Don't you just hate it when somebody completely misses the point of a piece of satire? Indeed, completely miss the point of satire itself? Not surprisingly, I experience quite a lot of this, when people fail to grasp that everything on The Sleaze
is completely fictional and intended to be read as satire. Recently, however, I came across an astounding example which didn't
involve any of my work. What makes this particular example so incredible is that those doing the misunderstanding clearly fancy themselves
as satirists. To cut to the point, I had the misfortune to stumble across a right-wing would-be humour site
that seems to see its role as redressing the balance against all us naughty left-wingers (or 'progressives' as it likes to call anybody who doesn't embrace the Bush world-view). As a response to similarly photo shopped images of Bush, it presented two pictures of Barack Obama, one in the guise of Mad Magazine
's Alfred E Newman and the other showing him as Hitler. Now, this is their 'ironic' justification of these pictures:"Leave it to rightwingers to describe Barack Obama as Hitler, Alfred E. Newman, or Barakula! Progressive satirists would've never done this to Republican candidates! We would've never printed a picture of George Bush as Alfred E. Newman on a magazine cover and ranked it in top 40 best magazine covers! Progressives would've never put a mustache on Bush's face and call him Bushitler. "
But obviously (to any semi-intelligent person, anyway), it simply isn't
the same thing at all. The depictions of Bush had clear satirical purpose, based upon his persona and policy. Depicting him as an idiot, or as a repressive dictator presiding over military invasions of foreign countries and the repression of civil liberties at home, whilst clearly an exaggeration, make sense within the context of actual events. It's called satire. Depicting Obama, who is not
in power, who has not
embarked upon any military adventures and has not
oppressed anybody's civil liberties, makes no sense whatsoever. Indeed, depicting a black man as a dictator who presided over the genocide of racial minorities in Europe is downright offensive.
Just in case this was an isolated example of missing the point, I had a look at a few other articles on the site. These simply confirmed my initial impression - these people are utterly clueless. One item, in particular, caught my eye; a whinge against Google. Incredibly, these clowns were (as far as I could see, quite seriously), taking Google to task for celebrating such events as 'Earth Day' by customising its logo whilst ignoring Veteran's Day or D Day! Jesus! Where do I start with this crap? You see guys, Google is a global
brand, and is understandably keen to promote global
events. Events which might not otherwise get that level of publicity. Veteran's Day, by contrast, is a purely American
event (the rest of us tend to have Remembrance Day, instead), one which everyone who's likely to be interested in already knows about. As for D Day, well, what about the Battle of Trafalgar, Waterloo, Austerlitz, El Alamein, Iwo Jima, etc? We can't spend all our time 'celebrating' dates from history.
Far from 'redressing the balance', these guys are simply revealing themselves as a bunch of humourless knee-jerk reactionaries. A word of advice guys, try actually understanding
what satire is and how it works before
you try to respond to it. You are so
missing the point!
Labels: Rise of the Idiots, The State of Online Satire