Well, here we are, the fifth anniversary editorial! Five glorious years of sleaze! I’d like to say that I’ve loved every minute of it, but that would be an outright lie (and we don’t have any of that sort of thing around here, of course). There have been times when I could happily have given up – there have been major reversals in traffic, personal crises and the general indifference of the rest of the online so-called ‘satire’ community. But I’ve stuck it out and here we are; traffic is now hitting record levels and I still haven’t sold out and accepted advertising! Getting back to the rest of the ‘satire’ community, I’d just like to take this opportunity to say a big ‘Up yours!’ to al those sites who have looked down their noses at The Sleaze. You all know who you are with your oh, so superior attitudes, tut-tutting at the kind of subjects we cover here, and our audacity in thinking that satire is a broad-based form of humour. Screw you all, we’ve outlasted quite a few of you bastards and I’m determined to see a few more of you crash and burn.
You know, I really am sick of the kind of puritanical, narrow minded, humourless bastards who seem to set up ‘satire’ sites these days, with their pathetically inadequate and ill-informed definitions of what constitutes satire. Inoffensive family-friendly satire, my arse! If it isn’t offending someone, then it sure as hell isn’t satire! Smart-arsed stories about Dubya’s inability to pronounce the English language or yet another tiresome piece about Blair’s smirk, Michael Howard’s alleged thirst for blood, or Camilla Parker-Bowles’ apparent resemblance to a horse, just won’t cut it. Let’s just look back at the great days of satire in the late 1960s and early 1970s – you wouldn’t find shit like that cluttering up the pages of Oz or IT, (and if you don’t know what those two publications were, there is no way you can claim to be a real satirist). These magazines ranged far and wide in their subject matter, satirising the established perceptions and received wisdom on any thing from sex to religion, and they were never afraid to offend. I’ve said it before in an editorial, and I’ll say it again; smut and satire are inextricably linked, from Aristophanes, through Petronius and Swift to Oz and beyond. The two cannot be separated. So, if you don’t like it, you can take your prissy morals and fuck off.
It has come to my attention that various other parties are attempting to muscle in on my anniversary celebrations – the Pope inconsiderately decides to pop his clogs, Barmy Prince Charlie ties the knot (again) and Blair calls a general election. Well, tough guys, this is my fifth anniversary and I’m not rescheduling! However, some of these events have forced a degree of story rescheduling on this fifth anniversary issue. Whilst the official fifth anniversary story,Deviants Are Forever? has run as planned, subsequent stories have been reordered to reflect current developments, with the first of our Pope-related pieces already published and an election orientated piece next up. One more Pope story is planned (to commemorate the election of a new Pontiff), before we get back on schedule. As the election will be over by early May, I have no intention of flooding The Sleaze with political stories – I’ll leave that to other, lesser, publications! God, that sounded arrogant! But, damn it, I’ve got every right to be arrogant – other ‘satire’ sites have come and gone (anybody remember News At Ten and Brains Trust?), during the life span of The Sleaze. And still we endure! I’d like to think that this is due, in no small measure, to the fact that The Sleaze has developed it’s own, distinctive, brand of satire over the years. In my humble opinion, much US online ‘satire’ is simply glib and empty, all show and no real substance. It’s UK equivalent, on the other hand, tends to come over as smug and superior, despite being equally empty. I sincerely hope that The Sleaze has, by and large, managed to successfully steer a safe course between these ‘satirical’ Scylla and Charybdis.
With luck, you should be reading this on one of The Sleaze‘s new-format pages, which have all been recoded from scratch. The main aim of this change is to make the site friendlier to a wider range of browser resolutions. However, the new templates are still not perfect and it might prove necessary to switch (temporarily, at least) back to the previous, static, format. In practice, the layout of the pages should appear more or less the same. Hopefully, regular readers won’t notice much of a change. All of which technical talk brings me to the issues of fonts, layouts and background colours. If you don’t like the background colours used for text, you have a choice: if it bothers you that much, copy the page into Photoshop and change the colours to suit your whim there; alternatively, just fuck off. Similarly, if you don’t like the font sizes I use, you can either use a browser with adjustable text sizing (like Mozilla), or you can fuck off. If you don’t like my layouts, well, (you’ve guessed it), you can fuck off.
I’m afraid I don’t subscribe to the received wisdom that black text on white backgrounds is somehow the ‘best’ format. It isn’t. It’s simply a hangover from the world of print. The reality is that the harsh contrast it produces is actually very difficult for many people to read (particularly dyslexics). Font sizes: I’m afraid that as these pages are designed to read in a variety of resolutions, I’ve had to compromise with a font size that I (a short-sighted man) find readable in the commonest resolutions. To reiterate, if you don’t like it, fuck off. I’m sorry to bang on about this, but there are a very small minority of readers (always the usual suspects), who persist in whingeing about these aspects of the site. Fuck off, is all I have to say to them. Go nitpick somewhere else and stop trying to impose the archaic conventions of a completely different medium upon the web. If you don’t like my site – fuck off! So, ’til the next time all my little sleazeaholics – keep it sleazy!