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Customer servicing: “Sexy Santa” personal shoppers at the Virgin Megastore in London.

A Moment of Silence, Please…

With the advent of webcams, centuries of opaque wall construction were rendered obsolete. In the new era, you could broadcast your life and loves and omelet-making to the world, stupid opaque walls be damned. And if
you were hot — or sometimes if you were REALLY ugly — the world would watch.
It’s the end of the beginning for webcams, though, because the pioneering
JenniCam will shut down on December 31. Since 1996, JenniCam documented
the home life of Jennifer Ringley in exquisite detail, detail so exquisite
that PayPal pulled Ringley’s account because her nudity violated its
acceptable-use policy. (We’re slightly concerned about PayPal’s moral
arbitration, if only because we just used it to pay for a rather sizeable
eBay purchase of that Japanese porn with schoolgirls and sea
monsters.) Jenni’s mission statement included the slightly disturbing claim, “I keep JenniCam alive not because I want or need to be watched, but
simply because I don’t mind being watched.” We have to wonder if
“not minding” is sufficient reason to devote your life and sacrifice your privacy
to something. Consider these things we don’t really mind and yet would rather not be subjected to
indefinitely and unconditionally:

1) the later Nick Cave albums

2) first season Simpsons reruns

3) dinner with our parents

4) speculative “end-of-an-era” articles


— Carrie Hill Wilner

Newswire

Penis dismemberment story of the week.

Eleven-foot penis erected.

Dad sues to teach daughter about polygamy.

Swedish Christmas-party crackdown.

Wank If You Love Jesus

Last week, a German vicar gave his parishioners hardcore porn for Christmas. We were all ready to convert and move to Lampoldshausen when we found out it was an accident. Father Frithjof Schwesig ordered 300 copies of a video about God’s message to give churchgoers. (Apparently they don’t like to read much . . . it’s something about too many consonants in their lives.) Anyway, there was a mistake at the duplicator’s, and a whole bunch of evangelicals got a lesson in a different kind of love. The naked, sweaty, slap-my-ass kind.

The tapes were collected as soon the mistake was discovered. Father Frithjof, always an optimist, wasn’t the least dismayed. “The project has received enormous publicity, even if that wasn’t the original idea,” he said. “God moves in mysterious ways, and best of all, the people who ordered the porn now have our religious films about Jesus in their video recorders!” Yeah, best of all. We’re sure they’re thrilled. – Tobin Levy

A Brief Marxist Analysis of Anti-Abercrombie Ads

First, Abercrombie & Fitch pulled their quarterly from store shelves. Was it to make room for a new perfume line? Was it pressure from conservative groups? Really, isn’t it the same thing? This week, the company announced it will permanently discontinue the catalog. A spokesperson gave the puzzling explanation that the company believes it’s time for “new thinking,” which is possibly secret code for space takeovers or fascism or possibly both, so we suggest you keep an eye out. Meanwhile, the groups which protested the catalogue are pleased with and taking credit for its demise, citing tactics such as an ad run in the Wall Street Journal with the slogan, “If you’re invested in Abercrombie & Fitch, are you fully aware of what THEY are invested in?” It’s baiting touchy PTA moms to garner publicity and sell faux-vintage T-shirts, right? The premise isn’t buried that deeply. The ad goes on to explain that “If A&F is applauded for brilliant brand management, then profit has replaced principle in today’s market.” Profit, market . . . what an outrage. — Carrie Hill Wilner

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