The Chaser Quarterly
The story of the project
Unfortunately, our initial financial projections about the profitability of our Friendster business model proved somewhat over-optimistic, and the team was forced into the indignity of hosting popular television shows just to make ends meet. Some even ended up on Channel 7.
And so, 16 years after The Chaser started in print, and nearly five years after we last updated our website, The Chaser has decided to return to its roots, in the form of The Chaser Quarterly.
The Chaser Quarterly addresses the key problem of our time: namely – there is not enough content in this world.
Using a unique patent-pending Content Generation System (“writing”), our highly trained Chaser Content Specialists (“writers”), will use bleeding-edge, state of the art technology (“computers”) to create long-form graphical internet essays (“memes”), tailor-made for a world bereft of content.
Given the current furore over coal-fired power in Australia, we have decided to take an important environmental stand, and supply our content in a portable format that requires absolutely no electricity to consume – by firing up the printing presses once again. That’s right – we’ve having a party and Gutenberg himself is invited. 100 pages, full colour, B4, on the kind of paper stock that makes Etsy users go weak at the knees. If that’s not going to be a collectors item, I don’t know what is.
How the funds will be used
(The Chaser’s proposed Irish headquarters. Source: Apple).
The structure that we wish to set up is known in tax avoidance circles as the “Double Irish Dutch Sandwich”, and it involves setting up our global headquarters in Ireland and making sure all our intellectual property is owned there, and then washing our vast profits through Luxembourg first, before heading off to Bermuda to accumulate peacefully in a blissful, stateless and (most importantly) tax-minimised existence.
This type of structure does not come cheap. The government filing fees are relatively inexpensive (around $400-$500 per tax haven), but it’s the tax consultants where we’ll be spending the bulk of our money. So let’s chalk that up as $2,000 for filing fees and several million dollars on tax lawyers.
Of course, just because we’ll be a stateless entity accountable to nobody doesn’t mean we won’t be transparent about these arrangements. Indeed, in each edition of The Chaser Quarterly, there will be a full report from the Chief Financial Officer, which will innumerate in clear accountable terms, just how many public hospital beds we’ve managed to avoid funding through our – completely legal – tax minimisation.
This is also apply to all other aspects of our sprawling global conglomerate. The CFO will also be responsible for annual reports outlining any incidences of child labour in our supply chain, and quantifying exactly how much money such practices save you, the consumer, each year.
Then there are $28,000 in production costs. These include printing the publication ($15,000), distribution costs ($6,000), postage ($2,000) and PR and promotion ($5,000).
Then there are management costs. The Chaser has always tried to replicate the management structures of the companies it most admires. Luckily, the companies we most admire happen to be those with the highest Gini co-efficient. In particular, Pimcowhich has a more unequal pay structure than the most unequal country on earth. In fact, at Pimco, the top six employees (0.3% of their workforce) take home 25% of the pay. That gives us all something to aspire to, really.
However, for the sake of appearances, The Chaser team members have agreed to be paid in kind. In particular, in a kind of caviar, known as Beluga caviar. It costs around $9,995 per kilogram, and it is quite delicious so we’re going to need a couple of kilos. Let’s call it $20,000 to be safe. Plus we’ll need some Moet to wash it down, so let’s call it an even $25,000.
Whatever is left over after all these essential costs are paid first, will be divided evenly among the creatives: the writers, cartoonists, illustrators and graphic designers. We’re sure they’ll be willing to do it for the love of their craft, as well as the “exposure” from being in such a prestigious publication. But it’s good to pay them something. Let’s call it $300.
This brings the total budget to $2,055,300 (including tax lawyers), which means that if we raise $50,000, we should be in for a healthy tax loss of $2,005,300. Happy days.
(One of the rainforests we’ve pre-logged to ensure ample supply of paper for the Chaser Quarterly)
Also, several key team members have developed narcolepsy following head injuries sustained in the rush to get onstage at the Logies. Getting them to deliver copy in time may be a challenge. In order to overcome this issue, we have lined up – through Airtasker.com – several Bangladeshi writers, who are standing by to be able to ghost-write blistering Australian political satire from their sweatshop in Dhaka.
Okay, so… but… what is it?
It will include contributions from many of the original contributors, including David Stewart, Shane Cubis, Andrew Hansen, Chris Taylor, Craig Reucassel, Fiona Katauskas, Andrew Weldon, Oliver Watts, Johanna Featherstone and Gregor Stronach as well as a host of new contributors, including David Hunt (“Girt”), James Jericho (The Shovel), Stewart McCure (Theatresports) and Nik & Kristian Barron (nothing notable).