Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Things I Wish Still Existed (Because I Would Buy Them): Spy Magazine

Spy was a satirical monthly magazine founded in 1986 that, despite a brief revival in the early 90s, folded in 1998. Co-founded by Kurt Andersen and Graydon Carter, who you may know as the longtime editor of Vanity Fair, the New York-based magazine was 90% political satire and 10% serious investigative journalism. Their pieces targeted the American media and entertainment industries, staging hoaxes and experiments to challenge the American obsession with celebrity. The magazine especially targeted prominent American figures like Donald Trump, JFK, Hillary Clinton and Martha Stewart. The aggressive parodies the magazine became infamous for led to its lack of willing advertisers and its ultimate demise.

 Why would I buy it? Why do I kneel by my bedside at night and pray for a) the magazine's reincarnation or b) to be transported via time machine or Apparition to the 80s? For reasons like this: the eccentric oddball hilarious writers once decided to test the US Postal Service by addressing letters using only the famous recipients' photograph (the letters were successfully delivered). Another time, Spy decided to test the ethical limits of the public relations industry by successfully pitching a chain of fast-food restaurants that served freshly ground rabbits, and was marketed by a cute bunny mascot to told customers how tasty he'd be. People totally bought this. This is almost as good as when Kim Jong-Un was blushing and flattered because The Onion named him Sexiest Man Alive. 

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