Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!?
In which TSAT's April Fool's Day joke for 2006 is explained
This year, we chose not to go for anything elaborate. We figured we weren't going to be able to top last year's prank... so we didn't even try. Instead, we decided we'd build this year's joke around one of the less-satisfying aspects of TSAT.
Namely, the nigh-absolute lack of feedback from our readers.
This silence is more annoying than many people might believe. In any given month, we have more than 12,000 readers... and we're lucky to get any kind of feedback from even one of those 12,000. You, meaning 'our readers collectively', browse TSAT by the gigabyte; you've put up so many links to TSAT that any Google search for tsat has us at the top of the list of results; you nominate TSAT for honors year after year; but for some reason, none of you ever seem to feel like giving us any kind of concrete indication that you like what we're doing. Not even so much as an email. Now do you see where the annoyance comes in? Month in and month out, we get nothing at all.
At this point, it may be worth noting that feedback from readers or no, we like working on TSAT. Among other things, editing stories (the way we do it, at least) is fun!
Nevertheless, the persistent lack of feedback is something we wish we could change. So in keeping with Cubist's philosophy that "anything you can't laugh about isn't worth taking seriously", we built a gag around said 'radio silence': We, the editors, were supposed to have finally had it up to here (indicates point several inches above head) with our readers' muteness, and spurred on by that putative exasperation, we converted TSAT into an all-reprint zine -- re-runs only, no new material need apply -- whose contents were selected with an eye towards the inappropriate, the flawed, and the just plain bad.
Sadly, this gag went over like an iridium dirigible. Pretty much everybody missed the clues to the joke-issue's farcical nature, as best we can tell. Ah, well; can't win 'em all...