The Top 10 Most Absurd Time Covers of The Past 40 Years

time magazine satan occult revival

10. June 19, 1972: The Occult Revival
9. April 5, 1976: The Porno Plague
8. August 6, 1984: The Population Curse
7. September 15, 1986: Drugs: The Enemy Within
6. May 7, 1990: Dirty Words
5. May 13, 1991: Crack Kids
4. July 3, 1995: Cyberporn: On a Screen Near You
3. Nov 22, 1999: Pokemon!
2. March 19, 2001: The Columbine Effect
1. June 7, 2004: Overcoming Obesity in America

Reason: The Top 10 Most Absurd Time Covers of The Past 40 Years

See also: Fox News Journalistic Masterpieces.


  1. I dunno about the Obesity epidemic being selected. Seems like they were struggling to find another that wasn’t just a rehash of the others.

    Complaining that it’s none of government’s business what people eat is incredibly short-sighted. Not because I believe in governmental nannying, but because industrial agriculture is so incredibly well-subsidized in this country, and the bulk of it goes towards corn, soy, and wheat, which go directly into the fatty, meat-heavy and sugar-laden carbo-bomb diet of modern America. It seems short-sighted for an ostensibly libertarian site like Reason to gloss over the extensive system of artificial economic subsidization for the lowest quality foods and the direct effect that specific government action has on food prices, prices which create profit margins for big agro-business sufficient to allow giant food conglomerates to advertise extensively while healthy foods make do with word-of-mouth. They ignore the marketing effect on consumer behavior under the rubrick of personal responsibility, when it is solely due to government action that the marketing is even possible. The question of the government being involved in what Americans eat has been answered a long, long time ago. What we must now decide is how should those dollars be spent. They may be blowing it a bit out of proportion, but Time is not wrong to bring up the obesity epidemic, or to couch it in those terms. AIDS didn’t kill 26,000 Americans last year, and yes, it too still counts as an epidemic.

    It is utterly ridiculous that it’s so much cheaper to eat shit than it is to eat a healthy diet of mostly vegetables. Does processed food taste good? Sure. It’s engineered to fire all your taste buds at once, of course it tastes good. But something that is processed seven times and wrapped in plastic on the way to your door should never be cheaper than a healthy meal.

  2. Uriah – Reason has covered agricultural subsidies often in the past, and their position is simple: they should be eliminated. Any other sort of food politics they’re completely hostile to, though.

    In my own experience, fresh vegetables are cheaper than buying processed food (but I don’t live in a poor neighborhood w/ limited access to fresh produce). But it’s much more labor intensive to prepare meals with real food. For me, laziness is a more powerful motivator than addictive engineered food. Not much the government can do about that other than subsidize healthy meals at restaurants).

  3. Which meals at restaurants are cheaper? The processed crap or the healthy food? Subsidizing the produce at the point of purchase would seem to me to be the best method, and the savings carries over to the restaurants, and makes it more profitable for convenience stores and such to offer real food.

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