President of The Onion Mike McAvoy announced yesterday that his satirical news site boasting 740,000 viewers would cease operations entirely effective 1 November 2014. The announcement came on the heels of an alarming discovery by satellite probe Venus Express (VEX). While on its usual orbit the probe bumped into the door of a parallel universe just a few blocks past Venus in which all of The Onion’s satirical articles are true. The universe has been dubbed “MetaEarth” by scientists at NASA.
In response to questions as to whether NASA would be attempting to communicate with MetaEarth, ESA Spacecraft Systems and AIV Engineer Michael Witting states, “Making contact with MetaEarth is a logical paradox. We are ever moving in opposite directions, any attempt to reach them on our part would be met by an equal attempt to withdrawal on their part, and vice versa, and versa vice-a, etc. We are content to simply observe them, and I imagine the feeling is mutual.”
“We never saw this coming” says Kip Thorne, renowned theoretical physicist. “We had ruled out parallel universes. It made for good sci-fi but not good science.”
In August of 2012 The Onion came under heavy criticism for publishing an article about Sears Extremists flying a plane into the Willis Tower. Many were offended, including numerous Onion subscribers, who said that the article and accompanying picture were “tasteless” and “not funny”. But these same critics are now doing an about-face, since the simultaneously existing non-satirical MetaEarth Onion reported the same story at the same time as actual extremist employees of MetaSears flew a plane into the Willis Tower of MetaEarth. It was a very tragic day on MetaEarth and when its citizens heard the article was being taken as satire on Earth, it provoked a storm of outrage. Previously outspoken critics of The Onion’s “tasteless joke” bit their tongues, and one subscriber, apparently speaking for all, issued the following formal apology: “We didn’t realize that this parallel universe existed. At the time it seemed incredibly tasteless of The Satirical Earth Onion to write an article like this in light of the tragic nature of 9/11. However, in view of this new discovery, and the true and non-satirical event which did not take place on Earth but did take place on MetaEarth, we feel the need to offer both Onions an apology. First for taking offense and second for making light of all those on MetaEarth who may have lost loved ones in this senseless act of metaviolence.”
The Earth Onion, after discovering the simultaneously-operating non-satirical version of itself, announced that it will be shutting down, since knowledge that its satire is a reality in MetaEarth has brought apathy into its ranks. “I just don’t think I can write anymore,” says an anonymous author for The Onion, “now that I know it’s all true, it just takes the fun out of it. I feel like someone just punched me in the stomach. I put in my two weeks yesterday. I think I’ll go work for the New York Times or something boring like that.”
It is unclear how the closure of the Satirical Earth Onion will affect the non-satirical MetaEarth Onion. An article published by the MetaEarth Satirical CNN entitled “Chopping of Earth Onion Brings Tears to the Eyes of Earthlings” proved eerily prophetic and had 4 million views in its first 3 hours. Residents of MetaEarth took the Satirical MetaCNN’s story as truth, which it would soon become just a few days later.
Bryce Burrows, a usually satirical news author for non-satirical MetaEarth Onion’s sister site MetaClickhole’s satire section, wrote an uncharacteristically non-satirical article about the satirical article about the original article published by MetaEarth Satirical CNN regarding the closure of The Earth Onion. The article was ironically devoid of satire and provoked controversy as no one could agree whether the final article was satirical or non-satirical, since it was about a satirical article about another satirical article written in a non-satirical parallel universe about events in another universe in which anything satirical is by nature non-satirical. The article was misconstrued by several other satirical news sites as satire and republished hundreds of times, leading to mass confusion.
The matter was further complicated when Burrows, awaking from his dream, said
“I dreamed that I killed myself last night. When I woke up, it was true.”
A mock funeral was held in Burrows’ dream for his metaphorical suicide, but few attended as they had prior engagements and resented Burrows for the confusion he had caused. The resentment faded when real news site Daily MetaCurrant reported “Burrows was not being as sarcastic as everyone might have thought.”
Following the announcement, people poured in late to the funeral by the hundreds, and cards and flowers filled the church. “We’ve come to pay our respects. Turns out he wasn’t such a bad guy after all and its terrible what happened,” said one latecomer to the funeral. The congregation was thrown into an uproar, however, when Burrows, arising from his casket addressed the crowd:
“I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for being at my funeral today. It is an honor that I simply cannot put into words. Nevertheless, I will try– “
He was not given the chance to finish as attendees, seeing that it was all a hoax, rushed the podium, seized him and began beating him to death. They paused momentarily as Burrows voice continued playing through the speakers, at which point they realized that he was only lip-syncing. The pause and resulting confusion was just long enough to provide Burrows a small head start as he fled from the church and was pursued by a small remnant of attendees who still felt confident that his original article was reckless satire.