Secret Pop

Apr 17, 2003

This far and no further!

This is not the first time this exclamation has appeared on my web site. Nor in my weblog, if I'm remembering correctly. But this is the first time my ire has been directed at The Onion, a one-time source of amusing diversion for me. But today, after going to the site, only to be first directed to a splash page for a dating service, I have decided it is over.

An open Dear John letter to The Onion:

Dear Onion,
     I break with thee.
     I have tolerated your pop-up ads, your seemingly incessant rearrangements of recurring features in your homepage layout , your periodic dips in the kneeslappingness of your comedy jokes. But a girl's got to have standards. I will not stand by while you "reinvent" yourself so frequently that I can't find anything on the site. I will not allow you to resize my browser windows or advertise the Hello Kitty Vibrator to me or bombard me with moviegoing suggestions. Don't you realize that I left your site, when I clicked on the Flash ad for Absolut Vanilla, and I NEVER WENT BACK?????
     I don't expect you to change. I don't even expect you to understand. You have been consumed by bunk advertising theory and an obsession with "driving pageviews." You have become a page of advertisements that is irritatingly interrupted by infrequent text-based humor and the occasional original graphic. You're not the fake hard-hitting news source you once were. And I am forced to seek out my funny elsewhere. I don't mind telling you, I've already begun seeing McSweeney's, and things are going very well for us.
     Don't be bitter. You'll find someone else. Lord knows I haven't been keeping your advertisers in the black. Except maybe the people who sell the Hello Kitty Vibrator. But they don't know I was referred by you. Whenever I shop there, I pretend that you and I never met. It's just easier that way.
     No, this is not an April Fool's Day joke. Can't you see it's the middle of April already? Just let me go. I will remember you fondly as a once-favorite venue for workday shirking, brazenly forwarding your best pieces to my boss, who never understood your humor to begin with. I even had a favorite article. U.S. Populace Lurches Methodically Through The Motions For Yet Another Day, followed so closely it was nearly neck-and-neck by Walken In L.A. Oh, you were golden once, dear Onion. And I prefer to remember you that way.


Mary Forrest

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