The news today, oh boy

>> Sunday, January 03, 2010

Oh, I am so happy right now! the archives of the best news journal of all time are now available on Google Books (and a tip'o'the hat to Boing Boing for letting me know)!

I am referring, of course, to the Weekly World News.

Oh no, I'm not kidding--well, I'm not totally kidding. I've extolled the virtues of WWN before, and I was bummed when they stopped publishing the hardcopy.*

I find myself regularly looking at the covers of magazines in the supermarket checkout line when I'm grocery-shopping, wondering who the hell these people are and why I'm supposed to care. If they shot the entire cast of Twilight into the sun, it wouldn't be a terrible thing; no, I take that back: it would be a waste of perfectly good rocket fuel during a time when NASA is facing a budget crunch; alright, as a compromise, why don't we put the entire cast of Twilight, Brad/Angelina/Jennifer, and Oprah Winfrey beneath a rocket that's launching a useful scientific or even commercial payload? Aw crap, can we just set them all on fire?

Sorry, I digress--the point, really, was that it was always nice when you had the WWN amidst the usual litany of irrelevant celebutard douchebaggery, letting you know that Satan was attacking New York or that the world's fattest cat was losing weight, that Bigfoot had been seen again and, of course, that the WWN's resident icon, Bat Boy, with his eternally surprised visage, was running amuck in West Virginia (his home state) or learning to eat peas or something. In a weird and simultaneously ironic and unironic way, WWN was kind of a beacon of hope on the supermarket magazine rack--surrounded by the same old soul-crushing trash about the actress-of-the-moment's weight or the actor-of-yesterday's drug/alcohol/sex addictions, WWN appeared to have been published in a bizarre parallel universe of wonder and magic, where a trailer park might be attacked by a "redneck vampire" and the secret history of Japan involves alien assassins who taught ninjutsu. Look at the lead story on the cover reproduced at the start of this piece: "BABIES LIVING ON BOARD TITANIC!" And then, along with it, the obvious questions I'd want to know (and so would you): "What Are They Doing on Sunken Ship?" and "How Do They Survive?"

Tell me that's not wonderful stuff. It's stupid. It's brilliant. It's hysterical, insane stuff, utterly ludicrous and published straight--but not quite, I mean, look at that awful not-even-trying image of a baby looking at a fish out a porthole on what's obviously the Titanic, look at the lifesaver hung beneath the porthole, duh. Go inside the magazine for the story, and you get classic WWN: the story is told breathlessly, credulously until the very last, so-bad-it's-good punchline: the survivors living on board the Titanic with the Titanic babies want supplies sent down, specifically, diapers: "'They're really tough to keep dry down here.'"


We don't live in the Weekly World News' world, but who wouldn't want to? It's a scary place, sure, with all the alien abductions and Satanic incursions, but tell me how that'd be worse than a world in which Americans torture POWs? We're already living in a cartoon--at least the WWN version has typing horses and bees that make ketchup instead of honey.

Anyway, kudos to Google for not-being-evil again. And do yourself a favor, go check out a few of the back isses, especially if you need a good chortle to cleanse your soul.

*The WWN website remains, although it's hard to tell what's going on there. Originally, the content paralleled what was in the print copy, but then the website went dark for awhile and now it's back with a mix of "classic" WWN stories (Bat Boy still has a prominent place on the page) and more conventional tabloid stuff (there appears to be a story about Charlie Sheen, and, disappointingly, it's about his current legal troubles and and not a suggestion that aliens were responsible for the 9/11 attacks or somesuch).


Jim Wright Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 4:09:00 PM EST  

Well, what are those babies doing on the Titanic?

Vomygbus, leader of the Titanic Babies

Janiece Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 6:40:00 PM EST  

Sooper Sekrit Sekrit: Bat Boy is Michael's alter ego. Shhh.

David Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 9:17:00 PM EST  

I believe they've been feasting off the carcass of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Tania Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 11:28:00 PM EST  

They have a FB page - it is freaking hilarious. I knew there was a reason I loved Michael, becuase Bat Boy is AWESOME.

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