Heh is the overwhelming sentiment one can read every time the Times gets cocky. And by cocky, I mean: talking about penises. In this instance, it's talking about one of the oldest, most famous media penises still alive: Hugh Hefner's.
In an article that might as well begin "Long live the shriveled dick!" the Media & Advertising section's profile on Hefner that ran this weekend—entitled "The Loin In Winter," and get it? Get it?!—is like the most fun visit to the urologist's office you're ever going to have. Sure, it's about his media legacy, or you'd think it'd be about his media legacy, but in the end, what's Hugh Hefner's Sunday NYT profile really about? I dunno, let's say you're writing it. What do you want to read about?
Hugh Hefner leaned back on a red loveseat, the saggy one...
Mr. Hefner, the legendarily libidinous founder of Playboy...
He still works full days on his magazine, flies to Europe and Las Vegas, pops Viagra, visits nightclubs with his three live-in girlfriends - each young enough to be his great-granddaughter...
"I feel strongly that the pop culture is a thinner soup today," he said. "It used to be a thick porridge."
I have no idea what that last one means. But mostly, yes, they use his penis as a metaphor for his business. Which is interesting, because it's true: despite all of the Viagra of reality shows and Marge Simpson spreads, despite all of the erectile dysfunction drugs and stimulants Playboy's tried to pump into itself, it's still growing old with age, shriveling, unable to shoot anything but profit-loss pulling blanks! If we think about the great media penises of our time—Graydon's "monstah" cock, for one—hell, if we had concrete evidence on this sort of thing, we might be able to better understand the futures of media properties (which is to say nothing of media's floppy woos). For example: what's the future of the New York Observer now that Kushner's peen is under the lock-and-key of new hardcore Slumlord defender wifey Ivanka? Measured output or steely restraint? There's an entire field of research to be had here. Media overlords, step forward: we're here to help.
As for Hugh, well: he's worried about his legacy, and the company's considering acquisition offers for the first time in their history, something previously thought to be a null idea while Hugh was alive. But that might be where the metaphor ends. Hef's still battin' 'em away with a stick:
When Mr. Hefner's relationship with Ms. Madison ended, he said he got letters from women around the world begging to move in. "They were climbing over the gates," he said, beaming. Mr. Hefner chose three new live-in girlfriends, 23-year-old Crystal Harris and twins Kristina and Karissa Shannon, 20.
Media empires, even when they're dying, literally and figuratively: still an aphrodisiac. If you're still trying to figure out why people are still trying to get in this business, you're clearly not paying attention.