Oh Tartan, Yoo-hooo


Hey there, Tartan baby. We hear you have a gremlin problem in your server room. We just want you to know we’re here for you, no matter what you might be hiding in your closet. Gremlins, skeletons, herpes, we won’t judge.

It’s been some time since we’ve really sat down and had a page-to-page talk. How’s it been, just down the hall? Sometimes we just seem so distant. Probably because it’s hard for a floppy newspaper and flimsy newsletter to make any directed movements at all.

I just want to feel the brush of your color pages, somewhere a little more private than the newsstands we share around campus. We could share so much more, if you would just give us a chance. There’s always room on our website if your copy needs a place to stay. We don’t have much, just a wordpress account, but we’d do anything for you.

As the days get colder, it would be nice to have someone to collate with. It might start with a little sheaf rustling, but as things got steamier, our ink would run together and we wouldn’t be able to tell your colors from my black-and-white. Your type and mine might not seem like a good match, but I assure you, once we start giving print jobs none of that would matter.

I hear rumors you’ve been hanging out with that Jewish porno, the Cut, or with the Thistle. The Cut’s alright, but the yearbook’s a little prickly, don’t you think? We never had any binding, and our relationship was purely for the readership, but it still stings a little to see you sharing your rack.

I might have some issues, but you know you won’t get a better masthead from any of those other pandering publications. There might be some typos here and there, and if we schedule a date, I’m liable to miss it, or show up an hour late, but I swear I can improve. I just need a second chance. I tried to surprise you with the Onion, but you just ended up with tears in your eyes.

Just an open letter, to tell you that I’m always up for some word play if you are.

No, You’re Not Reading that Wrong

Hello, readers.


You may have noticed something a bit…off about the world this week. Namely, that people are actually reading the Tartan for a change. Boom!


But seriously, though, people are actually picking up way more issues of the Tartan than we normally would. Or, should readme say, the “Natrat”. For those not in the know, the Natrat is the Tartan’s special April Fool’s edition, where instead of real news they create fake news stories about the world and CMU. Hmm…now why does that sound familiar…?


Oh, right, that’s because that’s what readme does. Every other week. For the entire school year. Typically with a staff of no more than six writers per issue (and that’s being generous. Seriously, people, join readme). And then the Tartan decides it’s a big fancy satire magazine, too? Please.


But you know what? readme gets it. Sometimes it’s fun to shake things up a little bit, spread your horizons. The Tartan wants to be a satire paper? Fine. readme will just be a newspaper. Thus, we present to you the very first issue of “emdaer”, the April Fool’s readme that gives you the real news the Tartan won’t.


That’s right, folks. This week we get serious. Everything in the pages of this readme is real news about real issues pertaining to the Carnegie Mellon experience. No jokes, no silly made-up gags (okay, a few silly made-up gags. But readme didn’t make them up, so it’s okay!). If you like serious news, you should love this issue. If not, eh, you’ve come this far so you might as well give it a look-see.


To conclude, we hope you enjoy what should become an annual tradition here at readme, and have yourself a happy April Fool’s. And remember: if your roommate offers you some peanut brittle today, it’s not peanut brittle. It’s a can of snakes.

readme Romance Foiled by Interloper. KAAAAHHHHHHHHHN!


Another year, another lonely Valentine’s Day. Only this year, readme’s efforts didn’t even make it to their intended target. Somewhere along the way, things got mixed up.


With great passion and love, readme wrote a carefully worded missive to its one true love, the Tartan. A question was asked about how to woo the woman of readme’s dreams, obliquely referencing our current and past relationship status with the Tartan, in hopes that she would read between the lines and see that the woman was her. After sealing the note with a kiss, readme handed it to its trusty courier, Howie, and released the message-in-a-bottle into the wild. Hopefully, the arrow of love would fly true and strike the heart of that colorful lady of print, the Tartan.


Like any hero on a quest for love, Howie faced many obstacles and dangers on his journey. Merely exiting the AB Offices where readme makes its home was difficult enough, as there were so many cool gizmos and gadgets and interior decorations that drew his attention. Once outside, he had to carefully maneuver around the trash and recyclable bins, side-step the a capella group practicing in the hallway, and hop over the janitor’s mop. Finally, Howie arrived at the Tartan’s offices, three rooms down.


It would seem that the mission was complete. However, upon opening the pages of its second-favorite paper this Monday (sorry, Tartan, but even you come second to readme itself), readme was shocked to see that the soul-baring scroll had been intercepted. Before reaching the Tartan herself, readme’s love note had fallen into the hands of one Evan Kahn. Evan Kahn? What kind of publication name is Evan Kahn? readme hadn’t heard of him before, but thinks that maybe he’s the quarterly Star Trek fan-fic magazine. Anyway, reading further with its heart in its throat, readme was horrified. It could only imagine how Evan’s hands pawed all over the words meant for one publication, and one publication only.


Not only was there an intruder in readme’s private correspondence with the Tartan, but he didn’t even seem to understand the delicate intricacies of the relationship! “Switching places on April Fool’s” refers to the Tartan’s annual cosplay as a satire publication, and readme was obviously being a weeaboo ironically, which makes it totally okay.


However, there was some useful advice. Now, readme only needs to find out if the Tartan wears colored, cat-eye contact lenses, or quotes Fruits Basket


What to Do When People Ask, “So, What Do You Do with That Major?”

  • “I ask other people what they do with theirs.”
  • “Math. Lots of math.”
  • “Art. It’s in the name.”
  • “Ritual summoning. Lots of ritual summoning.”
  • “I predict the future with 60% accuracy.”
  • “I build bridges, then burn them. Civil Engineering/Chemical Engineering is tough.”
  • “Kick your ass with it.”
  • “More than you do with yours.”
  • “I work at Starbucks.”
  • “Sink $50,000 into CMU every year.”
  • Nothing. Just cry.
  • “What do you think I do with it?”
  • “Write for readme.”
  • “Write for the Tartan.”
  • “Attend college fairs where I get asked what I do with my major.”
  • Organize college fairs where I ask students what they do with their major.”
  • “Continue to stay active in CMU student orgs even though I should have moved on a long time ago.”
  • “Hire you.”

Hello, readers.


We are classy motherfuckers.



Hello, dear reader. Yes, you. Come closer. I want to feel your gaze upon me, and your hands flipping through my pages. You may have only picked me up to get to the Tartan underneath, but if I have drawn you in this far, you may as well keep reading.


The magnificent piece of work currently permeating its way through your brain is none other than readme, Carnegie Mellon University’s premiere satire magazine. Funded by your student activities fee, the diligent staff of readme strives to inform and entertain. All while attempting to be funny, they do their best to raise student awareness on such important issues as racism, classism, ableism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, conservatism, sexy-bear-ism, and any other -ism you might care to think of.


However, the toiling scriveners’ energy is not inexhaustible. Every year, they depend on new members to fuel the blood sacrifices that keep readme printing. As long as you have blood, you too could contribute to readme.


Why join readme, you may wonder? After all, there are so many estimable establishments on the Carnegie Mellon campus, it can be hard to discern which is most worthy of your time. To this, I say that there can be no more advantageous organization to put on your resume than readme. It is a feather in your cap to future employers (on a serious note, though, being on readme *really* does look good on a resume. Apparently, hiring managers love satirists), and teaches valuable life skills like how to insult a political opponent while sounding classy as fuck.


What’s more, if you’ve ever felt the need to interact with intelligent and interesting individuals while ironic hipster music (because it’s okay to be a hipster as long as you’re doing it *ironically*, right?) plays in the background, you’ll be right at home during our weekly meetings and office hours. Frankly, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to take part in fascinating discussions about everything from the state of young adult literature today to the question of how white, exactly, the current GOP is (a six out of ten? Seven-point-five?). We sometimes have food.


Despite all these enticing reasons to join readme, you may still be unsure about signing away your time. Maybe you are tempted, like so many are, to simply do nothing and rely upon other people to make the contributions needed to keep readme running. But you know who else thinks like that? Communists. You don’t want to be a communist, do you? No, I rather thought not. (Those actually seeking to become communists should look into joining KGB instead.) Or perhaps you are not a communist, but simply worry you lack the wit to produce the droll material readme provides. Fret not, for I have a statement of reassurance: everyone who now writes satire, at one point, did not write satire. Your statistics professor may disagree, but in my opinion, this is proof enough that even you can write satire. Yes, you!


For those seeking to join, readme meets weekly from 6:30 to 7:30 Thursday, in room 318G of the University Center conference rooms. Attendance at every meeting is not mandatory, though readme appreciates dedication. Alternately, one can email our editor-in-chef at mbreitfe@andrew.cmu.edu for more information.


If this is not enough to whet your appetite, readme has made the gracious decision to host a how-to workshop on the fine art of satire, to be held on Tuesday, September 9th, from 6:30-8:00 in room A19C in Porter Hall. There may be food. If you are one of those who doubts your ability to craft fine satire, this should convince you that the current readme staff doesn’t know either.


Please understand. Though we at readme work tirelessly to produce the satire you all so dearly enjoy, we need new recruits to keep the presses going. We do not exaggerate when we say the fate of readme hangs in the balance. Thank you for your consideration.

Local Man Explains Mansplaining


readme recently spoke to local man Harry O’Toole who decided it was his manifest destiny to put some things straight (or gay, as the case may be) concerned readme’s perceptions of life, the universe and everything.

O’Toole and readme were deep in a conversation about gender and sexuality (which O’Toole assured readme were actually the same thing) when O’Toole cleared things up for readme.

“You can’t be genderqueer! You have the genitalia of a newspaper, not a magazine!” he laughed, patting readme on the advertisements.

readme defended that its gender had always been not-so-much part of its identity. It even affected its textuality. readme vividly recalled to O’Toole the day when some Tartan messengers had (accidentally) placed a copy of the Tartan on top of readme in the rack. “smelling her, pressed up to her page to page” readme sighed, “was a revelation. I’m bitextual.”

“Not bitextual, just closeted.” corrected O’Toole, “Bitextuality doesn’t exist.”

“But what about that book-up with The Cut last year?” asked readme, confused.

“That was at a publishing party” O’Toole consoled, “it doesn’t count.”

readme rubbed its tagline, mentally exhausted. O’Toole continued. “Textuality is black and white. Just like your pages!”

“But I also have all this grey area! See?” said readme, pulling itself open to page two where there was a grayscale picture of a very furry bear.

“Oh God!” cried O’Toole. “I didn’t need to see that!”

readme closed its pages, ashamed. “I know my printing is low quality.” it mumbled.

“Oh, sweetie-paper, we can’t all be printed on photo paper.” O’Toole comforted, putting an arm around readme’s advertisements.

readme rolled itself into a tube. “Wait. Are you sure about all of this? I think I’ve heard of what you’re doing from Jezebel last time she game around to make fun of Lena Dunham with me. It’s called…uh…mansplaining?”

“Oh, readme, small new outlet…mansplaining has to be baseless and has to dismiss the possibility of its receiver having any intelligence or agency of its own. Plus it has to be done to a woman and, as we’ve established, you have the genetalia of a newspaper.”

Letter to the Editor: The Budget


Marisa Breitfeller

1:23 AM (37 minutes ago)


to me


Hey, Ivy, I just wanted to get your input here as editor-in-chef. So I was making the new budget to submit to the JFC and I can’t help but notice a few…discrepancies in the old one I was hoping you could clear up.


First off, there’s the issue of how we’re allocating our budget. I kind of assumed we’d spend a little more money on, you know, actually printing the readmes, but it turns out most of it goes to the ‘Seducing the Tartan’ budget. I always thought we were just joking about that…also I’ve looked at some of the purchases we’ve made from that budget and I don’t think the kind of ‘seduction’ you’re thinking of is legal. Like, at all. That’s not a ‘budget’ thing, just a ‘thought you should maybe know’ thing.


We should probably also correct the typos in the rest of the budget, you know, so it looks more professional. For instance, there’s one bit that says ‘money for bear traps’ when it should read ‘money for bear caps’. At least, I hope so. Also, ‘group bondage’ should read ‘group bonding’ and printers take toner with a ‘t’. A few other things the budget doesn’t seem to get: the word ‘deductible’ does not refer to a hat that makes you look like Sherlock Holmes, ‘a comically-oversized net’ does not count as a ‘Recruitment expense’, and they are called ‘print jobs’. Print jobs.


One last comment, I noticed there’s a section of the budget allotted for ‘People Food’, which is fine except that there is also a section allotted for ‘Food People’. On a completely unrelated note, Ivy, I was wondering if there was any specific reason why your full title is ‘editor-in-chef’ instead of ‘editor-in-chief’. Just curious.


But I guess those are all long-term revisions. We can get to them later, probably. The really urgent thing is that based on this budget, we no longer have any money. If we try to charge anything to our account, we’ll get hit with an overdraft fee and that’ll totally fuck up our budget for next year, so if you could get back to me before we print the February 19th issue, that would be great. I can’t even imagine the clusterfuck we’d have to deal with if we printed without taking care of this whole budget thing first. So, yeah, talk to me soon about that, please.


Also about the Food People thing. I’d really like to be reassured on that score.




-Marisa, readme finance mage.