The 'Shroom:Issue 140/Fake News
Hey all! Welcome back to the penultimate edition of Fake News this year!
I have an announcement - in the issue next month (December), Superchao (talk) - our sub-director - will be doing a special one-off Ask Perch section! Please be sure to send him any questions you may have.
Section of the Month
There can never be something more important in this world than knowing what and how you need to do something. And one of the most informative ways to get this information is through signs, yet sadly the residents of this universe have lost some of that coveted information, as all of the signs, otherwise known as Boards have died. Yes, as it turns out, wooden signs can actually die.
The three dead boards were known as Gil Board, Bill Board, Phil Board and Jill Board, but no amount of puns in their names could save them from their fate. As residents of the Mushroom Universe began heading online to guides to get their information, the decision was taken at the highest level to dispose of the signs and transform them in a log fire for Princess Peach.
Princess Peach was not immediately available for comment, but a source close to her told me that the boards performed admirably in their new role, even if they were only to be used the once. One resident of Princess Peach's Castle, Toad, told me: “The Boards, especially that Gil Board, were able to keep everyone in the entire castle warm, which is especially good given this time of year.” When asked about where it was right to burn Gil Board, given his sentience as a living board, the Toad quickly ran and hid in a closet, and refused to come out.
Friends of the Boards were all silent, although that is likely because they are wooden boards and therefore had no way to actually speak to me. In all honesty, I don't know if any of the boards I talked to were aware of their comrades' death, and I certainly don't know how sane I looked talking to a host of boards. The residents of the Beanbean Kingdom were giving me some extremely strange looks.
There will be no funeral for either Gil Board, Bill Board, Phil Board or Jill Board as they were all cremated, however a letter from someone named as Kill Board has promised retribution will be delivered to Princess Peach and her subjects.
What’s purple, fictional and informative on the subject of Mushroom Kingdom television scheduling? That’s right, it’s TV Tomorrow! Here once again for November to help you keep up with all the necessary television you need to watch, provided it is airing tomorrow. As usual, here are the top three shows for this month!
Bowser and Co.
Captured by an Ape
Piranha Plants: Plant or Myth?
There’s always some really great television showing around November and it was a really hard decision to pick just three. So don’t limit your choice to this - there’s plenty of excellent Mushroom Kingdom programming out there. Some of the best stuff even features Wario, which is especially surprising considering his relationship with the television industry. Anyway, I’ll stop going on and on and let you move on to the next article. See you next time!
Flavio’s brilliance shines through in this month’s choice of location. From my colleagues in the industry of entertainment, I have learned that it is necessary to, before and after a major advancement of the plot, it is necessary to relax standards, to keep budgets low and effort minimal. In the industry, such work is known as filler, but to Flavio, that word is… distasteful. The name makes it sound as though the content creator has not put forth their full effort, has not worked with the whole of their passions and creative stirrings. To do so would be unforgivable. So, I shall not call this report filler, such a repugnant term shall not escape the lips of Flavio. With a grand finale coming up to close out the year, though, I had to work within a few constraints this month. First, this venture being self-financed and the majority of this year’s remaining funds being required to fund next month’s finale, it was necessary that I could properly evaluate the business of interest with a minimal amount of spending. Second, with recent issues of a social variety, it was necessary that I select a business that had no grounds on which to refuse me service. Pondering this issue, Flavio came to a realization. What better business to evaluate than one that offers cheap service, dedicates its purpose to the free dissemination of information, and that as a point of policy welcomes all kinds through its doors? Yes, Flavio has opted to visit and evaluate the Toad Town branch of the rapidly expanding Lakitu Info Center.
The monument to news and gossip stands next to the Toad Town Post Office, a placement symbolic of the union between journalist and courier. This particular branch is the headquarters of the business, though most residents of the Mushroom Kingdom are well aware of the proliferation of branches, with some even opening in the Koopa Kingdom. Flavio begrudgingly admires the success and principles of the institution; I must on principle support any institution that makes its mission one of education. As the Lakitu Info Center’s mission statement puts it, the organization is “dedicated to the reporting of facts to all who will read them in order to create an informed and engaged world and foster understanding of different ways of life”. A noble goal, to be certain. Yet, I have reservations about the owners of this institution. Flavio cannot deny the Lakitu their credit. They are well known as a productive, organized, and efficient people, a people who embrace the journalistic spirit, constantly gathering and relaying information. Before the Lakitu Info Center, they have had great success organizing races, even creating a Mario Kart TV service that has captured the public’s attention. Before this, their Kingdom News Network began dominating the airwaves of the Mushroom Kingdom after covering Mario’s liberation of Princess Toadstool’s castle some years ago. The Lakitu, a truly industrious species, have found prosperity as reporters and business owners for many years. With the wealth gathered from their various endeavors, a group of prominent Lakitu pooled their resources and financed the creation of the Lakitu Info Center.
Yet, as noble as their stated purposes are and as admirable as their work ethic is, the Lakitu have not shied away from underhanded tactics in the past. Extortion of celebrities on whom they possessed compromising information, accusations that they required payment from businesses in return for continued recommendations from Lakitu-owned travel and information services, and the continued spread of gossip and fake news that undermines trust as it sells papers marrs the image of the Lakitu. Any group or person who becomes the gatekeeper of information, no matter how honorable they may seem, becomes a threat. Flavio fears that these underhanded tactics have become an integral part of the Lakitu Info Center’s business model. While it is true that anyone is entitled to come and pick up a newspaper for free, this is considered “middle-tier” news. In addition to this middle-tier, cheap tabloids full of gossip and serial novels unsuitable for polite company are provided for poorer residents, and high-cost subscription plans offer “more extensive analyses and high-quality commentary” for those who can afford them. As detestable as it was, Flavio prepared himself for his task by reading through the low-tier tabloids. Unsurprisingly, the presentation of a given event differed enormously from the presentation in Flavio’s usual sources of news, the high-tier journals and gazettes. As a matter of fact, it was almost as though the news aimed at each group blamed the other class for society’s ills. While riling readers up and crafting for them a narrative in which there is an easily identifiable villain to be presented as part of an indistinct “other” is an ingenious strategy for selling papers, such a strategy carries with it very disturbing long-term implications. As if these fundamental issues in the business’ structure was not enough, the owners of the Lakitu Info Center possess such considerable wealth that the offer of their financial aid can “convince” anyone to promote their interests and positions. Of course, the Lakitu Info Center is not above asking that those projects it chooses to fund advertise its products. Certainly, any group or individual, even one who would accept funding for, perhaps as an example, a grand finale, ought to include a disclaimer noting their sources of funding and potential conflicts of interest if they were to accept funding from the Lakitu Info Center. For this reason, Flavio must admit that the Bush and Cloud Gazette carries such a disclaimer. In truth, this is a reflection of the paper’s journalistic integrity. Flavio admires this dedication to reporting the issues and is proud to read its engaging articles each month, an experience which even you, Flavio’s dear readers, can have for a small subscription fee of four hundred coins a year.
While I have my concerns about the Lakitu Info Center, I must admit that my visit to the Toad Town Branch went exceptionally well. Flavio was pampered. A Lakitu quickly rushed over to ensure I found a comfortable seat and provide me with a complimentary newspaper. The Kingdom’s Chronicle is free and respectable, a rare combination. I was offered a refreshing cup of Lakitea, Not only was the drink cheap, merely costing me twenty coins, but it was nutritious and sweet, a result of it being infused with a secret recipe of Lakipea leaves and herbs found in the Gloomy Woods. It is a welcome source of warmth in this cold season, and readers should know it is always available at your nearest Lakitu Info Center. Why, with just five coins more for the Sky-Blue Pipe Post, a visitor can have a drink and catch up on recent world events while reading exclusive interviews with the land’s biggest stars. Flavio has never encountered such an offer, that provides so much value to a customer at such a low price. Of course, if the news isn’t enough for customers, the Lakitu Info Center will soon be opening an arcade, an enjoyable distraction from a chaotic world. Be sure to rest your mind and body in the arcade space, where food, drink and tokens will be offered for fair and reasonable prices.
Flavio must recommend that you visit the Lakitu Info Center at your earliest opportunity. Allow me to once again stress that I am required to report to you that, despite my deep concerns with the business of the Lakitu, I had an extremely pleasant experience during my visit to the Lakitu Info Center. Now that I have reached my quot- er, Flavio means to say that he has used all the time he alloted to penning this article. I shall prepare a treat for this year’s grand finale. I would be remiss not to plan the most ambitious inspection of a business yet undertaken, after these past few months of pushing the boundaries of business review. Flavio has uncovered great scandals, has separated fraud from genius, and has exposed the moral and ethical faults in the leaders of industry. How do I plan to bring this to a climax? Flavio will not divulge this secret yet. I leave you with this advice, always remain wary of those who deliver your information, and look forwarded to a well-funded grand finale.