Thursday, April 24, 2014

Satire Reality

Recently, Senator Vicki Marble of Colorado proposed a bill addressing the "problem" in which the people of Colorado can purchase marijuana with food stamps. Colorado became the first state to legally sell marijuana for recreation purposes, but it is not possible to purchase said marijuana with food stamps.

The idea stemmed from a satire article written by the National Report. The article said that the line at these stores were out the door and people were using food stamps to purchase.

Another Colorado Republican then attempted to cover up the mistake by saying that Marble's bill was  created as a "preventative measure." 

I am curious then, how often do people fall for satire articles? I know that I myself have fallen for a few-- the mechanic responsible for the Olympic rings in Russia was killed when one of the circles failed to open in the opening ceremony or the creator of Flappy Bird killed himself after he had stated that the game had "ruined his life." Those are only a couple that I believed when I had read the satire article, but it was nothing that would personally affect me, in such a public manner as Senator Marble. 

Of course there are websites dedicated to satire, but what happens when people begin to believe them? How many people, when they heard about this, attempted to go out and buy marijuana with food stamps? The satire article is written in a professional journalistic manner. It all appears to be reasonable and true, despite the fact that it is not actually true. 

But then, if someone believes something is real and acts upon it, it becomes real for them. Take a look at the George Orwell radio broadcast War of the Worlds-- that caused real panic and real chaos. Sometimes my boyfriend tells me that I am too good at sarcasm because he can't tell if I am being serious or not, which if not stated could cause serious problems within the relationship or others that misunderstand my sarcasm. 

But, at what point do we notice that an article is a satire article as compared to a real article? If it looks and sounds like a real article why should we not believe that it is a real article? Except for the obvious fact that the article is of no real facts. 


  1. Ok, though I do think this post would benefit from a definition of terms. What is "satire?" How is it different from parody, from a hoax, from a lie?

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  3. I'm not sure that I have ever thought about the differences between satire and parody. However, I think that difference lies in the purpose of each. A parody imitates something that previously existed and it has to have entertainment value. A satire, on the other hand, makes a statement about a particular subject, it's thought provoking. I think the difference between a satire and a hoax is simply that a hoax is intended to trick, but a satire is not. And then a lie is intended to be believable and never figured out, a satire imitates the real but is not meant to be interpreted as the real.


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