Like mistaking a fat girl for being pregnantJuly 21, 2008
Sean and Lucia Wheatley have returned to Tina the Lesbian’s house, but this time not out of fear. Since their last encounter over the New Yorker cover cartoon of Barack Obama as a terrorist, the Wheatleys have decided to enrich their lives by learning what satire is, but they need to check their work against someone who knows the subject rather well. And since I’m passed out drunk in my bathroom and can’t hear the doorbell, the Wheatleys have to go bug Tina.
“We think we have this satire thing down,” says Sean Wheatley.
“But less than a week ago you didn’t know what satire was,” says Tina the Lesbian.
“We pick things up quickly,” says Lucia Wheatley.
“Now we think we’ve found another example of satire, but we’re not quite sure,” says Sean. “So have a look at this and tell us what it is.”
And so they hold up this picture for Tina the Lesbian…
Tina’s jaw hangs open and she says nothing until Lucia Wheatley snaps her fingers to get Tina’s attention.
“So… is this satire?” says Lucia Wheatley. “Because we think it is.”
“I know I laughed,” says Sean Wheatley. “This is so much an exaggeration of what we would think, it has to be satire.”
“Actually… no, this isn’t satire… at all,” says Tina the Lesbian.
“Then what kind of humor is it?” says Lucia Wheatley. “Slapstick? Observational? Clever wordplay?”
“I want to know what I’m laughing at,” says Sean Wheatley. “Is it absurdist like Monty Python?”
“This isn’t any of those things,” says Tina. “This guy’s not trying to be funny. He’s actually being quite serious.”
“But we went to the website on the billboard and listened to the song and watched the video and it was really bad,” says Lucia Wheatley. “And when something is really bad, then satirically speaking it means it’s really good because it’s ironic, right?”
“This guy isn’t trying to be ironic or satirical, he’s being as straightforward as you can get,” Tina says. “This isn’t supposed to be funny, or have any sort of commentary except don’t vote Democratic or there will be another 9/11.”
The Wheatleys suddenly look concerned.
“Are you sure?” says Lucia Wheatley. “Because the guy who did all this said to CNN ‘I believe 9/11 could have been prevented if we’d had a Republican president at the time,’ and I thought that was a dead giveaway that this was satire.”
“Nope… he’s actually serious,” says Tina.
Now the Wheatleys look mortified.
“So you’re telling me that we laughed at a picture of the burning Twin Towers for an hour and a half straight for all the wrong reasons?” says Sean Wheatley.
“Yes,” says Tina the Lesbian. “Yes you did.”
Now the Wheatleys look like God just walked in on them masturbating to anime. I’m not sure what the term is for that, but it’s leagues above mortified.
“You know… I think we’re not ready for this whole satire thing,” says Lucia Wheatley.
“I think we’re going to stick to documentaries from now on,” says Sean Wheatley. “Like Dr. Strangelove and that Borat fellow.”
Does the humorist truly wield satire… or does satire truly wield the humorist?