Look, Gawker. We know there've been some hard feelings this year. First, you discovered Charles Mudede—"a blogger for the The Stranger, the alternative weekly that serves cutesy raintown Seattle," as you put it—and chastised him for teasing the victims of an alleged con man for openly loving their own money too much. Then, to tease you, we launched a "war" against your hometown of New York City and made all sorts of arguments about why Seattle is superior (as one of our staffers memorably said, "If it weren't for Boeing, they wouldn't even have 9/11"). In spite of the hyperbole, you took our "war" to mean that we were very upset with you. Then a few weeks later, we published a parody of Time magazine's fawning, schmaltzy, overblown, poorly written profile of "Great American Novelist" Jonathan Franzen by copying Time's cover (with Tao Lin's face substituted), and you replied by taking us seriously: "Tao Lin Foolishly Celebrated as a Genius by Rain-Soaked Latte Zombies," your headline read.
We like you—we just don't think you really get us. And we don't want you to keep embarrassing yourselves, so we are explaining the jokes in this issue so that even an idiot like Richard Lawson can understand them.
First of all, why a Regrets Issue? Do Stranger writers really live lives consumed by regret? Does everyone in Seattle annually flog themselves with flannel whips to the beat of Soundgarden at the base of the Space Needle in some sort of rainy ritual of regret? Don't be silly. With the Regrets Issue, we're just combining the important newspaper tradition of printing corrections for errors made and the stupid media tradition of vapid year-end retrospectives.
Rule of thumb: If you're wondering if something in this issue is a joke, it probably is. The piece written by leek farmer Henry Earl Wicky? We're about to blow your mind, Gawker—it's not really written by Henry Earl Wicky! No, this column is just a play on the name "WikiLeaks" and a way of getting a mention of WikiLeaks into our year-end issue, since WikiLeaks was such a big story this year. Likewise, the piece "written" by a can of Four Loko isn't really written by a can of Four Loko—we just employed a literary trick called "personification" to ridicule the government's demonization of a malt liquor beverage. And maybe now it's becoming clear, but just in case, the nation of Chile didn't really write an editorial for us. We were just taking the opportunity to point out that nobody in America cares about Chile unless there are a bunch of miners stuck down a well. What a bunch of scamps we are!
Sorry to "rain" (get it? It rains here!) on your parade by explaining our jokes, Gawker—but don't cry too hard! There's a whole wide internet beyond The Stranger waiting to be misinterpreted in your daily quest to outrage your six readers. Good luck!