Clayton, MO: WUnderground, Washington University’s premier satirical outlet, published an article about itself in an attempt to break the fourth wall. It has 373 total words and appears on the second page of the first WUnderground issue of the semester. The article currently being read is the first instance of an article that talks solely about itself.
Experts say the article attempts to satirize satire by mocking the professional nature of a fake article. It does so by stripping the piece of any worthwhile content, keeping the form the same while also making the form the subject. According to ongoing studies, readers who have finished the article generally agree that explaining the article’s purpose in this paragraph makes the story too complicated too quickly.
Author Ike Butler interviewed several students who were nothing short of excited about the piece’s intense reflexivity. “I can’t wait to read it,” raved sophomore Linda Weiss. “By comparison, I’m sure it’ll make me feel much better about my own writing.”
Reports say Butler fully understands if readers believe they are wasting their time reading this particular sentence, but he decided to include it anyway.
While this astonishing idea is plenty to celebrate, not everyone has been so accepting. Senior Wyatt Hertz was not afraid to speak his mind: “This sounds like a terrible idea for an article. Don’t write the rest of it. And please stop following me.” Rather than provide preemptive criticism like Hertz, freshman Ashlee Vaughn attempted to educate herself on the topic at hand. “I don’t get it,” she admitted. “Is my comment going to be published in the article, or am I commenting on a previously published article?”
Later, Butler interviewed himself regarding the article as he wrote it. “I’ve never seen an article cover absolutely nothing in so many words before. I can’t wait to see what the next sentence will look like.” To heighten the autological nature of the piece, the author asked the article itself for any words, though the article provided no comment.
WUnderground staff decided against publishing the article due to its confusing nature. However, editor Justin Kroll was so perplexed after reading it that he accidentally sent it to print in lieu of a much better article.