If you're in a barbershop, you'll see magazines. 

Some companies send them to the barbershops free of charge, knowing that some people will either take them with them or take note of how good Golf Digest is or whatever and subscribe for themselves, because it was their turn for that #4 on the sides, bit shorter on top and can you blend it all in before they could finish that really good article on niblicks or whatever.

I've taken careful note to look over how Playboy changed. I was intrigued when about a year ago they decided that their old format needed to die. They got rid of the Playboy Advisor, the jokes page, and nudity. The idea was to expand the Playboy brand to include women who might be offended by nudity and to make it more work- and family-friendly.

Subscriptions tanked.

I have a soft spot for the mag, and thanks to association with a couple of barbershops a whole collection of vintage ones in my garage. Someone referred to it as a literary magazine with breasts, and I tend to agree. Some say it's a joke that you read it for the articles, but yes, you can and should read it for the articles. They reported on Vietnam long before the major news networks decided to pay more attention to where their soldiers were going, and their list of contributors is literally a who's who of literature and journalism in the 20th century.

I'm also lucky enough to be young enough that any association my generation has with pornography isn't reading a periodical of that type, but being able to look up celebrity fisting videps on a phone. For me, perception of reading a Playboy is like being a vinyl aficionado - if I say I look at it for the articles, I mean it, and I'm generally believed.

So when I tore open the wrapper to see what was going on with this month's issue and put the mag where children wouldn't see it, I noticed with great interest that they had gone through on a recent promise to go back to putting nudity, Playboy Advisor and the jokes page and centerfold back. The Grand Experiment in retooling one of the most recognized brands in the world into being a nudity-free Vice lite in print went nowhere.

I'd like to see the articles creep back up towards the literary and the scholarly, as well as the bon vivant, but this move is a good start.

And with that I must dash, I'm late to church to suit up and help dispense the wine.

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