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03/28/01 (continued)
The readers speak (about Brooke)...

Tiffany writes:

Oh, good God... Just by the damn magazine.



My pal Winter writes:

I will personally buy you the Playboy issue with Ms. Brookes, if only to send a message that attractive nude people is OK. I will, however, remained dressed. For the record.


The lovely and talented Patti writes:


What you should do about playboy... is renew your subscription. For crying out loud. Are there really still women out there who think porn degrades women? Were there EVER really women who thought Playboy, which hardly qualifies as any level of "porn," degrades them? What is so offensive about pretty naked girls? Thank goodness I'm a porn-liking lady. And hurray for my mature yet Playboy-subscribing (and article-reading, to my amusement) boyfriend.

Go buy the issue. Girls who get icky feelings seeing it on your coffee table can just go hang out in your kitchen, where their 1950s sensibilities belong anyhow.


Damn! But what if I like their 1950s sensibilities?

The very wordy Michael says:

All this raging debate over one former lingerie model?

My vote: Go buy the magazine. She's hot. You just want to see in the nude someone that you've been fantasizing about seeing in the nude for quite some time -- and now she's obliging you and many tens of thousands of other men.

And, if you really mean it when you say that you "to this day don't see anything wrong with it," then I don't know why you're hesitating, or, for that matter, offering up arguments like: "Especially since it reads better than FHM or Maxim or any of the other soft-core copycats out there geared toward the frat-boy demographic."

I don't think discussions of maturity really apply when it comes to naked lady pictures, since looking at them always feels like a jeuvenile act. Usually the only saving grace comes from acknowledging that, and not attempting to rationalize it.

And hey, it's not like you're becoming a Playboy reader again. You're not buying it for the articles, you're buying it for the pictures.


Keli says:

I would (buy it), if she was my type.


And then we got into a conversation about what our types are. That was fun.

Amy, my one "Against" vote, said:

You don't know me, but I've solved all your problems. (Well, as far as dirty magazines and TV hosts are concerned.) Don't buy the magazine. Why?

1. Purchasing the magazine would be an exercise in self-defeat. Don't settle for the magazine, a mere facsimile of what you really want: a naked Brooke spouting her thoughts on life. Everybody needs goals, and I think you found a fine one. All you need is a piece of twine, some cattle and a dream.

2. If you don't buy the magazine you avoid the sneers of your female friends as well as heated debates on the commodification of the female image.

You've very welcome.


I asked her where I could find some cattle. She's trying to hook me up right now.

I'm not sure I understand this one from Byrne, but here ya go:


To buy, or not to buy. A quandry indeed.

Fortunately, from Napster we have learned much, now know it is that it is perfectly acceptable to take exactly what you want without paying for it.

You don't want the entire magazine. If fact, as you pointed out, owning the entire magazine could actually be a detriment. But you do want those pictures, that article.

Obviously what you have to do is to slyly pick up a copy, browse through the bookstore to the History section (no one is ever there), rip out the pages you want and stuff the rest of the magazine in a book on Coffee Drinking Rituals of the Ottoman Empire. No one will ever find the defaced magazine there.

Back at home hide your precious pages in the copy of Coffee Drinking Rituals of the Ottoman Empire your great aunt bought you when she was taking codine for her nasal infections. No one will ever find them there. Hell, you'll probably forget you have them.

Plus, when your great aunt visits it'll give you something to talk about.

It's the best of all worlds.


I told him that I have a hard enough time ripping up magazines that I own or even ones that I'm about to throw away.

Michelle (but not my friend Michelle from Oklahoma) says:


Go for it! Nothing wrong with looking at naked women. I bought my boyfriend a year's subcription.


Word. I'm building a shrine to Michelle. (With lots of Playboy cutouts)

Shannon writes:


If it's just the pictures of her and the article you want, shouldn't the Playboy Web site have that up in a couple of days? If not, I'm sure some kind soul will probably scan them in and post the article.

That's what I did for the David Duchovny interview in Playgirl.


Don't take this the wrong way, Shannon, but you're a perv. You look at naked men on the Web? That's just wrong, girl.

And then Amy and I started e-mailing and she brought up some good points:

Good Lord! Omar, where is your conservative feminist readership?! I was sure thousands of angry Women's-Studies-literature-quoting people would tell you that buying the magazine would set "the movement" back billions of years until we had the rights of paramecia. (That's pretty bad, I think.) Here I was giggling to myself because I thought I was being all cool and different for telling you to hunt down Brooke. Man oh man...


Gratuitous Brooke Burke image

You know, I just recently noticed that most online journals (at least the ones that I read) are written by women.

And then I started to wonder if it was okay for me to be a "guy" on Terribly Happy and if I could be crass and vulgar and not offend a lot of the women that read this. I still don't think I've figured that out yet.

I guess I feel like this site should reflect a male point of view, but at the same time, most of my friends are women and I don't think I have a typical "male" view about stuff anyway.

I mean, sure, I drink beer and can belch loudly, but what of it?

Well, anyway...

Oh, Amy wrote one more great response when I forwarded her the above e-mail about 50s values:


Mmmm... sorry. I was just not going to respond but I changed my mind. I don't particularly disagree with that person's response. I don't think porn is universally degrading to women or morally "wrong". I DO however, think it is sad that the more lucrative options available to women, hell to anybody, require them to be naked and/or uncommonly pretty/handsome. But that isn't wholly true anymore and it's probably just something ugly, broke people say.

I don't think porn reflects particularly well on the reader/viewer. In a book called Ways of Seeing John Berger analyzes nude paintings from the 16th-19th centuries. He says, "This nakedness is not, however, an expression of her own feelings; it is a sign of her submission to the owner's feelings and demands". Or in this case submission to a Playboy paycheck.

My vote is more for "if I were you" reasons than the "porn degrades us all" school of thought. My apologies for the length of this.

Damn, Amy, why you gotta make me think and have my brain work like that?

And one last one from Rebecca (but again, not the Rebecca that I've written about before whom I know personally):


Oh just buy it. You know you want to.

Most women don't like Playboy. This is a fact of life. It is because, as you know, there is little love lost between "every day" women and "Hollywood" women. Each camp has reason to despise and envy the other. Every Day women consider themselves more intelligent than their counterparts, and in many instances this is true. However, Hollwood women (what with their perfect hair, bodies, and faces), are undeniably envied by edw--how ever intelligent we consider ourselves. It is irrational. It is divisionary. But part of the reason is that, for the most part, we (edw) know that most men are only as faithful as their options. Most of my male friends, if given the choice, would hook up with Brooke Burke before Janeane Garofalo. Maybe Brooke would turn out to be dumb, or self-centered, or just conversationally boring. However, none of these traits matter in bed. And so, the JGs of the world (along with the rest of us) feel a certain misplaced anger toward beautiful pin-ups. Having the knowledge that most men would leave our Satre-loving, thesaurus-weilding asses in the dust -- no matter how funny or cool or interesting we are -- is a little disheartening.

I know that my boyfriend has a thing for Drew Barrymore. I am not bothered by this. ONLY because I know that he stands not a chance in hell with her. I'm pretty sure they'll never meet. But if DB ever put the moves on him, I'd be in trouble. I am not unattractive. Some might even call me pretty. But I am no Drew. It is the same reason that most men don't like Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, or Jude Law. We fawn over them. They are pretty, pretty men. Don't let Playgirl fool you. If men of this caliber posed nude for a magazine it would sell extremely well. And I think in that case, most men would be a little bothered by their girlfriends and girl friends subscribing to Hot Hollywood Hunks. Let alone leaving it out on the coffee table for comp'ny. Nudity is not shameful, but the comparisons these publications invoke are harsh. I, personally, don't give a shit about "How Titty Magazines Objectify Women." Most of us who use this argument are lying. What we don't like are our lovers and friends wishing they were with 36-24-36, and instead "settling" for us.

All that said, if you wanna buy the magazine, what's stopping you? No one can make you feel anything you don't already kinda feel. Why do you already feel guilty about buying it?


Wow. Again, great points.

So that's it from the readers.

Oh, there's one more thing. I wasn't going to share this, but I just got this today. It was a signed letter from Brooke Burke herself:

To the owner of Terribly

After reading your site and all the things you wrote about me (including the pictures of me you used), I would really love it if you didn't buy the upcoming issue of Playboy. In fact, don't look at me ever again.


Brooke Burke


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