What is satire?
Satire is essentially providing truth in a story telling format, with sarcastic and high-brow remarks that poke fun at the topic. For example, stories like “Man Knows That his Best Years are Already Behind Him” is a basic story that we can all nearly relate to as we age, but the article itself goes in depth into the general hilarity that such a problem poses. It’s hard to imagine that we can laugh about a variety of situations, especially terrorist attacks or cultural clashes, but with satire we can. Satire also brings a lot of politics into play, and allows us to mock powerful figures that are untouchable by traditional media outlets.
Why is satire so popular?
As we mentioned above, satire is popular because it is so incredibly funny and equally eye opening. It’s hard to find a single satire article that doesn’t first make you laugh before it makes you think. Even if you don’t really laugh at it, it’s because you know that the heart of the article is true and it hits a little too close to home. It’s become such an art form that sometimes, only the truly discerning can pick up on whether a piece is satire or not. It’s quite amazing to see how many people read satire without even knowing it, and just assume that the writers are jerks or have a superiority complex.
Why do you think satire is important?
I think that satire is the last stand of true journalism. If you look at how journalists and writers are taught in college, it is how to interview someone, how to take what they say and turn it into a usable news piece, and you also learn how to convey your message to the audience. In satire, you’re essentially doing all of those things – in a truly textbook way – putting a spin on them to make them satirical, to make people laugh. That’s harder than just writing an article about a war in Iraq. It’s hard to do that story, but it’s harder to make it funny, and it’s even harder to make it so funny and so close to home that people sit down and think, “Wow, that is actually something I need to chew on.” Satire does that.
What are the best publications or sites to visit for satirical articles?
The Onion is sort of the king of all satire publications, print or online. If you’re in the UK there is also Private Eye and a few other options. But if you’re into the Digital Era like most of the world, you really can’t beat The Onion and its “spin off” sites like Click Hole. They basically run the whole online network of satire, and people continually share their articles thinking they’re “real” articles. The amount of anger directed at The Onion could fuel a nuclear bomb! You can also find a lot of smaller satire sites, like The Spoof, which is entirely community contributed and a really fun place to go if you like writing your own satire.