I seem to write these things every couple of years, it’s true. And I can hear you asking, “Why should I think you mean it this time?” (Literally, my crack team has hacked the NSA data collection systems and are able to access the files for the NSA programs that have turned the mics on your phones and eDevices into virtual bugs, it’s truly creepy.)
Well, I do mean it this time. And I intend to put your money where my mouth is (literally as well figuratively in this case, as Mistress Devereaux has cut me off until I pay down the dominatrix tab) by launching a Patreon campaign. In the future you will be able to ensure that I keep writing by paying me a small amount of money per feature article. That will help me (and others) ditch the office jobs that so sap creative energies.
Your second question (seriously, this NSA program is creepy) is “Why now?” To answer that I am going to have to backtrack a bit. Way back at the turn of the millennium I had a vision for a satirical news site that blurred the boundaries between the real news and the imaginative. The real world was too bizarre for fake news to keep up, but I felt there was a space where the real news could be pushed in new directions.
But the world seems to have its variant of Moore’s Law, only it’s not the number of transistors on a circuit that’s doubling, it’s our existential weirdness. I like to call this Munro’s Law, every few years stories that once made us gawp in a mix of wonder and horror will become commonplace enough that we’ll barely bat an eyelash. Sort of like Florida. This reality makes comedy tougher than you’d think. Especially political satire. How do you write political satire when politics itself has descended into some Lovecraftian brew of gothic horror and slapstick comedy?
This reality, combined with the distinctive absence of financial backing, made it tough to continue on this labor of love. And so, as also seems to happen every couple of years, I went on hiatus. Between writing serious articles on other sites and the realities of making a living, making you laugh was getting tougher and tougher.
So why now? Because I read a story so bizarre that I knew immediately it was true. There was no way that an aspiring Onion writer could have dreamed up a story like the next story you read here (link forthcoming). Upon reading it I realized then and there that the world needed Not the Onion. As Munro’s Law predicted, the world has crossed that threshold where reporting the news and writing comedy are finally one. This isn’t to say that there’s no role for serious reporting, of course there is. But there’s no way around this, you need a site that will gather the grotesquerie of humanity and make you laugh. It’s the only way to survive in the world we’ve made for ourselves.