Monday, September 8, 2014
You Can’t Be More Absurd Than Reality!
No Daily Bungle article this week. Instead, I wanted to take this time to rant about satire in general, or at least the seemingly increasing irrelevancy of it.
You see, ever since I started writing my satirical Daily Bungle articles, I’ve learned that the hardest part about writing satire isn’t coming up with ideas for it—on the contrary, I have an entire backlog of ideas for potential articles. No, the hardest part is ensuring that your ideas aren’t stolen—not by other satirists, per say (I have no worries of being plagiarized by The Onion or Daily Currant), but by reality itself!
Yes, recently, I’ve seen reality beat me to the punch of my satirical story ideas by making them actual news stories.
For example, I was considering writing a satirical article where an English teacher is sued for racial discrimination after correcting the broken English of a black student. Turns out that real life beat me to the story by a good eight months when a UCLA professor was labeled "racist" and targeted for student protest after correcting a black student’s grammar and punctuation.
I was also considering writing an article where a teacher was sued for violating church-state separation after telling a sneezing atheist student “God bless you!” Well, no teacher has been sued for making such a gesture, but a student was suspended for telling a sneezing classmate “bless you!”
Ever heard the phrase “I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to"? Well, I could make this stuff up, but the problem was that reality inevitably came up with it first.
This is not to say that I’m giving up writing satire. I still have plenty of story ideas that reality hasn’t ripped off—yet! Though I have to wonder what place satire has within our society when most real news stories tend to be just as ridiculous, if not more so.
I feel it’s only appropriate that Nash and Tara opened this week’s WTFIWWY video (where they normally rip on the most borderline-satirical news stories) by discussing how Stephen Colbert was possibly forced into retirement because “reality has surpassed him!” Because when push comes to shove, “[you] can’t be more absurd than reality!”