What white elephant

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What White Elephant is a zine published in Midwestern City, MO., U.S.A., by Bigotry Industries.

It focuses on black comedy and rock music, along with explosions. The title was taken from an idiom for a valuable but burdensome possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness or worth. The term derives from the story that the kings of Siam (now Thailand) were accustomed to make a present of one of these animals to courtiers who had rendered themselves obnoxious, in order to ruin the recipient by the cost of its maintenance.

Format and History

What White Elephant currently publishes & has since 2010; there have been 7 issues; with 5 more planned so far. Each issue was full-sized. Issue #1 was offset black & white printed, issues #2 saw an absence of willing contributing submitters and as a result the normal zine and its entire format was transformed into a darkly humorous and saucy Ed Gein comic book. Other issues have a featured theme: Dinosaurs vs. Jesus (December), Science & Technology (January), Addictions (February), Consequences (March), Religion (April), The Co-Conspirator (May), Awkward (June), Freedom! (July), and the Mad-lib issue (August). The last few issues averaged 22 pages, with print runs of 300.

What White Elephant is the premiere zine in the Midwestern Missouri Metropolitan area and was available for free in the cities Saint Louis, Kansas City, Joplin, Branson, Springfield, Cape Gherardo, Liaise, Farmington, Clinton and Midwestern City. Consequently, an international continental division was formed within the What White Elephant empire and circulation expanded to Austin, TX., San Fransisco, CA., New York, NY., Portland, OR., Chicago, IL., and well as Belfast Ireland, Southampton Britain, Paris France, and was distributed for a brief and bittersweet moment in Berlin, until it was banned by Parliament for being way too incredibly awesome (and just not quite German enough). Each issue includes a large number of columns, band interviews, sarcastic witticisms, a dating advice column, the best and most amusingly passive aggressive horoscopes ever, and well as a poetry section, and a large collection of humorous staff pictures and anecdotes.

What White Elephant frequently parodies and mocks a wide variety of cult figures (Westboro Baptist Church), popular culture, and famous politicians. In 2010, the zine was proud to inaugurate past American President Richard Nixon as the official zine mascot and cheerleader. What White Elephant was a zine that caused some controversy because of its sometimes critical content, but was also chalk filled with a lot of humor.


The zine has a number of reoccurring features such as: music reviews by an alleged unapologetic rapist, horoscopes by Madame Super Duper, a social advice column by Young & Dumb, poetry by regional artists and a back page highlighting the latest things the writing staff has overhead out & about in the world.

Contributors to What White Elephant have included mr.ficklebritches, Peanut Scholar, Daniel Paul, Madame Super Duper, Young & Dumb, Yeti_Detective, Sergeant Heartstomp, Richard Nixon and featuring poets Bliss, themanwiththegreenhat and selected art by Dan Meth & Juha Hanhero.

As of this immediate moment in particular space time, What White Elephant is available in physical copy by joining the zine's exclusive free mailing list (offer void in Tennessee, Kentucky and parts of southwestern Virginia), or by visiting their Scribd page for a digital pdf issue.


#1: the Speed issue - features interview with regional rock legends Knife Death, horoscopes by Madame Super Duper, a collection of meth related imagery, my mom on the front cover, album reviews by Daniel Paul, poetry, prose, a submission of photography by the talented Simon Crawford, reviews, an editor's letter, and several other guest article contributions. Richard Nixon gave this issue 3 out of 5 "not a crooks!"

#2: the Hopes & Fears issue - a new and completely different format was adopted in lieu of receiving a sufficient amount of articles by guest contributors and the zine's staff. One rumor alleges the writing staff went on strike due to the OccupyWallstreet event, while other naysayers insisted a strike because of terrible working conditions with little to no pay. The issue featured a fully illustrated comic book with an age appropriate parable explaining the joyous reward awaiting devout and pious followers.

#3: the Carbohydrates issue - speculation continues to mount whether or not current production of the magazine is still underway, as Bigotry Industry claims despite rogue staff writers ambushing the corporate Headquarters with a plastic fork and taking over the magazine. Their grievances and demands against the company are wide ranging and cover a diverse selection of topics such as: lengthy submission deadlines, the 99%, lack of healthcare benefits and locked doors. Representatives within Bigotry Industries have been extremely tight-lipped about the situation, and refuse to publicly discuss their strategies for reclaiming their printing offices.

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