for when they die, we get their stuff.
Yes, Sploid, one of my favorite sites, is no more. Axed. Deep-sixed. Ah, well, I can’t say it any better than they did.
Shut down, laid off, on the nickel, run out of town, shown the door, eighty-sixed, suicided, under heavy manners, finaled by the fuzz, down in the hole, out of the groove, sadder than a map, under the Hoover blankets, taking a bank holiday, riding the rails to Hungry Town, brought down and fought down.
Winners write the history books, but anybody can write the blog post. So get right up close to your computer screen and we’ll tell you a little story…
And so they do, at length, but who cares? More interesting to me is their secret file of Weekend Filler How-To’s, as apparently Denton didn’t want them to play with real news on the weekend, as they might break it. So here’s their secrets to handy-dandy filler, secrets which I intend to carry to my grave.
After posting them here, of course.
Sploid wasn’t just a 24-7 news operation — it was a painstakingly engineered information factory.
While free from the dull tyranny of “Headline News” or “whatever’s on the front page of the New York Times,” Sploid editors nonetheless followed careful instructions formulated by senior editors.
Say it was a Saturday, and nothing was happening in the world except bombs in the Middle East and world leaders dying or lapsing into comas, and maybe the planet was getting hotter or whatever. On those “slow news days,” and even on some exciting days, the editors had to rely on a detailed technical manual with exact instructions for filling the “news hole.”
Following the Sploid Topic List requirements resulted in the following wonders from this magical world we share:
Nation of …
* Kills the Ivory Billed Woodpecker
* Launches a non-exploding shuttle
* Enlists the aid of robot lemurs
* Valiantly battles an army of roadkill
* Hits a run of even worse luck than usual
* Bans dangerous foreign 5-year-olds
Other topics of constant concern included robots, monkeys, occult killings, X-rays of humans revealing foreign (and frequently disturbing) objects lodged within, Nazis, dismemberments, frightening conspiracies featuring the Knights Templar and/or Dick Cheney, dumb and/or evil cops, UFOs and the many problems faced by America’s obese citizenry.
We hope you continue to enjoy these timeless tales from our most delightful planet.
Sara K. Smith was Sploid’s bureau chief in Austin and is a novelist, which means she has to get a job now.