Mightier Than The Pen

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Sports Illustrated To Discontinue Swimsuit Issue

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Sports Illustrated‘Just doesn’t suit our target market,’ says executive

New York, January 27 – Sports Illustrated publisher Frank Wall told reporters today that TimeWarner would make this year’s swimsuit edition the last, as the company no longer sees the annual issue as a core part of its commercial appeal.

Wall assembled a press conference to announce the news, noting that the American sports fan has grown ever more sophisticated, and base appeals to sexual desires are no longer the sales draw that they once were. “With the maturity of the American male sports aficionado, the annual swimsuit issue just doesn’t suit our target market anymore,” he said. “Our strength has always been in trenchant analysis, not cheap pandering to the male libido.”

The decision brings to an end a fifty-year-old practice. For years, the swimsuit issue was the magazine’s best-seller, but according to Wall, TimeWarner’s board decided late last year that it was time to move beyond the adolescent appeal of lithe, bronzed supermodels showcasing designer bathing suits in provocative poses. “We have more respect for our audience than that now,” said Wall, “and of course we regret subjecting women to such treatment, thereby fostering their objectification and warping the way in which people view romantic relationships.”

Once release of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition ceases, there will be only two American magazine publishers that use sex appeal to engage the male reader. Maxim and Muscle&Fitness magazines will be the only remaining such publications available at newsstands. Penthouse, Playboy, and Hustler, all one-time mainstays of the pornography field, folded over the last few years as interest in their offerings faded with the rising maturity and morality of their audience. Other, lesser-known purveyors of smut have likewise gone under or moved their operations exclusively to the internet, where discreet access to the crude content is still available to the few with stunted sensibilities.

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Written by Thag

January 27, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Repenthouse: the Magazine for Porn-Again Christians

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Condé-Nasty's other recent success.

Condé-Nasty’s other recent success.

New York, New York, May 12 (AP) Condé-Nasty Publications announced today that starting next month it will begin selling a magazine aimed at the growing demographic of Porn-Again Christians, called Repenthouse. The magazine will come monthly to its subscribers and be available at nudesstands across the country.

With the release, Condé-Nasty thus hopes to penetrate the coveted demographic that worships Jizzus. A pokesman for the organization, Li Bido, said that Condé-Nasty had been probing the Porn Again market for some time, and biding its time until the moment was ripe to thrust itself onto the scene. “There’s a tremendous amount of exposure we can expect with this venture,” said Bido. “It’s not often that a mainstream publishing outfit seeks to establish itself as a presence in such a niche market, I’ll admit, but with our industry already strapped for cash, finding the sweet spot for our product can spread doors open wide for us in other arenas.”

Repenthouse represents a formidable risk for Condé-Nasty, however. If the magazine fails to penetrate the market to a significant degree, and does not stimulate sufficient subscriptions or sales to warrant its continued issue, the venture could showcase the publisher’s impotence or give it the stigmata of an outfit already on its knees.

“It’s an ambitious idea, I’ll give them that,” allowed Larry Flynt, an industry veteran with significant experience. “But they can’t exactly expect to be wearing divine protection. While I don’t yet see the Four Whoresmen of the Apocalypse breathing down their necks, but if sales are flaccid the whole enterprise will be blown to Kingdom Come,” he warned.

“But if they pull it off, I’ll be the first one to give them a hand; jobs are scarce enough, and anyone who can stimulate growth in this business will be snatching up profits,” he added.

At Condé-Nasty the mood is decidedly optimistic. “Things are definitely looking up for us – we have a few tricks left up our sleeves,” said President Lou Brickant. “Our religious values really come through with Repenthouse: our thrust in God and our fleshes of divine inspiration will be evident to any Porn Again reader. We have plenty of material over which our subscribers will want to linger – we don’t veneriate the saints the way Catholics do, but there’s a decided reverence for foreplague and the Sin-optic Gospels.”

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Written by Thag

May 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Careless Mom Accidentally Buys ‘World of Whorecraft’ Subscription for Son

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Highland Park, Illinois (AP) – Denise Carter, a 48-year-old mother of two, remains unaware that she has bought a pornographic video game for her teenage son Beck.

Carter, who generally reacts negatively to portrayals of women as sex objects, decided for Beck’s fifteenth birthday to indulge the boy’s predilection for action-oriented entertainment. She discreetly asked Phil Layshio, one of Beck’s classmates, to handle the online registration and payment for World of Warcraft, an online multiplayer role-playing game. The friend, who knows a side of Beck that he never shows his prude of a mother, misheard.

Instead of a world populated by questing fighters,  magical demi-humans and fantastical creatures such as dragons, Carter has signed her adolescent son up for a virtual experience in and around a brothel.

Upon signing in for the first time, Beck will be asked to choose the role of whore, pimp, customer or human trafficker. He will then select a class for his character, which determines the socioeconomic circles in which that character will move during play. The character can gain skills, experience points and in-game money that can be redeemed for training to acquire more skills, for basic expenses related to the sex industry, or for bribes to government and law enforcement officials to turn a blind eye to the character’s dealings.

In addition to other online players, Beck will interact with non-player characters, which are programmed to provide the characters with information, challenges or services necessary for the completion of various tasks. In World of Whorecraft, those NPCs, as they are called, include drug dealers, police officers, gynecologists and treatment counselors of various kinds, as well as paramedics, junkies and the occasional teenage runaway.

The game has various modes, and the user may choose to play in various distinct eras: before AIDS; before syphilis; or before the latex condom, for example.

Hmm. Maybe they’re not so different after all.

Carter has expressed excitement at having her son discover what she believes she has given him. “I can’t wait till he receives the ‘Welcome’ e-mail on his birthday,” she gushed. “I know he loves this stuff, and I’m just thrilled I can show him I appreciate his pastimes and want to support him in them. He thinks I know nothing about this game and what teenage boys like to do – I can’t wait for him to see who it’s from, just to see the look on his face!”

Experts are divided regarding Beck’s reaction. “This can’t possibly end well,” said Sophia Liu, a social worker with the Skokie, Illinois, municipality. “This poor kid is going to be scarred for life, always seeing his painfully clueless mother when he wants to focus on any other woman.”

Chase Esses of Detroit Family Services disagrees. “If there’s anything that dissuades teenagers from immersing themselves in porn, it’s parental presence. This woman may have inadvertently caused her son to avoid unhealthy perceptions of human sexuality for the rest of his life. He’ll be much happier that way, and his relationships that much stronger,” he said.

“Assuming he doesn’t kill himself on the spot when he realizes what has happened,” added Esses.

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Written by Thag

November 2, 2012 at 12:29 am

My Take on the TIME Cover Controversy: You’re All Dupes

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Written by Thag

May 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I’m Motivated! Let Me at that Box of Bran Flakes!

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Written by Thag

January 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Be Careful: Your Children Might Learn Something

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Hello, Mrs. Dawkins. This is George Dowd, of Fundamentalist Web Nanny. I’m calling about little Richard.

Oh, no, Mrs. Dawkins, it’s not what you think at all, but it is serious. Please understand this has nothing to do with what is euphemistically called “mature” web content. Also, please understand that we seldom contact our clients by phone. This is a matter of some urgency, so please hear me out.

As you know already, we provide weekly reports of your computer’s internet browser usage. I just made sure that in fact our reports have been sent to you in timely fashion. Have you been receiving them, Mrs. Dawkins? Good, good. Have you been reviewing them? Good. Now, I must ask: what have you been doing with the information?

It’s a simple question, Mrs. Dawkins. I’m sure you know that pornographic or violent content is not the only threat to a child’s emotional well-being – any person’s well-being, actually. But those are hardly the only kinds of content that can corrupt a developing personality. It is here that our concern lies, Mrs. Dawkins; we believe you have been glossing over this other kind of content once you have ascertained that nothing violent or inappropriately sexual comes up in the reports.

I’ll illustrate with an example from this week’s report: an extended visit to the Wikipedia entry for dinosaurs. Do you have any idea what kind of dangerous content lies there, Mrs. Dawkins? The entry maintains that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, and we all know that the world cannot be older than approximately six thousand years; that’s clear from the Bible. Richard will get entirely the wrong idea, and begin to question tenets we all hold dear. In no time at all, Richard will be casting aside dearly held beliefs and traditions, even blaming those beliefs for society’s ills! Please be vigilant, Mrs. Dawkins.

Yes, it can come as quite a shock, I know; but we must continue. Last week’s report was but the latest in a trend when it comes to visits to sites offering recipes for vegans. Does Richard eat animal products at home, Mrs. Dawkins? Mm hmm. Did you know Hitler was a vegetarian? No? Well, now you do. Just some food for thought.

You might also have missed some visits to You Tube to see clips of Disney animated films. Be wary, Mrs. Dawkins: these films carry subversive, subliminal messages that will corrupt our youth. They should stick with inspiring, squeaky-clean Bible stories. What’s that? No, not the one about Sodom and Gomorrah; no, not the one about Jacob’s daughter; no, not the one about Elisha and the bears mauling the kids; no, not the one about Jesus making a fig tree wither for not having figs when it wasn’t fig season; no, not the parts about wiping out all the Canaanites and their women and children. Please, Mrs. Dawkins. I’m sure you can find suitable stories to share with Richard. Let us move on to the last part.

It seems Richard has been visiting sites that do not reflexively blame 9/11 on our society’s decaying morals. Yes, of course it was perpetrated by adherents of an inherently violent religion, but we have always tried to see the hand of God in current events – there’s nothing like the appearance of the Virgin Mary in refrigerator mold to restore a person’s faith! – and we must always wonder whether sin has some role in those tragic events. Mrs. Dawkins, we must not let Richard get the wrong idea about the world. Complexity and nuance are not something a child can handle very well. We must simplify things for him by making it clear that America was asking for 9/11 because America did not do enough to guard against insidious influences: homosexuality; illegal immigrants; removing prayer from schools; deleting “under God” from our pledge of allegiance; the teaching of evil-lution in schools; the grim list goes on.

Thank you for your attention, Mrs. Dawkins. I’m sure this conversation will bear fruit. Why, yes, of course it was an apple in Eden. What else could it be?

No Hot Girl-on-Girl Action Here, Sir. I Think.

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I am grateful for my many friends, few of whom will ever read this.

I don’t really blame most of them, even though I’ve been shamelessly singing my blog’s praises for months and months. Clearly they feel nothing missing from their lives right now that reading another few paragraphs a day will add. I know exactly how that feels: for the first ten or so years of my life, I had absolutely no interest in sex whatsoever; its existence meant little to me, despite its manifest presence all around (“hot girl-on-girl action!”). But I have matured, and my relationship to sex has changed accordingly. I nurture the hope that others’ attraction to this blog will similarly mature.

Think not, however, that people who have never set eyes on Mightier than the Pen feel restrained in any way from offering unsolicited advice on how to make it more successful (“hot girl-on-girl action!”). The helpful tidbits sometimes arrive disguised as innocent or curious inquiries into whatever primitive marketing has been done, much in the way people pursue sex by talking about everything else. You have beautiful eyes, by the way.

One point of advice, however, I am considering, though becoming a hardcore adherent of it clashes with my principles. A gynecologist of my acquaintance has raised the point a number of times that I should dedicate this blog to sex. Sex sells. However, despite the benefits of exposure to the potential audience, I must admit I feel hesitant to compromise the family-friendly nature of this blog with references to “hot girl-on-girl action.”

Yes, I understand that people gravitate toward sex the way bonobos gravitate toward, say, sex. Humans even gravitate toward hot girl-on-girl action, though perhaps “gravitate” is not exactly a potent enough term. I have to find some way of engaging or arousing a desire to read my work with passion. Can it be done without sex?

We might just have to figure out non-sexual contexts in which the phrase, “hot girl-on-girl action!” nevertheless obtains. I can think of wrestling, though let us concede that it skirts the edges of the very realm we are trying to avoid. Another might be feminist firefighting. Or female fencers using flaming swords. You can see as well as I do that these are not possibilities that lend themselves to compelling exposition. At least not in a way that keeps it morally pure.

Which is not to say that sex itself is morally impure, nor is the desire to engage in it; quite the opposite. But as with any pleasurable pursuit, too much hot girl-on-girl action is too much. Moderation in all things. Except perhaps chocolate.

Which brings us to chocolate sex. Not that I have any coherent ideas on the matter – indeed, the combination of the two elements has my insides and head spinning with anticipation – but I do believe that to succeed, this blog must harness the power that those two attractive forces embody. I shall have to repair to my quarters after considering these two weighty subjects. Whether my, er, mind can handle both simultaneously remains to be seen.

And you’ll get a full report, if I can find a way to convey the results without resorting to the phrase, “hot girl-on-girl action!”

Written by Thag

January 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm