Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The Onion: Humor in Shackles
This week The Onion is experimenting with an 18th century period theme. This is quite tedious to begin with, but the hateful and spectacularly unfunny "Humor in Shackles," which features mock jokes about the torture and killing of black slaves, is in the worst possible taste. Mark Twain's classic anti-slavery novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn uses the word "nigger" over 200 times, yet still manages to depict its black and white characters as deeply human. "Humor in Shackles," despite its PC language, merely exploits horrific imagery in order to turn the knee-jerk mechanism of dehumanization back onto the white slave owners, committing itself to the same mentality of tribalist hatred and oppression that permits atrocities like slavery in the first place. Shitty satire* merely perpetuates the kind of thinking it purports to criticize, and this week's issue of The Onion is a case in point. Boo-urns.
*Also see Stuff White People Like, Wonder Showzen, etc.
(Image from bbb.videokitchen.tv.)