Thursday, July 11, 2019

Alfred E. Neuman - "What Me Worry?" You Damn Well Better Worry

Alfred E. Neuman: “What Me Worry?” Damn Straight You Should Worry Alfred E. Neuman – you better worry. You’re about to be consigned to Trotsky’s “dustbin of history.” You, the Harold E. Stassen Perennial Presidential Candidate Award winner, need to hang it up. Your campaign slogan “You could do worse …. And always have” is trite, at best. Your distinct journalistic cousin, the Playboy Bunny, is about to join you. Playboy peaked in November 1972 with 7,161,561 copies sold. It is now down to a quarterly publication with the most recently reported paid circulation of 206,483. Your stupid prehensile grin has worn out its charm. At the age of 63, you don’t have it anymore, no matter how many facelifts you’re had. You ain’t got no mojo. Your fate is regurgitated hard copy. Mad announced that October will be its last regular issue. From then all there will be no more sales at newsstands, assuming you can find one. New issues will only be in comic book stores and direct mail. The issues will simply republish prior published material, except for an annual special edition. You should be worried. Twice warmed-over satire is cold and stale. You should be worried. Rumors are that circulation dropped to 140,000 in 2017, down from its peak of 2,400,000 in September 2973. Mad moved to Burbank, beautiful downtown Burbank, last year, away from New York. Your cache was left behind. How can you be satirical when it’s always warm and sunny? Your designated market of Baby Boomers is dying. Their successors, post-adolescent male college students, surf the web and play video games. You’re not social-media worthy. Mayo Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana said it all. This Presidential candidate, a legitimate presidential candidate, unlike you, was called a Alfred E. Neuman lookalike by President Trump. The 37 year old, almost half your age, whipper snapper admitted he didn’t know who you were: “I guess it’s a generational thing. I had to Google that.” You should be worried. No one knows who you, The cover boy, is. You are a has been, déclassé. Yet, you lead a good life. You outlived the National Lampoon and all other competitors. But now you join the Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals in history. You’re about to join the universe of ESPN Magazine, Glamour, Gourmet, Ladies Home Journal, McCall’s, Modern Bride, Money, Redbook, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, The Weekly Standard, and even Gun World. One-fifth of U.S. Newspapers closed in the past few years. You’re in good company – hard copy company. To quote the once great, now has been Arnold Schwarzenegger “Hasta La Vista, Baby.”

No comments: