Say Goodbye to Satire

Published by marco on

I remember that immediately after the attack on the World Trade Center, it was generally agreed upon in the mainstream press that irony was dead. I also remember thinking that that was ridiculous. Irony is alive and well. Recent events have borne that out, with increasingly dangerous and heavily ironic things happening all of the time.

 Now, in recent days, I’ve seen something that leads me to think that the “irony is dead” mantra was simply a case of mistaken identity. It’s irony’s close cousin, satire, that is dead. Remember the article, FBI to Issue 5-Day Terror Forecasts, on SatireWire? It joked about the FBI switching to a more meteorological system for defining the level of terror we can expect on a given day. Basically a satirical poke at the Department of Homeland Defense’s ominous, vague warnings.

It seems that reality is rapidly catching up, passing and obviating satire. The New York Newsday has Rating the Risk − In Color, which reveals a new “Terror-Index” that color-codes the risk of a terror attack. Which part is worse? That a scientific-feeling classification system is attached to a prediction that has, in the past, had very little evidence backing it up? Or is it worse that now we are expected to pick up our Terror Index just as we pick up the Air-Quality Index and the UV-Index, all now acceptable parts of living in a ravaged age?

All this does is make a nice easy switch to use when the the populace isn’t deemed cowed enough. If there are too many questions being asked, bump up to orange for a couple of days, then back down to yellow. Then the administration can say, “See, our system is working. Just shut up and let us handle it.” I’ll bet this thing never goes below yellow. Maybe it will drop to blue for special holidays.

On a discussion on Plastic called Tom Ridge and Rainbow of Doom, denovich mentions that “[t]his reminds me over Homer’s Everything’s OK Alarm. That’s a reference to the Simpsons television show when Homer tries to become an inventor.

Here’s your forecast:

Well, let’s see, today the UV-Index is high because, well, that whole ozone-depletion reduction thing was so hard to enforce…and the Air-Quality Index is skyrocketing today because oil is just so damned cheap, why develop cleaner technologies?…and the Terror-Index is off-the charts today, folks, better stay inside…it seems we may have had a few foreign “bungles” that might have pissed off some potential terrorists. Why don’t you just stay inside today, put up your feet, order in a pizza and click on QVC. Just because you don’t go out doesn’t mean you can stop buying for America. The economy needs you.