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Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies, after lifetime of destroying innocence

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Late Wednesday, the Playboy Magazine Twitter account announced the death of the magazine’s founder — and perhaps the inspiration for generations of increased sexual licentiousness — Hugh Hefner at age 91.

As a public figure and avatar for a different kind of cultural change, Hefner is fair game for analysis. What is the lasting impact of his Playboy media empire and the cultural evolution it helped spawn?

Background

Playboy Magazine was founded in 1953, when Hefner was just 27 years old. Those were different times; the past is always different, both in reality and as our perceptions change.

There are too many anecdotal stories and data points which suggest but cannot conclusively support a causal connection between the advent of public sexuality, represented by Hefner’s empire and its many media avenues, and certain social ills such as children borne out of wedlock, single-parent homes, unmarried mothers, divorce and even substance abuse.

Whatever the causes, it certainly seems over the last four decades that America (if not the entire Western world, influenced heavily by American entertainment and mass media) has experienced a weakening of the association between sex and love, between sex and marriage, and chastity in general.

As sex has been pulled out of the realm of the private, it has become a subject not only welcomed in the public arena, but expected to be public in its very nature. The disturbing implication? Sex is something to which one should have no expectation of privacy, of love or indeed of any emotion.

Of course, few dare to express the actual emotions which now accompany public, unemotional, unattached sexual expression: remorse, regret, shame, guilt, emptiness and loneliness. Just to name a few.

The baggage of the so-called liberation of sex is rarely discussed. However, when several full generations have experienced it, only to consequently feel its emotional and painful aftereffects, we should wonder what the long-term ramifications have been.

When families are torn apart, when children lose their innocence at younger and younger ages, the common denominator is emotional pain.

Some people attempt to self-medicate this emotional pain, through substance abuse. Others engage in equally dangerous activity, trying to assuage their guilt or remorse by encouraging others to repeat their mistakes in an attempt to normalize dysfunction.

The Takeaway

We have seen the weakening of Western social and cultural institutions, but most particularly, the family, in recent decades stretching back perhaps to the post-World War II era (if not earlier).

Sexual liberation, involving both temptations of the flesh and producing far-reaching and damaging consequences such as unplanned pregnancies, single mothers and successive generations raised with little or no mature parental guidance, has been an effective tool for weakening these institutions and the larger society.

Now, as we see a Western civilization where ideological divides are more apparent than ever (magnified by social media) and traditional values are more openly under assault than most of us can remember in our lifetimes, it is possible than a cultural revolution — of which Hefner played a role in encouraging — is not merely ongoing, but has occurred. In fact, it could have been so profound, yet gone so unnoticed over decades, that the tipping point we might have been theorizing as to its existence has in fact already taken place.

Cultural revolutions engender political revolutions, as politics is downstream from culture.

Classic Gramsci Marxism proposed that revolution in the strongly Christian West could be achieved by weakening its institutions, targeting the family in particular.

Could this mean that Hefner, long viewed as a sexual liberation icon and worldwide celebrity, can appropriately be viewed as not just a libertine, flamboyant “playboy,” but as a Gramsci Marxist, a perhaps unwitting agent of Marxist revolution?

Perspectives

Hugh Hefner of Playboy is Dead | Erick Erickson, The Resurgent

http://theresurgent.com/hugh-hefner-of-playboy-is-dead/Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

1 John 2:15-17

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

John 15:18-21

That is all.

END OF AN ERA: Hugh Hefner dies at age 91 – twitchy.com

https://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2017/09/28/end-of-an-era-hugh-hefner-dies-at-age-91/Hugh Hefner published the first issue of Playboy in 1953, with Marilyn Monroe on the cover. He has died age 91. https://t.co/QvvOEyO2fD pic.twitter.com/CFowu1N2x8

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dead at 91 – Sep. 27, 2017 | CNN

http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/27/media/hugh-hefner/index.htmlHefner contributed an introductory essay in which he envisioned the magazine’s readers: “We like our apartment. We enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d’oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex …”

 

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Final Thoughts

[This is Steve, not Eric writing this part – Ed]

I was going to write my own obituary for Mr. Hefner, but it seems most of what I was going to say has been written for me. “Contribution” is not the word I would use to describe Hefner’s transaction with society. I’d say it was a “withdrawal.” This paragraph from CNN describes his ethos and his customer base very well.

“We like our apartment. We enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d’oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex …”

Think about that. Within years after World War II, men, many who have seen horrors beyond description and suffered emotional damage we’d call PTSD today, were looking for a life of meaning, or distraction. I’d like to contrast Hefner’s life with one of his contemporaries.

Two men rose up at about the same time. Billy Graham started his public preaching ministry in 1947, offering meaning through salvation and relationship with Jesus Christ. Hefner offered distraction, abstraction, Nietzsche (whose benighted teachings led directly to the two wars we had just fought), music and eroticism. The two things could not be more in opposition to each other.

We can observe the results with our own eyes. As Graham’s influence waned in America after the turbulent 60s and cynical 70s, the rise of Internet pornography that ultimately ruined Playboy’s almost quaint smut by comparison and its influence on society was in many ways enabled by Hefner’s societal “withdrawal.” He got the life he deserved, as the Gospel tells us, surely he has his reward. We can only pray that a deathbed confession brought redemption. But we cannot expect to live a life venerating sin and enter Heaven. Such an expectation is frequently futile and self-deceiving.

Hefner’s death is the marking of the passage of one man’s era, whose time passed a decade or more ago. Billy Graham lives on still, but his era will not pass until the one he preaches returns for His bride.

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Israel appoints first Christian ambassador

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Israel appoints first Christian ambassador

Most appointed bureaucrats and representatives in Israel are Jewish. Cultural diversity has been on the rise in the Jewish state and is starting to be reflected in government as they appointed their first Christian Arab ambassador.

George Deek will soon be Israel’s ambassador to Azerbaijan. It is an important relationship for Israel as the Muslim majority nation is one of Israel’s largest arms markets. They also supply about 40% of Israel’s oil.

“We are proud of his appointment, which perfectly symbolizes the integration of Israelis from different backgrounds in the representation of the state,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.

Deek is currently a senior adviser to Director-General Yuval Rotem. His diplomatic experience is wide with stints serving the ministry in Norway and Nigeria.

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Immigration

Joni Ernst warns of challenges to push President Trump’s agenda after losing the House

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Joni Ernst warns of challenges to push President Trumps agenda after losing the House

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), the newly elected Republican Senate Conference vice chairman, pointed out two things that are going to be big challenges over the next two years: border security and making the tax cuts permanent. Both centerpieces of President Trump’s agenda will be difficult to achieve now that Democrats control the House of Representatives.

Republicans were able to get the tax cuts they wanted, but without control of the House it will be nearly impossible to make them permanent in the next two years.

They were unable to get border security pushed forward in the first two years of the administration despite having control of the House and the Senate during that stretch. Most notably, they failed to make significant progress towards building a border wall between Mexico and the United States.

With Democrats controlling the House, getting it done now will be nearly impossible.

My Take

It’s indefensible that Republicans didn’t do more for border security when they had the chance. Two years is plenty of time to push through legislation, but their focus on three failed Obamacare repeals drew their attention away.

Don’t get me wrong. Obamacare repeal is extremely important and arguably the reason they were able to win in 2010-2016. But it’s failure is no excuse for delaying border security measures. Now, they’re delayed indefinitely.

In those rare periods when a party controls the House, Senate, and White House, they need to pack all the legislation they believe America needs. Republicans ignored the border and now Americans will pay the price.

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Florida update: Rick Scott almost certain to win

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Florida update Rick Scott almost certain to win

By now, Rick Scott should be transitioning into the Senate and Bill Nelson should be looking for a new job. Instead, we’re having to wait a few more days until it all gets sorted out in the election-challenged state of Florida.

The good news for Scott, the current Republican governor, is that when the dust settles, he will be declared the winner.

Over 4,000 ballots are in bad-signature limbo, meaning they are currently being rejected over signatures that do not match what’s on record in 45 Florida county election offices. No word on how many ballots were rejected in the 22 other Florida counties.

Currently, Nelson trails Scott by around 12,500 votes.

With half a dozen lawsuits crossing the state over every voting issue imaginable right now, there will be legal proceedings that go well beyond the election’s final results. As it stands now, we won’t get those final results until a manual recount. The state’s threshold following a machine recount is .25%. Scott’s lead is currently at .14%.

My Take

It’s better to get elections results right than to get them swiftly. Both sides have used legal maneuvers to promote their causes, and while this can be an annoyance to voters while forcing the rest of the nation to collectively scratch our heads, it’s imperative that they see this all the way through to the end.

Republicans are wrong to be in a hurry to certify results because in such a close race, we as Americans should hope every valid vote is counted and every invalid vote is rejected. They’re in a hurry because there’s nothing to gain for the party by prolonging a race they’ve won. It’s understandable, but misguided.

Democrats are wrong on multiple levels. First, it’s becoming more and more clear that someone, whether it be election officials like Brenda Snipes, secret groups with ballot access trying to cheat, or a combination of the two, is trying to tip the scales in favor of Democrats. Second, some of their delay techniques and legal maneuvers won’t do anything to change the election results but are intended to taint the GOP wins. Third, their attacks through the media on Republicans, including Scott and governor-elect Ron DeSantis, have been unnecessarily brutal.

While it’s very likely Rick Scott will be declared the winner… someday… this latest series of incidents highlights two things: Florida’s election incompetence and forces working on behalf of Democrats to steal elections any way they can.

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