Saturday, August 25, 2007

Weekly World News

America has lost one of its great publications.

The Weekly World News, the World's Most Reliable News Source, closed its doors recently. The final cover speaks volumes about the swelling emotions of readers around the country.

Reminiscent of a scene from DC Comics' Funeral For A Friend series following the death of Batman, except completely realistic, the cover features an open coffin with Bat Boy laid inside. Surrounding the casket are such contemporary luminaries as Big Foot, the world's fattest cat, and the Gator-man. A single tears falls down the cheek of each. If Big Foot is crying, you know there's been a serious tragedy, or else TNT is showing Harry and the Hendersons.

On a more serious note, though, Weekly World News has been a source of the best kind of satire for as long as I've been reading it, starting as a casually curious observer in the late 1990s or early 2000s and becoming a subscriber who had collected well over three hundred issues by the time of the newspaper's closing.

For the uninaugurated, which I'm assuming is most of the population, here's an example of what you are missing out on.

One of my favorite all time stories began with a vampire taking a trip to the dentist's office. His dental insurance refused to cover the cost of the visit because, due to the enlarged size of his fanngs, the vampire was a liability and the company refused to provide him insurance. The vampire was in the process of suing the insurance company, arguing that they were discriminating against those who, beyond their control, had long teeth.

The story was a great commentary on how screwed up health care is in this country because of how many exclusions and guidelines are imposed by greedy insurance companies. Granted, it seems ludicrous, but in truth it is no more ludicrous than the reality that exists. That's why the Weekly World News has been able to live up to its title of the World's Most Reliable Newspaper.

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