I was always fond of "Mad" because of the way it made fun of popular culture and how it crammed more junk to look at into a scene than I could almost comprehend. I also liked the way it snuck little cartoons into the margins, leaving no space unused.
When I was in middle school, I went to a church camp with my friend, Jeremy. Before leaving for the camp, I prepared a bag of things to help pass the time, including some Mad Magazines. Jeremy informed me that this would not be looked kindly upon at the camp and it was best to leave the magazines at home. Because of this, I was hit in the face with a baseball bat and received seven stitches (I still have a gnarly scar, no doubt due in part to extracting the stitches myself). Maybe the two factors aren't directly related, but who knows?
I've never been able to reconcile that sentiment: Mad Magazine is a rag of corruptible, incorrigible content that serves only to create a desensitized and depraved youth. Is it impossible to indulge in the harmless humor of Mad and still be an upstanding citizen? Am I morally bankrupt because I read pop culture satire? I think that was a defining moment that helped shaped the identity I have in terms of organized religion. Give me Alfred E. Neuman over your preacher any day. Unless of course, this is the Preacher.