Monday, February 05, 2007

Chronicle: That toggle switch moment of Jayne


Back in 1963, the Chicago Postmaster held up an issue of Playboy - characterized it as pornography. It was the issue featuring Jayne Mansfield. Now, at this point, Playboy had been being mailed for several years. The reporters asked the postmaster why he held up this one. Why hold up the issue with Jayne Mansfield? And he answers, yes they have shown it before, but Jayne has more of it.

What’s it supposed to mean?
The rules of logic and progression work up to a point. But then you can reach a critical mass, reach a threshold. The switch toggles state. Logic gives way to emotion. This could explain, for example, why you have a schedule for paying free lancers but you pay another one more.

The real story.
Like many things, I’ve used this story so long I believe it to be true. In fact, it was not the postmaster who made the remark about Miss Mansfield. Maybe I came up with postmaster bit. Discovered as I was posting this: Playboy publisher Hefner was arrested for obscenity by Chicago Vice Squad for the June 1963 pictorial "The Nudest Jayne Mansfield." The trial ended with a hung jury. And found Time coverage of event… Hefner was source of comment … to wit…

What got Chicago's vice squad into the act was an eight-page exposure in the June Playboy (circ. 1,250,000) of overripe Actress Jayne Mansfield. In bed and bubblebath, Jayne revealed everything except what an un-Sanforized G string might conceal. But there was nothing particularly unusual about that, for scores of equally nude "playmates" have appeared in the magazine in its 9½-year history. Why the pinch now? "Jayne has more than most," says Hefner by way of explanation. "She makes people nervous."

Uber Background:
What is a Herald Traveller Chronicle story? Something that has become a life lesson for me. You tell an anecdote that you think has some larger meaning. And retell it and retell it. Til over time it may becomes a koan. You risk boring people you meet, and you refine and hone. You think you are brilliant. So why not put it on your blog. This is your life.

1 comment:

Jack Vaughan said...

Boy must have been a lot of better examples to choose than the freelancer one..how about: Everyone in the press discovers blogs but Jon Udell and Steve Gilmore are known for it?

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