Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bob Guccione

The passing parade of celebrities passing away makes one sigh, to feel vaguely sad, to feel a tinge of nostalgia when the sensual life was the undercurrent in all our affairs. And then we put down the obituaries, read the entertainment page or write a letter to the editor; we forget who it is has left this thin shell of existence and involve ourselves in all of its immensely complex, nuanced, impractical doings. Yes, I feel saddened, but come one, life goes on, things change no matter what I think of how wretched existence became after I entered my forties. Fuck celebrity worship.

And fuck Bob Guccione , the recently deceased publisher of Penthouse, dead as cracked leather at age 79. He was a cartoon of a man, a posturing boor with money. I understand an autopsy has revealed that the man was blind in both eyes and that the palms of his hands were extremely hairy. What I feel sorry for in his case are the years I lost thinking idiotically that women specifically and the world in general owed me unlimited riches and pleasure by the bushel. His magazine was concentrated assholism.

Well, no, I just made that up, the bit about him being blind, with extremely hairy palms. But it is an apt summation of his contribution to consumer culture, ratcheting up the untouchable , rescinded sexuality offered by Hugh Hefner's Playboy and laying the ground, so to speak, for reducing a generation of young men to masturbating mass of materialistic wanna be's who couldn't come up with a creative idea but who could dream up an endless rape fantasies against women as a kind of revenge against unnamed powers that forced them to live anonymous, mediocre lives. Guccione's product was an escape to some perverse idea of the Good Life where the reader is Man Who Is Owed. What came from that was  a sustained vulgarity many of us abided; many of us contributed to Guccione's bank accounts, one magazine purchase at a time.

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