A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Go in peace, Pamela Anderson. I’ve got bigger fish to fry than analysing the nuances of a society that chose you to be the last Playboy Centrefold. I know it’s just a salute to all those guys staring 40 in the face and remembering Pammie with autoerotic fondness, but really…? Marilyn Monroe to Pamela Anderson in one generation is the biggest indictment of our times since the Kardashian girls replaced Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly on the elegance chart. Let’s face it, people! We’ve screwed a few things up.
Don’t get me wrong: I love our contemporary world. We’ve managed to produce the most risk-free, benevolent society in history. Yay for us! But man, did it cost us! I miss those things we offhandedly discarded to get here.
University Students — God, I miss those folks! Remember when college campuses were swimming in horny, brawling, loudmouthed young people, drunk on their own opinions? They just couldn’t wait to grab their God-given right to change the world. Talking to them was too cool. It was like intellectual gymnastics, and I loved it. Try talking to the lock-step, politically correct robots on campuses these days. I don’t even say “Hi” anymore.
Anger — Remember slamming the phone down when you were just totally pissed off? That used to feel s-o-o-o-o good.
Adults — Now that extended adolescence has reached 40, and early retirement starts at 55, the window of opportunity to have an adult conversation with anyone is closing down. Most people don’t want the responsibility and just go from whiny teenager to grouchy senior citizen without ever pausing in the middle.
Love — Love is still around, but many people are just too timid to take the risk and so they settle for the generic “relationship.” It’s safer, more secure, less emotional, and nobody really gets hurt except a few teenagers.
Private — Not privacy, that’s different (we haven’t had that since before Baywatch.) Private is the time we spend alone with ourselves; that look in the emotional mirror that tells us who we really are. As we spend more and more time connected, we have less and less time to be private, and so we’ve become less and less aware of what actually makes us tick.
And finally, what has this got to do with Playboy?
I remember when Playboy used to take risks. Is there anyone on this planet who hasn’t seen Pamela Anderson naked? Just sayin’!