Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A sign of the coming Apocalypse?

For anyone that knows how to read, and knows of ways to get their daily news, it will come as no shock that the newspaper industry has been in trouble for the last few years. Dwindling readership of the print formats, along with decreases in advertising revenue, have led many papers to at least scale back their operations. The internet itself has helped contribute to these problems, as more and more readers are turning to the web to get their daily news feeds (not that we'd know anything about that, really).

And, while it may have seemed somewhat inevitable, it is with sadness that we take a moment here to mention a venerable newspaper that will be stopping the presses completely. Sure, they'll still be available online, but what will our grocery store checkout lanes be without a smiling faces on the cover of the Weekly World News?

Yes, it's true. The publication that brought us Bat Boy, and then went into great detail over the years about his exploits, is folding. No more will our checkout lanes proclaim that the face of Satan has been seen in smoke rising from a factory, or that Elvis is alive and well, working at a gas station in Topeka. Well, okay, there will still be publications in the same style as the WWN, but none will be able to bring it all to us in the sharp contrasts of black-and-white.

Sure, we can go to the web, and continue to learn that Mother Nature herself has come out in support of Al Gore, or that Hitler really did have plans of unleashing scores of vampires on an unsuspecting populace, but it just won't be quite the same. There was just something quaint about the News, something comforting in the way that you saw hope brimming from their stories of aliens working with our top scientists to develop cures for disease. And who could resist the whimsy of stories about Biblical heroes suffering from things as commonplace as having lost maps?

So today we mourn the passing of the Weekly World News. And today we look towards a more colorful, yet as disaster-prone tomorrow. After all, there's always The Sun.

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