Choire Sicha with the definitive take, asking which is sadder: Hef himself, or the people who think his life was aspirational.
I've had this overwhelming feeling whenever I look at the Internet lately, especially Twitter, this constant refrain that's been in my head for weeks now. Something like can we just not or how about we don't. Like can just one ancient pervert die of natural causes without anyone caring like the good lord intended.
It's fine, I guess, the internet doing what the internet does, and of course now here I am. It's just comical the degree of praise I've been seeing for the articles. Ah yes, the articles. The articles! I guess that's been a cliche for so long that a whole chorus of men have felt the need to step up and say, no seriously though, those articles really were great. Men have some sort of deep ancient need to assert their critical prowess when they have a creepy boner. They can't just enjoy it quietly and let the moment pass. There's maybe no more fitting tribute to Hefner's legacy than to flaunt your affection or something tasteless while insisting that you are in fact a man of good taste, at least when it comes to the things that matter. Bottom line, that was Hefner's contribution to the American imagination: the things that matter and the things that don't. The things that people are willing to laugh off when you're a card-carrying serious man who cares about important issues like gay rights and free speech.
"It's a dream that many find attractive," Choire writes.
Maybe the quintessential experience of being a woman in this world is watching a whole chorus of men hold up a ridiculous piece of shit old man in a captain's hat and a silk robe as some paragon of culture. Counterpoint: I have eyes. Consider explaining something else.