Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ladmags, Cosmo, and Magazines for Me.

I used to get subscriptions to both Playboy and Rolling Stone. In both cases, I just got tired of the magazine's voice. I really did read Playboy for the articles. Frankly, I think most people who read it do so for the articles at this point. It's barely porn, and just having naked women posing there is terrible masturbation material. But those articles were the same damned thing over and over.

I think Playboy became something of an anachronism, and this is evident it its formulation of what it means to be male. In the Playboy world, "male" is a state of being where one is confident to the point of being weird, dressed in expensive clothing, smokes cigars, fucks or could fuck every woman he comes across, and drives a Ferrari.

Rolling Stone didn't have a specific formulation of masculinity, but instead is just very male-oriented. One only needs look as far as the "Greatest Albums of All Time" list. Almost universally male and white. The magazine spends most of its time ranting about republicans and discussing rock & roll, which is mostly male, and rap, which is mostly male. Females usually show up in the celebrity photos section, frequently on the beach.

Just look at the covers. I went through Rolling Stone's cover archives and counted all the covers with men, women, and then non-sexy-symbol women.

Like this. She's attractive, but she's not on the cover simply to look hot. She looks rock & roll.

This one is blatantly used for sex purposes. So now you understand my criteria. I also ignored political covers, covers with an ensemble multi-sex cast, and anything about current events.

Total count? From 2000 to 2009, One hundred and fifty-five covers with men, sixty with women. And of those women, twenty-seven were there just get hard over. Further, of the women, eight were either Madonna or Britney Spears. According to RS, 58% of their readership is male, so I guess it's not surprising that they cater to male readers to a degree. But I just don't understand how an active thinker wouldn't get bored with this.

Or take the newest issue of DETAILS, which fashions itself as the younger, puerile, slightly retarded brother of Esquire, discussing the remasculation of the American male. Remasculation?! Ok. Fuck you. That's all I can say to that. To even assume that we need to somehow be given our masculinity back, and to have the audacity to advertise that you know shit-about-shit to write about it, or tell us what it is, that just blows my mind.

What the fuck is going on in pop-culture, today? Are white men the world over utterly threatened by women? Like those entirely insane Super Bowl ads that had this simmering misogyny underlying every situation. How vapid and shallow must a man be to find this nonsense entertaining and appealing? How could any man find the voice of Playboy, DETAILS, or Esquire stimulating for a long period of time? How does he not get bored?!

Fuck writing for men! Fuck writing for this trite, pigeon-holed concept of masculinity that demands every story be framed in such a way as to discuss the subject of kinky sex and Lamborghinis. Write for people, not men.

This is coming from a male perspective, obviously. I'm sure there are legions of women out there who feel similarly to Cosmo or Redbook. But at least those magazines rarely wrap themselves up in fake, pseudo-intellectual, classy, wannabe haute-couture pretenses. There's nothing classy about them. Cigars are nasty, most people think Ferrari drivers are assholes, and discussing Plato in public makes you look like a dick. Reading GQ doesn't make you intellectual or classy. It makes you look like that fourteen-year-old, dripping with Axe, wearing a Gucci belt he bought on eBay that was too big so he had to drill extra holes. No one wants to fuck you, and any woman who does will give you the clap.

I want stuff written for me as me, not for me as a MAN. I'm not a man. I'm me. I am who I am, and that is a person with certain interests. Write about those things. Write it with a certain personality that makes you unique, and I'll lap it up. The alternative is where we're at now. I'm bored, I don't read your shitty magazines, and an increasingly large number of people don't either.

No. Instead they're reading, which is, somehow, even worse. Ugh. Men suck.

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