Point-Counterpoint: The Onion
The Onion Isn’t As Good As It Used To Be
by Joseph Phan
I guess it’s true what they say; you can’t go home again. Ever since they moved their offices to New York, The Onion isn’t as good as it used to be.
I used to really like the Onion, but it’s become derivative of itself. It’s the same tired, recycled ideas, and they just aren’t as sharp as they used to be. Compare the incisive brilliance of “British Government Releases Scandalous Benny Hill Tapes” to the relatively mediocre “Starving, Bandaged Bin Laden Offers U.S. One Last Chance To Surrender.” And let’s be honest; Jean Teasdale isn’t the same anymore.
The magic of the Onion was always its Midwestern sensibility. A balanced view on national and international matters, unhindered by the super-urban zeitgeist of New York life gave the Onion the ability to clearly perceive the absurdity of the very society they were a part of. It was this clarity of understanding, tempered with the realization that they were themselves a part of the circus of life they lampooned, that made the Onion so brilliant.
And it’s no coincidence that the downfall of The Onion happened at the same time they extended their national distribution and got into radio and films. Let’s be honest; like so many of our great pop artists, they’ve sold out. I hold out little hope that The Onion will return to its former glory. But like my 70’s Blondie tapes and my copy of THX-1138, I have my copies of mid-90s Onions as a reminder of how good they used to be.
Fuck You, You Pretentious Asshole
by Robert Siegel, Editor, The Onion
God, I am sick of this bullshit. “The Onion sucks now, The Onion sucks now!” YOU suck now, and you always have sucked. Fuck you, you pretentious asshole.
Do you know when people starting saying “The Onion isn’t as good as it used to be?” Page 2 of the first fucking edition, that’s when. By Edition 3 it was already fixated in the minds of pop-culture obsessed weenie-boys that we’d fallen off a cliff. What a load of bullshit. Have a look at the archives and ask any one of these nerdlings to figure out which articles are old and which are recent, and they wouldn’t know which was which, because it’s all bullshit. We’re just as funny as ever. The Onion’s popularity allows us to get better writers and since we’re making good money we all work full time at it now.
Do you know how hard it is to write a weekly newspaper and come up with twenty of thirty good jokes? It’s really hard. We come up with fifty ideas a week and only ten or twenty make it. Every article is written, vetted, rewritten, edited, and reviewed again and again to make sure it’s just right and get maximum laughs in a minimum space. On top of that we don’t just have the article to worry about; we have to do the AV club, run the financials, do print and Web print setup and publishing, media relations, work with our sponsors, do all the graphic design, and do all the administrative, payroll, and infrastructure work. I work sixteen hour days and nobody in this office goes home before 7:30. We work like hell to give people something to laugh about. You think you can do this job better, you ungrateful piece of shit?
I can put up with this bullshit from the mental midgets because we get 5,000 letters a week from our fans telling us how much they love the paper and how it brings a smile to their face every day. Last year we got tens of thousands of letters from people telling us how our Attack on America special helped them deal with 9/11. So I’ll tell you what; if you think The Onion sucks now, why don’t you take your last issue and jam it straight up your Midwestern ass? I’ll cancel your subscription for you, dickwad.