Click here if you don’t see subscription options
James T. KeaneApril 01, 2023
"Of course, America, of course." Photo by James T. Keane

Less than a decade after America Media revamped its editorial categories to create space for options like the “Your Take,” “Our Take,” “Short Take” and “Last Take,” the media ministry announced further options today that will allow a greater breadth of expression that is more closely attuned to today’s media environment. “Synergies with social media and an ever-evolving news cycle will be all the greater with these new editorial options,” said one editor, interrupting a colleague at lunch. “We encourage contributors to keep them in mind when submitting proposals or working on already accepted essays.”

New categories for editorial content will include the following:

The Long Take. A prominent feature of America’s coverage in recent years has been its “Short Takes”: smart, informed essays of 800 to 1,000 words by experts on matters affecting the church or civil society. The “Long Take” expands on that idea, allowing for tendentious, somewhat informed, meandering essays that run into the tens of thousands of words and include footnotes, digressions into intramural academic squabbles and a heavy reliance on jargon. The art that accompanies such pieces will always be an image of a medieval globe viewed through a dusty library window, preferably one at Oxford. 

Each headline of a “Hot Take” will begin with “Pope Francis:” regardless of whether or not the article is related to the pontiff.

The Hot Take. Primarily written by editors, “Hot Takes” will be conceived at 4 p.m., approved at 4:30 p.m., published at 5 p.m., and heavily redacted at 1 a.m. Whereas “Short Takes” are written by experts on matters affecting the church or civil society, an absolute requirement of the “Hot Take” will be that the author have zero expertise on the matter at hand but have a large social media following and an invincible sense of authority. Some verbal requirements for the “Hot Take” will be the usage of “forego” when “forgo” is meant, as well as a heavy reliance on passive constructions where “it is asserted.” Dubious understandings of Ignatian spirituality will always find a welcome home here as well. Each headline of a “Hot Take” will begin with “Pope Francis:” regardless of whether or not the article is related to the pontiff.

The Bad Take. An alternative to the "Hot Take" for America's significant corps of writers and readers who do not care for the World Wide Web unless it can be accessed via Compuserve or AOL, the “Bad Take” will feature many of the same characteristics as the “Hot Take,” except it will be carefully planned and executed over the course of many months. It will typically be informed by political categories that are no longer extant and certainly not relevant, be offensive to vast swaths of the readership and may often include mentions of “dames” and “the Levant.” Maudlin references to the long-suffering Irish people will of course always be welcome in the “Bad Take” canon.

That Take. Generated entirely by AI chatbots, the “That Take” will churn through 114 years of America content to produce essays that will cause readers to shake their heads and mutter, “of course, America, of course,” complete with boldface type. On matters political, the “That Take” will always recommend the issue at hand bears watching. On matters cultural, it will compare literally everything to the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola. On matters literary, it will conclude every essay with a paragraph that begins with “that notwithstanding” or a quote from Flannery O’Connor taken wildly out of context, or, ideally, both. Every "That Take," regardless of content, will feature a blurry photo of a woman praying in an empty church.

Happy April Fools’ Day, beloved readers.

The latest from america

sun setting
A Reflection for the Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and companions, by Kevin Clarke
Kevin ClarkeJune 02, 2023
According to many in the Vatican, Archbishop Gänswein’s tell-all book published shortly after Benedict’s death revealed a lack of trustworthiness, loyalty and reserve on the part of a man who was meant to be serving two popes.
Gerard O’ConnellJune 02, 2023
A painting of Galileo, dressed in black, right, facing off against three members of the Roman Inquisition, left.
Facts, as they say, are stubborn things. In defending abortion, some pro-choice activists can only ask women to ignore what their eyes evidently see.
Charles C. CamosyJune 02, 2023
An old teacher once said, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” She was right. An even older Jesuit once said, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly.” He was right, too.
Joe Laramie, S.J.June 02, 2023