this country, something people my age seem to be doing less of.
SJW, your moniker is juvenile because it is not only oxymoronic, it is a term used to describe a certain brand of the dregs of society today. Based on the views you have espoused on here, you do not sound much like a true SJW which leads me to believe that you are using the term ironically. As for citations, I’ll use them when I see fit. My remarks on modern feminism are easily supported by a basic knowledge of current events on college campuses. I agree with your statements on dress and decorum and do not agree that the way one dresses is an invitation for rape. I do, however, think that it would be wise for women to steer clear of known dangerous areas at certain hours of the day. I understand that the problem is not women or the way they dress but crime in general but sadly rapists and criminals will always exist and it is up to us to avoid them or protect ourselves. The argument that we should be teaching people not to rape instead of teaching women to avoid bad areas is stupid because we do not encourage rape as a society but such areas will always exist in some form.
Korn, as for your insinuation that I would be more comfortable in a Nazi uniform, let me refer you to Godwin’s Law: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law
whiskey, American culture is about people from different backgrounds being unified by commonalities such as the english language, the nuclear family and certain morals and values. At least, that the way I see it. I believe it was Ann Coulter who said “American culture is WASP culture,” she was correct to a degree but it’s WASP culture and then some.
I’m a 58-year-old white guy and lifelong Texan, so I have a different perspective. In your first response, you left out the Spanish, who beat every one to North America and made a gigantic impact west of the Mississippi. For just one example, their horsemanship, roping skills and herding methods are the basis of the American cowboy. Is there anything more American than cowboys?
Immigrants from Mexico — legal and illegal — do try to learn English, often from watching TV. It’s one of the word’s most difficult languages to learn, but they know that doing so will lead to better paying jobs. They certainly make sure their children learn it. However, they continue to speak their first language because it’s simply easier or they don’t want to be embarrassed by their poor grammar. And along the border, Anglos and Hispanics speak both Spanish and English, often alternating them or mixing them in to Spanglish.
So I strongly disagree with the notion of America being some sort of WASP + culture. That might describe the Northeast, though it leaves out African-Americans and Catholics. It certainly does not reflect the rest of the nation and a huge percentage of its present population.
I failed to mention that WASP doesn’t describe those who worship Judaism and other religions.
(1) Nobody actually self-identifies as an “SJW.” It’s just a rightwing snarlword, in the same way that nobody self-identifies as favoring “political correctness.” It’s just strawman against which teenage brats like yourself (and grown ups who should know better) like to rage.
(2) Case in point, there are no feminists who argue that women are oppressed because they are denied the right to flock to “dangerous areas” (whatever you mean by that). Feminists do argue for increased processing of rape kits by police departments and, if you have an argument against that, please present it. However, as far as the content of the slutwalk protest goes, it was that premise that it is improper and unhelpful for police officers to tell women that they would increase their chances of avoiding rape if they did not “dress like sluts.” If you have statistics that do indicate women who “dress like sluts” are more likely to be rape victims, please present them.
(3) WASP culture might be the ur-culture of New England, but much of the US was settled by Germans and German culture was ingrained for nearly a century prior to the revolution. As far as land mass goes, nearly 1/3 of the US was once part of Mexico. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and California have Mexican-American communities that have existed since the days of Spanish colonies and have heavily influenced the regional culture. Pat Buchanan actually notes in “The Death of Western Civization” that in many cases white settlers in the Southwest actually assimilated to Mexican culture, rather than the other way around. Colin Woodward’s “American Nations” makes the same point, noting that the Southwestern US culture, even today, has more in common with Northern Mexico than the rest of the US.
(4) If you want to spew vitriol at large amorphous groups, at least come up with a citation once in a while. Even better, try citing to an academic or, at least, reasonably nonpartisan source. If you must cite to partisan sources, cite to partisan sources who are making statements against their ideological interest. If the best you can come up with is Ann Coulter, you just sound like a hack. I know you’re still in high school and still have some room to grow. I’m hoping that, maybe by the time you are out in the real world, you will be able to formulate a logical argument. If not, you can always be a professional blogger, I suppose.
Also, Christian and Mac, I will take your silence as a surrender.
I did not imply that you would be more comfortable in a nazi uniform. I think you inferred that from my general obsveration about various people that have occasional posted certain comments on this site. I think your response to my comment is s good example of “Paranoid Refrence” .
That said — You are absolutely right when you assert that any one who comes to OUR country to live should be expected to learn to speak the English language. Just like your ancestors and my ancestors did.
In my experience a gentlemen usually will not dignify stupid, or ignorant remarks with a response. In short they remain silent. They surrender to the unfortunate fact that the person who utterd the remarks is not worth taking the time to answer.
Some self identify as social justice warriors because they think that they are reclaiming the word such as black people have done with the “n” word. However, the term “social justice warrior” beautifully describes the hero complex that these “activists” have, with the perfect touch of mockery. I still do not understand your motives but you seem to be more than the average troll. I am a college student, not a high schooler, though it doesn’t make much of a difference, and I am hoping that you are too as someone who devotes this much time to anonymous, vitriolic remarks is living a sad existence. It is my fault for feeding the troll, as they say, I shouldn’t have engaged someone who has this much time to spare. I will take down each of your points one final time starting with your repeated claim that I am making straw man arguments. A “straw man” is defined as: “an intentionally misrepresented proposition.” I did not misrepresent the views of modern feminists as all my claims on them are well-documented, you yourself provided an example of feminists maligning Hefner. Sorry for assuming “dangerous areas” was pretty self-explanatory, I meant crime ridden areas of cities and towns where criminals congregate when the sun goes down. Here are some articles by known lefties’ publications that say that women are essentially oppressed because And, for good measure, here is an MTV video in which some hack defends PC language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3SLzWi3wQU
Here are the sources from feminist-minded publications which, in some form or another, all say that we should be telling men not to rape instead of telling women to protect themselves. They may not directly say that women are being oppressed by being told not to walk alone in bad areas, they do all say that we shouldn’t be telling women what to do and that men are solely responsible for rape. I feel that while we should teach men not to rape, as society does, women should not walk alone in dangerous areas, regardless of how they are dressed:
Again, we are in agreement on the whole “slutwalk” debacle. I do not think that the way a woman dresses should, or actually does, increase their chance of being raped nor should it. We also agree that the “slutwalk” was stupid because of public decency and people shouldn’t be naked in public; it’s obscene.
You make a good point about America’s diversity and Spanish influence in the South. I’d say America is split diagonally between Spanish influence and British influence with trace amount of other cultural influences. Germans mostly settled the midwest, from what I just learned in my history course, by way of New York. Their European values are similar to those of the Brits. The Southern states do still have a strong Spanish influence mixed with cowboy/western culture while the Northeast still has a sort of old Yankee quality, which sadly seems to be waning.
The sources I provided are opinions of feminist-types and clearly biased but they are a sampling of the opinions of the modern feminists; the type I loathe.
Finally, I truly wish that I understood what make you tick. From what I’ve gleaned, you are a true troll and you’re using the moniker “SJW” ironically. I think you’re a moderate leftists who is pissed off at the new right because of how badly your side has been damaged this year. Don’t blame us for dismantling gender politics and waking up to the crap put out by the left. You seem to have come to this site solely to stir up trouble. I am done dealing with you as it has been a waste of time and I pray that you disappear.
Well, Mr.Korn, I am glad that we can agree on something but I do not ever recall seeing anyone express far-right, or nazi-like, authoritative, views on this site. I think that you’re overreacting just a tad with the nazi insinuation.
I should not have dignified anything uttered by Mr.SJW as he is really isn’t worth the time. I learned that too late.
I’m pretty sure that “I won’t dignify this with an answer” thing is what people say when they don’t have a counter-argument. It’s not as if he came up with a gotcha question like “so when did you stop beating your wife?”
In my defense I wrote a rather long final reply, which is “…awaiting moderation,” but Mr. Korn is right. This SJW character has proven to be a troublesome troll who isn’t worth replying to as he is relentless. Simply put, he is obtuse.
It’s all good, gentlemen can disagree.
Clever, but I’ve seen no Nazis on this blog.
There is a huge difference between America’s traditional “melting pot” and the new “multi-culturalism”. One leads to a civil society, one leads to balkanisation..
We shut the immigration tap in 1925, to a presumably case by case basis. The southern borders got so out of hand that Eisenhower deported 1.5 Mexicans in 1954. In 1965 Teddy Kennedy’s immigration “reform” bill did everything he promised it wouldn’t, but the democrats did start winning elections down ballot. Ditto Reagan’s “reforms”.
The Colonel always instructed my five sisters and I to be self aware when moving about the big city, also to be polite to cops or anyone who get’s paid to use lethal force. Dressing shabbily was a reflection on one’s self and by extension the family, him.
Funny, women dressing like sluts as a cause for rape has almost completely disappeared from America, but re emerged in nation states with liberal governments as a way of excusing their new immigrants’ behavior, all in the name of white guilt and multi-culturalism. See Europe, GB and Canada, it’s the norm in the middle east and most third world countries..
Also, Cato is a Libertarian think tank, once the Charles Koch Foundation. the Kochs are anything but right wing, they are probably the last of America’s classic liberals. Of course it all depends how one defines right and left. I call myself right wing, but in truth I’m more for liberty than statism.
The Kochs are “classic liberals?” Who are some other classic liberals? Almost every single penny the Kochs spend politically goes to Republican candidates and causes. What’s more, the Cato Institute is Libertarian Right and has had a dramatic influence on Republican policy for decades. They have had little to no influence on Democrats.
“So I strongly disagree with the notion of America being some sort of WASP + culture. That might describe the Northeast, though it leaves out African-Americans and Catholics.”
Just remove the W from WASP if necessary.
I’m not an expert on religion in America (DCG knows a lot and his opinion would be rather informed on this). Most Americans were Protestant and Protestant values generally guided the melting pot for all Americans. Blacks have not historically been Catholic in the US.
Everything south of us in this hemisphere is Catholic and primarily a colony of Spain or Portugal. America is Protestant and its language and cultural foundations are English. One could say that made all the difference.
Not sure why these obvious facts need to be pointed out, and by a Californian.
You’re talking more about was and I’m talking more about is. Or to put it another way, the roux is not the gumbo.
There is no doubt that WASPs dominated the original colonies and US states, but in less than 100 years the size of the country changed radically. Today, I rarely hear any one use the term WASP. There are so many other elements within our culture that go beyond race, ethnicity and faith.
Come to think of it, the last time I heard the term WASP was from a transplanted Northeastern Catholic who complained about how stuffy they were and how things here were different.
Well there are plenty of books that describe the fall of WASPs from power and public influence. That’s why they’re not mentioned anymore.
I was speaking more about Protestantism in general, as there seemed to be a misunderstanding that the US was a Protestant nation culturally as well as religious majority during its founding and first couple hundred years.
My family were all English and German Protestant common folks who went out west with the expansion, where they met up with a guy who’d just come from Norway.
We’re cool, as the kids say. BTW, my dad came from a long line of Presbyterian ministers and military officers (my grandfather combined it as an Army chaplain who served with Pershing). My mom’s family were Baptists who settled in Texas in 1824.
GS – I don’t understand how he is a troll. His points seem well reasoned.
Christian – What about the point that the southwest used to be part of Mexico and housed catholics as far back as the 16th century? Or the Louisiana purchase? Or Maryland?
Yep, big French influence in Louisiana and yes, growing up in California I’ve visited many a mission.
None of that changes the Anglo-Protestantism at the heart of our law, culture and everything Digby Baltzell talked about. The glue that held the melting pot together.
The glue that has and does hold the melting pot together is the gift that providence gave to us through those wasp founding fathers – the US Constitution. A living breathing document that allows for self government while protecting us all from the tyranny of the whims of the majority. Last time I looked this country was not a democracy; but the oldest functioning republic in the recorded history of mankind. If there is one common factor that binds the people of this land into a country, then it is the willingness to adhere to the US Constitution and when required to defend it with your life. In my simple mind that is the heart of American culture past and present.
I suggest that y’all go by Wikipedia for a few minutes and search 1) Culture, 2) American Culture and 3) White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Cruise around to some other sources if you wish. You will learn some things. I did.
I agree with Mr. Korn completely, we are a Constitutional Republic that founded by WASPs. However it is true that much of the southern states have Spanish and French influence. But, America was born in Philadelphia, if you ask me, and while the South was strongly influenced by these other cultures the country was founded by the Anglos, mostly.
Speaking of the Ivy League and Protestants:
(Trigger Warning: Fox News)
I was going to post that on the Facebook group page. The cancer that is political correctness knows no bounds.
whiskey, here is a quote taken from Wikipedia’s “Culture of the United States of America” article: “Its chief early European influences came from English settlers of colonial America during British rule. Due to colonial ties with Britain that spread the English language, British culture, legal system and other cultural inheritances, had a formative influence.” It proves my point that the canvas of American culture is British European, or WASP, culture with other cultures painted on. Also, I do believe that Mexican immigrants want to learn the language, as immigrants always have in the past, but I feel these days the Democrats want to cater to them so as to garner their vote. Setting them back as they have done to Black Americans with welfare.
Mr. Press, the person in question is a troll because their comments were made so as to stir up contention. You may not see them as such because you agree with their stance but it is a fact.
And why were your comments about Hugh Hefner made?
George Santayana a graduate of Havard University and the author of the Last Purtain once said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. The members of the Havard diversity committee should of considered Mr. Santayana’s warning before tampering with that song.
Fair Harvard wasn’t even written until the school had been around for 200 years and two of the verses haven’t been routinely sung in nearly a century. Harvard has been admitting Jews and Catholics since the end of World War 2. They’re changing a single word. Get over it, snowflakes.
Mr. Press, my initial comment was made because I feel that Mr. Hefner will be unfairly maligned by modern feminists upon his impending death, it is my opinion and it is based on fact. PSJW blew it out of proportion.
toxic, Harvard is quite diverse and that’s fine but the line from the song refers to the school’s founding days. It was written during a time when the school was old and was mostly populated by descendants of the Puritans. The song was written during a certain time period and yes those lyrics don’t make much sense for Harvard today but they’re trying to retrofit an old song to fit their modern school. They need to leave the past alone.
And they’re not changing a single word, they did in the past when they changed it from “your sons” to “we” which I can agree with a little more but still do not find necessary. They’re now taking out the entire line because they find that it isn’t “inclusive” enough. It was never meant to be, the author went to school with the “stock of Puritans” and probably was himself. He didn’t have the foresight to know that Harvard would one day become so diverse, and this song doesn’t stop diversity but it lets the current students know who came before them and who founded their once great school. They are trying to make a piece if the school’s past fit their modern vision which is ridiculous, leave history alone.
Maybe they should just write a whole new alma mater instead of changing the old one?
Do you think someone had a fit when the current alma mater replaced whatever they sang in the 17th and 18th centuries?
And why did you think your opinion on modern feminism was relevant to an article on Hugh Hefner’s clothing?
Well, conversations have a way of going off on tangents, so I suppose the opinion — however wrongheaded! — was relevant to the conversation, not the original article that had given birth to it.
It looks to me that GS started the conversation and then got upset when a different viewpoint appeared.
Mr. Press, while my initial remark may not have pertained to clothing, it was relevant to the discussion of the legacy of Mr. Hefner which was a topic of the article as well. Frankly, I enjoy civil discourse but this was the first remark by PSJW: “Why does everything here have to turn into right-wing autistic screeching?” That is not a differing viewpoint, it is a cheap insult that offers no substance.
And your initial remark was not an insult?
Here is my initial remark: “I can see it now, when he dies he will be maligned as the ultimate misogynist. His magazine is a shell of its former self, time to end it.” The closest thing in my initial comment to an insult was that I called his magazine a “…shell of its former self…” which is undeniably true.
Sorry I was slow to respond. As I type this, I’m about 80 miles from the Rio Grande and Big Bend National Park.
I agree with the British influence on the original 13. The laws and constitution grew from England. However, as I wrote previously, applying the history and the culture of the original states does not speak for the whole country.
To my point, three paragraphs after the one you cited, it states:
“It also includes elements that evolved from Indigenous Americans, and other ethnic cultures—most prominently the culture of African Americans, cultures from Latin America, and Asian American cultures. Many American cultural elements, especially from popular culture, have spread across the globe through modern mass media.”
Then, there is the definition of culture itself. It’s more than laws. It’s the ways of life and the arts. African-Americans artists created every American popular music form short of folk and country.
I realize you see wasp as a sort of superstructure of the culture. Let’s agree to disagree with that analogy.
Regarding Democrats and Hispanics, you’ve just landed in my wheelhouse. I am a Democratic political consultant in Texas. Your description of the party’s relations to Hispanics is, in the nicest way I can put it, inaccurate.
* Hispanics have traditionally supported Democrats because of the party’s commitment to access to adequate public education for all Texans. The GOP here has consistently cut public education and failed to provide equal access. GOP members of the state senate just passed a budget calling for more deep cuts.
* Hispanics also support Democrats because, as they see it, much of the conservative anti-immigrant rhetoric scapegoats them and insults their family heritages. Remember, they were here in Texas before Anglos.
* Finally, there is a long history of discrimination against Hispanics that lives to today. A federal judicial panel recently ruled that the Republican-run legislature drew congressional lines that intentionally discriminated against Hispanics.
Now, it’s important to point out that many of the the injustices against Hispanics were originally applied by conservative Democrats. This conservatives gradually left the party after the passage of the Voting Right and Civil Rights acts.
WASP culture is largely American culture even though there are other cultures that contribute to American culture. The fact that we all speak English is one and our values and for the most part way of dressing. In the South there are other major influences but the first Anglo settlers were WASPs who also adopted the Spanish and French cultures. It is Anglo to lesser degree in the South but partially Anglo nonetheless. As for Black Americans, they did not create almost every form of American music. There’s also the Great American Songbook, which is heralded as America’s classic music, was largely written by Jewish Americans. They created R&B, rap and hip hop. As for the Democrats, they’ve catered to Mexicans in that they’ve made the Spanish language prevalent in this country instead of being more forceful about learning English as we had done with past immigrants.
Forgot Jazz, they created that of course but there are many more American genres than showtunes, folk and country even though Black Americans created quite a few. The genres created by them were influenced by the South, southern whites to be exact. Such as gospel music which is religious and came from whites.
My overall point about American culture is that all roads lead back to the WASPs. Some roads are wide and others narrow but they created this county and their influence is still felt in all of its states.
There are Spanish speaking communities in Texas, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and California that date back to the 16th century. All of those states, save Texas, were majority Hispanophone from annexation in 1821 until the 1870’s.
The Anglicization of the southwest was not even an organic one. For example, California’s original constitution required bilingual government proceedings, documents, publications and education. California outlawed public use of Spanish in 1855, while the majority of the population (none of whom were immigrants) still spoke Spanish. The return to a bilingual California in the 20th century was actually a return to its roots, not a corruption of them.
Facts are hard to swallow.
If you think Anglo-Saxon culture or language is qualitatively superior, make that case. Don’t hide behind falsehoods.
Like taking the username of an actual person?
I do think it is superior and a great guideline for Americans. Some cultures are better than others and we as Americans were fortunate to have been left great values from our British, and general European, founding fathers.
But I’m not hiding behind falsehoods, or even a false name, when I say that this country is largely Anglo in nature.
And I wasn’t just talking about the South when I said that we cater to immigrants I meant the North more than anything where we know have an influx of Spanish speaking immigrants. Nowadays we do cater to them here like we have never done with past immigrants. In the South being bilingual makes more sense because these people were from there but for the rest of the country the immigrants were made to learn English as they should. As large a population the Italians had in New York or Germans in the Midwest there were no official signs in their languages or government sponsored anything in any language other than English which is the way it should be. Facts are easy to ignore, aren’t they?
I would like to make one last comment before I permanently leave this discussion.
During the course of this discussion, GS wrote “This SJW character has proven to be a troublesome troll who isn’t worth replying to as he is relentless. Simply put, he is obtuse.”
In response to those remarks, Mr. Press wrote “GS – I don’t understand how he is a troll. His points seem well reasoned.”
I believe that all of the comments that SJW made during this discussion were clear and precise in though and expression. On the other hand, I do believe that some of the comments made by GS during this discussion are obtuse.
PSJW’s first remark: “Why does everything here have to turn into right-wing autistic screeching?” Clear and precise, indeed. Goodbye, Mr. Korn.
Blacks invented jazz in Storyville in New Orleans. They pioneered bee bop (sp?). They created blues in the Mississippi Delta and electrified it in Chicago. Rock, soul, rhythm & blues, zydeco and of course rap have black roots. The Gershwins acknowledged the influence of blacks and jazz. So did Hank Williams and Elvis. Perhaps the crooners are more Anglo, but what do you do with Nat King Cole and others? I’m sure you can find some others to quibble about, but failing to acknowledge the impact of black Americans on popular music illustrates why wasp as a dominant culture does not work.
Wasp superior? Hmm, well. Most presumptuous fits too. My heritage is full wasp by the way.
Actually, schools and government documents in Pennsylvania and Ohio were bilingual (German/English) until World War I.
The only influence whites had on blues is that those “low-down women” in the songs were stand-ins for the sharecroppers complaining how their while overlords treated them. It’s a fact.
Storyville was an all black neighborhood with its own bars and culture. It was a wild place the panty-waist whites were afraid of. It’s the home of Louis Armstrong and House of the Rising Son.
Blacks invented gospel, which bares no musical resemblance to the bland songs I heard in our Presbyterian church.
I’m done with this. My last comment is this: Those who claim the superiority of their race are the living proof it’s not.
I noted that the Blacks invented Jazz, R&B and rap. I love Nat ‘King’ Cole and the songs of the Gershwin brothers but where did Black people get their culture? In America, they got it from the religious Southern families who owned them. By extension, their culture in America was born out of white Anglo Southern culture which then morphed with elements of their own African culture. As I said, all roads lead back to the WASPs.
My heritage is minutely WASP (British grandmother, not a descendant of an early American family, sadly) but I still recognize their impact on this country which runs quite deep. I’m not a white supremacist, I’m not saying the white race is superior but that the British/ European culture of the founding fathers is a great one and we are lucky as a country to have it.
Now hold on, I never claimed the white race is superior but that the culture of America is better than most. “Bland church music” what about the beautiful Christmas hymns and others alike? The Presbyterian ones taught to me by grandmother are beautiful and not bland. And gospel music comes from white culture being forced on blacks which they morphed with their own African culture. Again, black Americans trace their early culture in this county to white people, with religion being central to many black people to this day. They weren’t Protestant in Africa. It sounds like you have contempt for your own culture which is appalling.