The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, July 30, 2007

A satirical look at satire. Or is it?

While at the grocery store, I mentioned to Wlofie that the Weekly World News was closing down (you know, the “newspaper” that reported about Bat Boy). We then got into a conversation about other satirical newspapers that were having problems these days, but is it any wonder why?

Do you know Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison?

If you do, don't approach them. Call 911 and order up a SWAT team. They're believed to be in the vicinity of McMinnville, Ore., where they're a clear and present danger to the community. Mashburn and Cornelison were recently charged with five counts of felony sexual abuse, and District Attorney Bradley Berry has pledged to have them registered for life as sex offenders.

Oh, by the way, the defendants are in the seventh grade.

Swat somebody's butt, and yours belongs to the the D.A.

Where can satire go after that?

I ask you? Is this satire? Or real?

What is a nerd? Mary Bucholtz, a linguist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been working on the question for the last 12 years. She has gone to high schools and colleges, mainly in California, and asked students from different crowds to think about the idea of nerdiness and who among their peers should be considered a nerd; students have also “reported” themselves. Nerdiness, she has concluded, is largely a matter of racially tinged behavior. People who are considered nerds tend to act in ways that are, as she puts it, “hyperwhite.”

And what about this?

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

“You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration,” said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. “Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?”

I hate to say this, but the second quote, written in January of 2001, is supposedly satire while the first quote, written yesterday, is supposedly not.

How can The Onion compete with 12-year long studies on nerdom?

Okay, one more example, this time, about the Sultan of Brunei's private airplane:

What happened to his private, luxurious A-340 or B-777 (all decked out with gold poopers and seating for ten people)?

It's in the shop being remodeled. The poopers are now being replaced with swiveling models that can be turned to face away from Mecca when the plane is on certain routes. Until now the plane often had to change course during pooping, which led to trouble with the aviation authorities.

True, or false?

A few years ago, I would have said that's just plain silly. But now? What with Canadians complaining about their health care system and English kids looking up to Hitler, reality is giving satire a really good run for its money.

And given how Muslims are touchy about their religion, I can easily see the Sultan installing swiveling toilets in his plane. But in reality, it's not clear if it's true or not.

Which, I guess, is the best that satire can do these days.

Obligatory Picture

[It's the most wonderful time of the year!]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

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