Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mac's magazine

A funny thing happened on the way to the news stand... No actually, in Mac's mailbox.

It all started because last Sept. I renewed Mac's subscription to his Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine. This is a mag that is target toward people who want to be in the know about all things Video Game related. It was pretty specific and was really written for those who were gamers, using the specific lingo and jargon of that group of folks. Anyway, I renewed it through a junior high school magazine subscription fundraiser sale. Well, what I didn't know was that Ziff-Davis, the publisher of this magazine, had filed for bankruptcy in March 2008. I didn't receive any letter from them telling me so, they were still on the list of possible mags to subscribe to, and when I heard the name of the publishing company I certainly didn't associate it with EGM, even though most of their media mediums relate to technology. Gee, can't believe I missed remembering that 6 months later when I went to renew his magazine. (and if I roll my own eyes any more they're going to get stuck!)

So around last November Mac asks me why he hasn't gotten his mag and I did some investigating and realized they filed bankruptcy. I emailed the company and was basically told they didn't know what would happen to my subscription since they were in Chapter 11. I figured I was just out the $20, which sucks but- alas, what could I do really?

Then last week Mac calls me to say he got a replacement magazine for his EGM. I said something about that being cool. And he starts howling with laughter. He told me the magazine he received was Maxim magazine, sort of a guy's guide to women that is sort of a combination of a man version of Cosmopolitan and Playboy. This is the magazine a random publisher decided to send my 16 year old son in the mail without parental permission to replace a video game magazine. Hmmmmmmmmm...

Several things here: the cover stories for this month are "hot grill on grill action" (yeah, cute play on words... NOT!), "the rise of recession sex", "America's Best beaches", "Hometown Hotties", and there's a half naked celebrity woman on the cover. There are other features: sex advice, movie reviews, celebrity stuff, and one small section or article of video gaming information... the ads are mostly for alcohol and feature lots of scantily clad women who look physically enhanced and really really sexual.

FIRST I want so say loudly and clearly that while I am most certainly NOT the target audience, I believe in the 1st amendment that this can and should be published, there is an audience for this type of magazine, I do not think it should be banned... BUT BUT BUT- this is not really appropriate for MY child at THIS age right now. He can buy it when he's older and making his own choices. While we live in a society with enough social issues to float a battleship, I have enough problems as a single parenting mother teaching my son to respect women and not degrade them without having to do battle with a magazine in the house that, IN MY OPINION, seems to do the opposite. Yes, he is a boy who likes girls and boobs and is curious about sex and probably sees and hears worse on the Internet- I do get all that. But, this was foisted upon him, without anyone asking me as a parent if it was okay. Or even asking him if he wanted it. Some arbitrary company some how made the leap from a gaming magazine to a guy's magazine. This irritates me.

And while I try to be fair and cover all bases here at 'shoes/purses' I will say Mac told me there was a place he could send in a card to just get a refund rather than get the magazine. So we had an option AFTER the fact, but still an option.

So, Mac and I talked about it and one thing I LOVE LOVE LOVE about this kid is the head on his shoulders and his sense of humor- most of the time, and this is one of them. Head on his Shoulders: I told him all of my qualms and arguments and reasons why I was opposed. And he acknowledged what I said and felt, he didn't even try to argue the "I see worse on the 'net, or hear worse on the school bus mom" or anything. Mac said he got where I was coming from and he also knows the magazine was full of shit. He said he wasn't so weak that looking of pictures of booze in the ads made him want to run out and drink. He said he knew "real" women didn't look like the digitally enhanced triple DDDs in the magazines- or at least none that he's ever met yet (his words, not mine!). He said seeing these women weren't going to make him respect or disrespect women any more or less than he already did because it's just a magazine. Do I have a good kid or what? Besides, he informed me, he just wants to read it for the articles.

He's 16 years old and seems to, overall, have a a brain functioning somewhere other than in his pants, so I gave my permission to let Maxim come in the house.

Now Mac does have a sense of humor about this. He also couldn't help but crack up laughing over the whole thing. He said this company must not have a single clue about EGM target audience. Mac said most gamers are nerds, geeks, and loners who prefer games over people. He went on to further say that most geeky gamers are terrified of women and know they have a snowball's chance in hell of ever meeting women like those featured in Maxim- he said that "hell, even hot guys would be intimidated with these boobalicious babes" (okay he's 16 and aiming for the funny here...) let alone even needing the sex tips and advise sprinkled throughout the magazine. Mac said "most of us gamers are chubby, have acne, bad hair, are shy, no sense of style, no social skills... even ugly chicks don't want gamers- what the hell do guys like us need with Maxim magazine? Now, put a joy stick in their hands and have them playing some RPG naked, and we'd notice what game system they're playing. Naked would be secondary. Gamers around the country are probably scared to even read Maxim! Don't these publishers know anything? However, I'm cute and lovable- girls think I'm a Teddy Bear so I can handle it" and he gives me a wink and cracks himself up with laughter.

Raising a teenage boy to the maxim,


Curley said...

LOL. I also renewed this magazine, (3yrs). What upset me as much as the content was the fact that I would be paying for a magazine that is mostly made up of ads. The first 4 pages (both sides) were ads. I asked my son if he wanted to continue to get it (he's 19 after all and old enough to get it if he wants). He threw it on the floor and walked away. I mailed for a refund (pro-rated I might add), yesterday. We shall see if it happens.

Maggie said...

You'll have to let me know how the refund process goes! an d pro-rated sucks!