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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Silly Versus Serious



Writing about politics is tiring. Especially this election cycle. The hate, the screaming, the lies and the horrid people coming out of the woodwork (Ralph Reed) makes it very difficult to stay even a little joyful. Which is why I prefer satire.

Satire lets me write about something serious-ish, without getting all serious. This is why I loved writing The Bachmann Diaries. Rather than punch things every time she opened her mouth, I used humor and biting sarcasm to show my version of Shelly. My version is insane, but there are many folks who think the real one is, too. My version had her killing and burying a standard poodle.

I have a friend who is also a writer. He is more serious than I, in both the way he views his work and the way he views the world. Odds are, if he ever reads this article, he will not like it, because I'm going to point a few things out that directly contradict his belief system regarding writing. My friend wrote a piece for his blog about Duke and Duchess St. Rollins, among others, whose activities online offend him. He believes that the way the Duke and Duchess "troll" demeans liberalism. I heartily disagree.

See, a long time ago, when the Fox Facebook page had a discussion board, I would visit and poke conservatives. One woman named Joanne inspired me so much, I wrote an entire article about her for New Progressive Muckraker. Birthers spouting off on President Obama's Muslim religious beliefs, the fact that he was Hitler reborn, and one absolute wanker who believed President Obama was the devil-you could find them all at Fox's Facebook page. Fox dismantled the discussion board, so now all those folks hang out at Media Matters and troll the comment threads.

I am no longer allowed to do that. Sometimes, I get caught up in the moment and verbally slap a conservative across the face with a halibut, but for the most part, I behave myself. I need the Duke and Duchess and Chest and Ahnold. I live vicariously through them, and while their comments may sometimes be sophomoric and filled with more dirty words than a Henry Miller novel, those comments make me, and thousands of others, laugh hysterically.

My friends know how I write. You know I write about very serious issues like sexual assault, domestic violence, mental illness, hypocrisy and yes, politics. You also know I write satire, and that I love to write satire. It's a lot more enjoyable making up an entire article about a fake personal aircraft than writing, for the thousandth time, how brutally ignorant conservative Christians are about the message of Christ. Plus, when I write satire, I don't get called a word that rhymes with bunt nearly as often.

My writer friend somehow thinks that being goofy and silly, and writing less than serious pieces about serious issues, somehow diminishes liberal journalism. I beg to differ. If being silly is not a  viable form of writing, why did an Iranian news agency repost an article from The Onion as fact? Writing satire is hard as hell; I would guess writing satire that Iranian news takes seriously is next to impossible. Kudos to The Onion. Bastards.

Here's the deal. I had minor (VERY MINOR, so don't freak out, but please send chocolate) surgery on Wednesday, and dammit, I don't want to be serious. I want to sit here, slightly high on pain medication and be a big ass goof. And doing that does not mean I am a bad writer or a bad liberal. I'm a fairly good writer and a pretty good liberal, who desperately needs the silly.

Look, if you want serious political commentary, that's perfectly fine. I read serious political articles at Mother Jones, Daily Kos, The Nation, The Wall Street Journal and Free Wood Post. Kidding, FWP is satire on steroids; I love them. But for the next 40 days, until we reelect President Obama and tie Mitt Romney to the top of a Town and Country minivan, let me be silly. Let me write fake press releases and interview the ghost of Seamus and quote my husband, the noted pet psychiatrist/avionics expert, Mr. Dr. Professor "Wild Man" Nanasi. I swear to Sky Cat, I'll go back to your regularly scheduled, maudlin programming in a month and 10 days, but right now, just let me be.

Thank you for your understanding, cooperation and support. And don't call me a bunt.

© Erin Nanasi 2012