Satire… It’s really not that hard!
I was in the middle of a very lopsided (not in my favor) PvP match in SWTOR. I had lost two matches in a row, so I was already in a sour mood when I received a very appreciative e-mail from an adoring fan this evening:
The fan wrote:
Quit being racist and rude to other people! Its people like you that are killing our world!
To which, I replied:
Not sure what you’re talking about. I don’t recall ever being racist OR rude to anybody.
After which, she (I’m assuming) replied:
You called jennifer (sic) Lawrence fat and said omg there’s (sic) black people in the hunger games, that’s so awful. First, they have the same rights as anybody else in this country. Second, who are you to judge anyone and call them fat?
It then dawned on me: She was referring to my satirical piece on all the racist and sexist idiots who hit up Twitter and crap to rip on the cast of one of my favorite movies. I replied back:
3rd, you didn’t read the entire article, did you? I was slandering the people who were actually saying that stuff. I write satire, nearly every article I’ve ever written is written in satirical format.
Read the last few paragraphs… well, since you’re too lazy to do it yourself, I will paste it here: [clipping from the last portion of my piece]
I’ll accept an apology at any time for your malicious e-mail, and I will be writing a nice post about you in the near future.
About 20 minutes later (while writing this article), I received my sought-after apology from the OP:
Okay, I’m sorry. My best friend, who I’ve known for ten years is black and she’s like a sister to me and I’m very protective of her. I also just don’t understand when people start judging different races, homosexuals, or people like that. I’m sorry for judging you too quickly and saying it was people like you are hurting the world. It’s the people who you are writing against who are.
That’s correct, OP… It’s really easy to see a title of a post and go beserker on the guy who wrote it. It’s a misleading title. The first few paragraphs are misleading, but I left tons of not-so-subtle clues about the satirical format of my article. For example, I give a quote from the book where the author CLEARLY portrays Rue as a small black girl with brown eyes. Then I go on to say, I can’t believe I missed that. That when I think dark skin, brown eyes, I automatically think blonde hair blue eyes. I later get into how people claimed that Jennifer Lawrence was too fat to play the role of Katniss… Again, I quote from the book, then say the complete opposite of what the book says.
Satire is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
1 : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn
2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly
This is what I did, and I did it well. I received thousands of hits on that article in the first couple of days and received countless e-mails from individuals telling me how much it cracked them up. I will be the first to admit that sarcasm is lost over the internet, however, this article was in no way open to misinterpretation. I even laid out the last few paragraphs major compliments to all of the actors who were scorned by these jerks.
The morale of this story is that you need to read. Just because something offends you in the beginning doesn’t mean you stop reading it and then e-mail bomb the author. I read many articles that upset me. One for example is a paper written by some College dean about the aloofness of IT professionals and how she is able to “handle” them. She insults every single person in my field. I don’t have the original text, if anybody knows what I’m talking about, please comment with the link, it’d be most appreciated. This article was not written with any satirical hinting at all. It’s a flame-war against IT departments everywhere. I was enraged by the first sentence, but I read the entire article to see if there was any point where she was like HAHA J/K or something. There wasn’t. So I wrote a very angry letter to her informing her she was full of crap and needed to go off and die somewhere.
Anyway, I’m a satirical writer GH — I apologize you were offended, but you cannot blame me for your inability to read through satire or even finish reading the entire article to get a glimpse of the kind of person that I am. I abhor all forms of racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other ‘ism or ‘obia that serves no purpose but to hurt others.
Before you go out and start attacking people, make sure you know the whole story. Read the entire article from top to bottom. Don’t judge a book by the cover, and don’t judge a blog writer by a title of one of his posts.