Friday, June 03, 2005


So a while back, Ben went to Home Depot and got a free subscription to Stuff magazine, which has been coming for many months now and aside from the sexy sexerson girls on the cover, this magazine’s target audience remains a mystery to me. I’m sure Ben’s guess would be that they live in what he calls “jock housing” in Lincoln Park or Wrigleyville and drink beer at the Cubby Bear, but I’m not convinced that anyone reading this publication is that evolved. My guesses get stumped after “male”, because aside from the plethora of lingerie-bedecked young women throughout, the “cultural” aspects of it have me baffled. There are very few bits that are longer than fifty words (as much as this demographic can handle in one pass?) and they tend to be about celebrities or trends I’ve never heard of, with the exception of Lindsay Lohan, who they seem to admire, which should tell you a lot but which only confuses me more or makes me think the target reader is about fourteen and rides a BMX bike? But that can’t be, because there’s also a photo spread of Winnie Cooper in her panties, and I don’t think that’s the right generation to want to see Winnie Cooper in her panties, plus, Winnie Cooper should not ever be thought of as a girl who would be seen in her panties, and I don’t care if she is thirty years old now and an intern on the West Wing.

Jackie had a very long list on her blog with directions as follows:
1.) Copy this list into your blog.
2.) Bold what is true.
3.) Leave plain what is false.
4.) Add something at the end.

But it was too long and I didn’t feel like fessing up to a bunch of those things for all the internet to see, or the six of you, whichever the case may be, so I decided to start my own list.

1. I once won a lifetime subscription to TV Guide, and then it ran out.
2. I then resubscribed to TV Guide but finally cancelled my subscription, which is still recent enough as to be somewhat unsettling.
3. I am more interested in the mind of Kevin Federline than anyone other than Britney should admit to.
4. I would have to have a separate list for all the TV shows I watch that anyone other than Britney should admit to.
5. I am at least mildly bitter that so many celebrities are writing children’s books now, but
6. if I were a movie star, or related to a movie star, the likelihood is that I too would write children’s books, but all the same,
7. if Britney and Kevin write a children’s book my level of bitter will undoubtedly rise significantly above mildly to at least orange if not red.
8. I know what a bone folder is.
9. I get anxious pretty much every time I have to do a reading and wish someone else would do it for me.
10. Lately, I have been spending way too much time online.


B said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
B said...

oh oh! I want to play this game! What is Jackie's blog site?

Josh said...

My brother once dated a guy who kept Stuff (among other bad magazines) in his bathroom for reading. However, I highly doubt that the fine people at Stuff have ever even considered forty-something gay men as their demographic. Who knows.

Elizabeth Crane said...

Jackie is here

Elizabeth Crane said...

I would think gay men of any age would be as baffled as I am by this magazine!

B said...

More than baffled...scared--under the bed scared!

Teodoro Callate said...

Hmmmm....Stuff magazine. An interesting read.

Seriously. Let's see if I can say this without getting myself in TONS of trouble. There are many, many angles on this, and I will leave many out. I want to post a disclaimer that says anything that I type I am not responsible for.

- Guys aren't always that smart or deep. Sometimes we are...but sometimes we aren't.
- Women are beautiful and sexy. We like them. We like looking at them. Personally, I think women of any age are beautiful and sexy...but for marketing purposes, young women are beautiful and sexy and sell magazines.
- Beautiful women and not-deep guys (or deep guys taking a break) means that they can sell those magazines.
- Women are objectified. Yes.
- So are men. It's 2005. Acknowledge it.
- Women are objectified more often.
- That's not a good thing.
- Women participate in that process.
- Men encourage their participation.
- Some of those guys are creepy and dangerous and rich.
- Some are just dudes.

All of the things above get swirled into a Blender (see Stuff magazine's parent magazine) and, lo and behold, what you end up with is big booby young women in skimpy clothes in a magazine that isn't offering much depth, but it's not really trying to and I don't think they pretend to be anything that they're not.

So it's eye candy. It's the candy bar at the counter. It's the fantasy. It's preying on the vulnerability of women and the stupidity of men. I'm not sure that anyone comes out of this looking good, but I'm also not sure that it shouldn't exist.

I'll look. But I also look at the cover of Cosmo or Vanity Fair at the grocery store, and I gotta tell ya, I'm not sure there's a big difference in the cover shots...

Elizabeth Crane said...

No trouble from me - I understand the sexy girls part, it's the rest of the content I really don't understand! They might as well leave out the rest of the stuff, which is kind of like MTV if it could throw up.
Not deep is probably the broad demographic here, age aside.
I do wonder why though, there is this tendency of late for women who became famous as kids to show us that they're not kids anymore by wearing panties in public. I can practically hear the agents justifying it in the name of publicity (see: men encourage their participation/creepy dangerous and rich).
True that many women's magazines perpetuate images that are impossible to live up to, responsible for eating disorders, and girls posing for Stuff in their panties.

Teodoro Callate said...

You don't understand the content part (possibly) because you cannot fathom how ridiculously shallow some people are, because you are not shallow, so you have trouble comprehending shallow, which is something shallow people can't understand because they have no depth.

And then my ceiling fell in.

Elizabeth Crane said...

I should probably post on the topic of stupidity sometimes, because I want to believe there aren't as many stupid people as popular culture would have us believe. Maybe next week.

Teodoro Callate said...

after a run by the lake, i feel bad about my second to last post, as it was kind of a spew on my part and not totally on topic, and also contained a bit of my own defensiveness in there for no good reason. hmmm. i'll think about that and maybe address it on my blog as well so that if there is an issue it won't be on betsy's happy, sunny place.


kfoz said...

It's the Home Depot part that disturbs me most...a very red company.

DAM said...

My full screen name is DamWrite. I either have to change it to DamIgnorant or DamSmart, depending on whether or not some of this information is in any way critical to my life...

What is Stuff Magazine? (I've pretty much deduced that allegedly sexy women appear on the cover and inside, but what's the editorial?)

Who is Winnie Cooper?

How can a lifetime subscription run out? (Sounds like a joke a stand up comic would tell, in which case it's funny. If not, Betsy, TV Guide decided your life is over, either literally or figuratively. NO, not "literally," but realiterally. (I so love that new word of mine. Call Webster's!)

Why are you only mildly bitter that celebs can publish children's books? I am embittered. My children's book was rejected by every publishing house that exists. They're big, fat doody heads!

If you can prove to me that knowledge of Stuff Magazine and Winnie Cooper is important to me and future generations, I promise to exclaim Well, I'll be DamNed.

Elizabeth Crane said...

Most of the money Ben spends at Home Depot isn't his, it's from corporate people he works for.
That's the thing, Debra, I can't figure out what the editorial is. On one page is a picture of a giant robot and the title says ASYLUM and there's not really any copy at all that clarifies anything. It's utterly baffling.
Winnie Cooper was "literally" the girl next door on The Wonder Years.
I suppose I could get more embittered, except for the part about me being so lucky already. Plus it's too exhausting. But yes, doody heads. I shout at the TV.

kfoz said...

Speaking of non-editorial...I recently read an issue of US Weekly. And was shocked to discover that no longer use words at all. Just paparazzi photos and arrows.

Teodoro Callate said...

Later on last night, I was switching channels and landed on SpikeTV, the network for men. Well, I'm not so sure I like being included in that demographic, because they were showing the Top Knockouts in Ultimate Fighting. Which consisted of two dudes pummeling each other (I mean, this was seriously violent) until one's life was literally in jeopardy. It was very uncomfortable to watch. Guys *kneeing* each other in the chin. And they were only showing the series of "final blows" of these fights, so it was virtually all violence. And the clips were introduced and wrapped up by a busty, booby woman in a tight, revealing shirt, who would come on the screen after a guy had literally been knocked into a new dimension, and she would say: "Nice. Revenge is sweet." And she would smile.

Made my hair hurt. Made me sad.

So I don't understand the editorial value of THAT. You're right, me understand, cause I don't get it.

Teodoro Callate said...

Seems like all is well over here on standby_bert, but just in case it's not, here's where you can comment directly to me on my kinda lame post in this thread. Cause I said I would.

Betsy, how do you hyperlink in the Comments section?

Felicity Taint said...

1. I once ate an entire chicken leg in one bite. I put that leg between my teeth and pulled the meat away like the last bit of a slushy bomb pop.

2. I still read HIGHLIGHTS. Goofus is my Gallant.

3. When I am not composing poetry, or thinking about my dreams, the song SU SU SUDIO by Phill Collins appears in my head.
Doot Doot Doodio.....Whoa Ohhh!!

4. The young miss section of the 1974 Sears Christmas Wish Book is good stuff. You can find a young Felicity on page 126. A bit of my tummy is showing. Wave hello....Hi there Felicity!! Hi!!

5. I once had a dream where I held the bottom of a sea turtle. A first, the sea turtle pulled me along the depths of the ocean. Suddenly, the sea turtle rose out of the water up into the sky. I held on, holding the sea turtle like a waitress carries a tray through a crowded restaurant. Together, we flew over the earth around the world. After some time, I noticed that we were flying over the ruin of a carnival. Red and white stripped tents stood in tatters. The sea turtle dropped me off on the midway, near the game where you swing a hammer and try to ring the bell for a prize. The strange thing was this. Instead of smashing the launching pad, people were smashing TV sets. I pulled back the flap from the dirty red and white stripped tent and walked into a HUGE warehouse filled with TV sets. The turtle told me, "I need you to finish this for me" and flew away. I picked up a hammer, and spent the rest of the dream smashing TV sets . I wept as I wondered if I would fly with sea turtles again.

Yours, Felicity

Elizabeth Crane said...

But see, Ken, I can at least understand the images in US Weekly. Celebrities, in all their many forms. Best and worst dressed and fashion police. Stars: They're just like us! They buy groceries! They spill their lattes! They grow boobs overnight! They become anorexic! The pictures tell all. Stuff has images next to text that confuse whatever the picture is, in my estimation.
Felicity, do you have a blog?

Sven said...

I think if Britney and Kevin had a children's book published... their editor would probably cry in agony.

Elizabeth Crane said...

No doubt!