The Onion calls for rioting in Madison in commemoration of final print issue

Print is dead, says The Onion. (Even though its Milwaukee print edition still lives.)
Print is dead, says The Onion. (Even though its Milwaukee print edition still lives.)

Shouting fire in a crowded theater is a crime. So if there really is rioting in Madison tonight, might the editors of The Onion find themselves in legal trouble?

THE BACKSTORY: The Onion discontinues print publication in Madison, its original market

Probably not. But still.

On its website this morning, The Onion thanked Madison for a good 25-year run. But unfortunately, print is dead and so what the hell, let's riot.

Here's "The Onion's Message to Madison":

In recognition of our final print issue, The Onion wold 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.

Loot. Fight. Burn. Spare nothing from your savage fury. Feel encouraged to visit The Onion's former office at 122 State Street, where you will find an extensive cache of Molotov cocktails, ready to be lit. Scorch the very sky and purify the city with flame. Show no mercy.

No structure shall be left standing. Every business within city limits shall be ash by sunrise. All in the immortal name of The Onion. And when the city is but a wasteland of glowing embers, descend upon the Capitol and pull it apart with your bare hands.

From there, we march. The Onion's allegiant masses will forge through Ann Arbor, through Minneapolis-St. Paul, through Austin, through Denver, through Boulder, through Washington, D.C., through Philadelphia, through Omaha, through Columbus, through Santa Fe, through Toronto, through San Francisco, through Los Angeles, through each and every town and city across the United States of America where The Onion's print editions were once legion, leaving in our wake nothing but decrepit ruins of melted steel and smoldering rubble.

Buildings will be reduced to mere dust. Streets will bleed. Entire cities will crumble. The only sound will be a thunderous cacophony of shrieks and the shattering of glass and bone.

All things will then come to an end in New York City.

The corporate overlords will be torn limb from limb and every last thing the capitalist tyrants know and hold dear in this world will be ripped from their decadent hands until they beg for mercy and answer fully for what they have done to The Onion and to you, our dear readers. 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.

Or, you know, you could save a tree, stay out of jail, and read the damn thing on your smartphone. Actually, on second thought, head to Madison and riot. It'll make for a good Weird Wisconsin blog post tomorrow, and you'll be able to blame the whole thing on The Onion's editors for inciting you to mayhem.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >