Okay, so I can be strange at times. I’ll admit it. That being said, I find this to be worth a chuckle.
I was scrolling through Releaselog when I came across it. Seems like your typical Men’s Magazine fare. Some scantily clad dame on the front and interviews with prominent male celebrites. I’ve never read the magazine (I didn’t even know it existed until now), but it appears to be in the same vein as GQ. It’s basically a thinly veiled advertorial with pretty pictures. It wants to sell you on the high life: Expensive vacations, watches and clothes you can’t really afford (but assume are necessary). There’s sex stuff that’s slightly edgy “No longer a taboo: Enjoying porn”. The history of handwriting even sounds interesting. That’s not what caught my eye. If you look to the left, with a little bit of text ever so slightly obscured by her elbow, you’ll see it:
“Sausages. Everything you don’t know.”
Is that truly a selling point for this kind of magazine? Does some gent walk through their newsagent and have their curiosity piqued by the goings-on of those chains of meat? Judging by my response, possibly yes. Do people look past the lithe form of the cover model and wonder yeah, but what’s going on with my beef tubes? My most fervent hope is that this is some old school Hunter S. Thompson style gonzo journalism at its finest. Some guy masqueraded as an abattoir attendant (or sausage itself) and got down to the nitty gritty details of this industry shrouded in mystery. Do you know what’s in your sausages? I was always told they were crammed full of offal, lips, assholes, hooves and anything else they couldn’t cut up into a steak or serviceable cut of meat. I mean, they taste delicious, so I don’t really care. Unbeknownst to me, they’re probably stuffed to the tips with deceased gonzo journalists who asked too many questions. Frankly put (no pun intended. I swear by the moon and the stars in the sky), I’m surprised they even ran the lingerie clad model’s photo when they could’ve adorned the cover with a sizzling snarler in bread. Missed opportunities, eh?
I can’t say I’ve picked up a lad’s mag in quite some time. I had a few as a teenager, for the purposes that a teenage boy buys lad’s mags. In addition to those purposes, I used to actually enjoy the writing, read the articles, reviews, sex advice and jokes. Over time it’s just become less and less feasible. Especially in NZ/Australia, the humour is so broad, crass and witless. Anything related to sex seems borderline misogynist and perpetrates a worldview I can’t buy into any more. I don’t want to read about sports, expensive things I can purchase, how to ‘smash pussy’ or have rock hard abs now. I’ve got no issue with the people who read or write this stuff but it’s not me or for me.
I wonder about the state of magazines. Like most traditional media, the industry must be slowly heading towards its inevitable demise. Unless you’re one of the larger titles, your Cosmopolitan, People, FHM, New Yorker, how can you expect to have enough of an audience left to reap advertising revenue? It makes sense that so many magazines are predicated upon product promotion as a means of keeping the money trickling in, but how sustainable is that? The shift to online/tablet based media makes sense, but once you’re in the digital domain, how can you compete with websites that’re frequently updated with curated content? Are we relying on the laziness of audiences who want to be told what to read?
Because according to these guys, I’m craving to know what’s in my sausages.