by Brandy D. Anderson
In a world that seems to be growing increasingly divisive, we can all use some humour. Facebook hosts some of the greatest satire “news” sites online, and they certainly provide a happy distraction from the drudgery of other news, “real” or “fake”. Although there are quite a few satirical organizations out there, these are the three best!
About: “Founded in 1765. The Onion is a Peabody award-winning news source founded in 1765 by Friedrich Siegfried Zweibel.”
The Onion is notorious for having hilarious satirical articles that still fool some unsuspecting folks who don’t quite realize what satire is. Every year, I’ll get at least one Onion article forwarded to me by a friend who’s been duped. While some of articles are quite obviously jokes from the start, I could see how others could fool some readers in the beginning. Here’s one such article:“Study: Wild Elephants Only Sleep 2 Hours Per Night.” It then says, “Researchers have found that although elephants in captivity sleep four to six hours per day, in the wild they sleep only two hours a night. What do you think?” But then you have the obvious tip-off that it’s satire – there’s a featured quote: “’No wonder they get so much shit done.’ – Simon Hellenga, Book Jacketeer”. An example of one of their more obvious jokes can be found in this “News in Photos” item: “Paul Ryan Mentally Logs 4,613th Missed Opportunity to Put a Stop to All of This”.
Not all Onion articles are so blatantly political, however, as seen in this recent gem: “87% of Loud Crashing Noises Are Nothing, Report Top Experts From Other Room”: “More than half of the experts on the other side of the wall said that the noises were nothing to concern yourself with, so you can just go ahead and put them out of your mind. WASHINGTON—Insisting to the nation that it’s totally fine in there and that they definitely don’t need any help, the country’s top experts from the other room reported Friday that 87 percent of loud crashing noises are nothing. Speaking in muffled voices audible from the other side of the wall, the experts confirmed that nearly nine in 10 of these sounds—which included thuds, bangs, and a crash followed by a pause and then several smaller crashes in quick succession—honestly aren’t anything at all.”
Not so into political satire? Never fear, there are actually a ton of non-political posts here as well. You can read the article entitled “Man Taking Photo With iPad Oblivious to How Badass He Looks”: “The way he’s holding the iPad all the way out in front of his body like that? Dude looks so awesome he doesn’t even realize it.” Or you might like this one: “New Study Finds Solving Every Single Personal Problem Reduces Anxiety”: “Our findings suggest that resolving all of the major issues plaguing one’s life is correlated with a considerable decrease in the body’s cortisol levels, leading to lower stress.” You can read about film-making. “Top of Mt. Everest Pulling Away Majority of Hollywood Films With Generous Tax Credit Program”: “Sometimes a little script tinkering is needed to work in the fact that everyone’s wearing oxygen tanks and 50 pounds of climbing gear, but given the incredible savings it’s nothing you can’t smooth out in post.” You’ll find numerous new articles here every day.
About: “Founded in 1952.”
Most of us probably remember Mad Magazine as a kid. My grandma got my siblings and I each our very own subscriptions to MAD, and I was so excited. Its humour is always funny, but it usually has an edge to it, and as a pre-teen, I felt pretty sophisticated reading the content. But even as an adult, I still find MAD to be hilarious and, more often than not, the political humour, edgy as it is, is often quite insightful as well. Facebook is a wonderful platform for MAD Magazine because they can share photos, texts, and diagrams just like you’d find in the print version, and it also provides an outlet for fans to interact with the magazine and each other.
The pinned joke naturally focuses on the Trump administration. The headline reads “Celebrities without their makeup”, and then we have two columns of photos: ‘with makeup’ and ‘without makeup’. It begins with Ivanka Trump, and everything appears normal: The “with makeup” shows us the public face of Ivanka that we’re used to seeing, the “without makeup” shows us a fresh-faced Ivanka, still clearly recognizable even without the eye-shadow, primer, and lipstick. Now we get into the funny bits, with Eric Trump: the “with” column shows us the Eric we know, the “without” column shows us Gary Busey! Kellyanne Conway’s “with” is obviously her, “without” turns her into Iggy Pop! Steve Bannon has the funniest “without” picture, it’s a slimy alien creature ( from a movie I can’t quite place).
Another post shows a picture entitled “Jeff Sessions: Putin’s Newest Puppet” with a humorous photo-shopped picture to match! In another post, MAD takes a crack at Hollywood and the White House: “Dais and Confused Dept. SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES: TRUMP’S SPEECH TO CONGRESS AND THE 2017 ACADEMY AWARDS”. However, not all posts are political. They also occasionally post funny and quirky tributes and MAD facts, like this one: “William M. Gaines, MAD‘s founding publisher, would have turned 95 years-old today. Since his death in 1992 his attendance in the office has been spotty. Get more stupidity delivered directly to your home! Subscribe to MAD magazine today!” Another fun feature of their FB page is their call for users to “caption this”, and each one features a different comic cartoon with an empty word bubble. They usually add a new post daily.
About: “SatireWire was founded by a former BBC television and radio comedy writer. And then lost. And then founded again.”
SatireWire is one of those rare comedy “news” sites that will probably make you laugh no matter what your political views; their content is so absurd it’s hard not to at least chuckle. To illustrate my point: one of their headlines reads “Trump Vows Not to Deport Illegals Who Rate 8+”. The article begins with: “In what it called a “show of great compassion,” the Trump administration today announced it will allow all female illegal immigrants to stay in the country if they rate an 8 or higher. Critics blasted the idea as blatantly sexist, and pointed out Trump had once promised to only deport illegals with criminal records. Press Secretary Sean Spicer, however, said the new order is ‘entirely consistent’ with earlier promises as, ‘Mr. Trump believes that being anything less than an 8 is a crime.’”
Another funny series they recently reran was “Gingrich Releases Last 10 Years of Valentine’s Cards”: “GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich sought to fend off attacks on his family values and marital infidelity today by releasing the last 10 years of his Valentine’s Day cards sent to current wife, Callista. The 68-year-old Gingrich, who left his first wife while she had cancer and divorced his second wife shortly after learning she had multiple sclerosis, described his relationship with third wife Callista, 45, as ‘very healthy,’ and said he did not expect that to change as long as she remains ‘very healthy’.”
You can read all about how the “Newly Discovered Exoplanets Seem to Be Unhappy We Found Them”. The piece goes on to say, “In an astounding development, scientists today said the seven newly discovered exoplanets in a nearby constellation seem to be aware that we found them, and are not very happy about it. At some point in the last few days, massive, etched symbols have appeared on the surfaces of the Earth-sized planets that, together, spell out: ‘Earth sux’.” Another post begins with: “Fence Jumper Arrested Trying to Break Out of White House” and goes on to read: “The U.S. Secret Service today apprehended a man they said was attempting to scale the White House fence in order to break out. Officials refused to name the extruder, but witnesses identified the man as Reinhold Richard ‘Reince’ Priebus, 44, who serves as President Donald Trump’s chief of staff. After his apprehension, the suspect vehemently denied he was trying to leave, according to police”. Posting is a bit sporadic here, sometimes there’s a new post every other day, sometimes it could be a week or even two before a new one is added. However, there is a lot of content to look at even if you catch them between postings.