Included free with this month's Style magazine: a bikini! Comes in small, medium, or large, and in either green or black, possibly more colors. I've been so waiting for one. You have to expect it'll do better than Body magazine's giveaway this month of a small bottle of Vitamin C pills.
I appreciate the beauty of human bodies other than mine as much as anyone does, but could advertisers please find some other basic instinctive drive to sell to? It's getting boring, honestly, and the drive to hint ever more at nudity has lead to silly things like posters lining one of the MRT trains I rode today, advertising 50 Percent Off by showing men and women either Topless or Bottomless, with the various body parts replaced with huge pixel blurs. ``Look, two square centimeters of pink, isn't that exciting? Buy the clothes they're not wearing!''
The magazine covers are as you'd think, underfed white women wearing swimsuits or hip-hugger shorts that might as well just be painted on. Featured topics include sex, how to get more sex, are you getting enough sex, how to tell if your boyfriend's gay, and how to dress more sexy. It's not only magazines, of course; what fraction of the jokes on any average sitcom are based on sex as a punch line? How many TV shows in general try to save themselves from poor ratings by promising hotter babes and sexier storylines? I don't want to sound too much like a cardigan-wearing sitcom dad from 1958, and I'm sure there are those who find sex endlessly fascinating. It just feels to me like the pop culture has become a mind with one topic of conversation that he cares about, and who's worn that topic down to a terrible bore.
Diatribe over. In the meanwhile I've stocked up on books for my flight, and found a perfect gift to give my dad on his birthday. I'll share which it is after he's gotten it. Despite going to Borders with that coupon, I didn't get a fresh coupon for next month; that may be because they were holding a 15 percent off children's books sale, and didn't want to overlap too many discounts.
Trivia: During the U.S. Civil War the Union provided 40 percent of the wheat and flour imported into Great Britain. Source: The American Heritage New History of the Civil War, Bruce Catton.
Currently Reading: Capitalism and Arithmetic: The New Math of the 15th Century, Frank J. Swetz.