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The Onion's Farewell To Madison Tongue-in-Cheek Call-To-Arms

By Jon Graef in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 27, 2013 5:30PM


What started in Madison ended in Madison recently as satirical provocateurs The Onion stopped print publication in the very city where the sardonic paper was started 25 years ago. This being The Onion, of course, they elected to go out with an editorial blaze of glory.

To wit, a perhaps tongue-in-cheek call-to-arms:

In recognition of our final print issue, The Onion would also like to urge our readers to gather in Brittingham Park at 8 p.m. this evening. Arm yourselves with whatever you can find - stones, bottles, bricks, even the very newspaper boxes in which The Onion once appeared every Thursday - and take to the streets.

Overturn every car, smash every window, tear out the roots of every tree, shoot out every streetlight, and scream your furious retribution into the night sky. In short, destroy everything in your path.

If print dies, so then shall the world. …

Rise, devoted readers of The Onion and topple the corrupt powers that have betrayed you.


Brittingham Park is a 26-acre park near the central Madison area. The letter continues by imploring area men and women not to go half-an-hour without moisturizing themselves, or to break out their dating boxers, but, rather, to turn every business within city limits to ash by sunrise, "all in the name of The Onion."

Finally, after marching throughout the continental United States "leaving in our wake nothing but decrepit ruins of melted steel and smoldering rubble," the letter encourages rioters to storm the corporate Bastille known as New York City.

What happens there? Well, don't you want to know...

The island of Manhattan will be consumed in total havoc and ceaseless destruction. We will rip out the very heart of New York City and leave its bleeding carcass to slowly rot in the harsh light of the sun for all to see.

A new order shall be unleashed upon the world, for if The Onion cannot live on through the inked pages of our great and venerable newspaper, it will live on through a ruthless empire built upon the broken skulls of those insolent fools who have attempted in vain to bring us down.

Tonight the city burns.

Just as long as Ray Lewis doesn't show up, we'll think things will be just fine.

So what happened? How did this come to be? How these things always come to be. Money. Specifically, a supposed lack of it, a supposed lack of it.

The final edition of The Onion was printed on July 25. The Onion was founded at UW-Madison in 1988.