The imaginary titles of really terrible Offbeat Empire posts #Editorial#Staff Gossip#editorial strategy January 23 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatariel Each Monday, the Offbeat Empire's editors send me their pitches for the posts they want to produce and schedule for the following week. I go through yaying and naying stuff based on a whole bunch of factors, usually nixing things that I know are going to create a massive shitstorm. (Shitstorms are good for traffic, but generally bad for my soul. I don't need more misanthropy enabling, thanks!) But what if I just let the editors go crazy with their pitches? What if we specialized in shitstorm posts? This was the question I posited to the staff in an email recently, asking them to share the imaginary titles of the most terrible Offbeat Empire posts we would never, ever publish. Then I laughed and laughed and laughed at their responses. And so, just for funsies, here's a short list of the horrific imaginary posts we'd never run… Offbeat Home & Life Who really needs to clean their house, like, ever? And other thoughts Let's talk about these white people being white Pet Death Rituals: Bunny Stew and Other Tasty Recipes All your life decisions are wrong, robots! I'm so offbeat, I'm onbeat again, or am I? (A poem in 4.5 stanzas) Beige is the new rainbow: 7 reasons why you should stop using colorful decor Have you ever noticed how much everyone really hates vegans? Offbeat Families Utero-centric, why it's ok to ask about your sex life as long as you're trying to get knocked up I changed my mind and so will you: Child-Free isn't a real thing My doctor wants to zap my baby with alien rays: HELP Am I wrong for not wanting to mutilate my son's tiny pink penis? Is it true vaccines really have pig spleens in them and they're going to kill my baby? You call it discipline, I call it child abuse: who's totally wrong and should feel really bad?! Sleep training: selfishly prioritizing your own needs over your child's emotional development, or just a terrible thing you do because you're an awful person who's awful? Offbeat Bride 7 reasons why you should contact people you hate and tell them they're not invited to your wedding, SO THERE I'm not a special snowflake. I'm a unique droplet of precipitation. How losing weight helped me gain acceptance from my wedding guests Mother-in-laws and extended family: why you should just totally ignore their opinions about your wedding Cupcakes: so last year or so last decade? Showering alone: The untold story of one bride who just bought all the shit she wanted instead of asking for everything. Offbeat Empire Facebook and politics: just do it The Empire gets bought out by Rupert Murdoch (and it's going to be ok! no, seriously!) I don't have any money for this shit: why you're a bad person because you do Alright, you know you want to play. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. @offbeatariel @offbeatbride PREVIOUS Inclusive advertising that doesn't pander NEXT Favorite comments: Offbeat Aunt-ing, re-framing parental drama, and hipster rats Toggle comments [ 100 ] I'm got no creative juices right now, but can we have 1 week when the editors get to add inappropriate subtitles to each post?! 20 agree Reply I can't decide which made me laugh more "My doctor wants to zap my baby with alien rays: HELP" or "Showering alone: The untold story of one bride who just bought all the shit she wanted instead of asking for everything." or "I don't have any money for this shit: why you're a bad person because you do" 7 agree Reply For Offbeat Home & Life: "Why wearing a bra and shaving your legs makes you part of the patriarchy" 43 agree Reply Offbeat Bride: "How close to the wedding date can I switch my partner for someone else and still have the wedding?" "Pretending you're going to have a normal ceremony to get you families to help foot the bill & then surprising them on the day!" Offbeat Families "Concealing from your husband that he's not the father of the child." Offbeat Home & Life "How to integrate your zombie apocalypse style into your day job: weapons, blood, torn clothing and no showering before work!" 25 agree Reply Offbeat Bride: "How close to the wedding date can I switch my partner for someone else and still have the wedding?" My cousin used to work in a hotel and once took a booking for a wedding 18 months in advance. Shortly before the day, the couple came in to check the final details and the groom was a different guy. I have always wondered how that conversation went. 'We're getting married! Awesome! We have so much to plan!' 'It's OK, honey, I got this.' 9 agree Reply Ooo, fun! Offbeat Family: "Is that a CAPRI SUN?!?": Maintaining Moral Superiority at the Playground. Purple Twinkie: How to beef up your birth stories to scare pregnant women. "What's wrong with his head?": Making Sure New Parents Don't Get Too Smug "Rub some dirt on it, you'll be fine,": Parenting Tips from Your Drunk Uncle Poop: A Pictoral Guide* *I cheated, this exists already. Offbeat Empire: "Click it, bitches!": Monetizing Your Site, Regardless of Content Conferences: They're About the Swag, Dummy. "Hello, I'm Ariel Meadow Stallings and you're not.": Building an Offbeat Empire as a Secret Republican 47 agree Reply HAHAHAHAHA these are all amazing! But purple twinkie? I wish I hadn't googled that. 2 agree Reply REALLY?!? That's a real thing. Now I have to google it! 1 agrees Reply Sigh it's nice to know that experience had such a colorful name to go along with it. Things they should REALLY tell you BEFORE you get pregnant!!! 0 agree Reply Ok I love the parenting tips from your drunk uncle…..and why are you over here making funny comments and not entertaining me on your own blog? 8 agree Reply Ooo…busted. 0 agree Reply "Click it, bitches!" nearly killed me. 15 agree Reply The Capri Sun made me literally lol! 1 agrees Reply Yeah…you rocked this! These cracked up! 0 agree Reply "All the ways you've screwed up your child for life" 10 agree Reply "How I Convinced the Neighborhood Children to Join my Cult." "You're Better Off Alone." "Should I come out to my partner before or after the wedding?" "The Secret to a Great School Bake Sale: Betty Crocker and Mary Jane." "Should I start an affair with my married boss?" "Using your neighbor's Wi-Fi: Save money by taking advantage of the stuff people don't protect!" 27 agree Reply Awesome! 0 agree Reply "Using your neighbor's Wi-Fi: Save money by taking advantage of the stuff people don't protect!" I'm flinching after finally catching up on"The Bells of St. John" (Doctor Who) today. MUST NOT CLICK THE SQUIGGLES- no matter how pretty they are! 0 agree Reply Offbeat bride: Why a meat dress in Florida is a FANTASTIC idea in the middle of August. If your partner looks at porn once you are married you are going down divorce road. Offbeat Empire I know how to Wins the Internetz and I'm not telling, Neener, Neener, Neener :p Offbeat Home & Life How being a closed minded racist bastard helped me make friends in Camden. How Obama is Secretly Spying on You! Welcome our newest sponsor to Offbeat Home and Life: Mitt Romney! Gun Safety: Why randomly shooting a gun into the air is perfectly safe. Why are women such awful drivers? Offbeat Families Why We Need to Institute a Child Limit on Everyone in the World! The Latest Fad in Family Fun, Dead Babies Sling Shot! How my family was brought closer together by orgies 7 agree Reply I'd actually read that last one with a great interest! 9 agree Reply Seconded! 3 agree Reply HAHAHA omg! I just about died over the "dead babies sling shot"! 1 agrees Reply Are you a baby? If so, make sure you donate your corpse to the article writer for research. 6 agree Reply FOR SCIENCE! 10 agree Reply Offbeat Bride: Butt-Ugly Bridesmaids' Dresses; totally get back at your cousin! Offbeat Home and Life: Cats: No One Cares Offbeat Families: Dexter: Tips for Turning Your Precious Little One into a Serial Killer 17 agree Reply Bonus points if you include bridesmaid pictures from previous Offbeat Bride posts. 8 agree Reply LOL CATS NO ONE CARES. 14 agree Reply Nooooo!!!! Cats the superior race…..!! 3 agree Reply Offbeat Home & Life: "How repressing my sexuality saved my relationship" "I can't afford to own my own home – should I even bother trying to find fulfillment?" "The busybody's guide to interrogating acquaintances about their dietary choices" Offbeat Families "Frilly pink little girl's clothing roundup – where has it all been hiding?" "10 ways to live vicariously through your child by forcing them to play the sports and instruments you could never master" "Why I will never leave my incompetent husband alone with the children EVER AGAIN" Offbeat Bride "Your wedding is wrong, and here's why – acquiescing to all of your loved ones' demands" "What do you MEAN you're not taking his last name?" "How marriage will change everything about who you used to be" Offbeat Empire "5 hot tips from prominent Republican senators about writing for primarily female audiences" "Let's laugh over all these rejected post submissions!" "How to capitalize on people feeling bad about themselves" 21 agree Reply "Let's laugh over all these rejected post submissions!" OH LORD! 21 agree Reply I'd read it. This probably makes me a terrible person. 24 agree Reply "Full Metal Rainbow : How to Out Your Gay Family Members at Your Reception" "Can I Just Kill the Damn Bugs with Insecticide Already?" "Handling Peanut Allergies: Whatever Happened to Concentration Camps?" "No, You Cannot Call Yourself An Offbeat Bride If Your Wedding Dress Was White. Or a Dress." 12 agree Reply "No, You Cannot Call Yourself An Offbeat Bride If Your Wedding Dress Was White. Or a Dress." Hahahaha, I laughed so hard. 10 agree Reply OMG! peanut allergies! killing me here! XD 0 agree Reply A Bridesmaid's Tale: 'No, Your Strapless Dress Doesn't Give You Back Fat' And Other Lies I Told My Sister "Mason Jars: Quirky, Affordable Decor That No One Has Ever Used Before You, Ever" Sponsored Post by BHLDN: Buying This Tandem Bike For $1,500 Just for 10 Minutes of Photos Will Guarantee Eternal Happiness, a Drama-free Wedding Day and Clean Drinking Water for the Developing World" http://www.bhldn.com/shop%2ddecor%2ddecorations/bowery%2dlane%2dtandem%2dbicycle/productoptionids/f314d873-ef50-4ba8-88ab-7e634f1f2445 14 agree Reply "What better keepsake for after your big day than something you truly can only do together?" Shudder 0 agree Reply Ha! These are great. Strapless dresses, ALL LIES! 1 agrees Reply "You still haven't gotten married yet? Why long engagements are stupid." 6 agree Reply "My son is gay. How do I fix him?" 9 agree Reply Offbeat Families: – "Remember, there's no right way to raise a child." Offbeat Home & Life: – "An exhaustive list of reasons men can't be interested in Offbeat Home & Life" Offbeat Bride: – "Suck it, Granny: Why etiquette is irrelevant" 5 agree Reply I just imagined the look of horror my sweet grandmother would have if this were ever uttered in her presence. I died. 0 agree Reply HAHAHAHA!!! Sooo amazing. April fools is coming… 20 agree Reply I wish I could "THIS!" this a thousand times. I would LOVE to see some of these fleshed out as a joke! 4 agree Reply Offbeat Bride: "What the colour of your dress says about your sex life." Offbeat Families: "10 reasons to never ever have children." Offbeat Home: "How I learned to love the mop and become a perfect housewife" For any of the above: "Husband Training: How to turn the first guy you meet into Mr Perfect in 6 weeks" 12 agree Reply Guaranteed to cause more of a fuss than you think, if the other forum I hang out on is any indication: "Letting your cat outside: Why you might as well just murder it with your own two hands and then go shit in all your neighbors gardens." 24 agree Reply LMAO 1 agrees Reply I have seen this "debate" and it gets UGLY. 0 agree Reply Also: "'Just scrape the meat off': a hostess's guide to accommodating special diets." (Follow up post: "They probably don't have a real allergy anyway.") 22 agree Reply I DIE. Related: No, it's Seitan! Really! 9 agree Reply "Have you ever noticed how much everyone really hates vegans?" I lol-ed. Pit of snaaaaakes!!!!! 32 agree Reply Offbeat Bride: "It's not a real wedding unless you have x item" "Ball busters: why women should always wait for him to propose" Offbeat Families: "Why my family emigrated to Mars" "Raising kids to be gender normative" Offbeat Home: "Wild apartment decor: using panda skins in your home" 8 agree Reply Offbeat Home: "Wild apartment decor: using panda skins in your home" GENIUS! 0 agree Reply Bride: – "You Say Bridezilla Like Its a Bad Thing: It's My Big Day, So Suck It Up" – "Why I'm Not Having Food at My Reception" A treatise on how food allergies are probably made up, anyway. Mama: – "Question from a Reader: Seriously Mamas, why won't your kids shut the fuck up when you're in public?" – "Fact: Hospital Births are Definitely Best for Baby" Home: – "Horse meat… the new chicken? Six awesome recipes." – "How I Learned to Stop DIYing and Love the Consumerist Machine" Empire: – "Haha Just Kidding, We're Really Doing this to Source Content For [Snarksite]" – "Our Next Book Due March 2013! PS We're ripping off all your photos and DIYs and claiming them as our own." 10 agree Reply Bride "Budgets are made to be broken and 7 other ways to get into debt" "Calligraphy is the most important thing evar!" "What your guests really think of your DIY" "Bathroom baskets, favors, personalized toilet paper, and other wedding essentials you won't really be married without!" Home "Subway rats, cockroaches and other urban eats!" "They need the protein, how to hide meat for your vegetarian friends" Family "Whiskey, cough syrup and other ways to shut that baby up" "42 reasons why kids need a mommy and a daddy" "My left handed child is possessed: A DIY exorcism story" 8 agree Reply A new regular feature all across the Empire: The Label-Maker: Why Your Self-Identification is WRONG! 12 agree Reply HA!! Alternate title: "You don't get to call yourself a lesbian: you only slept with one girl, and she didn't actually get off." 39 agree Reply Ooh, college flashback! Luckily, I upgraded to a liquid-proof keyboard a while back. 4 agree Reply Alternate title: You're Marrying a Woman, Therefore You Are a Lesbian No Matter How You Feel Damn It 10 agree Reply Related post: "SURPRISE: We decided to tag your wedding as 'plus-size' (hope you don't mind)" 35 agree Reply alternate alternate title – you married a man so therefore you are no longer bisexual 17 agree Reply How to get your holiday guests to eat your placenta 14 agree Reply Family: -Uncircumcised? GROSS. -10 Things to Avoid (Or You'll Mess Up Your Kid for Life) -Only Pedos Breastfeed -Placentas are Freaking Disgusting (and 10 more reasons to avoid waterbirth) -C-Sections: Abusive, or Merely Terrible? -Jenny McCarthy guest posts "Why vaccines are evil" -Judging Other Mommies is Fun -There's a Dad at the Playground – Is he just a creep, or a bona fide sex offender? 9 agree Reply Bride "It's not Offbeat unless your vows mention the zombie apocalypse" "Why not having favors makes you a BAD HOST" "Vote for the best wedding ever featured on Offbeat Bride!" Families "Your baby isn't as cute as you think it is: a Flickr pool roundup!" "DIY paternity test tutorial" "Is it cool to trade if my baby isn't the gender I wanted?" Home/Life "How to throw the best Valentine's Day party ever, for just $10,000" "Things around the house I didn't know were crawling with bacteria" "CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS" Eh, who am I kidding? I would totally read that last one. 12 agree Reply OH OH OH and is that one of the new Offbeat Bride characters up top?! 1 agrees Reply Good eye. That's Betty. She'll be making her debut soon. 5 agree Reply I want to write "CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS CATS" 8 agree Reply Please do! I would read the shit out of it. 6 agree Reply Family Kids Don't Need Veggies- The New Meat only Diet for a Stronger Youth. Home Never Wash a Dish Again- Let the Dog do it, Your Guests Will Never Know. Bride How to Tell Your Parents the Theme for Your Wedding is BDSM, and You Have Already Picked Their Outfits. 16 agree Reply Home Never Wash a Dish Again- Let the Dog do it, Your Guests Will Never Know. Ha! I briefly lived with people who would constantly let their dog lick the plates when they were done eating. Never was I so happy to do the dishes! 4 agree Reply My grandpa has a great story about a bachelor he knew back in the day that did his dishes like this! 0 agree Reply This is fantastic. Though the part of my brain that loves futile challenges wants to try to come up with articles that could have those titles but be thoughtful, reasonable, and positive. As for my contributions… Bride "How To Call Off Your Wedding, But Keep The Presents!" Home and Life "Advice: How Can I Get My Roommates To Stop Freaking Out That I Spent My Rent Money on Beer?" Families "Combining Exercise, Discipline, and Fun: The Pros of Shaking Your Baby!" Empire "No More Fucks To Give: Why We're Done Moderating Comments" 10 agree Reply "No More Fucks To Give: Why We're Done Moderating Comments" …I feel like this post is almost that: http://offbeatempire.com/2012/12/clicks-dont-lie 3 agree Reply "The Pros of Shaking Your Baby!" of all the comments on here, actually made my jaw drop. Well done! 2 agree Reply Maternity Leave Projects: what to do with all that free time when the baby is sleeping Hugs are overrated: why you really don't need to waste time snuggling with your baby My baby slept through the night at 2 days old and yours can too! 4 agree Reply Is it a bad thing that I could write the bunny stew article…? It would be thoughtful and respectful and true, but it would still totally be about killing bunnies… 2 agree Reply We've actually already done that post: http://offbeathome.com/2011/09/farming-rabbit-meat 2 agree Reply Bunnies are delicious! My grandpa used to buy live rabbits at farms and kill them at home for my grandma to cook. 0 agree Reply Hah! We're totally serving rabbit stew at our wedding, for reals! 0 agree Reply Home and Life: "Your classy adult condo makes me sad about my garage sale furniture" "The difference between civilized wine tasting parties and puking on your party dress in the backyard: a comparison" "I still don't really understand escrow or how checking accounts work: why I fail as an adult" Families: "'Your screaming toddler makes me want to get my tubes tied', and other polite conversation" "I like sleeping in and eating out: 100 other reasons why I'm sticking to cats" "Setting up social media for your uterus, because everybody needs to know your reproductive business" Bride: "Your taste in music sucks and you have a cash bar: why no one is dancing" "'You're not losing 20lbs before the wedding just get the correct size', and other helpful things to tell your bridesmaids" "Divorced before the thank yous are out: was that $30,000 worth it?" Empire: "Just kidding, your wedding is a competition and you lost!" 8 agree Reply Screaming toddlers are why I don't have kids and I have seriously thought about getting my tubes tied which probably explains why I am a cat person because dogs are like kids, too much work for me. These are totally legit articles to write about. Love it. 2 agree Reply "I still don't really understand escrow or how checking accounts work: why I fail as an adult" Okay, I get the checking account thing, but replace that with "and wtf does "fully vested" mean anyway?" and I'm so in need of an "I fail as an adult" article! 6 agree Reply I would actually love to see that article. Especially if it was full of helpful, bit commedic information. 8 agree Reply The Ooh Shit Girl image is still cracking me UP. I can just HEAR it. 1 agrees Reply Offbeat Family: Attachment Parenting: Easier with Duct Tape & Wire Ties. How dare that kid's head was where my kid's fist wanted to be: Or how to deal with principal calls about playground fights. Spotty Went to the Farm to Live with Santa Claus Offbeat Bride: Liposuction Bachelorette Parties We know you can't pick out shoes by yourselves. 5 agree Reply Offbeat Meat 2 agree Reply A recipe? Porn? YOU decide. 12 agree Reply Families: "Why you should reinforce shame and validate your child's insecurities." Bride: "'You crippled him emotionally and ruined my sex life!' Your reception is the right time to confront your mother-in-law." Oh dear, I fear there might be a theme here… lol 3 agree Reply Offbeat Bride: My Fire Spinners Melt Your Ice Sculpture: How to Get Married the Same Day As Your Freemen Offbeat Home: 21 Ways to Make a Telemarketer Cry Offbeat Families: Never Have Kids, and Other Life Hacks 4 agree Reply Family At what point do you NOT leave nail clippings in the carpet…. The end of the age old fight : toilet paper over or under. Bride: 5 Ways to make your bridesmaids suffer in heels. Including grass, mud and open-hole brickwork. The ceremomy aisle : does size matter? Length? sidenote: if longer than a football field – consider flats. 0 agree Reply for ALL sites: Stop Making Me Feel Bad: Why Your 'Different' Choices Make Me Feel Inferior, And How That's Your Fault (You Smug Cow) 6 agree Reply My kids Love Their AK47's: Bringing heavy artillery to the Mommy Wars 2 agree Reply Giving Parenting Advice: How to make sure family, friends and strangers really get that they're doing it Wrong. 2 agree Reply Bride: 10 things you MUST HAVE at your wedding Top 10 signs your wedding is tacky How to tell if you're being a Bridezilla Families: Why you should EBF, CD, EC, CoS, BW and DIY. A guide to not fucking up your kids for life. How to protect your children from growing up and becoming Republicans. 3 agree Reply These ones are the best: "I changed my mind and so will you: Child-Free isn't a real thing" "How losing weight helped me gain acceptance from my wedding guests" HAHA "Facebook and politics: just do it" 4 agree Reply Alternate title: How my agressive hourly facebook posts changed thousands of people's minds to vote for my candidate 2 agree Reply Offbeat Bride: "Why we couldn't dig up great-grandpa to attend the wedding" "Help! My mom wants to make it a double-wedding so she can marry the pool boy and not pay anything!" "Legal matters when marrying an alien from Betelguese" Offbeat Families: "Okay, husband, you want kids? YOU give birth to them and keep them in the shed!" "Your kid's name isn't offbeat enough" "Is it okay for my toddler to teethe on a Sonic Screwdriver if I neutralize it?" Offbeat Home & Life: "How having a sugar daddy solved all my household finances" "Why introverts should never throw parties (hint: you don't know anybody)" "HELP! My boyfriend's cat surfs on his back while we have sex!" 3 agree Reply "I'm not a special snowflake. I'm a unique droplet of precipitation." Made me laugh so hard. 0 agree Reply "Non-traditional marriages have higher divorce rates and Other Reasons You Should Have Cold Feet." 1 agrees Reply Jokes on You! Why we faked 30 hours of downtime to watch everyone panic Commenting on old posts hurts the empire! EVERYONE JUST STOP READING THE BASIL POST, I AM SICK OF IT!!! ….I need a hobby or maybe drugs for ADD. 4 agree Reply "….I need a hobby or maybe drugs for ADD" is a really great post for Offbeat Families. 0 agree Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. 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