Reverend John Raymond has started his day the same way every day for the past 11 years: by dumping the church’s mail into the garbage. For over a decade, his church has struggled to distance themselves from a similarly named organization based out of Florida. The American ‘Westboro Baptist Church’ is a religious organization known for their hate speech and severely conservative views on just about everything.
“We receive hundreds of letters and emails a month, mostly horrifying” explains Rev. Raymond. “I’m not sure what’s more disturbing, the messages of outrage sent for that other church or the ones of praise.”
The Ottawa church has been attempting a rebrand since October 2015, but has been unable to come up with a satisfactory name nearly one year later. Past nominees include “Our Holy Baptizer of Westboro” and “Richmond Road Baptist Church”. The organization is accepting pitches for their new name, which can be submitted through their humble website, www.godhatesbrags.com.
Tensions between Ottawa shawarma royalty rose again this week after Shawarma Prince fell victim to yet another drive-by turnipping. This marks the 7th attack on the heir to the shawarma throne this year. In January, 3 Brothers Shawarma changed the meat cone rotating speeds at Shawarma Prince, causing hours of delays. Last month, Mr. Shawarma was caught attempting to steal a secret hummus recipe from the would-be king.
A proclamation from the Shawarma Palace was decreed yesterday, calling for a ceasefire between all restaurants. The Shawarma King himself announced that as his eldest son, “Shawarma Prince will take the throne when it is time.” He also reiterated that any rumours about the illegitimacy of his children are false.
Unfortunately, these claims have been hotly contested by Queen Shawarma, who now resides in Castle Shawarma with New Shawarma King Plus. She insists that Shawarma Prince is not the biological son of Shawarma King, and that the true successor to the throne is Shawarma Prince Gourmet. The Castle Shawarma clan has been garnering support over the last few months, and experts say that Ottawa may be posed for an all out shawarma war.
Readers in search of a laugh may soon have to look elsewhere. This week researchers at Carleton University published a study that proves what many have suspected for years: that the golden era of satire news is dead. The study, which was conducted over six months, asked 112 participants to rate various comedic media from “hilarious” (ie. Bill Cosby in The Cosby Show) to “appalling” (ie. Bill Cosby in real life).
Of the comedy formats that were judged, satire news articles came in last, scoring slightly less than prop humour and wedding speeches. Conversely, researchers found that new forms such as $5 comedy specials scored very well, and classics such as “videos of people doing stupid things and getting hurt” remained popular.
Many people are not surprised in the slightest by the rankings. Audiences will always laugh at videos of a cat acting like a person or a song full of puns, but fake news will continue to struggle to be not unbelievable enough. Furthermore, satirical news sites have a long history of causing outrage and angering their readers. When asked for a statement, an editor at Ottawhat? News stated “That’s a terrible idea for an article,” adding, “Don’t write that up, Keegan.”