This morning I was perusing a well-known blog, scrolling past all the political half-truths and communist propaganda, before finally zeroing-in on something clickable.
The words pube-trimming pulled me in…
The article at the other end of the link, this one, turned out to be a humor column by a Brit named Charlie Brooker. And I thought it was hilarious, almost perfectly executed. In fact, I opened gmail and fired off the link to a few of my friends.
Then I started reading the comments at the page where I originally found the piece, and was surprised by the reaction. There were a lot of people, it seemed, who thought the article was a shallow examination of the subject(??), probably homophobic, and quite possibly misogynistic.
A humor column about pubic hair!
I sincerely don’t understand how a person could have a stick jammed so far up their ass. Do they ever laugh? Or do they just walk around on high-alert all the time, looking for violations against The Code?
Sheesh. And these are undoubtedly the same people who accuse conservative religious-types of being humorless and judgmental. I think both ends of the spectrum have been stretched so far at this point, they’ve wrapped around and the two camps are now side by side.
I guess it’s a good thing the National Lampoon isn’t being published anymore, huh? It would undoubtedly cause thousands to wail in righteous outrage, then curl up in the floor and have a good cry. Thousands, from both groups of do-gooders.
But, anyway. Back to the subject of male pube-trimming… Any opinions on it? I’ve got nothing to offer on this one, I’m afraid. I’m 45, and from West Virginia.
Also, do you see anything offensive about the article? Perhaps I’m just an insenstivie bastard? Anything’s possible.
And speaking of defunct magazines, are there any that you genuinely miss? I loved Creem, Trouser Press, National Lampoon and, from my baseball card days, The Trader Speaks.
Creem might’ve been the best of ’em all. They usually had some big-name hair band on the front, to move copies off the grocery store shelves, but the music they covered inside was always hipper than it had a right to be.
And the writers were great. I won’t bore you with a list, but I could crank off the names of ten or twelve of their regulars, right off the top of my head.
Creem was also the funniest music mag, by a long shot. Every issue was a riot.
I grew up reading Mad, and graduated to National Lampoon when I was thirteen or so. It was edgier, with nudity on occasion, and clerks sometimes refused to sell it to me. Which was very exciting.
When I was in junior high I read an article in the magazine called “My Vagina,” by John Hughes (yes, that John Hughes), and I thought it was just about the greatest thing ever accomplished by humankind. Even greater than the pyramids…
In case you’re unfamiliar, “My Vagina” is the story of a sixteen year old boy who wakes up one morning with female genitalia. There was a companion piece, called “My Penis,” which was also genius. Both pieces blew me away. I tried to write similar stories, in a similar style, and was disappointed to realize it’s a lot harder than it looks.
The National Lampoon, I think, changed the way my brain works. And it’s probably part of the reason I thought that British ball-shaving story was such a hoot…
Trouser Press was a really good music magazine, which covered the obscure bands I liked at the time. I still have every copy I ever purchased, with flexi-discs intact.
And The Trader Speaks was a publication for hardcore sports memorabilia nutcases. Which was me, circa 1978 or so. I can still remember how the pages smelled, when they were fresh off the press. I subscribed for years, and devoured every word – even the tiny classified ads in the back.
So, there you go. Defunct magazines and topiary of the crotch…
You guys can take it from here, if you’d like.
And I’ll see ya next time.
This is a few years old, but still hilarious. http://www.henrypanky.com/crisis.htm If the link doesn’t work, Google “crisis in pubic hair.” It’s worth it.
Jason, I miss the Oxford American too. I had two good friends who were regular contributors. Yes, we do wear shoes in Mississippi.
Happy Anniversary, Knuckleheads! Hope Mrs. K. is feeling much better.
Jersey Scott says
National Lampoon is sorely missed here – – there are other humor mags around but there’ll never be another NatLamp. What’s really sad is that the name still exists and whoever owns the rights to use it allows it to be slapped on many, many horrible straight-to-DVD “comedies”.
I also miss Psychotronic, but there are a lot of other freaky cinema mags out there that are almost as good … plus I’ve always got my back issues !
Jersey Scott says
Spy magazine too – – probably a little too “New York Intellectual” for most, but with a healthy dose of “wise-ass punk” thrown in for good measue. Where else would we find “Elvis’s weight on other planets”, an investigation into the long standing rumors of Walt Disney being frozen, some really smart and mean pranks played on celebrities and, of course, Seperated at Birth.
Brenda Love says
I grew up with Creem magazine. They always had the best captions for their pictures. And the letters to the editor were obviously made up by the staff.
“What is this ‘Lester bang’ you keep writing about?’
The Evil Twin says
SPY! Yeah, I loved that mag!
Also, what ever happened to Pop Smear? I loved their music coverage. I think it was there that I first read anything by Nuarduar the Human Serviette, who was always good for a laff.
I also own every issue of Psychotronic, but Weldon’s political pontifications in the last few issues (which appear to be the final ones) were getting really tiresome. He saw an evil right-winger under every rock, ready to pounce on him and snuff out his Constitutional rights. The guy really borders on paranoia. No damn wonder there were two year gaps between issues. Shock Cinema also suffers from the same can’t-help-myself political rants, which is a shame, really, because I think Steve Puchalski is one of the most entertaining film critics out there. It’s still a great film mag, though. I still have a bound volume of all the old issues of his great Slimetime newsletter which I still claim is the the greatest smartass filmcrit stuff of all time, as far as weirdfilm goes (I think he collected those into a book). But, for my money, the CREEM of the film mag world was definitely Chris Gore’s Film Threat before it got shuffled around among the various sugardaddy publishers. Those first 20 or so issues were stupendous, and most had those gorgeous Glenn Barr covers. Rick Sullivan’s Gore Gazette was also a mighty contender in the truly hilarious filmfreak ouvre.
I look on the newstands now and see about 75 different rock rags (with Slipknot featured on the covers of 68 of ’em), and think back to the golden days of rock journalism when my friends and I would haunt the bookstores and drugstores, scrounging for issues of Creem, Rock Scene, Hit Parader, Touser Press, Circus, Circus Raves (remember that short-lived offshoot?), and all the really shoddy-but-fun Seaboard publications like ACID ROCK, HARD ROCK and their various hybrid rockmag incarnations. My real saving grace was a local bookstore that would get 3 copies each of the three major UK rock bi-weeklys – New Musical Express, Melody Maker and Sounds, and would save them for me so I hardly missed an issue of any of them from the late 70s throughout the mid 80s. It was nice when a lot of the UK music zines like The Face, Flexipop and Kerrrang! made it to the shores which I snapped up in a frenzy. But, I still miss a lot of the old punk rags like Flipside, the God-like Touch & Go, and Byron Coley’s incredible Forced Exposure. Of course it’s not the same for me anymore – I can get all nostalgic for those bygone days because I’m now an old coot who doesn’t give a fuck about newer music for the most part. I mean, I can look through an issue of Blender and feel queasy. And besides, I’m not that interested in reading 12 page articles on the dining preferences of the members of Death Cab for Cutie or Rage Against The Royalty Check. But, then again, they don’t write that stuff for tired old assholes like myself; but I can’t help but envy kids these days who have such a broad variety of music zines on the market to choose from, let alone instant web access. They don’t know how lucky they are. Hell, back in the old days I’d have to crawl naked and shoeless through 15 miles of uphill snowdrifts just to hear a Budgie bootleg, or read a friend’s copy of ZigZag or Sniffin’ Glue for that rare Stranglers interview. (Actually, that’s really not that far from the truth…)
The Evil Twin says
P.S. If that football comes back over my fence again, I’m keeping it! You kids stay the hell out of my yard or I’m calling ALL of your parents! You hear me, Goddammit?
Great Googly Moogly says
My personal pubic hair grooming is entirely up to my girlfriend. If she wasn’t it natural that’s fine. If she wants it trimmed that’s fine. If she wants it all gone that’s fine too. I don’t care one way or another.
As for my girlfriend I much prefer to have to all gone. I’ll even go so far as volunteering for maintenance duties if it means I get what I want. Smooth is much better. Looks nicer and cleaner and it makes performing certain acts much, much more enjoyable.
A big old untrimmed bush is downright frightening. I remember meeting two gorgeous and very drunk girls in a bar one night and little did I know later that evening instead of experiencing every man’s fantasy I would be confronted with pubic hair that I would need a machete, a weedwacker and possibly a chainsaw to fin the appropriate bit of real estate. I handled the situation without screaming like a 7 year old girl but I have to say it totally ruined what should have been a highlight of my life.
By Larry Taft as told to John Hughes
From the April 1979 issue of National Lampoon
other kristin says
The Henry Panky link was hysterical!
I have to say, while I think trimming has it’s place, that I think the human body has hair in certain places For A Reason. You know, hair in your nose, keeps out dirt and dust, and hair in your ears must have a similar function. I have no idea what the purpose of hair under your arms might be, but who am I to argue? (I do agree with female shaving there)
Anyway, when men and women REACH PUBERTY, they have hair “down there”. Personally, I think it’s a big turn-off to have no hair there where there’s supposed to be hair. I’m not into pre-pubescent sexual images or encounters.
My husband thinks I might be turned on if he shaves there, and I have no interest, thankyouverymuch, and I’d like to keep (some) of my hair there as well.
There. I said it. TMI.
Max Girth says
I had a very similar National Lampoon experience when I was younger. I actually have several years worth archived in fairly good condition. Occasionally I’ll pick up and old issue and read some of the stories. What is totally shocking is how racist some of it is. I certainly didn’t notice it at the time.
My question is surf reporters: (?)
Was it racist then too? Or are we just recalibrated with today’s sensibilities?
I’m not talking just words that have changed or satire. There are some horribly racist themes & statements in a lot of my favorite old articles.
Perhaps Jeff could address this question if he has noticed.
Oliver Cromwell Ogilvy & Mark Stiggs
Shiny Rod says
@ Max Girth – We unfortunately have become less cynical and more tolerant. Political correctness has replaced racial epitaph and we are becoming more aware of each others cultures than we were back then. I still think about those days when we could tell a good racial joke and even poke fun at each other. Now everyone is so anally sensitive to everybody else’s culture that the jokes have lost their potency and humor. But to answer your question, yes it was racist then. The bad thing is that I too was a big Lampoon reader back then. I think the current political situation is giving us time to do some serious soul searching never mind the other distractions. I would have never thought that a black candidate would even remotely think of running for president let alone any high office. I am having to rethink my own racial opinions based on his candidacy and due to the amount of slowly growing support from those not of his heritage. I think America has come a long way and could really benefit from his presence in office. A lot of folks I know are still holding on to those negative opinions and they are not see the big picture because the refuse to except that things are changing and the way we did things back then didn’t work for us then and they aren’t working for us now. As a world traveler, I have found that many people outside the US view us as hypocrites because we can’t even deal with our own racial issues but want to tell everyone else how to do things.
Shiny Rod says
other kristin, explore a little. Add a little spice to things and have some fun. You might even involve hubby in the process and let him apply the shaving cream.
other kristin says
ahhh, Shiny Rod – that is EXACTLY what my husband has in mind. I don’t quite trust him not to go all the way and I don’t. want. to. be. bald.
I like spice, no problem, I just don’t like bald. 🙂