‘Well, you should see the third one. Now the characters of Jesse and Celine played by Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpey are married and have two kids. While vacationing in Greece at some friends’ house, the friends treat them to a night in a romantic hotel, while they take care of their kids. The night doesn’t turn out the way it should. They have a candle light dinner out in the garden and are back in their room and are getting amorous. Julie is now topless and just before they ease into the bed, they break into an argument, which lasts for ten to fifteen minutes. During all this time Julie’s breasts are exposed. And when Entertainment Weekly asked how Julie felt about her being topless all through the long argument, even before Julie could answer, Ethan jumps in with Only in America anyone would ask this question. Julie’s answer that follows basically says, hey, I am 43, and I think I’ve got nice breasts, so what’s there to hide? Later I read her saying in a GQ interview, real women don’t make love with their bras on! So there it is in nutshell.

If not exactly convince, I left everyone thinking about it. I find it quite disconcerting that even after sixty three years of publication, the image of Playboy has remained pretty much the same in people’s minds and is not likely to change in my life time. I can’t help but think of what Albert Einstein once said: It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom.

©  Haresh Shah 2015

Illustration: TK

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FRENCH WEB UNSPOOLING IN LYON

Almost twenty years before the World Wide Web made its debut, French Telecom introduced Minitel. They gave away to their millions of subscribers free of charge those clunky small screened devices attached to the telephone lines, which provided all sorts of information and services which then morphed into coded telephone numbers, what for us today would be a web address. One of them was Playboy chat line. And it was based not in Paris, but in the most charming second city of France: Lyon.

 

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