Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, October 03, 2021

Is it possible to do a lad-mag while going easy on the chick pics? Giant Magazine is an attempt to do so, as its Maxim- and Stuff-refugee braintrust is banking on young men’s adoration of pop culture to carry the new launch.

Of course, it may be unfair to label Giant as a “lad mag”, since it eschews the term and the accompanying attitude:

Hooper said Giant isn’t after the lad mag readers and doesn’t need them. He said there’s a whole target audience that hasn’t been served by other men’s magazines and has been waiting for something like Giant.

It’s not that they’re aren’t gorgeous women in sexy clothes in Giant. In fact, a slimmed down Christina Ricci shows plenty of skin and looks terribly glam in a photo spread and interview. But they’re not dangled on the cover and first few pages like raw bait for hungry sharks.

We’ll see. Not having a vixenish female on the cover will certainly help Giant stand out from the FHMs of the newsstand. But if pictures of Jack Black and other guys don’t move the product, then we’ll start seeing the chicky covershots in short order. The whole purpose of the magazine cover is to grab the reader’s attention and sell the issue, and there are few better ways of doing that than with skin.

I’m not sure just how much of this mag’s content appeals to me. A six-page spread on the Talking Heads’ lasting legacy? I’m there. Quoting Zoolander and debating over whether Led Zeppelin or Rush has the better drummer? Uh, no.

The website has a somewhat unusual layout and design. It’s more text-oriented than a typical magazine site, with a top table dominating the page. And the serif-font is just odd-looking, throwing me for some reason. Check out this snippet out of the opening manifesto from the home page:

That’s because GIANT is all about feeding your needs: To hear great music. To know the perfect Glengarry Glen Ross line for every social situation. To catch a Simpsons rerun that you’ve seen a dozen times before. To laugh.

Because for you, entertainment isn’t an escape from everyday life. It is your everyday life.

Because you have important questions that demand answers. Questions like, “Should I buy the Star Wars trilogy on DVD if I already have it on VHS?” and “Is the new Interpol album any good?” and “What’s this I hear about a monkey shortage?”

Despite the monkey reference, I’m wary. On the other hand, the study on the continued utility of the ampersand gives me a chuckle.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/03/2021 08:17pm
Category: Pop Culture, Publishing
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If I had had to guess, I wouldn’t have pegged The Cars’ “Just What I Needed” as being 26 years old. But after reading about how Circuit City is using the song as the centerpiece of their new ad campaign, now I know.

I’ve seen the commercial a couple of times this afternoon, during football (naturally). My impression is that it gives Circuit City a decidedly old-fogey vibe — pretty much the opposite of what the company wants. The combination of a classic rock tune and some mid-forties, balding nebbish talking about how confused he gets in the face of electronics does not, to me, seem to be the ticket for hooking that prized 18-to-39 demo.

I could be wrong. The new spot is somewhat more noticable than their old commercials, but that’s not saying much. I haven’t stepped into a Circuit City store in something like five years, and a Cars song isn’t going to entice me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/03/2021 07:25pm
Category: Advert./Mktg.
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eyes to ears
Not liking that near-iconic dangling-wires look of the iPod? Oakley’s got an alternative: The Oakley Thump is an MP3 player that’s integrated into lightweight sunglasses.

It’s a look that says “cyborg-chic” to me.

You can ignore the hype about these specs replacing the iPod. While the products are comparably priced, the Thump offers a maximum of 256 megabytes of space for songs; the latest model iPod, 20 gigabytes. This makes sense: Unless you want the glasses to weigh a couple of pounds, there’s simply no way to get more Flash or disc storage into them. That automatically limits them to fashion novelties rather than full-fledged media players.

Personally, I think the name “Thump” sucks. It’s nebulous. I’m sure it’s meant to suggest powerful audio playback — as in a thumping bass — but it’s a weak attempt. I guarantee that no one will even use the name when talking about them.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/03/2021 06:54pm
Category: Tech
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With all the FCC heat shock jocks have been getting this year, the satellite radio alternative has to be looking better and better. In fact, satellite has been actively courting the most controversial personalities. That courting has borne fruit in the case of former NYC shockers Opie and Anthony, who debut their XM Radio show tomorrow.

How about Bubba the Love Sponge, whose firing by Clear Channel lumped Tampa into this landscape? He’s running for Pinellas County Sheriff.

While Bubba insists he’s serious about wanting to serve in public office, there are reasons for skepticism:

There has been widespread speculation among critics and local political observers that [Bubba] Clem’s real interest is landing a contract on satellite radio, where listeners purchase a special receiver and pay a subscriber fee.

Clem said he isn’t negotiating such a deal now. He’s focusing his time on becoming sheriff. But if a deal came his way, Clem said he could do both jobs. He would go as far to install an emergency phone into his radio studio so he could be contacted by his deputies.

“People would know I would have to leave,” Clem said. “They could run tapes.”

Otherwise, he said he could do the morning drive time, then arrive at work at 10:30 a.m. for a full day of law enforcement.

“Radio has been my career,” Clem said. “Could I do both? Probably. Would I do both? Probably not. My No. 1 priority is to be the sheriff of Pinellas.”

And if you believe that, you’re probably not only dumb enough have formerly listened to Bubba’s show, but also dumb enough to vote for him.

The true story here is that Bubba has not been able to get either XM or Sirius interested enough to give him a show. That shouldn’t be surprising: The Tampa Bay area’s demographics likely don’t represent a robust subscriber radio market, and that’s probably doubly true of Bubba’s target market. In short, no one is actually going to pay to listen to Bubba’s show, especially not when over-the-air alternatives are playing. And if the Tampa Bay area isn’t buying, no one else will.

So the run for Sheriff is a publicity stunt, designed to get his name back in the media (where it’s been largely absent since he’s left the airwaves). He won’t win, despite what that idiot UCF professor thinks; name recognition won’t be enough to motivate his former listeners to the polls in large numbers.

I’ve said it before: Bubba is strictly small-time, and he’s going to stay that way. Once this nonsense blows over, he’ll resume his slow fade by guest-emceeing various fringe events, until time when no one will remember who he was.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/03/2021 04:23pm
Category: Politics, Radio
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five flavors
How many rolls of Life Savers did it take to make this bra/bikini top?

Eh, who cares. I’m just glad they made it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/03/2021 02:14pm
Category: Comedy
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