Trent, a third-year undergrad droput, is excited about creating satire website containing no original ideas
EAST VANCOUVER—Trent Somerset, the author of a new comedy website, decided to make it “kinda like the Onion, but more about topics that we deal with, like our country and stuff; or whatever.”
Somerset pledged that in order to keep such a website fresh and interesting, he would include hidden social commentary in the comedy.
“I remember when I first saw an Onion article. At first I thought it was real, but then I realized it was clever satire and was actually deep. And then I was all like, ‘Hey, I can do exactly what they’re doing, and I’m smart so I can do even better probably!’”
When pressed to explain how he would write an entire article with multiple paragraphs on a single topic that was essentially nothing more than a slightly funny one-liner joke, Trent balked, then commented that he had spent “some time figuring it out,” and has read dozens of nearly-identical satire articles over the course of the last four months.
“If you include a lot of long quotes as separate paragraphs, and use them for every second paragraph, then you can pad the article without having to introduce a lot of new information or ideas,” Somerset explained. “It’s even way more funnier [sic] if some of the quotes are not worded good, because then the reader will be like ‘Hey, that’s how normal people talk! That’s not how you write a news article!’ The ironicness of that will be very ironic to the reader and they will keep coming back for more.”
Either unaware of or indifferent to the flop sweat soaking through his Che Guevara T-shirt, Somerset went on to say that most readers never actually finish an Onion article from start to finish because by the time they take in the title, the hilariously unimportant picture, and the first paragraph outlining the tone of the article, they “pretty much can figure the rest out from there.”
As far as website development, Trent said his friend Jeff is “really awesome” at developing websites, and will probably put it together for him when he gets the time.
“It doesn’t actually cost Jeff anything to code a site, as far as I know. He does it for work all day, so I don’t see why he wouldn’t do it for one of his good friends. I mean, it would look really good on his portfolio if the site takes off the way I expect it to, and I would give him credit as webmaster on the ‘about’ page. He could even use me as a job reference!”
Trent added that he already has a strategic plan for marketing the site, including reaching out on social media and sending a mass email to all of his contacts as soon as the first article is posted. “It really shouldn’t be a problem to get, like, thousands of hits. I have, like, four-hundred friends on my Facebook, so if they just post it for all of their friends then that will be lots. And I have fifty followers on Twitter, too; I think I can probably start a hashtag and get this to go viral.”
Several article ideas have already been painstakingly prepared and archived in Trent’s iPhone, and he says that he’s just waiting to find the time and inspiration to properly develop them into articles.
“In the end, it’s about making people think. You know: think about the media and how the world works and the little details of life. Lots of people overlook the small things and stuff, but not me. The comedy and satire are just a way of getting across much deeper concepts to my audience.”
Trent has also been spending a great deal of time considering how he’ll work his full name into the “super professional” logo, which he indicated Jeff could “most probably” help with too. Trent’s first satire article, entitled “American tourist isn’t totally sure what a Poutine is,” will be published on a small website with a really long URL and no marketing this Friday.