Jul 262007

Batboy cover from weekly world newsWeekly World News, the sole source of truth / a joke long grown stale (overstrike as appropriate) is going to call it quits after 28 years of service.

I had no idea what the magazine was about when I first encountered it on the counter of 7-11 back in 1993. It was obvious that the stories were fake (Hubble had photographed heaven, a Challenger crewmember was picked up in Bermudas), but it wasn’t immediately apparent how deep the tongue was in the cheek.

Turned out that the answer was “very”, and I and a couple of Norwegian friends quickly developed an addiction to the magazine. After all, it’s not often that you see the suppressed news from such events as polar bears ruling the streets of Trondheim or unlucky skijumpers flying into the blades of a passing helicopter.

On first glance the tabloid seemed to hit all the bases with its weekly selection of made-up news, but after a couple of months our interest waned. Not to a point of completely dismissing the best headlines, but to the point where it was no longer mandatory to pick it up on a late night snack run every week.

I thought the magazine’s run had ended on the southern side of the millennium, and was pleasantly surprised to find it available at the Newark airport back in 2003. The content was still worth a chuckle or two, but hardly anything as groundbreaking as the first encounters. But ain’t it always so.

The magazine’s editors published an anthology of the best stories back in 2005, and there isn’t really any reason to expect an update after the tabloid finishes its run in august.

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