Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Queer News, Indeed!

Thailand's Phuket Gazette newspaper calls itself "The local paper with an international audience." It offers some tasty tidbits to readers in a featured page called Queer News. The flavor of the stories offered is captured by three sample opening sentences:

NAKHON SRI THAMMARAT: A man in Srichon District put a shotgun in his mouth and blew his brains out after his wife refused to let him attend a neighbor’s funeral with her.

NAKHON NAYOK: The recent spate of incidents involving insects laying their eggs in human orifices took a new and disturbing turn on May 8, when the mother of a newborn found 10 maggots living inside the bellybutton of her two-day-old son.

SURAT THANI: Tourists arriving on the island of Pha-ngan in Surat Thani Province are to be issued with stickers reminding them that “free sex” is illegal, following government concern over visitors having sexual intercourse in public places.

You can read the rest of each story by following the link provided in this post.

I'm not sure but I think the purpose of stories like these is to remind readers of the Gazette that no matter how bad their problems are, there are plenty of other people facing even worse situations. That's a valuable service in today's stressed-out world. One that draws an audience of readers. In turn, the readership creates a market for advertising on the pages of the Gazette. Another win-win outcome for the economy of Phuket and for that international audience the Gazette boasts of having.

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