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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

CULTURE/SOCIETY and SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY: National Geographic's April Issue?

No, it's not really National Geographic! It's a National Lampoon parody.

From the National Lampoon website....

For April Fool's Day, the class-skipping slackers of the Harvard Lampoon have unveiled their latest parody issue: National Geographic—A Harvard Lampoon Parody. The special edition offers a long-overdue skewering of the iconic publication, sure to shock everyone from the Zulu of Zimbabwe to the Ice People of Antarctica.

The issue’s cover features socialite and Harvard Lampoon “Woman of the Year” Paris Hilton as she’s never been seen before: sexy and glamorous. More shocking than Lindsay Lohan’s pictorial spread in New York magazine, Paris Hilton strips down as an homage to superhottie Jane Goodall in “Paris Hilton After Dark—Your Wildest Animal Fantasies".

Other features include:

• Top Ten Rainiest Rainforests—Will this be the Amazon’s year?
• Mongolia’s Wildest Waterparks
• Baskets on Heads—A Retrospective
• Native Girls Gone Wild
• What the Beijing Olympic Committee Doesn’t Want You to Know
• Boobs You Can Look at in the Dentist’s Office

And, interesting enough, from the National Geographic website...

Geographic Lends a Hand

National Geographic responded quickly when contacted by the students last summer, though the magazine had no say in the content of the parody—much of which could be described as off-color. (National Geographic News and National Geographic magazine are both owned by the National Geographic Society.)

"My guess was they were just extremely bored and they were tired of working with animals and scientists and wanted to hang out with college students," said Hayes Davenport, who edited the magazine with fellow Harvard senior Ross Arbes.

In one article the Lampoon takes aim at a National Geographic contributor who toils away for years in search of a specific species. Their "Seeking the Island Fox" article has the writer cold, wet, and annoyed at getting just a brief glance of a "pretty boring" animal.

And from the actual parody itself...For years, the American lava lamp industry has outsourced its labor to the islands of Indonesia, where lava is cheap, plentiful, and harvested by thousands of natives" who work under "horrifying conditions."

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