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A 20,000 square-foot palace built on one man’s need to push the limits of sexual freedom, has just been sold. Hugh Hefner, 90, is allowed to live out his days on his property in L.A., but his infamous Playboy mansion, is currently under contract to be bought by Daren Metropoulos.
And so the bunny continues to hop.
The Playboy mansion is a place of legend, intrigue and not a fair amount of naughtiness to be sure, but less we forget the man who created the place, built the Playboy brand and who championed not just nude picture taking, but modern literature and our right to read and write it.
That ‘I read it for the articles’ quip men would defend with when challenged on why they subscribed to Playboy, for many was not a misnomer. Seeing that the magazine continued to publish some of the very best writers of the day-Saul Bellow, Ian Fleming, Ray Bradbury, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to name but a few-and in many cases publish what would become famous stories for the very first time, one could easily argue Playboy was a place to go to read some very good stuff. Then there were the interviews, with such notables as Ayn Rand, John Lennon, Alex Haley And less we forget that Hefner was as much publishing writers who had been blacklisted, as much as he championed activist/comedians like Dick Gregory and Lenny Bruce in their free expression across comedy stages.
I like to look at naked pictures. I believe the women (and men) who pose for those pictures have the right do so. I think Hugh Hefner built a brand, as he freely admits, on the desire of hetero men to look at naked ladies. I think there is more salacious history embedded across Hef’s mansion’s lawns, in the infamous grotto, in its movie rooms and bedrooms then any of us could imagine. But I also believe that Mr. Hefner, like Larry Flynt, fought the good fight for freedoms by championing often times controversial, but never staid writing, speech, and thought.