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Showing posts from April 11, 2018

Satire is made of these (a tutorial)

I spent several years in close proximity with someone who had zero understanding of effective satire. This was a person who loved the hilarious word-smithery of MAD Magazine, Mel Brooks, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Carol Burnett’s writers, and apparently thought “Oh, this is easy! I can do this!”

He was wrong. Oh, so very wrong.

I will call this person Negan. If you’re familiar with The Walking Dead, you’ll know that Negan is the ruthless arch-villain who bludgeons innocent people to death with a barbed-wire baseball bat. Such was the outrage this person inflicted on innocent words, and those nearby who were forced to hear them.

Exhibit A: The original pop-culture icon: A soap opera called “As the World Turns.” The original satire: Carol Burnett’s “As the Stomach Turns.” Negan’s version: “As the Stomach Churns.” A person familiar with the soap opera, who had never seen the Carol Burnett Show, might hear “As the Stomach Turns,” and laugh because... the world turns, like on its axis, and the…