Welcome back to Midweek Madness, in which we head to the newsstands and spend actual American dollars on printed matter, in an attempt to find out how painful this week's editions of In Touch, Us, Ok!, Life & Style, and Star are. This week: Tom Cruise is lavishing money and vacations on daughter Suri; Katy Perry and John Mayer can't keep their paws off of each other; and Kris Jenner is promising Kanye West that he will make heaping truckloads of cash if he marries Kim Kardashian. Pimptastic!

When the cover claims "inside the face-to-face meeting Rob has been waiting for!" what it means is: Robert would like to meet with Rupert Sanders, look him in the eye, and say "you ruined my life." But he has not. Yet. Rob has "speeches prepared in his head" and yadda yadda yadda. Moving on! Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher's romantic getaway in Bali is action-packed: Mila is "a bit of a tomboy" so she doesn't like posing in her bikini. She likes surfing, parasailing, hiking, horseback riding and scuba diving. Boy stuff. Meanwhile, both Mila and Ashton's exes are in crisis: Demi Moore and Macaulay Culkin are a mess. Finally, Katy Perry and John Mayer are planning on making "all kinds of music together — in every sense of the word." Meaning: Sexxxxx.
Grade: F (piercing, crippling back spasms)

Life & Style
"I Can't Trust Anyone."
The cover claim: "the first interview since Kristen cheated." The story inside: "I just can't trust anyone" is a quote from an RPatz interview conducted a day before Kristen and Rupert Sanders were caught embracing. So many lies! Also inside: Katy Perry's friends are worried about her relationship with John "The Player" Mayer, who has "hurt everyone he's dated" and "likes to date then dump girls." A "friend" of the couple says: "I promise it will end badly." Friendship! What else? Natalie Portman's "wedding album" is just three blurry paparazzi pictures taken through some bushes. Don't be fooled. Tom Cruise is trying to "buy" Suri's love, taking her to Disney World, dropping cash on toys and a Little Mermaid costume, flying her on private jets, etc. Meanwhile, Katie rents an apartment and does her own laundry. (Fig. 1) During a backstage interview on August 3, Jennifer Lopez was asked to name one thing that made her fall for Casper Smart. "She looked away and muttered, 'I don't know. I don't remember.'" DUN DUN DUN. Kim and Kanye have been together for about four months and have already spent $4 million dating: Dinners, hotel rooms, private jets, cars, sailing, drinks, outfits, tickets to Lakers games. Final thought, from Dita von Teese: "I dye my own hair, with dye from a box! I Like Garnier. I prefer to do it myself."
Grade: D- (deep paper cut slice between the fingers)

In Touch
"Forgetting Mommy Already?"
Little known fact: Traveling to Disney World wipes children of their memories! Mickey Mouse ears are actually transmitters that target the frontal lobe. No, but seriously, this story purports that Tom Cruise took Suri to Disney World, where he showered her with gifts, including a Little Mermaid costume that she was allowed to wear all day. He yearns to be the "fun parent," so they also maybe spent the night in the Cinderella Suite. Oh, and again, money is the difference between Katie and Tom: He takes Suri to Disney, Katie takes her to the Bronx Zoo. He gives her helicopter rides; Katie gives her cab rides. Meanwhile, "lonely Katie stays strong." Epic bullshit. Also inside: Kim Kardashian has quit taking birth control. She is ready to have babies with Kanye West and he is ready to make them. Marriage? Nah. But they are "actively trying to have a baby," and "all their friends and family know." Teresa from RHONJ will be humiliated by her husband (again?) on an upcoming episode; he takes a secret phone call and then says, "here comes my bitch wife. She's such a cunt." And it's all caught on camera, because America is doomed. Rob Pattinson is making secret phone calls to Kristen Stewart, but apparently, just like in high school, no one really says anything: "There's a lot of dead silence on the phone," says a "pal" who is the kind of trusted friend who listens in on people's phone calls. Jennifer Lopez is having trouble deciding whether or not to break up with Casper Smart — maybe we should start calling him Casper Dumb? — because he was photographed going into a sex shop. "Her taste in men is awful," says a person who we'll call Duh. Moving along: Matt Lauer is threatened by Ryan Seacrest, and frustrated that Ryan has fans hanging around the Olympics set, because he feels that he's a real newsman and Ryan is just "silly and pop culture." Someone send Matt a Bob Dylan mp3, quick. Finally, "They Don't Need All That Makeup" Is a harrowing look at the dangers of eyeshadow. (Fig 2)
Grade: D (broken toe with cracked, splintered toenail)

"My New Baby."
In which Kourtney Kardashian presents Penelope to the world. Gushy-sweet story accompanies photos; Kourt says of the new baby: "She definitely has Scott's cleft chin. I think she has my nose. Her skin tone is a bit lighter than Mason's. But she has the Kardashian lashes!" And thus, a new marketable family member is born. Also inside: 25 Things You Don't Know About Gabby Douglas reveals that she digs Damon from Vampire Diaries, and seriously, who doesn't? (Fig. 3) Jennifer Aniston has "recently contemplated" having her people call Angelina's people to arrange a photo op so that people will stop saying that they hate each other. Good idea, but I fear this will create a tear in the space-time continuum and a rain of fire will fall from the sky and Brad Pitt will be lifted away from Earth on a raft of snakes. The folks at MTV are hoping that Rihanna, Chris Brown, and Drake all show up to the VMAs: "They are hoping a fight breaks out," a source claims, "Ratings galore!" There's a chance that Robert Pattinson may forgive Kristen Stewart: "He's putty in her hands, says someone who is not named. "Once they're on the [Twilight] press tour, it will be hard for him to resist getting back together with her." Finally, an eyewitness describes some tender moments between Katy Perry and John Mayer in a poor at a party in the Hollywood Hills: "They were all over each other, making out!"
Grade: B (childbirth)

"It's Over!"
Remember when Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux went to Paris and didn't come back engaged? That was the beginning of the end. A "huge letdown" for Jen. And so, recently, J'Anthrax went to dinner with friends and someone started teasing Justin, like, when are you gonna put a ring on it? He asked to change the subject, and Jen nearly broke down in tears. They abruptly left the restaurant. (Fig. 4) Maybe she had cramps, or some bad shrimp? No, says a source: In the car, Jen said, "I need a commitment," and Justin shrugged and yeah, that's pretty bad. Moving on. Jennifer Lopez is threatening to sue the mag for claiming that Casper visited a gay peepshow, but Star stands by the story, and declares that rumors that Casper just went in to use the ATM are false. Sandra Bullock refused to pose for a photo while leaving the set of a movie, so a former fan calls her a bitch. Gwyneth Paltrow asked Madonna and Lady Gaga to cohost Obama fundraisers, and Madonna said IT'S ME OR GAGA. Lindsay Lohan's been banned from two hotels in Mexico and also the sky is blue. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis recently had their first fight, and it was over Mila hooking up with Justin Timberlake last year. Um, paging Jessica Biel? Agyness Deyn married Giovanni Ribisi without realizing what a serious Scientologist he is, and now it's like holy Xenu get me out of here. Katy Perry and John Mayer were "all over each other" at this pool party, and her friends, who thought she'd learned her lesson about bad boys, are dismayed. "They think he's far worse than Russell." The exclusive photos, possibly taken by a partygoer on a phone, are not very explicit, but they fairly disturbing, mostly because of Mayer's shudderlicious little ponytail. (Fig. 5) Here's the deck from a story about KStew titled "Breaking Down": "Malnourished, exhausted, plagued by an internet hate campaign and abandoned by her friends, an emaciated Kristen Stewart seems to be 'losing it' — and crying out for help." Dramatic! So is the sentence, "she thinks no one would care if she died." Last, but not least: Kris Jenner has told Kanye that if he marries Kim Kardashian, he'll make "boatloads" of cash. "She actually guaranteed him $350 million worth of deals," an insider claims. That shit cray.
Grade: B+ (migraine brought on by pool party's sun exposure and chlorine)


Fig. 1, from Life & Style

Fig. 2, from In Touch

Fig. 3, from Us

Fig. 4, from Star

Fig. 5, from Star