Soft Porn, Hardcore Profits

It’s been a brutal week for those lonely souls who’ve been without love for any length of time. The approach of Valentine’s Day came like a truly sinister flu. At first, there are only a few hints of the approaching doom – flower shops begin to advertise conspicuously on TV and the color pink quickly becomes the new red. A week before the big day, however, the public is bombarded with advertisements for teddy bears, candy and red roses.

For good or ill, my fellow journalists and I cover these topics, most notably in Lifestyles pieces and op-ed ruminations. Most papers are filled with stories ranging from features on how candy hearts are made to op-ed pieces about how Valentine’s Day is just another holiday created by the corporations to bank on all the money that we, as a consumer-driven society, have accumulated, thanks to our ability to mass-produce everything, including the selling of love and joy. Or something like that.

The old and worn column about how Valentine’s Day is a worthless and meaningless holiday, I believe, should be put to rest. It’s a little-guarded trade secret that those who write that sort of article aren’t getting any sort of action and they’re viciously bitter because of it.

Instead of being so pessimistic about such a meaningless holiday, we as Americans should embrace it for what it is – a chance to make money. Horatio Alger would put his head down in shame if he saw how we object to such a promising enterprise. Capitalizing on the holiday is not to selling out, it’s buying in.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, jewelry stores sold $2.1 billion in merchandise last February. Roses, too, see a lot of playing time. The value of rose production was about $70 million in 2005. The average person eats 24 pounds of candy a year, so it’s evident Russell Stover and M&M/Mars Company make oodles of cash every year, especially during Valentine’s Day.

So in order to be a true American, it’s obvious that an investment in something related to Valentine’s Day is appropriate. If you’re considering commodifying love, it’s important to think in terms of stability. Ask yourself what you can invest in that will almost always deliver a profit. The answer is found in mankind’s oldest profession – prostitution, and, more specifically, adult entertainment.

My friend, in his quest to make a million dollars, has been studying NASDAQ and possible investments he can make in order to achieve his goal. I often made fun of him because he’s Jewish and he was seriously considering investing in a gold company and another that invested in jewelry. This all changed when he discovered New Frontier Media.

New Frontier Media, Inc. is the second largest publicly-owned porn machine in the country. They’re fairly small, but they compete well with Playboy because they offer hardcore viewing. The company buys amateur video porn, does all the editing and then sends it repackaged to seven adult-themed pay-per-view networks, as well as video-on-demand platforms in cable, satellite, and hotels.

The company is only national, but a recent acquisition of MRG Entertainment Inc. for $20 million offers a promising future. MRG Entertainment Inc. offers international porn and has in it’s portfolio a massive library of images. These assets could very well prove vital for growth for New Frontier Media, and its stock prices display a confidence in that purchase.

Right now, New Frontier Media, Inc. sells its stock for about seven dollars a share, and the stock seems to be rising. Over the last year, this small company saw shares selling at about $6.60. My friend is investing in the company as we speak and recommends others do the same. He said that the recent merger excites profits but that after the dust settles, one can expect to see an increase in stock profits.

I have no objections to feeding the capitalistic beast that is Valentine’s Day. But I find that buying flowers and teddy bears is a bit childish and adheres too much to instant gratification. Articles about the increase in chocolate sales and how to make candy hearts are insulting because they usually avoid the fact that many purchases for Valentine’s are at the local sex stores. I want to offer something new, useful and adult oriented.

This year, instead of buying a box of chocolates, handcuffs, edible panties, or roses, get the gift that keeps on giving. Buy your loved one some stock in New Frontier Media. Don’t just indulge in capitalism; embrace it by fooling around with the stock market.

Pun intended.

Jeff Winkler is a sophomore journalism and philosophy major. His column appears on Wednesdays in The Traveler.

[Original piece available here.]

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