Media Medium
2 February 2001


Loaded Question

As lads' mag Loaded gets a new editor and prepares to revamp,
can it reinvent itself for a new decade?

As lad's mag Loaded gets a new editor and prepares to revamp, can it reinvent itself for a new decade? The monthly is a ballsy Taurus Bull (cover-dated May 1 1994), with an opposition of the Sun to over-the-top Jupiter in the sex and money signs of Taurus and Scorpio. The Moon, symbol of women, is placed next to outrageous Uranus, targeting the mag defiantly against New Nappy Man and marking the end of political correctness. Loaded Man is shown by macho Mars in Aries, packed with testosterone but isolated and oddly disconnected from all the other planets in the horoscope. Full of balls, he's always coming but doesn't know where he's going.

Founder James Brown and his gang caught the nineties mood and had a runaway success, but the unsustainable rebel stance has gone limp, and Brown now thinks that the men's magazine sector, including Loaded, has become "stale" and "embarrassing".

New editor Keith Kendrick is a forceful Aquarian (January 30 1964), full of ideas, principles and prejudices, and with a strong Mars himself, he loves a fight. He has great connections with the mag and his crusading, visionary Jupiter on its Mars allows him to give Loaded Man a purpose in life, beyond bonking. He was worth the year-long wait to find a new editor, and given a big advertising campaign, he'll soon get Loaded talked about again.

But there is a downside shown in an uncanny parallel between the two horoscopes. Both Kendrick and Loaded get hit this coming year by Mercury's progressed opposition to Pluto. Mercury is the communications planet, and Pluto symbolises the underworld, the realm of Hades. In mythology, he is a god of rape and hidden desire and represents the shadow side of man's bestial instincts. According to astrologer Howard Sasportas, this Mercury-Pluto combination stirs up primitive instincts and brings "overwhelming sexual images, powerful aggressive urges, angry and destructive thoughts and impulses. Pluto grips the mind, and draws forth images and thoughts that we have usually managed to keep hidden or have previously denied were there". (The Gods Of Change).

As Kendrick gropes around for something more substantial than men behaving badly, he'll feel the pressure to shake taboos and be daring, provocative and rude, and he's got to risk making his current readers uncomfortable. One way he could give Loaded more impact would be to evoke Pluto as the planet of psychology and poke around in the murky depths of what makes Loaded Man tick - cute little motifs such as masturbation, castration, Oedipus (mother-fxxxing). But however Kendrick deals with the scary issue of the male shadow, expect controversy this summer.

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