The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

RIP:The "Paper"

Anyone that saw So I Married An Axe Murderer will get that reference when I break the sad news that the Weekly World News is printing it's last issue on August 3rd after 2 weeks of re-print issues so no going out with the bang WWN deserves.

I first started reading it when I was dating my first great love, Cessi. "Haven't you ever read it before?" No, of course not, it seemed silly. But I was about to discover something that was to be quite the force in my adult life: ironic humor.
The Weekly World News is more than a tabloid, it is THE tabloid. Whenever you see a parody tabloid headline like "I was seduced by a space alien disguised as Jay Leno," that's mainly because of WWN (in fact that headline was from the WWN).

Even though the actual paper is not even in the area code of the truth, in Men In Black, they said that every story was true, a frightening concept considering how many Biblically-themed "The World Is Ending Next Week!" stories. God's a little out of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones jurisdiction. Even the story that Mike Myers's mom followed in Axe Murderer turned out to be true. (Should I have said "Spoilers" or has everyone seen it?)

My reading of WWN had dropped off to about nothing by the time I had started working at a convenience store that sold the full range of tabloids. The National Enquirer had the greatest percentage of possible truth, their celebrity stories were bullshit but the human interest type stuff that they would sometimes print would be true. Really. The Globe and the Star split the difference between the celeb-centricity of the Enquirer and the "strange but un-true" Weekly World News. It was a little harder to discern what maybe true. I read once about some Australian chemists that developed a musk that wives can secretly spray on their husbands to keep other women away that seemed slightly true until I realized that the chemists names were the same as the rhythm section of the Pixies.
The Weekly World News has no such pretense, any credence given it's "reporting" will justifiably will be used against you in any future argument regardless of what Brenda Fricker(Mrs. McKensie in Axe Murderer) tells you.
I started reading it again in between customers and nothing much had changed, Elvis and JFK were still alive and impregnating space aliens or some such. Among other features I had forgotten, Dotti Primrose and Ed Anger were still contributers. Dotti is proclaimed as "America's most outspoken advice columnist" with is true if your definition of "outspoken" is like the WWN, aggressively abrasive. The letters, big surprise, were fake, but the love still shone through; She replied to a lesbian taking issue with Dotti's characterization of all lesbians as crew-cutted bull dykes with a “Dear Butchy,” wrote Dotti(even through the letter was signed "Sharon"). “I had to use kitchen tongs to open your letter because it was so covered with yucky lezzie germs.”
Ed Anger, true to name, has a hair-trigger rage and is so conservative that he makes Bill O'Reilly look like Karl Marx. His book:

I noticed around the O.J. Simpson trial a sea change in tabloids, with all following more in lockstep with the Enquirer and started guess what "stars" were gay and how bad they looked without make-up. But the Weekly World News always kept it real, real fake, real fantastic. But as I often ask these days,"keep it real, compared to what?"

I'll admit I've lost touch with the Weekly World News yet again, I didn't realize that they had replaced Dotti with the much more "aw-shucks" personable Dolly, but I think it's telling that the biggest ads on the WWN website are offers to sign up to get daily e-mails from Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter.

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