Overcast with occasional faded-yellow sunshine this early Friday on California’s north coast. Started drizzling on-and-off last night, continued on into the right now.
Despite the gray, most-likely another nice day ahead for this little section of the Pacific Ocean shoreline.
An approach to handling Orlando — Max Lenderman, CEO of School, observed this morning: ‘‘There’s refreshing cynicism in satire, and satire is a complicit tactic in advertising. I propose it becomes a tactic in the gun debate as well.’
(Illustration: ‘The Onion‘ logo found here).
Shame may-or-may-not work, but it’s well-worth the effort, though, a lot of assholes around with absolutely-no shame.
Why not try another way, and as an industry as a whole come together under the banner of satire to drive the narrative?
Let’s Puppymonkeybaby the fuck out of this conversation and attract a new throng of constituents that have become adept at tuning out scary messages.
Of course, I don’t mean to make light of it.
Nor do I want to diminish the enormity of this debate as it truly could define this nation for generations to come.
Which is exactly why satire deserves a seat at this cacophonous table.
Already at that table, The Onion, and I’m a longtime fan.
What piqued my interest (h/t The Big Picture), was a look yesterday at Wired on the value of The Onion — read the whole piece, interesting.
And often, the best vehicle for that rage is the kind of distilled, to-the-point satire that only the Onion can provide.
Earlier this week, it published a compendium of stories reacting to the Orlando murders, all of which convert our sadness and feelings of fuck-this futility to pure smart-comedy energy.
If these stories aren’t already populating your social feeds, they’ll be doing so shortly: There’s a first-person column by Senate Majority Leader (and gummy-mouthed invertebrate-for-hire) Mitch McConnell, underneath a headline that reads, “At Times Like This, We Need to Pull Ourselves Up, Hold Our Loved Ones Close, Block Any Legislation That Would Prevent Suspected Terrorists From Buying Guns, And Say a Prayer For the Victims.”
There’s a grateful thank-you letter, written by an AR-15, humbly praising the human race for prioritizing that gun model’s survival over our own safety.
And there are more classically constructed, realism-absurdism Onion hybrids, like “Concerned NRA Official Rushes Out To Purchase Congressman Following Mass Shooting.”
Use of dark humor, social history and big chunks of truth — points to reality in the absurd — one of my most-favorite Onion piece appeared in November 2008, just after the election of Barack Obama as president, titled, ‘Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job,’ and in retrospect, right on:
WASHINGTON—African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America.
In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation’s broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis.
As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind.
The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it.
Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, “It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can’t catch a break.”
Laughing, crying, nodding right-on, all at the same time…