Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
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In the summer of 1998, a man named Steve Shubin was granted a patent for a “device for discrete sperm collection.” It resembled a flashlight topped with a flesh-colored rubber mold. That same year, another man, Jeff Bezos, and his fledgling online retail company, Amazon, began selling music and videos while venturing into international business by expanding its bookselling to Britain and Germany. In 2019, Bezos is now the wealthiest man in the world at the forefront of our new dystopian techno-oligarchy, while Shubin...well, Shubin still is in the business of making silicon vaginas to stick your dong into.

It is also the year these two titans of commerce collided.

Yesterday, Bloomberg Businessweek published an interesting—if unsurprisingly unsettling—investigatory dive into the many legitimate security concerns regarding Amazon’s personal assistant software and device, Alexa. Main takeaway: Surprise surprise, they’re almost definitely screwing us over. Unfortunately, what should have been somewhat bombshell news further confirming our worst suspicions for our corporate overlords was overshadowed by Bloomberg’s art department apparently getting the article’s thesis ass-backwards...

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As many on Twitter were quick to note, hypothetically popping open an Alexa to reveal a fleshy orifice that, while yeah, sure, is technically supposed to be an ear also sorta looks like...well, it looks like a “device for discrete sperm collection.”

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Look, we get it, Alexa is listening in on some of our most personal and confidential conversations with friends and loved ones. It’s also probably cooperating with law enforcement, thus entering a whole new realm of legal and ethical minefields. But, man, that really, really looks like a Fleshlight. Like, did no one say anything at the Bloomberg office, or was it one of those cases where everyone is thinking the same thing, but no one wants to say it, lest they be branded “Kevin the Fleshlight Guy” or something similar?

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This isn’t the first time in recent memory that a company has released something that looks vaguely filthy, but at least the folks at BarkBox leaned into that one. Not so with the stiff suits at Bloomberg.

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“It’s an EAR, folks,” they responded on Twitter, as if that’s never been considered by the perverts lurking around this cesspool of an Internet.

Fleshlight, meanwhile, is taking it in stride.

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(via Mashable)

Andrew Paul's work is recently featured by Rolling Stone, GQ, The Forward, and The Believer, as well as McSweeney's Internet Tendency and TNY's Daily Shouts.

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