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Playboy's Feminist Pivot, Vice's Softer Side and More #Mustreads

Playboy wants a female audience, and Vice loves brands.


Good morning!

Here is some content to guide you through a bleak and unforgiving existence, brought to you by Re/code:

  1. Surprise! Playboy is now a publication for feminists. So argues Kelsey McKinney in Vox, who tracks the iconic brand’s attempt to stay relevant by running stories you would ordinarily see on sites like Jezebel.
  2. Vice Media, best known for its edgy and daring reporting, is also a brand-friendly ad agency. Here’s its newest project: Collectively. In a tongue-in-cheek post on Gawker, Hamilton Nolan gives the details about the weird venture, which is supposed to create uplifting content on behalf of backers such as PepsiCo, Google, Microsoft and General Mills.
  3. Zadie Smith, literary wunderkind and occasional essayist for the New York Review of Books, has a winding and delightful deconstruction of the Corona advertising slogan “Find your beach.” Drawing from sources as disparate as “30 Rock” and artist Roy Lichtenstein, Smith’s piece is a brilliant meditation on finding a moment for peace in the age of the never-ending work week. Here’s a link to the NYRB piece.
  4. “Bono’s mission isn’t simply to provide capitalism with a human face. It’s to ruin music in the process.” Lefty mag Jacobin takes aim at U2-Apple, with great fury and high entertainment value. A little late (the Apple mega-event was almost a month ago), but a fun read nonetheless.
  5. In case you haven’t seen it, the trailer for upcoming Oscar-bait “Inherent Vice” was recently released. It looks amazing. The plot involves an LSD- and weed-soaked private detective working on a kidnapping case in 1970 Los Angeles. The movie’s directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood,” “Boogie Nights”), and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Owen Wilson, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro and Maya Rudolph.

If you see any stories you’d like to send our way (or have any questions/comments about stories we’ve recommended), feel free to shoot an email to

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