Crimes Against Humanity

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Memo to the Internet: YOU ARE DUMB.

Vacations are tricky things, now that I have this site. The nature of the beast is such that when I go, I can't rely on having a computer and Net connection at all. Much less for the many hours required to carefully craft each day's loving packet of spite. Being gone for two weeks poses an even bigger difficulty, because I work semi-topical. There's no way in hell I can come up with ten current stupid things in advance.

Luckily, ten happens to be a traditional number in modern American culture, especially when it comes to listing things. And because I work semi-topical, there are certain subjects and topics I've covered rarely, if at all. Some of them predate the column, some of them don't work by themselves without a nice context to frame them in.

So for the next two weeks, while I'm away, I'll be counting down the Ten Greatest Crimes Against Humanity Committed By The Internet. Most of these crimes were committed by individuals ON the Internet, but none of them would have been possible -without- the Internet.

To kick off, at number ten, we actually have something topical, which sort of defeats the purpose, but what the fuck. It's the first day. And the first crime is MURDER. The body's still warm, the blood's still wet, and the victim has written the name of their murderer on the wall. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Due to the challenges in the retail and wholesale magazine marketplace that have impacted the newsstand, American Media, Inc. today announced it will close the print version of the Weekly World News, effective with the August 27 issue."

That, for those of you who don't speak corporate nerdese, means the Internet killed the Weekly World News. The "problems in the retail and wholesale magazine marketplace" means that people don't bother reading magazines anymore, because anything the magazines have to say, some nerd said on a message board weeks before they could go to print.

And that sucks, because the Weekly World News is the only newsstand publication that actually benefits from being on a newsstand. A scientific poll I just conducted confirmed what we all know in our hearts. Every single one of us knows what's on the cover of the Weekly World News, and nobody knows what's inside. Why? Because nobody reads it. They look at the cover while they're buying groceries or snacks. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that looking at the Weekly World News cover is the single most entertaining part of buying groceries or snacks.

They say they're going to keep the publication alive on the Internet, which is bonus irony, and also pointless, because, and I say this with the most heartfelt of apologies to the people who write for it, it's not intended to actually be read. It's there so that we can point and laugh at the ludicrous PhotoShop jobs and awesome accompanying headlines.

Even MORE importantly, it's there so we can point and laugh at the people in line with us who don't realize it's a gag. We've all been there. It doesn't happen too often, but when it does, it's glorious. Some poor idiot spots something about aliens or Bigfoot and gets all incredulous. That's the best thing ever, and something a website will never be able to duplicate.

So we bid a fond farewell to the cover of the Weekly World News, and spit curses at the feet of the Internet that made it obsolete. And as bad as this is, remember we've got nine even worse things coming up.