In honor of the magazine's sale to CanWest, a Canadian company, the editors of The New Republic have provided PDFs of the magazine's best Canada-related articles, including a famous 1986 contest to see if anyone could come up with a more boring headline than "Worthwhile Canadian initiative" (which actually did run on the New York Times op-ed page). Here are some of my favorite submissions from Michael Kinsley's column on the contest (PDF):
Trade, A Two-Way Street
Beyond the News, Larger Issues
University of Rochester Decides to Keep Name
Surprises Unlikely in Indiana
Prevent Burglary by Locking House, Detectives Urge
But Kinsley picked the two best ones -- here's the (hilarious) conclusion to the column:
For its brilliant counterpoint of overexcited adjective with mundane and obscure subject matter, I was tempted to award first prize in this competition ... to the lead headline on the "Washington Talk" page of the Times, May 13: "Turbulent Days for Donald D. Engen." That middle initial is an especially bravura touch, I think. It fills the reader with an urgent desire not to know who Donald Engen is and with disbelief that his days could be all that turbulent. But in the end, the judges chose a months-old subhead from the Times science section: "Debate Goes on Over the Nature of Reality.' Further examples are welcome, but somehow, I don't think that one will ever be topped.