Multimedia by Isabel Ríos.

Satire Columnist Writes Vanity Meta-article about Himself or Maybe Something Else Entirely

If you are reading this, The Gazelle made a truly bamboozling editorial decision.

Apr 10, 2021

Just after midnight Sunday morning, The Gazelle made a truly bamboozling editorial decision. Despite their normally rigorous consultation and revision process, The Gazelle published an article that made no clear contribution to critical thought or public discourse within the NYU Abu Dhabi community. The work in question — a meta-piece about the satire columnist who wrote it and the ambiguously self-aware article itself — is expected to produce confusion, mild concern and (hopefully) bemusement among the editors.
“Wait, he’s seriously doing this?” thought the reader as they processed the first part of the quote. “Hold on, what … Why is this article breaking the fourth wall with me?! I didn’t consent to this — what is even happening right now?!”
Rather than club you over the head with unsubtle commentary on collective experiences of the student body, the staff satire columnist instead submitted a piece whose journalistic and artistic merits proved dubious to even himself. The author, who could really use a break and is running out of material, nonetheless felt compelled by community expectation — and a desperate need to procrastinate his capstone — to produce +/– 600 words of hypothetically humorous content.
“This was a rough week if I’m honest,” said the author in quotation marks to maintain the standard interview format of his articles. “I know this may come off as a self-indulgent ego-trip (and I’ll admit it kinda is) but the (largely self-imposed) pressure to constantly try and outdo myself is getting to me. I figured I should take bold creative risk and go all in, then regroup and finish the semester with a return to form.”
Typed out on a Thursday afternoon when he really would prefer to be doing almost anything else, the author struggled to maintain tonal consistency. A crude mix of self-parody and journal entry, the author nonetheless let his stream of consciousness carry him forward lest he should lose too much time writing literal nonsense.
As such, the article began to broach the perpetually escalating existential crisis regarding the fragility of the present moment and the vast ambiguity awaiting the author on May 26. Toeing the line between openly processing vulnerable emotions and blunting them with intellectual distance, the article then cut the tension with a self-deprecating semi-fictitious quote.
“WTF, why are these sentences so long and pretentious?” said one of the editors probably at some point. “Just say that the world is complicated and we all need to humanize each other more. That’s all your apologist persona writes about anyways. Also where are the funny names!? That’s the only reason we bother giving you a blank cheque every week.”
Linking the somewhat forced quotation to the still-unconfronted existential anxiety, the article then sought to temper its vain insecurity with gratitude for the circumstances that enabled its existence. The latest iteration of the author’s cherished ritual and unwavering creative outlet reframed itself accordingly.
As the author closed the article, he continued his standard practice of explicitly and earnestly stating a community development moral otherwise embedded in the ploy of campus caricature. He expressed his profound appreciation for the chance to spread joy and critical thought through objectively ridiculous faux-journalism.
As for the rest of it, he pleaded with the audience to project whatever lesson made most sense to them. Perhaps the work offered critical commentary on mental health, the purpose of The Gazelle as a public platform or something else entirely. Maybe it was 600 words of distilled vanity or maybe it was just an attempt to bring joy to a very particular type of person.
One thing, however, remains certain.
If the new sculpture outside A6 qualifies as art, so does this.
Photo 1
Multimedia by Isabel Ríos.
Ian Hoyt is a Satire Columnist. Email him at
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