In my local bookstore the other evening and something caught my attention. On the magazine rack sat a magazine called “Eye Spy”. Apparently it is a magazine about espionage and intelligence. Naturally I asked myself, “Is this for real?”
I know I was somewhat interested because it had links to information about the world’s assorted intelligence agencies. That was neat. But is that the real target audience?
I have an image in my mind of spies around the world reading this thing.
Spy 1: So, Ivan, have you read the latest issue of Eye Spy yet? They have an article you’d really like.
Spy 2: No, my copy got blown up by a letter bomb in the same box.
Of course, if you are a secret agent, trade journals are a dead give away. “What makes you think I’m a spy?” “We checked your subscription to Secret Agent Monthly and saw that you got the professional discount.”
What about letters to the editor? “I’m a spy who has infiltrated to be the assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense of a small, middle eastern caliphate and the other day during our testing of some weapons… (Name withheld upon request)” If that caliphate has any spies of their own with subscriptions, I think the Under Secretary will need a new assistant.
Then, there are the help wanted ads in the back:
“Want fun? Excitement? Money? Then you want to be a double agent!”
“Visit sunny Bahrain! We currently have openings for two full time spies to infiltrate…”
“Attention Al Qaeda members stationed in the Chicago area! Get together with your comrades this Sunday for communal prayer and goat roast at the American Legion Hall…”
The ads could be used to sell things too. How would you like to buy surveillance equipment or used cyanide capsules? Wouldn’t it be fun to buy outdated codebooks and use them to make up old “classified” messages? “Stalin told who to bite it?” Of course, all of us like the idea of the ejector seat in the passenger side of our car.
I guess I can see armchair spies like me reading a magazine like that, but I don’t see the professionals picking up more than one copy. I would like to see the magazines that they read. That would be cool.