This week's tabloids prove Shakespeare wrong.
"Nothing will come of nothing," wrote the Bard in 'King Lear,' but the tabloids demonstrate that they're perfectly capable of spinning elaborate tales from less than nothing, though perhaps lacking in iambic pentameter, style, literacy and eternal truths.
"Queen's Sham Marriage Collapses!" screams the cover of the 'National Enquirer.' "Living a Lie for 73 years. Philip banished after decades of cheating."
A quick reminder here: The Queen is 94 years old, and her husband Prince Philip is 99, and they would each happily give an orb and a scepter for a few scandal-free months after Harry & Meghan's self-exile in California and Prince Andrew's entanglement in the Jeffrey Epstein sex slave saga. The last thing the Queen is about to do is end her marriage of nearly 73 years and conjure up yet another "annus horribilis."
Philip has been "banished to a cottage on the queen's Sandringham estate, 130 miles from Windsor, where Elizabeth is based," claims the 'Enquirer.'
But in fact the Queen and Philip are together at Sandringham in Norfolk, and won't be going to Windsor Castle until mid-October.
This story was doubtless inspired by reports two weeks ago when palace insiders claimed that Philip only reluctantly traveled to the Queen's traditional summer home of Balmoral in Scotland, most likely because of his serious health issues.
The 'Enquirer' uses this as an excuse to dredge up ancient accusations of Philip's infidelity and decades-old affairs with alleged lovers including Zsa Zsa Gabor, Daphne du Maurier, Jane Russell, Merle Oberon and more.
With an imaginative leap that Shakespeare might relish, the 'Enquirer' concludes that the Queen's ancient grudge will break to new mutiny, and that Her Majesty has decided to "stop living a lie and bring the curtain down on the farce."
As if that will happen.
There's barely a spark to ignite the 'Globe' cover story which incites a scorching inferno with its headline: "New evil hits tragic Ramsey family. Devil Cult Burns JonBenet's Grave!"
A small fire of pine needles and leaves appears to have been burned on the grave of slain six-year-old child pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey in Marietta, GA, who died in 1996.
Visitors paying their respect often leave trinkets, and on this occasion it appears that someone may have burned a letter with a personal message, or perhaps lit a very small fire to emulate an eternal flame, scarcely marking the marble grave.
The 'Globe' naturally concludes this must have been the work of "devil worshippers" and "linked to Satanic rituals." Double double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble. Makes perfect sense.
Less explicable is the 'Enquirer' headline: "New Scandal Explodes! Clinton's Secret Meeting With Epstein Madam!"
We already know that former president Bill Clinton flew as a guest on pedophile millionaire Epstein's private jet, and had befriended Epstein's lieutenant and alleged sex slave czar Ghislaine Maxwell, and yet there has never been any evidence or accusation of impropriety by Clinton.
Until now. Shockingly, the 'Enquirer' reveals that Clinton met with Ghislaine for dinner in Los Angeles in 2014 – with a bunch of other people, including her date, tech CEO Scott Borgerson. A large crowd of friends had dinner, and then . . . nothing. That's the "new scandal."
As Parmenides argued, ex nihilo nihil fit.
"Cher's Face Frozen!" reports the 'Enquirer.' No, the singer has not followed baseball legend Ted Williams and put her head in cryogenic suspension. More prosaically, the rag claims that after Cher's latest facelift. "Plastic surgery leaves her barely able to speak!" Sure, that sounds likely. Cosmetic surgeons are quoted offering their opinions in the story, which unsurprisingly concludes in tiny print: "The doctors quoted in this article have not treated Cher." Nor are they likely to.
"Kurt & Goldie On The Rocks!" yells a cover headline in the 'Globe,' repeating the story that has appeared every few months for the past decade claiming that Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn "Are Kaput!"
Promising that this is "Their final fight after 37 years," you can safely expect that the couple will remain together, and that you will see a version of this same story revived early in the New Year.
"Bob Newhart, 91 – TV Legend's Tragic Final Days," reports the 'Globe.' How lachrymose are these fading days? The rag claims that Newhart "won't stop working." How tragic is that?
The Queen is worth an estimated $500 million, and has millions more in property and art masterpieces at her disposal, yet the 'Globe' reports: "The Queen is House Poor! Staggering cost to run Elizabeth's residences."
Yes, there's the upkeep or Buckingham Palace, Sandringham, Balmoral, Windsor Castle and her racing stables, which consume a sizable portion of her annual budget. But the 'Globe' doth protest too much, methinks, when it says: "she could wind up in the poor house." Perhaps it's time to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help keep the old dear in cucumber sandwiches?
Creating something from nothing, an 'Enquire Exclusive' inexplicably reports from the Woody Allen-Mia Farrow battle-front: "My 'Monster' Mom Mia Framed Woody!"
Mia Farrow's adopted son Moses, aged 42, denies sister Dylan's claims that director Woody Allen sexually abused her, which might be interesting if Moses hadn't already said all this in a book in 2017, and in a 5,000-word blog post in 2018. There's nothing new here, let alone exclusive.
'Us' magazine devotes its cover to our great national crisis: "BETRAYED! Demi Lovato Splits 64 Days After Proposal."
Singer Lovato met 'Young and the Restless' actor Max Ehrich in March, became engaged just four months later, and barely two months later she dumped him, after reportedly realizing that he was riding her coattails to boost his celebrity and career. Who could have seen that coming? In an incredibly one-sided report, it looks like Lovato's PR team have done a good job at getting their message out – the same story is repeated with the same talking points in 'People' mag, though that publications gives up its cover to rocker Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea: "Secrets of Our 40-Year Love Story." The secrets behind the longevity of the childhood sweethearts? "If you can grow together and have the same kind of values and respect for each other, then I think that you can . . . " says Dorothea, running out of words.
" . . . certainly survive," finishes Jon Bob Jovi.
Shakespeare couldn't have put it better.
Thankfully we have the crack investigative squad at 'Us' mag to tell us that Celine Dion wore it best (though I wouldn't want to try dry cleaning all those feathers), that TV's former 'Bachelorette' star Rachel Lindsay's "most embarrassing life moment was probably the time I found that unicorns never walked the earth with dinosaurs," and that the stars are just like us: they play tennis, ride bicycles, dine out and use skin care creams. Thrilling, as ever.
Leave it to the 'Globe' to impart the week's most important news you can use: "Next time you go for a candy bar remember this: Vending machines kill four times more people than sharks every year!"
So iIf you see a vending machine swimming close to shore, get out of the water.
Onwards and downwards . . .