The Onion Dome: a Brief History

The Onion Dome began with an article I wrote in June of 2002. I emailed it to a couple of friends, and one of them suggested I put it on the web. At the time I had a website of my own, and I created a subdomain and put it there.

Before long I purchased the domain theoniondome.com, and began publishing there. It puttered along pretty somnolently until another friend posted the “Ninth Tone” article to a mailing list he was on. Then things really began hopping!

I bravely held forth by myself at the rate of one post per week for the rest of 2002 and all of 2003. By the end of 2003 I was ready to bring some others on board, and in January, 2004, Jan Bear and Marie Moffitt became my writers and I was promoted to the rank of intrepid editor (though still writing articles most weeks). Many other writers have come and gone: some becoming regulars for a time and some sporadic or one-time contributors; some under their own names and some under pen-names (and one who graduated from the latter to the former).

At the peak, we were receiving about 4,000 unique visitors per month.

Things sputtered out in October of 2005, as I grew tired of the effort to get something up every week. We picked up again in February of 2006, at which point we went from weekly to monthly publication. In November of 2007 we picked up Brigid Strait, who at the current time is my only (remaining) co-writer.

By the beginning of 2010 I was completely burned out, in large part due to having lost my job in September, 2009, and not yet having found a replacement (I have since found not only a new job but a new career; now instead of being a database code jockey, I teach 8th grade math). The March, 2010, issue was the last of the original Onion Dome. I hung up my spurs, put the domain name in mothballs (but retained it!), and attended to other things.

Brigid was disconsolate, and soon started her own admirable blog, 19th Century Russia, with her own works, and contributions from some former Onion Dome writers as well.

By October of 2010, I felt ready to write again, and started a blog called “Is Outrage!” At first I ran mostly old stories I had lying around, as well as autobiographical pieces and a bit of political satire. Within a month I started tossing some old Onion Dome stories in the mix, and then in January of 2011, I published my first original Father Vasiliy story since December of 2009, “Seven Habits of Highly Orthodox People.”

Before long the blog had developed a split personality, with new Orthodox satire and Onion Dome reruns being my Dr. Hyde, and the political satire, my Mr. Jeckell. In early October, 2011, I realized that the two audiences were too disparate for a single blog, so I created the Onion Dome 2.0, and moved all of the Orthodox stories there. Which is to say, here! And here we are. I have since disbanded “Is Outrage!” and replaced it with “Temporary Sanity,” on which I mostly post song parodies, cartoons by my own hand, and short stories I have written.

Thanks for reading the Onion Dome, and for reading this page. Please subscribe, drag all your friends over, and buy my book Is Outrage!, which is a collection of stories from the original Onion Dome featuring or in some way involving Father Vasiliy. More than one third of people who have bought the book have said nice things about it, so it must be good!

Thank you again!

Copyright © 2011–2014 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.

Current as of 6 Sep 2014.

5 comments on “The Onion Dome: a Brief History

  1. Huzzah! I just discovered OD 2.0. I had not know it existed. I mourned the demise of 1.0, and when a friend said to me recently that the Onion Dome was still up and running, I though he was delusional and prayed for him. And here it is. Oh, joy!

  2. Former Deuce Reporter, checking in.

  3. Wow. I clicked on this thinking I was going to learn about a brief history of onion domes. As an the architectural structure, not this.

  4. I just discovered The Onion Dome today. I found myself diligently defending my position when somebody started a response with “Is Outrage!”

    I am delighted to see that my own dry (and often twisted) sense of humor really does exist within Orthodoxy. My ROCOR Spiritual Father had it, but since he fell asleep a year ago, I did not think that I would ever find it again!

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