To Whom It May Concern,
We are back. You may not know who we are yet, but we were here long before your parents, before even your grandparents. We trace our roots back to 1912, when several students proclaimed that they would create a publication dedicated to “all the news that is unfit to print.” This publication was The Yellow Journal and we are its newest guardians.
Truth is precious, therefore we economize with it. To Twain’s witticism we should perhaps add Vonnegut’s: all of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies. Make no mistake; we are a journal dedicated to lies. But Mark Twain also said that man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar, and it is in service of that contradiction that we once more lift our pen.
It was precisely that satirical eye and fearless use of the pen that got us into trouble in 1934, when the Administrative Council demanded we cease all publishing. Discontinued, but not dead, we lay dormant for decades. Original members died off, times changed, and class upon classes graduated. It wasn’t until 1986 that the efforts of Walter Alcorn and Andy Metcalf brought us back to life.
The Yellow Journal created quite a stir in the 90’s, even appearing on PBS’s NewsHour in relation to Supreme Court case Rosenberger v. University of Virginia. But once again, we were disbanded. Maybe we pissed the wrong people off, or maybe the editors just got bored. Whatever the reason, a decade has passed without the Yellow Journal, one we think could have used some more laughs. Here’s to kicking off the 2010s with a belated bang.
If all has gone according to plan, you have a copy of The Yellow Journal nearby. Open it, and if we’ve done our jobs right, be prepared to laugh your ass off. If by the end you find your ass still firmly attached, be patient. We’re new at this game and our predecessors left awfully big boat shoes to fill.
So friends, we hope you enjoy the culmination of 98 years of hard work. We’ll be seeing you.
The Yellow Journal
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