My wife says that I am a "dirty old man." I take exception to the word "old." Actually, my head turns rather smoothly, quickly, and automatically at the turn of a nice ankle, but something happened recently that has caused me discomfort. By now, everyone has heard about it.
A few weeks ago, Reuters reported out of Houston that Playboy magazine is planning a photo spread called "The Women of Enron," to showcase current and former employees of the energy company. Okay, I realize this doesn't have anything to do with financial planning unless…Read on.
The magazine says that it is conducting an open call for models as a "second chance" for employees who lost their jobs because of the bankruptcy. Second chance? Apparently, from reports, Playboy is paying a few thousand for some partially bare photos to $10,000 for full frontal nudity. As you might guess, Playboy pays more for less clothing.
Talk about taking advantage of an unfortunate situation. I also understand that a similar magazine that shows male nudity is considering something for the men. Wonderful. I won't be in that line.
This kind of thing really bugs me. Listen, I like nudity as much as the next guy but this is leaving a sour taste in my mouth. Consider this. Lose your job, lose your life savings, and make up for it by displaying your body for a few shekels. Yeah, right. A few grand makes up for the loss of a hundred thousand in a 401(k) plan.
Better they should offer those employees jobs or help them find jobs. Wouldn't that go down better? Playboy, famous for its centerfolds of nude women, is helping people find employment. Wouldn't that help their image better?
Incidentally, I have a female friend who works in New York at Andersen. She heard the same proposal being floated about for "The Women of Andersen." Perhaps the magazine would like to be a new client of Andersen. That would certainly that help the employees more.
Now, of course, my male colleagues will quickly rise to the occasion and point to the various college football issues of Playboy where they, for example, recently featured the coeds of the SEC. Coeds? Is somebody kidding someone? Half of them are in their 20s and are professional models.
And then there are those who point to the women involved in scandals. Remember Paula Jones? Jennifer Hahn? All exposed. Would you really compare them to the plight of the single mother of three in Houston who lost her life savings and job? C'mon!
Elizabeth Norris, a spokesperson for Playboy, is reported to have said, "We're looking at this as something fun for them to do while they're looking for another job." And to top it off, she has the chutzpah to add, "This might even turn in to a modeling career for them." Sure, and I might become the King of Saudi Arabia.
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