Dan Nester's Watchful Analysis of New Growth

Daniel NesterSt. Rose English professor Daniel Nester is back on The Daily Beast today with an essay about, um, enhancement:

The manufacturer of ExtenZe claims more than 460,000 customers have bought in the neighborhood of 250 million pills. Recent campaigns tout the ExtenZe drink, and infomercials in front of the Playboy mansion feature "ExtenZe Girls" dressed in cheerleader outfits. Response, a trade magazine that covers the "direct-response ad" industry, ranked ExtenZe as the seventh-most popular campaign in 2008, beating out the Ab Rocket and the Dual Action Cleanse.

As a former hack medical journalist, I wanted to find out if ExtenZe really works. I bought 120 pills on eBay, recruited 12 thirty- and fortysomething overeducated white males, and mailed each of them a 20-inch tube filled with ten ExtenZe pills, a foot-long ruler from Staples, an informed-consent form, a survey, and what I called a Boner Diary. I advised each patient to try to have an erection each day for ten days, directing them to the YouPorn, Victoria's Secret, and American Apparel websites. Armed with an official-sounding name, the Watchful Analysis of New Growth, we were in business.

Caution: may induce strange feelings about Alex Rodriguez.

Nester is holding what we can only imagine is a sort of poster session about his research Wednesday night at the reading series Live From the Living Room in Albany.

photo: Daniel Nester

Comments

Those ExtenZe commericals are so ridiculous. The actors are so hilarious that quoting them has become a running joke among my friends..."THAT could be fun..."
I actually find the infomercial that features the group of cackeling women highly offensive, I don't know any ladies who actually sit around in groups and openly discuss the specifics of their mens' sizes. Especially in the jr high gossipy way portrayed by the great folks at ExtenZe.

Dan Nester: In-depth investigator of the worst our culture has to offer.

"No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public." — Me, with apologies to Henry Mencken

*cough*

Hate to spoil Dan's presentation, but Penn & Teller debunked the claims of Extenze specifically (as well as all other non-surgical forms of male enhancement,) on their show "Bullshit" a couple years ago.

Poor Dan could have saved himself some money and heartache if he'd done a tad bit of research beforehand.

"Boner Diary" = funniest thing I've read in a long time. Honestly just laughed out loud. I guess now if anyone ever finds mine I can tell them it was "part of a study".

On another note, I don't understand why the AOA women are reacting so negatively. I bet most men find this hilarious.

Penn and Teller also debunked getting a college education on their show as well, something I will go on record as being in favor of receiving. So I hardly regard that episode or any others of their show as what would be called in publishing a "competing title."

I'm not so into libertarian autodidact magicians anyway; I prefer mine with large mustaches and shiny shirts, a la Doug Henning.

So, "money and heartache." I assume we're talking about the thousands I have spent on my own augmentation surgeries and perhaps the heartache I get when reading comment boxes? Either way, both won't bring one happiness. Neko Case's new CD did for me this morning. Each has their own voyage to go on.

A bit touchy today, are we, Dan? The point was you and your "boner diaries" already retread over well-worn ground. Apparently, your college education failed you there. (By the way, your whiny, defensive, nose-in-the-air attitude about autodidacts comes off as protesting way too much--especially since you're employed by a rather pricey post-secondary institution.)

Btw, how'd those enhancement surgeries work out for you? Freud might posit the idea that you seem a tad insecure.

Oh, Kim, anonymous, comment-box-courageous Kim. We both know that penis pill stories are evergreen topics, never to be referred to be as "retreads," even by Showtime standards. And if one doesn't choose to go to college, even at what has been rated as an affordable college like The College of Saint Rose, that's one's choice. We can agree to disagree on both scores, I suppose.

As for my Freudian insecurity, guilty as charged. As for the anti-autodidact stance, guilty as well.

Keep those home-schooled Freud references a-comin'!

Yes, I'm sure St. Rose is "affordable" when compared to, say, the Ivy League. (However, the cost of tuition there, like most schools, has raced far ahead of the cost of inflation. Perhaps if your background encompassed something other than you native tongue, you'd know that.) Furthermore, if you get an identical degree from a state school, the cost/benefit analysis regarding what you can expect to earn post-graduation is pretty much the same as with a costlier private school degree. It seems your much-touted formal education not only failed you in imparting basic research skills so as not to re-invent the wheel, (or something far less useful,) but apparently didn't do much for you in the way of basic arithmetic, either. In your case, one might point out a searing degree of intellectual laziness--particularly when (in your admitted insecurity about basically everything, in this post and others on AOA,) you decide to sneer and sling mud at everyone who hasn't made the same choices you have, all the while seeking validation/acceptance in the most nauseatingly Oprah-fied way possible.

As for anonymous commenting? I'm not the one who was stupid enough to post my family life, fake tans, and genital size to the world on the Internet and not expect anything other than flattering comments. I'm going to guess that your institution of higher learning never had a required course on the value of keeping your own counsel, or (since you're so high on the traditional college experience,) you probably slept through it after a night of binge-drinking and "hating on the man"--right before Mommy and Daddy signed your tuition check.

We appreciate that people are having an exchange of viewpoints here, but things have started to get a little off track. It's perfectly fine to be critical -- let's just keep it civil.

Thanks.

So, not a fan?

All this talk of autodidactism and ExtenZe had prompted me to take matters into my own hands, but as every good magician knows: the hand is quicker than the eye and now I fear I've spent my whole blog contribution in one post. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to comment again for another few hours. After all, I'm not the sprightly Web 1.0 kid who could Hit Reply over and over again like I used to. Ya gotta understand... it's not like before when I could crank out a whole collection of short stories without much notice. It's more like a novel now: longer, harder, and a more satisfying experience for all involved, but you have to prepare first: something to drink, a few bookmarks to hold you down in place, and maybe one of those new Kindle-style devices with the lingua electronica upgrade that'll do the reading for you. And plan for a few breaks. You'll go blind if you strain your eyes too much.

I will say this though: I was standing next to Danny Nester at last night's AoA Bash when somebody called out to him from across the room. He turned to face them and damn near Tonya Harding'd me! I was sore and limping for the rest of the night. Maybe the good readers of AoA are right and this madman shouldn't be allowed to document his experiments with quack science. The results may be impressive, but he's got to learn to keep them to himself when out in public. After all, as Robert A. Heinlein said, "Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards."

The heck with this conversation, I'm more interested in the Reagan Youth and Ed Geins Car flyers behind Dan in that pic. Viva le punk!

It's all good fun until someone gets cupcacked.
(sorry for your jacket Dan)

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