You know what’s fun? Vintage nudie mags!
This Playboy and Penthouse are from the early eighties, and there is nothing so relaxing and absorbing as opening one up and time traveling to another decade. Something about old magazines really feel like a time portal to the past because it's like you're really looking through the eyes of someone from 1982 and seeing what's new, what's in style, and what is on the collective consciousness' mind.
It’s so easy to get lost in a magazine, looking at the fashion ads, or seeing the way they consider "cutting edge" technology, or even noticing the cultural differences Then vs. Now. It’s too funny. I’m not going to publish any graphic pictures here, but let’s say that those reflected some cultural differences too!
One major cultural difference is the way cigarettes are advertised and considered. Apparently in the early 80's, cigarettes are outdoorsy, athletic, and American!
Newports are like a deep breath of crisp mountain air. Not quite consistent with our modern idea of what breathing in cigarette smoke is comparable to!
There is also a trend of equating tobacco products with nature. Smoking seems to be what healthy active outdoorsy people did.
Equating cigarettes with a love of the outdoors is a bit different from today's idea of environmental bonding, which does not typically involve endorsing major tobacco companies! Apparently Camel is a masculine cigarette, as is Kent (which I've never heard of so I question whether they survived).
Look how healthy and athletic this sexy Rob Lowe lookalike is. First he is going to smoke that cigarette, then he is going to run a half marathon. You should too. Winston seems to be suggesting that smoking is a patriotic experience, and that true salt of the earth hardworking Americans know which brand to choose.
Salem is the brand for cool young healthy fun-loving adults who can simultaneously be attractive, have adventures, and wear amazing ensembles while smoking.
But perhaps my favorite part about pouring over old publications like these is the whole “don’t see that anymore” factor that makes these magazines so much fun. Like men’s fashion for instance. Nowadays I don’t think it’s considered cool for men to contemplate too hard over the shape and style of their underwear nor to be so darn classy and steamy in general! Early eighties idea of pure drop dead sexiness.
And check out this advertisement for boots!! O.J. selling boots? A classic case of "don't see that anymore" fun. This is just bizarre to look at these days... does he have three legs? Just another example of the surprises waiting between the glossy big-haired covers of eighties magazines!
And notice how boxy and cumbersome the technologically advanced shapes were... Try to imagine when bulky squareness was the epitome of what new age technology looked like.
Plato thought that literacy was destructive to human intelligence because if we write our history, we no longer have to store it in our minds to remember it for future generations. The more "advanced" we seem, the less advanced we actually become. Apply that to innovations in technology and I think I see Plato's point. The smarter our machines get, the stupider we become... In any case, I'm glad literacy was invented; otherwise we would have been deprived this lovely mini-voyage into an era past that these 1983 artifacts allowed us to participate in!