For anyone who has delved into the annals of the Al-Qaeda lifestyle magazine "Inspire" or attempted to (granted that reading through the minutiae of suicide-vest stitching is tediously melancholic), it was only a matter of time before the National Rifle Association (NRA) issued one of its own, and presto(!) here we have "a quarterly premium print publication for the culturally curious gun owner". That there are people identifying as "culturally curious gun owners" is a whole different matter altogether and one the academic disciplines of social anthropology and clinical psychopathology are surely frantically poring over as the first issue of NRA SHARP goes to the press.
The premium periodical, we learn from the accompanying lifestyle website, is to fill its lustrous, full-gloss pages with the trifecta of lifestylism: "timeless information", "beautiful photography" and "superb storytelling". Lets break this down.
The holy grail of the culturally curious and spiritually bi-curious. Any magazine vying to improve and complement its readers' lives strives to serve nuggets of wisdom that burrow deep into the readers' souls to resonate permanently therein, inspiring personal growth and nudging them closer to transcendence. Such information can cover a variety of fields of knowledge and domains of expertise. Some preview titles from the forthcoming issue:
>> There is one proper way to gut a reindeer and always will be. Master your skills with our step by step illustrated manual and change your life forever.
>> Where in your abode is the right place to mount your prized, self-stuffed deer head in both an auspicious and aesthetic manner? The definitive guide.
>> Fight insomnia once and for all with our time-honored tips for a good night's sleep (Hint: It's time to polish those barrels!)
>> Remove persistent blood stains from embroidered upholstery and silk-thread carpets in an environmentally friendly way.
>> What is the meaning of life and how it is intractably connected to the Second Amendment
Is there a more efficient and potent way (except blasting away at the shooting range or gunning down forest fauna) to allay yourself of the ennui and stress of a day's spirit-stifling, soul-squashing monotony than losing one's self in the mesmeric depths of photohraphy? After a long arduous day, relax besides the fireplace with a tumbler of your favorite 50 year-old malt whiskey at hand, smoking a Montecristo, your loyal bloodhound curled up at your feet and the latest NRA SHARP issue with a special, sepia-toned photo-spread of soon-to-be extinct species, relishing gratefully their last days of existence, photographed in their natural habitat by prize-winning professionals.
Also, coming soon: Double-page center-folds of cute mammals, quails in mid-flight and Hollywood liberals, to tear out, place at 100 feet and shoot at, to practice one's aiming skills.
Our lives are made up of stories and as such it is the stories we tell ourselves that determine our life's scope and reach. In an attempt to therefore delineate the meaning of our existence and shed light on our society's pathologies and virtues, NRA SHARP will be an incubator of the best possible contemporary writing, both fiction and non-fiction, commissioning moderately-to-extremely famous writers for virtuosic and affecting stories. Here for example are some to be included in the next issues:
>> A tale (based on true facts) of your typical suburban family, having their blissful existence brutally disrupted one night by vicious, terrorizing intruders of foreign extraction breaking into their home to rob and taunt and haunt them, only for the heroic, indomitable family-head, father of four, to turn the tables on them by courageously gunning them down, one by one, with one of the family's strategically stashed-around-the-house firearms. The story ends with a hauntingly poetic scene of the whole family holding hands in prayer around the piled bodies.
>> The story of a misunderstood Idaho teenager whose family moves to the San Francisco Bay area, where he is scorned and taunted by his undisciplined, amoral high-school peers, and who due to an unfortunate turn of events involving an Obama-sponsored death-panel, founds himself lost deep into the Yosemite wilderness equipped with just a compass and his deceased grandpa's shotgun, a family heirloom though which his "pap" talks to him, at the end triumphantly managing to find his way out, having through this experience grown into a confident, virile man. He later becomes a billionaire by founding a successful aerial wolf hunting franchise business.
>> A dramatic retelling of the last days of Abraham Lincoln and the historical aftermath of his assassination, recounted through the point of view of John Wilkes Booth's pistol.
>> A literary essay on Ayn Rand's rifle-collection.