Life Just Bounces don't you get worried at all. (A weblog of music and otrogenerica)

Friday, 24 July 2009

The ever-brill truth-or-bullshit website Snopes reports on a forwarded email satire piece which "reports" that the US presidency is being outsourced to India. Apparently a lot of people are wondering if it's actually true. Snopes' estimable researcher Barbara Mikkelson writes:

As we've noted on many occasions, really good satire hews a fine line between plausibility and absurdity, so it's not surprising we often receive "Is this true?" inquiries about satirical articles that circulate widely via e-mail — the receipt of an out-of-context, news-like article with a premise that seems vaguely credible with a quick read-through can easily leave readers confused about its authenticity.

i think Barbara's being too kind. The thing is, this isn't good satire. It's clumsy, predictable, punch-you-repeatedly-in-the-face-till-you-understand-the-point satire. You'd have to be basically a complete idiot to think it was real. Most of the time, the jokes don't even make sense, let alone hit home as effective parody. Take this excerpt, for instance, about the president's "stand-in" being trained by call scripts:

Mr. Singh will rely upon a script tree that will enable him to respond effectively to most topics of concern. Using these canned responses, he can address common concerns without having to understand the underlying issue at all. "We know these scripting tools work," stated the spokesperson. "Obama has used them successfully for years, with the result that some people actually thought he knew what he was talking about."

Ha ha ha ha ha! DO YOU GET IT? He's used call scripts for years to fool people into thinking he knows what he's talking about! How hilariously funny! Never mind that he's only been President for less than a year, thus rendering the joke totally fucking meaningless. WE KINDA IMPLIED HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT? FUNNY, RIGHT?!

Well, no, actually, just more witless mulch for people who don't get either politics or humour. "It's a bit of a puzzle why we've received so many inquiries about this particular article, as its premise isn't at all plausible," admits Barbara. Don't worry about it, B: the target audience aren't generally known for being the sharpest tools in the shed.

Ah well, any excuse to throw "I'm a Mindless Idiot" by the Meat Puppets up here. (YSI)

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