Friday, March 18, 2016

What Sort of Mennonite Reads Playboy?*

*The confessional sort, apparently.

Hey, fella!

Wanna feel old? Decrepit? Skeevy? But mostly old? Rush out and buy yourself the latest issue of Playboy magazine!

Ask a stupid question...
In case you missed the news, Playboy is putting clothes back on its "bunnies." Also, the articles are (reportedly) worth reading. I gave my wife the heads-up (best she not discover the notorious magazine next to the book beneath the bed) then kept alert for the first opportunity to procure my copy of the newly-modest "men's" magazine.

In hindsight, there are so many things I wish I'd done differently.

I should have had my wife next to me when I bought it. Heck, I should have asked her to buy the damn thing. At the very least, I should have taken a look at the contents before committing to purchase.

Had I leafed through it, I'd probably have returned it to the rack. Alas, I was in Canada's Big Boxy Book Behemoth, and they situate the magazine stand right next to the coffee counter. It being March Break, the place was swarming with kids -- and their latte-sipping mothers -- and there was simply no way I could muster the required nerve to casually flip through what is still, at the end of the day, a girly magazine.
I mean, honestly...
So I grabbed a copy and quickly hustled over to cash.

The young woman behind the counter was civil. I didn't blush too profusely. But I probably took the exchange a step too far when I asked if the kids were anticipating a guest appearance from Captain Underpants.
"But think of the children!"
The articles are about as good as reported -- which is to say they aren't that good.

And the girls are about as clothed as reported, which is to say they aren't that clothed. They're all roughly the age of my older daughter, togged out in the fashion favoured by their randy and clueless generational peers. Perhaps there's a frisson to the glossy photographic proceedings that kids these days might get a thrill from. I wouldn't know -- I found it all gloom-inducing.

It occurred to me as I read Brett Easton Ellis and Karl Ove KnausgÃ¥rd -- both of whom are basically my age -- that they are what currently passes for "literary lions." I "get" and "don't get" them both, in equal measure. They're both confessional, finally, often to a degree that is discomfiting and can even seem confrontational. It appears that's what my generation specializes in. And for the most part I tend not to buy magazines (never mind books) devoted to that sort of exercise. Louis C.K. is our acknowledged master of the form. Beyond that, there's always blogs -- n'est-ce pas?

So you're welcome to my copy, but you'll have to rummage through our bluebox for it. Difficult times indeed, then, for men's magazines.

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