Transmissions from the alternate universe

Fake-News journals struggle to make volcanoes funny

Posted by oldancestor on April 21, 2010



By Eric J Baker


Whether it’s The Anvil, a venerable, 270-year-old institution with hundreds of employees, or a no-budget upstart like The Onion, which is run from a $300 laptop by an unemployed “communications specialist” (whatever that means), fake-news organizations depend on wringing laughs and irony from serious topics of the day.

Politics and celebrity are natural sources of inspiration for fake news, given the exaggerated personalities and near-constant controversy involved. Science and religion can also spur satire, although in the latter case it is important to avoid editorializing or displaying veiled hostility, because religious people are wackos who might kill you. Despite, to this heathen’s knowledge, none of your gods (which can’t all be the true god) tolerating murder. Furthermore…

[Just get on with it – Ed.]

Then what of natural disasters? Sure it’s funny when people you don’t know get hurt or killed, but that kind of humor often requires the “sight gag” to be successful, such as news footage of an exploding car or police officers beating an innocent man. However, unlike earthquakes and tornados, volcanoes seldom kill, and most people claim lava footage is “beautiful,” a word that is damn near the opposite of funny. For example, Esquire magazine’s Thirty Most Beautiful Women in the World list could easily bear the alternate title, The Thirty Least-Funny Women in the World.

“It’s been tough,” said The Anvil’s head writer, Eric J Baker. “I’ve been wracking my brain for a week trying to think of a funny volcano idea, and I just can’t.”

After taking a drag of his unfiltered cigarette and a swig of bourbon from the bottle next to his Clark-Nova typewriter, Baker added, “If I were to post a fake-news article about Iceland’s volcano today, it would be a week late and seven dollars short. You have to be topical in this business.”

That doesn’t mean others haven’t tried. Fake-news journalist [name deleted for legal reasons] wrote a false volcano story for last Friday’s edition of [name deleted for legal reasons] that critics are calling “horrifically unfunny” and “An embarrassment to [himself/herself] and all [his/her] readers.”

The article was so painful to read, say sources, an angry mob burned the writer’s house down and blew up [his/her] car with [him/her] in it. In an ironic twist, the entire attack was caught on film, rendering it hilarious.

5 Responses to “Fake-News journals struggle to make volcanoes funny”

  1. Moosey D said

    So this “angry mob”…were they older white men with misspelled signs? Did they reek of Lipton?

  2. tom said

    on a seperate note – the times travel section said that because reservations to europen destinations have increased one can expect air fares to increase by in excess of 10%. the reality is that airlines are now offering greatly reduced rates in responce to the icelandick volcano – who knew that a shortage of available flights caused by a real life occurence would have the opposite effect that a fake publicity inspired shortage created. this past week the cost of flights from jfk to barcelona decreased 40%

    on a completely seperate note the same tea baggers screaming that for americans to have health inssuramce is a communist plot (that comment made while on hold with their communist chinese suppliers), those would be the same old boys who felt as though wall street needed some financial help from the rest of us while those of us that were doing the helping had 40% of our retirement funds “lost” are now screaming that the airlines may need help

    contrary to how i thought socialist regimes behaved – apparently public support of business that has gotten in trouble no matter what the cause is fine, it’s public support of the populus that brings the hitlers out

  3. Two responses that run the gamut!

  4. See? SEE??? I keep saying that Surtur is coming, but noooooo, no one believes NM and his kooky Norse lore. Soon all shall suffer the Fimbul Winter and watch as the world burns when Naglfar sails from the west!

  5. Is it too late to convert? I hate to spend my Fimbul Winters burning for all eternity.

    Perhaps Naglfar is in need of a fake news writer?

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