Menís Health

November, 2008


††††††††† I get my reading material from the local library.In front they have a pile of books and magazines that they give away for free, and it is from this selection that I garner nearly everything that I read.At times the selection is sparse and limited, while at others it is generous and far reaching.One never knows in advance how much will be there, or what they will be giving away, so I make an effort to show up every Monday morning and peruse the offerings in great depth.

††††††††† This last week the picking were slim--to say the least--but I was pleased to be walking away with the November 2008 issue of Menís Health, while there we were, still in October.

††††††††† I admit it, it felt special, and made up for the fact that I only picked up one other volume that day--and I canít even remember that oneís name.All the same, my joy was short lived once I actually started to read the magazine in question.

††††††††† I suppose I could complain about Menís Health being one long ad, but I donít mind ads.I like Vogue and it is all ads.I treat it just like a Playboy (or more accurately a Penthouse or a Hustler), meaning I donít even read the copy.Much like computer gaming magazines, the ads tend to be as informative as the copy (sometimes more so).

Yet all the same, in Menís Health there was something about the ads that I found... useless.Watches arenít my thing.And quite frankly, I question the manliness of any guy who spends too much time (any time at all?) selecting the scent of his aftershave (both important advertising groups for Menís Health).Of course, thatís not really the aspect of advertising that annoyed me the most, because somewhere along the way, I have acquired the skill of flipping the page when Iím not interested.No, what really got me was the magazineís editorial copy itself.To say it was uninspired or insipid, does not convey enough of my disgust.But rather than going down that road of endless criticism, instead let us ask who might read this magazine and really, really, really enjoy it.

Iím guessing the ideal reader of Menís Health would want to vary their workout routine day by day.Iím not much of one for exercise (so clearly the magazine was never targeted to me), but if I was, I can imagine that I might appreciate the ideas to spice up my time in the gym at which Menís Health excels.It has countless ideas for novel workout routines and performance enhancing tricks.And then when you are done pumping iron, the magazine will tell you what to eat, or fix in the kitchen, and why itís good for you to boot.This is all pretty harmless stuff, and I suppose if they want to add grooming advice and whatnot to the mix, you could ask, why not?I mean, it does seem to go along with the magazineí greater focus--good living for guys.

But it doesnít stop there--with the neutral, easy stuff.Like most media sources these days, Menís Health wants to be your go to source for... everything.After all, as long as youíre paying money for a day-to-day guide on how to exercise, fuel your machine, and cloth your body, isnít it reasonable to believe that you might also want to be told how to spend your spare time, spend your money, romance women, and even think?

Yeah, sure.Iím not really being fair... but then I am.Menís Health contains countless advice blurbs, which are all amazingly similar.For example, one tidbit might read: Dr. Joe of the progressive Pacific Islands think tank SURF advises eating plenty of broccoli, because itís nutritious and green, and if cooked properly isnít nearly as putrid as you might remember.While another might go: Professor Zeke at the University of Atlantis, who paid us $50 to be in this issue, says itís OK to cuddle after sex, and in fact women like it.Itís a low effort way to rack up a few romantic points quickly and easily.

Did you need someone to tell you either of those particular tidbits of information?Whatís more, do you actually care about Dr. Joe or Professor Zeke?I know I donít, and I donít need the empty mind numbing fluff either.

But hereís the real kicker, and maybe Iím only commenting on my own empty life.You see, in the end Iím not really sure if Iíll pick up Menís Health the next time I see it at the library, but I do know that I am only halfway through this issue, and even as I write, Iím looking forward to paging through the rest.God help me.I really am--banal fluff and all.


{Dr Joe & Prof Zeke are probably made up names.The advice as I present may not be what either said, while a careful reading of the magazine (something I never do in the first place) might reveal the intent of the articles was something totally different from what I inferred.In fact, after all these years, about the only thing I can remember about Menís Health is that I donít read it that much, so perhaps best to assume I made the entire thing up... especially that bit about my ever reading Hustler.Iíve never been much of a rancher, so donít know why Iíd ever read such a magazine...}





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