satire |ˈsaˌtīr|noun: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
Just reading that definition, I can’t imagine how anyone could find themselves in any bother writing satire…can you?
But the online magazine The Onion, has done just that. Hard to believe. If you are not already a follower of The Onion, I commend it to you. But just be warned–in certain places, at certain times, it is best if you access it when you are entirely alone. Otherwise, apart from appearing to onlookers like a complete nincompoop, howling like a gibbon, you could incur the wrath of Important People. . . a recent example being the Leaders of The Peoples Republic of China. Not to mention the Supreme Leader of North Korea.
In case you haven’t heard, let me fill you in. (I’m writing in confidence here, trusting you to keep this to yourself.) Here’s what happened: A recent article in The Onion named North Korea’s 29 year old Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-Un The Onion‘s Sexiest Man Alive For 2012. Worth a chuckle, right? Not if you are the journalist at the People’s Daily in China who reported the story in the belief that it was legitimate. No doubt hoping to curry favour with the Powers That Be, the People’s Daily published a full spread, complete with photos, quoting extensively from The Onion article. Here’s a sample, from The Onion:
With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true. Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper’s editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile.
“He has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at the same time,” Onion Style and Entertainment editor Marissa Blake-Zweibel said. “And that’s the quality that makes him the sort of man women want, and men want to be. He’s a real hunk with real intensity who also knows how to cut loose and let his hair down.”
I’m not saying heads have rolled–I have no knowledge of that–but I would think the mood around the People’s Daily is a bit somber these days. It would be kinda interesting to know the Chinese translation for “tongue-in-cheek” . . .
And just remember–you didn’t hear this from me. MM