Monday, April 17, 2006
Fritz Versus Hef: Part 1 in a Series of Unknown Quantity
We start today's interview with a brief bio on each participant.

Hef is a well-known icon among skin magazine giants. In 1953, Hugh Hefner released his magazine Playboy to sound acclaim. Free speech was the order of the day, as was the sexual revolution. Hugh Hefner has two children; his daughter Christie helps run the Playboy empire. Hugh resides in the infamous Playboy mansion with the company of beautiful young women--three of whom are his special girlfriends. Hugh asserts that he lives the life regular guys dream about--surrounded by nubile women who take their clothes off for fun. He is an octogeniarian.

Fritz is a well-proportioned woman who lives in a ambiguous suburb of Atlanta. Recently, she has been hassled for her opinion that her fiancee, Michael, should not own a copy of a Playboy in the home, nor request a stripper for his bachelor party. In all honesty, Michael is not interested in either of these things, but family and friends are giving Fritz a hard time for taking the stance of 'no consumerist anti-feminist filth' in her home.

Interviewer is a fictious character with no true substance or background in journalism.

I: Hef, how old are you again?
Hef: I have no idea. I am on my third martini of the morning. Who's the blonde?
FRITZ: My name is Fritz. You can call me that, Hef.
Hef: Mmm. Rub my feet, darlin'. (Chuckle). No, I'm merely teasing.
FRITZ: (obviously fuming) Can we get going on this? I'm kinda disgusted by this man.
I: Yes, why is that?
FRITZ: I think it's outrageous this man is allowed to subjugate and objectify women on a daily basis and be considered a Don Juan. I think it's terrible he affords himself a lavish lifestyle based on the bodies of young women who have probably been molested and raped at worst, or treated like pretty handbags at best. I also think he is smug, old, and wrinkled. I ALSO wonder if his libido is all it's cracked up to be.
Hef: Wanna find out?
FRITZ: (gags)

I: Hef, have you been met with this kind of opposition before?
Hef: Oh, absolutely. The feminists are one battle, the Christian Right, another. You know, I often think had I begun this empire two years ago, I would have been shut down by the conservatives. So afraid of sex, they are! So intimidated by a beautiful naked body! So opposed to free speech! Thank God my company was founded in the hey-day of cold martinis and pretty stewardesses.
I: Fritz, how do you feel about free speech?
FRITZ: (grumbles). Well. (sighs). I suppose I can't be against it, can I? Our nation's citizens are still nominally protected by the idea we have a right to opinions and a right to express those opinions. It worries me that these rights are being slowly drained by the conservative right. I'd agree with Hef on this--not only are the conservatives afraid of sex, but they are nervous about revolutions, naysayers, freedom marchers, gay marriage, and war protestors. The way the administration works now is closer to a coup rather than a bunch of elected officials. We ARE losing our rights daily, and this insinuates a moritorium on free speech--a founding principle for Americans.
Hef: Hear, hear! Now, fetch me a lighter, sweet-pea.
FRITZ: Did you just tell me to fetch something for you?

I: So, Fritz, is it possible that you think Playboy should remain on the shelves for Americans to purchase?
FRITZ: By my own moral code, I could not suggest otherwise. I don't agree with the publication, but I really have more beef with the individuals who purchase the magazine. By all accounts, a member of the KKK should have the same right to publication as Hugh Hefner or Martha Stewart (another dastardly publication, if I may be so bold). But the public has the ultimate decision if such a publication should remain on the shelves. I think that's where I'm rubbed the wrong way by Playboy.
Hef: Honey, men like to look at pretty girls. It's biology. Besides, these models are not engaging in sexual activity while be photographed. This is art, sweetie. Art!
FRITZ: No. Art is applying technique to a canvas to teach something. I'm not learning anything when I look at nude women splayed out like so many flayed fish.
Hef: That wasn't a bad metaphor.
FRITZ: That's not what I meant.

I: But, Fritz, many of those models are simply posing for financial gain. Many of them are college students or successful career women. Are you suggesting there is something anti-feminist about a woman using her power for financial gain?
FRITZ: That isn't a bad point, in theory. But here's the problem: that young lady who's dolled up and airbrushed may get a pretty penny for the photo shoot. But what has she done for the rest of women? Kept them objectified. Sure, she may be able to go and buy a Jaguar or pay for med school or whatever based on those photos, but how do you think I feel when a man looks at me the way he looks at a centerfold?
Hef: Oh, honey, you could never be a centerfold. All the airbrushing in the world can't get rid of that cellulite.
FRITZ: And he surreptiously proves another point for me.
I: That is?
FRITZ: We're still judging women based on appearance. Tell me: how many ugly, fat men do we see on TV or in real life, holding authoritative jobs and keeping young, pretty wives? Now, compare that to how many ugly, fat women hold powerful jobs and have gaggles of young construction workers surrounding their bedrooms. It's a pretty sad proportion. Women pay the price for not fitting into the standards that Playboy advertises.
Hef: You take yourself way too seriously.
FRITZ: If I didn't, who would? Anyway, I think the 'pro-feminist' argument for Playboy stinks. It's the same as legalized prostitution, isn't it? In theory, it is a woman taking complete responsiblity for her body and her actions. In reality, a man is always on the recieving end of the money exchange. Bunny ranches are owned by men in Nevada; the prostitutes take a decent cut for their work, but the owners are the ones who truly profit. The same works with Playboy; Miss December goes home with a check and some royalties, while Hef benefits from the sale, right, and ownership of the magazine. In essence, he owns more of the centerfold than she ever will. We can apply this principle to mainstream pornography, as well.
I: Is there any kind of pornographic or erotic material you would support, Fritz?
FRITZ: Well, actually, I don't have a desire for any of that stuff personally. But I'll tell you what faction seems to have the best ethics about porn--gays. Lesbian porn is directed and acted out by true lesbians. Every single woman in the production is an equal to one another. The fact that it is being made FOR women BY women gives it a whole different sense. It's fair, that's what it is. But male-dominated mainstream sex profit is unjust and unfair. It doesn't only hurt the women who partake in the movies and photos--it hurts me.

Hef: Fritz, is it possible that you are unconfident about your body, and don't want Michael to look at someone with bigger breasts and a tighter ass?
FRITZ: Duh. Obviously.
Hef: I think you are just so jealous of Michael, and have such a low self-esteem, that you are targeting my magazine instead of really addressing what's wrong with you.
FRITZ: (gets up and smokes a cigarette) We'll finish this later. I'm so angry...I can't do this.
I: (stopping tape). All right, we'll continue the discussion at a later date if all parties are agreed. Hef?
Hef: Yeah, that's fine. It's time for my massage from one of my girlfriends, anyway. I think it'll be the eighteen year old one, today.
Written by FRITZ
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Name: Fritz

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