Satire fail.

I feel like I need to apologize or something for my election post.

It was meant to be satire, and I thought that by talking about aliens and Bill Pullman and Jesus Christ and the Scarlet Letter that readers would understand that I was going over the top and was using satire to make a point and my point being this, after every election, many people paint with broad brush strokes, labeling every Republican a Bible-thumping idiot or every Democrat a tree-hugging hippie.

I was simply hoping to get the point across that there are educated and good people to be found on both sides of the political aisle. That both parties have some valid opinions. That there’s no need to panic the morning after. That checks and balances work. That the Constitution for the most part, works. That essentially every human in America wants the same things … health, prosperity, and happiness and that some find reaching that goal the most possible in one party and some find that most possible in another. It doesn’t make them bad people. I chose to try to make that point with satire, and for some, it was insulting and they’ve emailed me and let me know.

Whoops?

Next satirical post will begin with, “Disclaimer: This is satire. Do not email the author all ‘I AM UNFRIENDING YOU ON FACEBOOK, YOU BIG JERK.'”





64 Comments


  1. facie
    November 3, 2010 5:00 pm

    I still want to say that President David Palmer was my favorite president ever.



  2. malbrec92
    November 3, 2010 5:01 pm

    I like satire & yours was not a failure! Some people just won’t get it, no matter what you do. Consider it a way of weeding out your followers. Someday, with enough satirical posts, you will have the smartest, wittiest, most getting-it-est followers of any blogger anywhere! Go Ginny!



  3. Megan
    November 3, 2010 5:05 pm

    As soon as I saw Bill Pullman, I knew, but I guess some folks don’t know who he is, or saw the movie being referrenced? I think of that scene in “Ghostbusters”, in the governor’s office, “raining cats and dogs” shpeel whenever its election time. So much over-the-topness. And only 15mos til the Iowa Caucus, sigh. (Sorry for any typos while doing this from my phone.)



  4. Bob M
    November 3, 2010 5:24 pm

    I enjoyed it.
    It put a smile on my face.



  5. Summer
    November 3, 2010 5:26 pm

    Y’see, the mistake you made was not putting a smiley emoticon at the end of your post. People would have known you were being sarcastic and satirical then.

    Well … next time.

    :)



  6. PK
    November 3, 2010 5:28 pm

    Satire is like a balance beam that both writer and reader need to walk on at the same time without knocking each other over. I think Mark Twain – the king of satire – said it best:

    “In all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.”

    or better yet:

    A patriot is someone who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.



  7. Jake
    November 3, 2010 5:32 pm

    Please, for the love of the all-powerful Atheismo, tell me that was a real subject line to an email – because that would just be shamefully fantastic.



  8. Sooska
    November 3, 2010 5:36 pm

    You are not responsible for the people who don’t understand satire or cannot read properly. A word of caution: Do NOT try “irony.” It would get ugly.



  9. AmyLa
    November 3, 2010 5:44 pm

    Please do not obviously point out in future posts of satire that the post will have satire. That takes the fun out of it for those of us who “get it” and like to read the responses of the slower kind. I like the weeding-out approach mentioned above more. :)



  10. RedInDaBurgh
    November 3, 2010 5:48 pm

    Are there really that many people who don’t get satire or sarcasm or humor? Must be a ton o’ fun to be related to or friends with those people. They probably have living room furniture covered in plastic and don’t pass out candy on Halloween.



  11. elysianfantasy
    November 3, 2010 5:56 pm

    I think people just need to chill. And if they don’t get it? Tell ’em to bug off. Why should you apologize for being smart (construe that word however you wish)?

    I bet those people who boo-hooed to you have 1) never watched a full episode of either Stephen Colbert or John Stewart or 2) if they did, couldn’t remove the stick from their behinds enough to laugh at themselves. Both sides! It’s like when people get all up in arms on Stuff White People Like. Now that’s a WHOLE bunch of satire, and let me tell you, I get a kick out of reading the comments of those who just don’t get it.



  12. hello haha narf
    November 3, 2010 6:13 pm

    i can’t believe that people emailed you to the point that you needed to write a post such as this. sad. way to give pittsburghers a bad name, guys.



  13. Bram R
    November 3, 2010 6:19 pm

    Speaking of reader e-mail … I dunno, today I’ve been receiving mail from a troll of mine (you’re probably familiar) celebrating in frank terms the fact that gays, ethnic and religious minorities, women and recipients of public assistance can all shut their mouths and go back to where they traditionally have belonged. I’m not sure how someone like that fits into the “same goals, different methods” vision. All persons want the same happiness for themselves and their own families and communities, and all people are good in the sense that they’ll share beers and good times with others while tailgating, work with charities that suit their own tastes, and generally avoid driving over children — but I think the similarities end there.

    Do both sides have some good theoretical points? Absolutely, and both sides could stand to listen to each other on many of them. Today, do both sides recognize a common set of problems? I believe with all my heart that one side has more than a few too many influential ringleaders whose sole and only concern is replacing their gold fixtures with platinum ones, and everyone else needs to get out of their darned way. And they’re willing to tap into and exploit any trollish or otherwise fearful inclination out there in order to make that happen.

    Thank you for the opportunity to vent.



  14. Elmer Palmer
    November 3, 2010 6:35 pm

    I am disturbed. Please cancel my subscription emmidiately!



  15. Ekat
    November 3, 2010 6:58 pm

    I agree with Summer about the emitocon, but personally would go with a ;) or a ;P instead a :). A knowing wink is always a clear indicator of satire. ;)



  16. Amy
    November 3, 2010 6:59 pm

    Word, Bram R.



  17. bluzdude
    November 3, 2010 7:07 pm

    Consider your “satire” as the bouncer at the door. If they don’t get it, they don’t get in.

    Meanwhile, let’s dance!



  18. Rob
    November 3, 2010 7:38 pm

    I’m avid reader of your blog, but first time commenter. To keep it short and sweet, one of the reasons I love reading about the city I grew up in on your blog is because of your wit and your refusal to “dumb things down” for the masses. I would hate to see that change because a few people can’t recognize a good satire when they read it.



  19. Leenyburgh
    November 3, 2010 7:53 pm

    I started e-mailing your satirical post to my friends, not even thinking that some wouldn’t “get” it. It WOULD have been better, though, with a picture of Danny Sepulveda or Mike Wallace.



  20. Kate's my name
    November 3, 2010 7:56 pm

    Ginny…I think you should only have readers smart enough to understand satire and that we should be able to poke fun at the otherwise non-fun (unfun? not-so-fun? definitively lacking in fun?) debate that is election day.

    I liked your post-election day rant almost as much as the WTRT post from Monday!

    PS Ate at Las Velas and LOVED it! That’s quality yumminess!



  21. Donna
    November 3, 2010 8:01 pm

    good lord. people need to wise up. I knew it was a satire. people unfriending you on facebook aren’t worth the time anyway. you will always have your fans, me one of them.



  22. a democrat
    November 3, 2010 8:06 pm

    But what if I really am a tree hugging hippie?



  23. JennLP
    November 3, 2010 8:09 pm

    I loved your satirical piece and thought it was spot on. I guess some people just aren’t fans of Independence Day.



  24. Clementine
    November 3, 2010 8:35 pm

    Maybe next time use flash cards and scary eyebrows. Or just title your post “Onorato loses Allegheny County.” Now that’s funny.



  25. Virginia
    November 3, 2010 8:37 pm

    Clementine, I can’t wrap my brain around Onorato losing Allegheny County any more than I can wrap it around Jane Orie being re-elected. I mean srsly. WTF?



  26. PA Girl in VA
    November 3, 2010 9:05 pm

    Ginny, I, for one, “got it”. It might have taken me a moment but you were so over the top that the satire couldn’t be missed. I was hoping that this post was satire, also, but clearly you’re serious. I’m so sorry that some of your readers are complete morons. ;)



  27. bucdaddy
    November 3, 2010 9:32 pm

    Please don’t dumb it down. I’ve have enough of being condescended to for the past six months.



  28. No One Here Knows Anything About Satire
    November 3, 2010 10:15 pm

    Apology not accepted. Idiots.



  29. Deutschtown Frau
    November 3, 2010 10:31 pm

    Gee, Bram R, I’ll put my thinking cap on and try to figure out which side is the good guys.

    Ginny, almost as sad as the fact that you felt the need to apologize for a fine satire is the fact that a couple of your regulars took advantage of your even-handed good will to spread a little of their sanctimony.

    There’s nothin’ like sore losers…



  30. kevin
    November 3, 2010 10:41 pm

    People with a brain understood it was satire. Some people get up in the morning and try to find a way to be a victim or be offended. Unfortunately, your Blog has these type of people as readers as well. Grow a spine offended ones, you contribute to the mailaise that affects this great land with your wimpy outlook on life.Keep it up Ginny, an apology was not needed in my opinion.



  31. Noelle
    November 3, 2010 10:42 pm

    Since I don’t really do twitter I’d like to say here that I would like to try that Munhall special sauce… *shifty eyes*



  32. Carly
    November 3, 2010 10:52 pm

    Maybe people didn’t get it because so much of the political commentators in the media these days actually sound a lot like that…only they’re freaking serious! GAH!



  33. geeves
    November 3, 2010 10:54 pm

    You shouldn’t have to apologize



  34. Donncha
    November 3, 2010 11:14 pm

    Ginny, the satire was dead-on. If it failed to connect it’s because the real political rhetoric of the past year has gone beyond the reach of satire.



  35. Bram R
    November 4, 2010 1:55 am

    Deutschtown Frau – I don’t believe in good guys. I believe in bad guys and just shady guys.



  36. oddmanout
    November 4, 2010 2:28 am

    You said “Jane Orie”…huh hu huh huh, yeah, yeah, She’s hot….those roots… thats cool! Wonder if they have hair dye in prison?



  37. BeauJacques
    November 4, 2010 2:30 am

    @Virginia-

    Why did Danny Onorato lose his OWN county???

    Cuz we KNOW him!

    He’s an incompetent hack of the worst order!

    He can’t get a simple 911 Emergency center to function free enough of one-party, Dem-machine political patronage staffing to stop killing people instead of saving lives!

    He’s proud of a $1 BILLION piece of shit subway extension that no one will ever use that has fucked up downtown traffic
    for years and will do so for at least 2 more.

    He was the driving force (not Lukey) that brought the still unpaid-for G20 freak show that benefitted nobody but limo drivers and overtime cops from out-of-state.

    Where’s the $12 million??

    He’s done NOTHING to reign in that Faustian money-pit, that sewer of shit, the Port Authority! (After boosting liquoir prices)

    He can’t even get us decent tennis courts at South Park,

    Governor??? Please!

    Plus, he’s spent the last 2 years campaigning FULL-TIME for himself, NOT working for US! He owes a repayment of 2 years salary to the the county taxpayers!!

    Fuck him!!



  38. BeauJacques
    November 4, 2010 2:45 am

    @Bram R-

    Where do your staunch, machine-Dems, the Zappalas fall in the “gold to platinum” schemes?

    I’ve read your excellent Comet pieces, but where is the one-party, machine-politics outrage?

    This is your beloved party, friend of the working-man???



  39. BeauJacques
    November 4, 2010 2:47 am

    @Oddmanout-

    Jane Orie? add vodka, I’d hit it. :-)



  40. Patt
    November 4, 2010 5:49 am

    Um.. I got that it was satirical. And I thought it was hilarious. Actually, after I read it I was thinking to myself how much I enjoyed reading your posts. It ranks up there as one of my favorites. Especially now that it caused so much hoopla.



  41. Greg
    November 4, 2010 7:37 am

    We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.



  42. Angry Mongo
    November 4, 2010 8:09 am

    Ginny, I’d still friend you.

    I got it. Let’s all write Al Gore and tell him to install a sarcasm tag in the next version of HTML. Apparently, we need it.



  43. Me
    November 4, 2010 8:15 am

    Of course people are stupid enough not to get the satire. afterall, look at how they voted. :)

    (I used the smiley, people…)



  44. CrashJK
    November 4, 2010 8:55 am

    I unfriended the Penguin’s Power Play last night…hth



  45. Mike
    November 4, 2010 8:57 am

    Any time you write a satiric post like that, there is a huge group of people out there who won’t get it. Explaining afterward won’t work either, ‘cuz they’ll just say “now you’re backpedaling”. Your only options are to risk alienating some people, or to dumb down your posts so that everyone will get it. Personally, I hope you choose the first option, because I really enjoy reading it, it’s funny, and it shows a smart, edgy passion for the subject matter. But if your goal is to reach the most people with your message, the second option will work better. Just my opinion. (Any by the way, that was probably my favorite post from you since I subscribed a year or so ago.)



  46. red pen mama
    November 4, 2010 9:00 am

    Generally, a sense of humor fails those on the fringes in the case of politics and religion. Also see: nuance, balance, thoughtfulness (any party, any religion). And what @kevin said: some people are just looking to be offended.

    Don’t change for them.



  47. Mia
    November 4, 2010 9:07 am

    Don’t worry, not everyone missed the point of your last post. I thought it was hilarious. Some people just take themselves too seriously.



  48. YinzerInExile
    November 4, 2010 9:47 am

    If I were on Facebook, I would totally friend you — and keep you as a friend. And possibly even “like” (that’s a thing, right?) you excessively in response to your bring-the-funny post. I agree with the bouncer theory. Eff ’em if they can’t take a joke.



  49. parkingchair
    November 4, 2010 9:49 am

    Satire is dead. It was killed by the stupid who, unfortunately, are now the majority in America (and probably most other countries as well).



  50. Stacie
    November 4, 2010 10:12 am

    So long as you don’t suggest down-and-out Burghers sell their children as food to the rich-and-powerful . . .