Monday, February 5, 2007

Eva Mendes vs Pickles

Southern Baptists are doing their part for US troops in Iraq. They are taking time out from preaching about the benefits of hating everybody that isn't a Southern Baptist, their desire for Theocracy, hatred of gays, and support for the war these troops are dying in and the person responsible for their being there, to send CARE packages to troops fighting the heathens in Iraq.

According to the AP:
Southern Baptists are sending Christian magazines to troops in Iraq as an alternative to the "lad mags" that feature scantily clad women, hoping to get clean, positive images in front of the servicemen.

Lifeway Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, is working with Baptist associations and churches to create "Lifeboxes," which include magazines like Christian Single, notes of encouragement, gum, socks, candy, stationery supplies and wet wipes.

The gum, socks, candy, etc. are likely appreciated. As a former infantry soldier myself, I know that such packages do supply a bit of a morale boost to their receiver.

But, Christian Single magazine? Give me a break.

The "lad mags" they are trying to replace are Maxim and Stuff, so lets compare these magazines with Christian Single to see which magazine an average 20 year old American male hopped up on testosterone, forced to live in a foreign country, and facing death would prefer to browse during their down time.

First up--Maxim:

Maxim has been sending free copies of their magazine to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for almost two years, at the request of the troops.

At right is the cover of their latest issue.

Inside this issue is an interview with Eva Mendes (and several photos), a photo shoot with the Victoria's secret models, a review of Switchfoot's new CD, a review of the Jackass 2 DVD, an interview with Michael Madson, a list of the 50 lamest things of all time ("crooks finding Jesus' comes in at #4), and an article containing the six steps to a successful quickie.

Since the beginning of the Iraq war, Maxim has written articles on the war and the people fighting it, and done USO type tours and shows for the troops.

Then, there's Stuff:

Their latest cover.

They interview Dominique Swain from the movie Alpha Dog, and Jesse James (of West Coast Choppers--not the dead outlaw), have an article about police pursuit pilots, review the Discovery Channel show Future Weapons (a show about military weapons hosted by a former navy SEA)L , and talk about the new Oasis, and Shins CDs.

Then we have the competition donated by the Southern Baptists--Christian Single

The cover of the latest issue--

They don't have a link to the contents of the latest issue, and I can't find it anywhere, but they do have a pdf file of a sample issue, so subscribers know what to expect.

In the sample issue there is an interview with Tia and Tamera Mowry, the teenage twin stars of ABC's then the WB's (now known as the CW) television show Sister, Sister. In the interview, the girls talk about how they kept their faith during their time in Hollywood. The girls also grace the cover of the sample issue, which is ironic, since Tia once said in an interview with Christianity Today that:
"In Hollywood, you're not on the cover of a magazine because you helped the poor or volunteered at a hospital; you're on the cover because you're worth so-and-so amount of money."

Anyway, hypocrisy aside, the sample issue also has a review of 5 CDs from groups I have never heard of (However, one group, "Mainstay", was compared to Switchfoot whose new CD was reviewed in the new Maxim), and a review of a DVD of the movie End of the Spear (which I have also never heard of) which is about missionaries killed in 1956 for trying to interfere in a tribal war in Ecuador. The reviewer says that the "highlight of the movie is actually found in its closing credits." Sounds like a must-see.

Also contained in this issue is an article about how Christians should treat the Homeless (pray for them, make them some soup, and give to Christian homeless shelters), advice for first-date conversation starters ("If you could hang with anybody for a day (except Jesus), who would it be?), and a pickle recipe.

So, there we have it. The competition.

First, let me say that I am not endorsing Maxim, or Stuff, although I do agree that Eva Mendes is very good looking, and like the pictures of her. I got over the whole "lad-mag" thing years ago. However, I was once a 20 year old US Army soldier, thousands of miles away from home facing death, and remember what it felt like.

During what we called "down-time" my friends and I wanted to forget about what we did for a living. We went out when we could. When we did go out, we drank way too much and tried our damnedest to impress any woman around. When we couldn't go out on the town, we sat around the barracks, tents, or where ever, and talked about girls back home, movies, music, and women who we "admired"--basically anything that wasn't what we were doing where we were at.

As has been the case for as long as there have been magazines and photographs, soldiers in combat have turned to pictures of beautiful women for a relief from reality. Whether it was pinups of Betty Grable during WW II and the Korean War, pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Playboy centerfolds during the Vietnam war, or Maxim's photos of Eva Mendes and the Victoria's Secret models now, these photos have allowed young men who are suffering in ways most people could never understand to escape for a while into the realm of fantasy that helps keep them sane.

They don't want, or need, to be preached to.

Save that for when you are trying to explain why they had to see their best friend's head blown off, or why they no longer have legs.

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