What kind of man reads ...

For the man who has everything -- it's SHIT magazine!

By James Poniewozik
Published April 14, 1998 7:00PM (EDT)

On the heels of Popular Science's gadget-oriented Verge magazine, the
founders of Maxim and Spin plan to launch Stuff and Gear, technology and
lifestyle magazines aimed at young men with high disposable incomes.

(Advertising Age, March 30, 1998)

[Hank: Herewith my notes on your notes on the direct-mail piece. I replaced most occurrences of the word "men" with "guys," which, as you noted, sounded less gay to the focus groups. Pls respond and forward. --Ted]

Yo, Dude!:

We know you're not the kind of pansy who opens every magazine offer that lands in his mailbox. [Must we? --Hank. Fine, use "wuss." Just spare me the "self-hating" lecture. ;-) --Ted]

You've got places to be, things to do, babes to scam. We know you're not reading this letter because you're lonely. Hell, you probably don't even like to read (we can barely stay awake writing this stuff!!!).

You're reading this letter because of the fully loaded candy-apple red Hummer that Daniela Pestova's driving on the front of the envelope. [Still say we should have gone with Lara Croft. --Ted] Because when you see something you want -- new car speakers, your girlfriend's kid sister -- you go for it. You're a high-earning, high-living dude with a taste for quality and scorch marks on your platinum Visa. And that's nothing to be ashamed of.

Because, hey, we're guys. We don't shop, we buy. Night-vision contact lenses? Sign us up. Power-assisted inline skates? We're there. We don't just play with our toys. We are our toys.

They're our identity ...

They're our power ...

They're our passion ...

They're our SHIT.

We understand the mystical relationship between a guy and his shit -- the shit he drives, the shit he plays with, the shit he listens to. That's why we're offering you the chance to become a CHARTER SUBSCRIBER to the only indispensable guide to electronics, fashion, wheels, sex and more of what GUYS want.

That guide is SHIT Magazine.

What is SHIT? SHIT isn't just about getting to the future before everyone else does. It's about getting to the future six months before the future does. It's about giving the future a sneering glance when it finally shows up -- and pouring its tired ass a vodka gimlet from your CyBarTender(TM) drink-mixing peripheral.

SHIT is about getting golfing advice from your golf clubs. It's about watching TV while you sleep. It's about e-mailing your microwave from the office.

We're inviting you to try the premiere issue of SHIT risk-free. But we know you're not scared of risk. Whether you've risked your ass rock climbing, your assets on Internet IPOs or your department's budget on bleeding-edge technology, you know that the risk of pioneering -- being the first to try it, buy it and leave it on the curb for large-trash-collection day -- is what makes life worth living.

If you didn't -- well, you wouldn't be on any of the targeted mailing lists we bought. [Sure about this? --Hank. Trust me. The focus groups ate this knowingly cynical crap up. --Ted]

See, SHIT is the magazine for you, but it's not for just anyone. The SHIT guy knows that worrying about obsolescence and incompatibility is for mama's boys. The SHIT guy takes his toys seriously -- 'cause he knows life is no game.

The SHIT guy believes in the doctrine of overwhelming force. Sign him up for paintball and he'll be there with the shoulder-launched DYEMASTER 5000 (Page 73 of the premiere SHIT)! Show him a mosquito and he'll blast it into a charred, wriggling exoskeleton with the EXTINCTOR PLUS Laser Pencil (Page 88)! Tell him there's such a thing as too much overkill, and he'll say -- tell that to the Republican Guard! [Suggest "those guys in Iraq" or somesuch --Hank]

But SHIT is not about just any shit: Every two months our reporters sample the latest primo gear to let you know which shit is the SHIT. SHIT is:

  • Reviews of the latest goodies from Silicon Valley. (No, we don't mean the space between Gena Lee Nolin's hooters!!!) [Silicone? --Hank. Like anyone cares. --Ted]

  • Tax software that can get you a refund up to three times your annual income!

  • The best personal digital assistants for organizing your personal digital assistants!

    But SHIT is more than just gadgets. It's what you eat. It's what you do. It's what your life is. It's personal style SHIT, like Factory Showroom (Page 84), the new men's fragrance that hyp-mo-tizes chicks with the irresistible new-car smell of a Lexus sport coupe! It's sports-and-rec SHIT, like AquaPredator (Page 43), the artificially intelligent fishing lure that hunts down, electrocutes, and hauls in trophy catches while you watch live South American cockfights on your wrap-around satellite-TV sunglasses (Page 66)!

    And because we know there's a time in every guy's life for serious SHIT, we also bring you in-depth investigative reports:

  • Inefficient ordinary refrigerators are RUINING YOUR BEER! We'll tell you how brew's delicate balance of hops, malt, and carbonation puts it in a whole different league than carrot sticks -- and we'll give you the lowdown on buying a specialized second fridge that can save your suds. [BTW, Sub Zero committed to four pages! --Hank]

  • In cyberspace, no one can hear you bark: Our CyberSHIT reporter visits the Net's hottest chat rooms to find out which ones have honest-to-God babes -- and which ones are full of dogs in babes' clothing.

  • Roof-roof roofies goodbye! Forget about Rohypnol: Say hello to mohecapetl extract, the potent (and legal!) herbal "aphrodisiac" from south of the border. We'll tell you where to score it and how to use it if you want to have a night you'll remember (and she won't!). [Vetted? --Hank. Legal sez if we leave in "if you want to" we're clear --Ted]

    So how confident are we that we've got the SHIT you want? Mail in your subscription card by May 1 and we'll send you at NO OBLIGATION a charter member bonus: The SHIT Guide to Personal Bankruptcy! With 96 pages of color charts and no-brainer work sheets, we'll give you the straight SHIT on ...

  • America's 50 hottest small towns for relocating to avoid creditors

  • Keeping your new phone number safe from collection agencies

  • 7 tax-free Caribbean islands that grant citizenship no questions asked

  • Using our lenient tort laws to get out of the hole and back in the driver's seat!

    The driver's seat of an amphibious assault vehicle, maybe? Because we'll also send you SHIT's Military Hardware on the Beach Video Catalog! Join a dozen of the world's most bodacious swimsuit models as they show off the latest in infrared goggles and skin-tight body armor -- all on the hot white sands of Saint Maarten and all in interactive, full-color, ear-splitting DVD-ROM glory!

    What's that -- don't have a DVD-ROM player?

    Don't worry. We know you.

    You will.

    And it's somewhere on Pages 57-62 of our premiere issue. Just fill out the enclosed subscription card.

    Give us a few minutes of your time today. We'll help keep your SHIT together for life.

    [This -- this is poetry. --Hank. Yeah, screw you too. ;-) Drinks tonight? --Ted.]

  • James Poniewozik

    James Poniewozik is a Time magazine columnist on TV and media.

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