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Prelude / From the Publisher's Desk
This month's back stories

Apparently, the NFL doesn't want people to know that the Super Bowl is February 11, unless they hear it from non-commercial sources.

A few years ago, the NFL trademarked the term "Super Bowl" to protect it from outside entities wishing to profit from it. In other words, Best Buy can't promote a "Super Bowl Sale", but they can advertise a "Big Game Sale."

It's a difference without a distinction. The NFL, being ultimately greedy monopolists, want all profits to accrue to themselves, the franchise owners. From a business perspective, it may make some sense, but when you hear TV reporters talking about the "Big Game", it's just corporate nonsense. There have been very few instances of companies trying to cash in on the popularity of the Super Bowl. Besides, the NFL makes plenty of money already. It's not a big deal. We'll still reference the NFL Championship game as the Super Bowl and let their lawyers figure it out. We're pretty confident they won't be damaged in any manner that might promote litigation.

Thus, Fearless Rick's Super Bowl Picks and various conspiracy theories are on page 6 and the Super Bowl Quiz on Page 7.


This Isn't the 1950s

This issue was supposed to be published around January 29, but there was an ongoing debate inside my head, about whether what had been published up to this point was worthwhile, whether idleguy.com should continue to mimic the antiquated format of Playboy magazine, and even whether it was worth continuing to publish at all.

After all, this isn't 1953, when Hugh Hefner left the employ of Esquire magazine to forge his own path in publishing, striking out with money borrowed from his mother to bring about what eventually would be one of the biggest publishing successes of all time. It's 2024, and times, attitudes, and the publishing world have changed.

In 1953, if a man wanted to peruse alluring photographs of fetching young ladies, there were already girly magazines by the bushelful. Nudity was, in the Puritanical America of the 1950s, strictly off-limits. If the Post Office didn't shut you down, the FBI would, so Hefner's brash entrance into the world of men's entertainment would have to be somewhat moderate and moderated, inclusive of some high-brow art and editorial content, a light-hearted approach, and an appeal to the emerging urbane, professional class of company men, professionals, and, naturally, college kids.

For what Hefner was endeavoring to do, there wasn't much competition besides his former employer, some sketchy publications that were mostly kept behind the newsstand counters, strip clubs, and, well, personal encounters. Hefner was not impatient for change, but he did see morals and perceptions about sex undergoing a rapid coming of age. The official and officious authorities - government, churches, pastors, haughty schoolmarms and intellectual moralists of the day - eschewed any suggestion of relationships. Boys met girls, they dated, they married. That was that and that's all there was to it.

Hefner sensed a different attitude within society. Men were lusting after dames. They were eager for action. It was OK to whistle at a pretty girl, and the girls often appreciated being admired for their sexuality. He rolled the dice and continually came up sevens. Guys enjoyed the flirty, devil-may-care, avant garde approach that his magazine promoted. While women weren't exactly knocking down his door to disrobe for the camera, there were enough able bodies for a monthly bacchanalia.

With subscription and newsstand sales exploding, by 1955 Playboy was standard fare for young adult males and by the 60s all pretense was foregone. Boobs were exposed for all to admire, Elvis Presley was gyrating on stage, the Beatles were coming and American morals would forget the past and beat a path straight to the back seats of convertibles and bedrooms across suburbia.

Years passed and Hef's Playboy continued to be the vanguard of sexual expression and much more. Hefner's editors probed government, Wall Street, criminality, homosexuality, and all manner of topics that, in the years following World War II, had been taboo, untouchable, unmentionable, unassailable. All the icons were shattered.

It's a radically different world here in the 21st century. Playboy is now run by an slovenly bean-counter whose main claim to fame was chasing a woman while sporting a boner, only to run into a wall and break his nose. Ben Kohn was an unlikely choice to take the reigns of Hefner's enterprise and, by sheer force of nature, he's gradually killing it. He's just dumb enough to continue promoting the bunny logo, wasting lots of money, stealing enough for himself while launching an only-fans clone.

It's a wasteland, just like the metro-sexual males that populate the earth. There are no longer any gentlemen's clubs, strip clubs are on the wane, the culture of masculinity is attacked by feminists and government goons alike, there's no smoking in bars, where there are bars at all, the government watches your every move, nobody can say what they like, whether in public or on the internet. The world is so vastly different from 1950s, 60s, 70s culturally that it's not even recognizable. A men's magazine? Shirley, you jest.

Not only has morality and society changed, there are now millions of publications on the internet. Websites, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, utubers, tic-tockers, newsletters, and subscription offerings overpopulate the editorial landscape, making for an ultra-competitive environment. Big deal. Most of what's out there is crap, with a capital C.

Last month, I ditched the girls, nudity or not. This month, I was on the verge of just quitting it altogether. Realizing that there would be limited opportunity for success in what I had previously envisioned, I decided to take the most reasonable route, both for myself and the at-large public, and relax. I have to say, it's been pretty nice.

The February Issue is going to be different in a variety of ways, most notably, sporadic additions. Past test issues and the first actual issue of idleguy.com were released complete on a given date. This issue will add pages as conditions warrant.

That's all for now.

- FR

Untitled FASTPAGES: 1. Cover \ 2. Prelude / Publisher's Desk \ 3. Contents \ 4. Calendar \ 5. Books \ 6. Super Bowl Theories and Picks \ 7. Super Bowl Quiz \ Daily Idler \ Home \ | idleguy.com February 2024 | Page 2