readme Unearths Document Showing its Originally Planned Name Was “Funyun”

by Mark Saporta, Making Elaborate Thinkpieces Always Correspondent

In an event that will surely go down in archaeosatirical history, readme was stunned earlier this week to discover a primary-source document in perfect condition that seemed to indicate that the newspaper was originally to be called “Funyun.”

Dated May 1999, the document precedes all known issues of readme by over a year, suggesting that it was written when readme was barely even in its planning stages. Further confirmation of its vast age comes through several photographs included in the document, which, in the ancient tradition, were clearly taken by wielding a device known as a “digital camera.”

Almost immediately after uncovering the primary source, readme’s forensic team set to work decoding why the earliest members of readme may have called the publication “Funyun.” Head of forensics and current Editor-in-Chef Rin Fair*** had this to say about the matter:

“While there’s obviously still a lot of work to be done yet to try to understand the archaic, almost completely meme- and irony-free language from this new document, we believe we may understand why ‘Funyun’ would have seemed to these bygone people like a logical name for a satirical newspaper. We have evidence of two contemporaneous artifacts that are similarly named: a professional satire website named ‘The Onion,’ and a brand of fake onion-ring snacks called ‘Funyuns.’ Now, believe it or not, modern wordplay like portmanteau and puns have been around a lot longer than you might think. We think that, in a rather clever and self-deprecating manner, the founders of readme planned to call their publication ‘Funyun’ because the snack both has a name that rhymes with ‘Onion’ and is, essentially, a fake onion. Moreover, we have reason to believe that, in some way, ‘Funyun’ was an inherently funny word in their culture. They were essentially saying that the paper is a fake ‘The Onion’ in a humorous way. Either that, or it’s a sex joke. We’re not entirely sure.”

Like all of his readme co-contributors, your correspondent is delighted about the discovery of this new document, and wishes the forensic team best of luck in gleaning all the information from this important historical find as they can.

 

*** Hey Rin, look who’s over here taking the high road! Betcha feel bad about calling me Fuckboi Curtis now, huh? HUH?! HUUUH?!

(Whatever. It’s not like I really care what you think about me anyway. Why should I?

…Baka.)

Trump Found Unconscious after 36-Hour Pokemon Moon Binge

by Daniel Bork, who Wants to Be the Very Best

The NYPD’s 19th Precinct reported Wednesday that President-Elect Donald Trump was discovered unconscious following a lengthy session of Nintendo’s hit video game Pokemon Moon. The President-Elect, clad only in gold socks and a full-body Umbreon kigurumi, was discovered in The Penrose bar in the Upper East Side at approximately 3:00 AM Wednesday morning, with his Yveltal-branded special edition Nintendo 3DS console firmly affixed to his left cheek by a combination of spittle and old spray tan.

“I’m a Pokemon Champion,” claimed the disheveled President-Elect from the 67th Avenue police station Thursday. “I did it. I repealed the legacy of Brock Obamasnow.” When asked whether his newfound fandom would impact the incoming administration’s Japan policy, Mr. Trump responded that “we’re going to build a big, beautiful wall…a huge wall on the border with Hoenn, and make Ludicolo pay for it.” “I picked the fire starter, obviously,” added the at-times almost delirious-seeming President-Elect, “because owls, you know, I…I don’t know what, owls are so overdone. And I don’t…what is the water thing supposed to be, is that some kind of otter? I don’t know. Gen 1 was better. But that Yungoos is a really…is a fine, strapping fellow. I like the cut of his jib. We need…we really have to make America safe again for good, hardworking Normal-types like that one.” Though Mr. Trump could not be roused for further comment, at press time, his Level 63 Stoutland “indsPENCEabl” had been named White House Press Secretary.

Though many Democratic politicians excoriated Mr. Trump’s behavior, several top surrogates have come to his defense over the past two days. Former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway released a statement on Twitter on behalf of the transition team, stating in part that “President-Elect Trump is a Pokemon Master who is the best Pokemon player ever to be elected to the Presidency. His exceptional leadership ability is demonstrated by his completion of all manner of in-game challenges, including the infamous blind Nuzlocke, in which the failed President Obama would wipe almost immediately. Surviving this assassination attempt by the vicious Clinton campaign underscores his unprecedented fitness for the Presidency.” President Obama, in a counterstatement, blasted Trump’s “peddling of baseless claims and conspiracy theories” as “entirely unpresidential,” and affirmed that he “would be happy to wipe the floor with his poorly-constructed team of mediocre UU wannabes at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Yet More Indie Band Names

by Mark Saporta, who Liked Band Names Before They Were Cool

This list is dedicated to my good friend and co-contributor Michael Quinn, who loves band names almost as much as he loves market capitalism, people shitting on modern art, and President-elect Donald Trump.

Roger That!

Romance Language

Colors Fade to Grey

Paleoclassic

Dallas-St. Paul

The Laws of Aviation

The McCarthyists

Messiahs After Dark

Common Pepe and the Feels Bad Band

The Cognitive Dissonants

Law of Cycles*

The Liberal Friends

The American Dream Memorial Band

Laughy Taughy

The Sad Sax

The New Old News

Married With Clintons

Adam Smith and the Invisible Hands

 

*If you get this, God help you. God help all of us animes.

(Man, the ending of Rebellion was insane though, amirite? Didn’t see that one coming.)

Leaked Memo Suggests Everything Since 2011 According to Kerry’s Master Plan

by Mark Saporta, Only Senior Political Correspondent

In yet another shock twist in American politics, a recent Wikileaks trawl has unearthed a devious plot to take the Presidency, supposedly written by then-Massachusetts Senator and current Secretary of State John Kerry in early 2011.

The plan hinges on the order of presidential succession. As is widely known, if the President is impeached, resigns, or dies, the Vice President is sworn in as soon as possible. Less well-known is that the next in succession are the Speaker of the House, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and, crucially, the Secretary of State.

What follows is an unaltered transcription of Kerry’s five-year plot to become the President by whatever means necessary:

 

TOP SECRET

FEBRUARY 17, 2011

FROM THE OFFICE OF SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIR JOHN KERRY

TAKING THE PRESIDENCY: PLAN #1A

First, I must lay some groundwork over the next three years. Successfully executing the following will make what comes next far more doable:

 

  • The Republicans nominate someone uninspiring to run against Pres. Obama in 2012. My “good friend” and Massachusetts “colleague” Mitt Romney should do nicely for this purpose.
  • Obama wins re-election handily.
  • Hillary Clinton resigns as Secretary of State with plans to run in 2016. As chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am the obvious replacement.
  • Partisan gridlock continues to choke Washington, stoked by efforts to defund the government in 2013 and a strong Republican victory in 2014 that wins them the Senate and an unassailable House majority.
  • Speaker John Boehner is thrown out by conservative diehards, who also prevent his natural successor Kevin McCarthy from taking the office. He is replaced by Paul Ryan, essentially the only person in the House that can unite both the establishment and Tea Party. Dissatisfaction with Congress and the government in general continues to increase, especially among Republicans.

 

Next, I will exploit every channel I can to make sure that somebody with a criminal history is elected President in 2016. I have settled on Donald Trump as a particularly loathsome candidate. This will require some good fortune, but if my groundwork pays off the Republicans will hate their party so much that they will be willing to elect a lunatic over one of their own:

 

  • At least ten candidates from all corners of the Republican party enter the 2016 primary, ensuring there is little concerted resistance to the next stage of the plan.
  • Hillary Clinton faces at least one unexpected challenger, perhaps someone from the far left who can energize the youth by promising free college and legal weed. I leak the existence of her private emails to some Republican congressman (t.b.d.) who is going after her for some real or imagined crime.
  • Donald Trump enters the Republican primary. Unless it seems like Trump will win through sheer chutzpah, I will anonymously manipulate Speaker Ryan and the head of the RNC into making a secret deal that gives Trump the primary. Either way, I will make sure there is a paper trail, real or fabricated, linking Ryan to Trump’s victory.
  • Clinton wins the primary, but the challenge from the left and the emails take a toll on her favorables. Moreover, I exercise my pull with the Russians to get them to interfere in Trump’s favor. To everyone’s surprise, Clinton manages to lose to Trump (ideally winning the popular vote but losing the Electoral College for maximum public outcry), who has been managed by my top political agent Kellyanne Conway the entire time.

 

Now here comes the fun part:

 

  • Shortly into his presidency, Trump is convicted of one of his myriad actual crimes and is forced to resign. Some well-placed bribes should ensure nothing goes awry.
  • Trump’s running mate is a wild card, but my inside men on the Secret Service should be able to get the job done no matter who it is.
  • I expose Paul Ryan’s “manufacturing” of the 2016 primary results through one of many potential back channels. He too is eventually forced to resign after a few short scandal-ridden months.
  • The President Pro Tem will now be the last man standing in my way. As his office is defined by his age, though, his death from “natural causes” shortly after his inauguration should come as no surprise.
  • As the next in succession, I, John Kerry, will become the 49th President of the United States.

 

The release of this memo will surely shake up Americans’ confidence in their political institutions for years, if not decades, to come. If it is truly legitimate, though, your political correspondent must express some degree of respect for John Kerry, perhaps the greatest political mastermind of the modern world.

The Alarming Degradation of Indie Band Naming Standards

by Michael Quinn, Linguistic Catastrophe Correspondent

This very publication has printed an article against which I must protest. As Dumbledore said, “It takes bravery to stand up to our enemies, but it takes courage to stand up to our journalistic affiliates.” And certain such affiliates at readme have been contributing to a systemic problem our society has faced for decades now, which only recently has reached a critical mass of preventing all sentient and rational minded people from caring one goddamn bit about the joke anymore.

I am talking about the “band name.” Now the development of this kind of humor is obvious, and should have been foreseen from the beginning. It is inevitable to the intersection of the entire phenomenon of popular art and the ever demanding, merciless pursuit of humor: our only mechanism for distracting ourselves from oblivion.

Now music, like all artistic media, has always been about convincing hordes of chumps to drown you in sweet sweet rockstar cash, first and foremost. However, as an additional perk (aside from the now-obligatory cocaine piles) musicians have traditionally liked to flatter their own egos by assuming the pompous pretense that their work has things like “deeper meaning” and “conceptual integrity” and other completely nonsense ideations of the same linguistically paradoxical inexpressibility as “free will” and “basic human morality.” All artists want to feel like special snowflakes who make pwecious wittle contwibutions to the cultural landscape. Consequentially, they try to have names that sound clever.

And cleverness means non-sequiturs and re-appropriation of existing phrases. Take the classic example: “Radiohead.” Oooooh that sounds cerebral and culturally significant! But what is the actual substance there? Nothing! The name is meaningless, just like the vapid hipster fuck-jams they crank out. It’s just some bullshit that sounds surreal like “Neutral Milk Hotel” and other trite garbage. But the concept catches on. You get it.

So now we make the suggestion regularly, whenever we hear a phrase which, out of context, sounds like it is just a meaningless juxtaposition made by a talentless hack trying to pretend that unedited free-association of thought is equivalent to insight, that “holy shit, that would be an AMAZING name for an indie band!” But look, we need to stop and consider what we really mean by that.

What we mean is that the phrase has committed an assassination against language. That the words of the phrase, while all individually possessing the potential for valid usage, have been orchestrated against each other with the intent of perfectly neutralizing themselves from vocabulary potency. What we are doing is murdering speech, eviscerating the logic of verbal context, and playing in its entrails.

To be sure, one or two goodnatured attempts at non-sequitur are acceptable in a stable society. Language cannot exist without us toying at its frayed edges every now and again. An everyday pun is just healthy adolescent textual experimentation; and helps to clarify language by showing us its weaknesses. But there exists a crisis level of “things that sound like sincere attempts at linguistic playfulness but are actually just deconstructive imitations of it,” and a whiteboard covered FLOOR TO FUCKING CEILING in hundreds of attempts at the blessedly brief listicle of band names you were given a few weeks ago is WELL OVER THE GODDAMN LINE.

If we continue down this road, language will cease to be. I’m calling an end to it before we realize the terrible truth: that our words are already dead. For the awful secret behind the joke of pretentious band names is that, at some given level of irony, EVERY WORD AND PHRASE IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS A GOOD INDIE BAND NAME. And if we do not stop now, that is what it will all become.