The XX Factor

How Much More Exposed Can Levi Get?

First there were the TV interviews . Then the pseudo-folksy ” Me and Mrs. Palin” article and the pistachio ad . Now our Levi is going for the ultimate exposure, posing in his skivvies for Playgirl . He’s the talentless teenager who won’t go away.

Whether he’s showing his johnston or not in the photo spread is still to be revealed. What is clear is that Levi, in his attempts to milk his sudden fame for all it’s worth, has fashioned himself into some kind of ironic representative of failed conservative ideals. ( His ad for pistachios riffs about “using protection .”) The only thing is that the joke’s not funny anymore. It’s sad. Not because the realist message he’s awkwardly promoting isn’t true (there is, after all, a baby somewhere to prove it), but because he’s so talentless that his only path to success (monetary at least) is to sell himself as a déclassé example of bad choices. I can already taste the “Who could be abstinent with THIS body?” jokes that are going to accompany his nude photos.

I feel for the kid. His story reads like a bizarro version of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington : A young naïve man is thrust into the national political scene and gets in way over his head. Only in this rendition, incapable Levi doesn’t stand at a pulpit reforming politics for the better, but does the only thing he can-cashes in on his predicament through tabloid spectacle. Blatantly criticizing him for taking advantage of a situation he was dragged into to begin with seems a little like putting a dog in a room full of bacon-wavers and then getting mad when he bites. So I won’t neg him for stripping down, but I’m still going to secretly pray we’re spared a Living Levi reality show.