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Man's life

Just capering cuties in grainy black-and-white making the clichéd "you've caught me in my nightie!" face. The stories are bombastic but empty, always exposing something or other - sin, vice, sinful vice. Typical tales: "The Harlots of Des Moines!" or "Girls For Sale in Sex-Drenched Dusseldorf!" And there's always a Nazi story. In every issue, Nazis. Why? Because a large part of the target American demographic had spent its youth whipping Nazi butt, I suppose. And another part of the demographic really got off on Nazis, one fears.


In the back, the ads - "Bedtime story" books, novelty records shipped in plain wrappers, lots of truss ads (more so in the fifties than the 60s - by the JFK era, men were no longer rupturing their innards at the same rate) and innumerable tiny ads aimed at self-improvement. Because if there's one theme that runs throughout these mags, it's the need for the readership to improve itself. The readership knew it. If the readership didn't need self improvement, they wouldn't be reading these things.

-- James Lileks

[ Via artofmanliness and contexts ]


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