For reasons The Curmudgeon will never understand, a lot of people said a lot of very nice things about Playboy empire founder Hugh Hefner when he passed away a few weeks ago.

But New York Times columnist Ross Douthat was having none of it. Here are the first two paragraphs of his September 30 column about Hefner.

Hugh Hefner, gone to his reward at the age of 91, was a pornographer and chauvinist who got rich on masturbation, consumerism and the exploitation of women, aged into a leering grotesque in a captain’s hat, and died a pack rat in a decaying manse where porn blared during his pathetic orgies.

 Hef was the grinning pimp of the sexual revolution, with Quaaludes for the ladies and Viagra for himself — a father of smut addictions and eating disorders, abortions and divorce and syphilis, a pretentious huckster who published Updike stories no one read while doing flesh procurement for celebrities, a revolutionary whose revolution chiefly benefited men much like himself.

Bravo! The Curmudgeon says. When he was a (much) younger man The Curmudgeon of course liked to look at the photos of pretty, naked girls if for no other reason than it was the only way The Curmudgeon ever got to see pretty, naked girls. By the time he was 20, though, he knew better, and when his father bought him a Playboy calendar for his bedroom The Curmudgeon took his mother aside and asked “Do I have to keep it?” She said her son did, but since it was one of those little calendars on a stand, as opposed to one with big, poster-sized pages, it was easy enough to stick it on a high shelf and then ignore it for a year.

There’s more to the Times column – none of it nice, all of it pretty much on the mark. Read the whole thing here.

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