Pornographer Hugh Hefner has died at 91. His time had come and passed long ago. Playboy magazine has been losing boatloads of money for some time, long ago superseded by ubiquitous internet porn. It recently adopted the desperate tactic of losing nudity, before switching back to airbrushed nudes. In his dotage Hefner came across as much more pathetic than evil, but evil he was. Hefner produced pornography, and became wealthy doing it. That is not unusual. Pornography doubtless has been with us since a caveman scrawled a dirty picture on a cave wall. No, Hefner’s contribution to evil was in mainstreaming it and making it appear respectable, thus being one of the fathers of the modern age in which sex, amputated from its procreative purpose, and stripped of romance, makes contemporary life akin to swimming in a cesspool. This probably would have occurred without Hefner, but he rode the societal waves that produced it, championed it and took credit for it. He thus earned his share of the blame for it.
Politically he was a completely conventional limousine liberal and for decades inflicted his pretentious “Playboy philosophy”, which ranged from banal to jejune and back again, on the hapless fools who purchased his magazine for other purposes. Hefner was a dullard who thought himself a genius and that always is too sad. A wasted life, and that is a terrible crime indeed.