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Satirists At A Disadvantage When the News Wire Gets Weird

Ridiculing the Ridiculous Just Got Harder

(SNN) Life is getting more difficult for the brave men and women (and every gender in-between) who write satire about Canadian news. Day after day, the world of real news is becoming so absurd; satirists are at a loss as to how to lampoon these stories. They are bizarre enough without any embellishment whatsoever.

Let’s have a look at a typical day on the news sites and you will see what I mean. We will use May 2nd as an example. On that day, here are some of the stories that were published in various news sites such as the National Post, The Globe and Mail, Yahoo news, Google news, and so on. This is actually serious stuff. For example, check out this headline from the National Post for that day:

“Man allegedly impregnates four guards while running a criminal empire from a prison”

This is so absurd to be almost surreal but there it is. How can a satirist hope to top that? Anything more bizarre will seem too ridiculous to be even remotely plausible; something satirists are supposed to strive for.

Here’s another headline that gave me pause:

“Jamestown colonists had taste for Cannibalism; Archeologists prove colonists survived by eating each other”

Better leave that one alone. My thoughts went to a bad place.

Oh, and here’s a real toughy to satirize:

“Saskatoon police pull over man with no arms; give him ticket for a seatbelt violation.”

How can you make a joke about a story when everyone is busy shaking their heads?

And speaking of shaking our collective craniums, how about this juicy story:

“Supreme Court to hear case of couple who sued Air Canada for not being able to order a 7 Up in French”

The Supreme Court?  Can anyone believe this made it to ANY court? Only in Canada.

Overseas papers are not much better. Here’s an item from Brisbane, England:

“U.K. man who made $78 million selling fake bomb detectors sentenced to 10 years in jail”

I wonder how many complaints the customer service reps got? Oh, right… no one who found out they were defective, lived to complain.

The last one isn’t absurd as much as it is scary. This is from an American information outlet that is practically a parody of itself, every broadcasting day. Of course, it was Fox News that broke this story:

“Poll shows 29% of voters think ‘armed revolution’ might be necessary in next few years”

Wow. I sure can’t beat that.

 Photo by: Metro Centric flickr photostream, Some Rights Reserved, The Sage nor this article endorsed

DISCLAIMER: The above article is OPINION.The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Opinion and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.
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