In the old days, you could assume that if what you read seemed totally unbelievable or absolutely absurd that chances were it was satire. Today, there’s a greater chance it’s either fake news or actually facepalmingly real. Don’t worry, though, there’s still some hope (think Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back kind of hope) that humanity isn’t quite as ridiculous as some articles out there will lead you to believe.
What the hell did I just read? Is it Satire?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, Satire is defined as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
At its core, satire is a style of writing that intends to ridicule and point out society’s flaws. This ridicule is often masked in humor.
Humor is an effective way to expose flaws because it is generally received better than direct comments. A common example of using satire and humor to initiate change is political cartoons.
Humor is also a method that allows a writer to speak with impunity. Without humor, a writer would open himself to critique. However, it is through satire and its humor that a writer is able to ridicule without repercussion.
When using satire, the writer’s intention is to expose what he or she thinks is a “problem” in society. This “problem” could be popular or political.
The point of satire is not only to expose but also to initiate change. Basically, the writer sees a problem and wants it highlighted and corrected. Interestingly, the word “satire” itself is derived from the Greek word “Satyrs,” a type of Greek comedy.
Examples of Popular Satirical Publications:
The Onion is an American digital media company and news satire organization that publishes articles on international, national, and local news. The Onion‘s articles cover current events, both real and fictional, satirizing the tone and format of traditional news organizations with stories, editorials, op-ed pieces, and man-in-the-street interviews using a traditional news website layout and an editorial voice modeled after that of the Associated Press. The publication’s humor often depends on presenting mundane, everyday events as newsworthy, surreal, or alarming.
The Weekly World News was a largely fictional news tabloid published in the United States from 1979 to 2007, renowned for its outlandish cover stories often based on supernatural or paranormal themes and an approach to news that verged on the satirical. Its characteristic black-and-white covers have become pop-culture images widely used in the arts. It ceased publication in August 2007. In 2009, Weekly World News was relaunched as an online-only publication.
The Babylon Bee is a satirical evangelical Christian website. The site is famous for over-the-top fake stories focusing on well-known pastors, celebrities, and politicians. It was created by Adam Ford, its only full-time employee, and was launched on March 1, 2016. It models itself on The Onion. Like The Onion, some of its stories have been labeled as “false” by Snopes.com.
The Duffel Blog is an American military news satire organization featuring satirical articles reporting on national security and US military topics. It is often described as “the military version of The Onion.” It was founded in March 2012 by Marine veteran Paul Szoldra, originally as a way to drive web traffic to the now-defunct website CollegeVeteran.com. It eventually branched out and became its own entertainment website. The site enjoys a large following among civilians, veterans, and servicemen alike.
Reductress is an American feminist satire website that parodies articles found in media targeted towards women, especially women’s magazines. Founded in 2013 by comedians Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo, the site has received praise from reviewers for its satirical pieces including advice columns, news stories, and listicles.
National Lampoon was an American humor magazine which ran from 1970 to 1998. The magazine started out as a spinoff from the Harvard Lampoon. National Lampoon magazine reached its height of popularity and critical acclaim during the late 1970s when it had a far-reaching effect on American humor and comedy. The magazine spawned films, radio, live theatre, various sound recordings, and print products including books. During the magazine’s most successful years, parody of every kind was a mainstay; surrealist content was also central to its appeal. The result was an unusual mix of intelligent, cutting-edge wit, combined with some crass, bawdy jesting. In both cases, National Lampoon humor often pushed far beyond the boundaries of what was generally considered appropriate and acceptable.
Mad (stylized as MAD) is an American humor magazine founded in 1952 and launched as a comic book before it became a magazine. It was widely imitated and influential, affecting satirical media, as well as the cultural landscape of the 20th century, with editor Al Feldstein increasing readership to more than two million during its 1974 circulation peak. From 1952 until 2018, Mad had published 550 regular issues, as well as hundreds of reprint “Specials”, original-material paperbacks, reprint compilation books and other print projects.
Because the world usually sucks and laughter tends to be the best medicine right behind Prozac, we’ve teamed up with our brothers-in-satire to create the Louisiana Satire Network! This little community features:
This pretty much all came about one night when we were all drunk together, laughing maniacally and backslapping each other, to which someone said to “get a room.” Us? A fivesome where the creative juices can flow to deliver the absolute top-notch news you absolutely want? Brilliant! Thank you for the idea, asshat named Richard! What’s this mean? We report all the best news from the Louisiana Satire Network, covering our great depending-on-the-category-let’s-hope-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-quality-of-life-or-education state.