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Schrödinger's Excuse, or, No That’s Not How Satire Works Please Stop It Hurts

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avatar candle_
Retired Moderator
Level 36 : Artisan Botanist

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The Internet is an incredible thing. It’s quite possibly one of humanity’s greatest innovations. It connects people from around the world, gives everyone access to much of humanity’s combined knowledge, allows children to be awful to others from thousands of miles away, and generally does a lot of stuff that’s pretty neat.

The Internet has also allowed for incredible innovations. Without it, the world of technology would be a very different place. One of the most recent—and impressive innovations has been the quantum superposition of satire. Truly, an incredible feat and a very interesting proposition. When one says something stupid on the internet, if they say “It’s just satire!” They are simultaneously both being dumb and being smart – They’re both using satire as an excuse, and using satire legitimately. They are either trying to cover their mistake or try to appear snarky, but we can’t know with certainty. Unfortunately, there isn’t a door on the “steel box” for them to exit, so they’re pretty much eternally in that state of quantum superposition. That’s a slight issue.

Even so, there is a way to determine with relative accuracy whether they’re actually, intentionally using satire or not. First, though, here’s a good rule of thumb: They’re not, have no idea what they’re talking about, and probably have an awful argument. Nobody in this horrible place has a clue what satire means please help me please ive been stuck on this forgotten moon for decades ive only survived off of canned cheese and berry smoothies help hel

Right, then. If you really want to go further than the really accurate rule of thumb, you can. It gets pretty complex from here on out, so please pay attention.

Satire is, essentially, a parody of a point of view you disagree with. It’s often rife with hyperbole and sarcasm.

Satire is not:

Saying something you agree with, being called out for a poor argument, and screaming “IT’S JUST SATIRE” as a defense.

Being awful to other people, insulting them, generally being a pretty bad person, and claiming “It’s just satire. I’m not being serious.” As a defense. That just makes you look like a jerk AND a coward who is too afraid to own up to being a jerk.

Saying something intended as an innocent joke. That’s just humor.

Generally being bigoted and saying “It’s just satire, guys!” when you are clearly not parodying bigotry. That’s, once again, pretty much just cowardice.

A spectre is haunting the internet. The spectre of LeafyIsHere’s incomprehensibly stupid use of the word satire that a bunch of edgy 15 year olds are now desperate to use to defend their similarly incomprehensibly stupid opinions. The spectre of horrifyingly bad misuse of the word satire.

So, why on earth does this matter at all? Similarly, why do you care so much about word denotations? Don’t people who focus on such things, like self-professed “Grammar Nazis,” generally have a poor grasp on the purpose of language and its constant evolution? Can’t satire, like all words, evolve and change with time?

Sure. I don’t really care about misusing words, generally, unless it’s done in an attempt to appear smart. Then it’s just obnoxious. I do, however loathe how people use it as an excuse for, well, being pretty not very cool at all to other people. Additionally, satire is a more clearly defined word than both, and it is not a mundane word that can be easily understood in an “incorrect” context—It defines a specific type of humor.

Basically, as I said, it’s used as a really poor excuse for being a jerk most of the time and that’s not very rad at all. Satire can be used for good. It’s easy to misuse and come across as a strawmanning jerkmuffin, but it can achieve good things. It can be used to highlight real hypocrisy and help convince others to achieve real change. It can be used for more than a shoddy defense for nihilistic ranting.

Great satirists can convey emotions that aren’t easy to convey. They can show the deep dissatisfaction of common people and highlight real, horrible issues. They’re capable of doing great things and have been around almost as long as humor itself has. Satire can be used well, and I don’t like the idea of it being used by thin-skinned trolls incapable of receiving criticism for their actions.

Like a diverse group of people supporting a movement of being godawful to random people online, satire is not your shield. You can’t just say “SATIRE! IT’S SATIRE! IT’S JUST SATIRE BRO!” and be taken seriously, of co-


CreditThe smooth instrumental jazz playlist I listened to while making this

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  • Amalien
  • Level 49
  • Master Botanist
  • January 21, 2017, 11:36 am
you are the level of sass that I aspire to be
LMAO I haven't been on the site in a long time this is so sassy
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • January 20, 2017, 8:30 pm

extra spicy
didnt read it im just commenting bc

  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • January 16, 2017, 12:43 pm
how u doin bb
im back and i did read it

cool blorg

btw what's a 'leafyishere'
  • DonutFlower
  • Level 2
  • Apprentice Artist
  • January 16, 2017, 7:31 pm
He'spopular youtuber xD
  • CHorse
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Fish
  • January 16, 2017, 12:11 pm
*coughs suspiciously*
I definitely use satire correctly.
*coughs incredibly loud*

Actually not even sure if I did satire correctly, as in I tried on purpose to create satire, but I have a feeling it's not really satire. Does that make sense?
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Botanist
  • January 16, 2017, 12:42 pm
Well, satire is generally created on purpose. It's not usually, if ever, an unintentional thing. Satire is pretty much just hyperbole, sarcasm, and similar humor applied to highlight ostensible hypocrisy. Political cartoons are a pretty common, if really heavy-handed example. Basically, if you dislike something, and you're using humor to try to highlight why, it's probably (But not necessarily!) satire.
  • Rolandonut
  • Level 46
  • Master Princess
  • January 16, 2017, 2:38 am
  • Dysphoria
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Princess
  • January 15, 2017, 11:33 pm
I love the tag "itsjustaprankbro"

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