Is it OK to satirise September 11th?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by AL, Aug 29, 2002.

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  1. StarFire Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    In response to all the reasons you listed: Why?

    You listed several elements of 9/11 which might make for a good satire, but WHY? Why make light of so tremendous and tragic an event?
  2. Waning Drill Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 1999
    star 5
    Newsweek, probably the country's #1 magazine when it comes to the weekly news, does this sort of thing every week. They've apparently managed to avoid being shunned like heretics for the past 40 odd years; I don't see why it should even be considered a problem now.

    It's not as if Nelson (who in your minds I'm sure embodies that evil singular entity you all like to condescendingly refer to as "the media") was hanging around at Ground Zero on 9/12 going, "Ha ha!"
  3. womberty Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    Nah, it's more like Mr. Burns, gleefully rubbing his hands together: "Eeeeeexcellent." [face_devil]
  4. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    I'm thinking Ralph Wiggums, "Smells like hot dogs!". :D
  5. ferelwookie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    In response to the title of this thread: No.


    Disclaimer: Just so no one assumes I am personally threating them, everytime I use the word "you" in this specific post, I mean it hypothetically and as "you in general" or "someone" and am not singleing out anyone specifically. I hope that makes sense! :)

    While I'm all for free-speech and feel you have the right to engage in unpopular speech and offend many people, I would warn against it on this specific topic for YEARS to come.

    I am from the east coast originally, and know several people (not extremely closely, but still) who lost loved ones in the WTC. I promise, if you cracked a "joke" about this event and they overheard it, the majority would stomp you to within an inch of your life. While I feel they shouldn't resort to such behavior, I can totally understand if they did this. If someone insulted the memory of a loved one of mine, they would be risking physical pain also.

    Surely, if you came to this country from Iraq and we bomb the HELL out of that country again, killing your mother back there, you wouldn't want people passing by your house loudly telling "jokes" about how funny it was to destroy the Iraqi army and kill civilians AGAIN? There is a fine line between joking/free-speech and inciting people to violence. If you know certain speech will enrage or elicit and violent response from a large number people, and do it anyway, you are guilty of inciting a crowd to "riot". (A LEGALLY punishable offense.)

    I am from the New England area originally, an can assure you that if you were in a nightclub or public place, and lightheartedly "joked" about any of the events of last Sept. 11th, you would surely not escape that location unscathed. While I feel violence in this situation would be unfortuante, it would be understandable IMO and the speaker should realize the potential of this, before going through with his "humorous" material. Just my .02.
  6. Darth_Asabrush Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    First off: This is an interesting thread don't ruin it by flaming.

    For those who don't know satire is not necessarily about making jokes. Satire is used to expose folly and or vice. You can satirise something and still make a serious point. You just have to look at politcal satire for proof.

    At the Edinburgh festival this year there were several American acts that used satire regarding Sept 11th which were moving, serious and funny.

    I personally don't think it's too early as long as it's done correctly. ie: By those who understand what satire is. It's a bit like irony. Many people think they know what it is but not many (except the British ;) ) actually do! However, there are gonna be many people out there who will take offence, not get it and get upset. This could be more trouble than its worth!

    This is purely a personal point of view and not a collective "Mod" POV.

  7. ferelwookie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    I was in no way flaming, that's why I included a disclaimer. I also stated that I think violence would be regretful, but I could see how it would happen. I'm sorry if you see this as flaming...wasn't my intention. I just know many people who would not tolerate such "humor".

    As far as "satire" goes I don't think an SNL parody or Mad Magazine doing a "polictialy charged lampoon" of planes destroying the WTC and killing thousands would be very funny, or socially redeemable IMHO. I could certainly see someone like George Carlin (one of my favorite and INTELLIGENT comdeians) satrizing a horrible event like this...just look at some of his "entropy" bits. Despite that I think he's intellgent and challenging enough to handle such material, I would be somewhat offended, and think he would likely draw incredibly angered responses from crowds. In that case, he knowing chose to perform material that he knew COULD or WOULD likely insite a crowd to hostile...potentially violent behavior IMO.

    If my last post was "offensive" I will remove it, but I believe every bit of it.
  8. ADMIRALSPUZZUM Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2002
    star 4
    in response to the title:

    Not yet.

    Maybe in 70 years or so, I can see it like how people crack jokes about the Titanic . I'm not saying that it should be done, but I have no doubt it will. I dont see the harm in poking fun at Bin Laden (its been done) or Bush (come to Canada :) ) but so long as they are not jokes about the planes or the towers OR the pentagon for that matter either.
  9. JediStryker Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 4
    I didn't find the given examples of satire enlightening or humorous in any way. So what's the point?

    I am not going to say it's not okay to satirize 9/11; in the US it's okay to satirize anything, even if it's not in good taste. I wouldn't support it, though.
  10. ferelwookie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    I have no problem with people satirizing Bush (moron IMO), our government, our military, or even the poorly trained shmucks (minimum wage) at the airport security who let EVERYONE through! I could actually imagine quite a few laughs coming at the expense of incompetent baggage checkers.

    But to satirize the actual events of 9-11, and the deaths of all of these people, no way. Not funny. Not appropriate. Like I said people have the RIGHT to, but it is uncalled for and perverse in that instance IMO. I wonder the British response of an American lampoon of a attack that kills thousands of Brits? Not likely to garinish many laughs over there...likely to raise tempers etc. Satirizing public figures, incomptent leaders etc. is fine, but satirizing the deaths of thousands of people who simply went to work one day and didn't come home is ghastly insensitive and an insult to the memories of all of those people and their families IMHO.
  11. Cailina Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 4
    It had been 'the thing' months before 9/11 never to smile, or to joke, except a bit nervously, self-consciously - as one might, for example, at the boss's jokes. And never, never to act, or to say anything silly. Silly is out. The result of September 11th has only been to exacerbate this affected bleak style, and to spread it far beyond Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers to the entire New York area, and probably beyond, including our shores.

    I don't know why you say this. Everyone I know laughs a lot, makes jokes, and is generally silly both before and afer 9/11. Unless the specific topic of 9/11 comes up in which case we are solemn.

    AL Personally I thought that Terror's March Backwards was quite funny. :) I think things like that are acceptable...as opposed to making jokes about the actual event(I'm told a teacher in my school did this...on the day it happened :( Very bad especially considering how many kids in our school have parents who work in NYC)

    Now another good source of political parodies/satire in general is the band The Capitol Steps ( www.capsteps.com )
    Their Latest CD When Bush Comes to Shove includes:

    Don't Go Faking You're Smart Pokes fun at Bush

    Tom Ridge Bedtim Story #1 Makes fun of the increases in US Security, Tom Ridge is the director of Homeland Security. Highlights:
    "9:15 am First little pig builds a house out of straw. We feel it necessary to inform him that there have been reports that we can neither confirm nor deny that terrorists may or may not be targeting straw houses at sometime in the future.[...] 11:45 am Pigs live in constant fear eventually develop eating disorders which are rare for pigs. 12:15 pm first little pig turns off CNN...lives happily ever after."

    Taliban - make fun of the Taliban, and religious zealots in general

    Pack the Knife Makes fun of the inefficient/ineffective increased security at airports. "We'll have a perfect record as long as no one makes their flight." "Drop those those tweezers, and nix those nail clips, cause you know they form a threat to life. You can't take them on your air trips but you still can...pack a knife."

    Gloy, Paranoia - self-explanatory: recent Paranoia "I can't take my knitting when I board my flight today. If she tried to knit an afghan they might haul her butt away."

    They also make fun of Enron, everyone's reliance on Greenspan, the .com bust, the cloning debate, more Tom Ridge stories, foot and mouth disease, and more :)

    And for those of you who want to say that this is all really liberal: Yes, the last couple CDs had plenty of jokes making fun of Clinton.
  12. DerthNader Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2001
    star 5
    While I'm not for any jokes made at the expense of those who died, I can never get enough George Bush and Dick Cheney jabs.

    I loved that bit about Papa Bear and Baby Bear Bush sitting in barrels of crude oil. The scary part is, it might just be true! :D

    And that bit about Woody Allen reshooting "Manhattan"...loved it! :D
  13. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    No I don't think it's right. However if it's a joke about Bush or Bin Laden I usually don't mind if the joke is actually funny. It's when someone makes a joke about the actual event where thousands died is where I draw the line.

    I have a question for all of you.

    Have any of you ever heard someone tell a joke about Pearl Harbor?

    I never had and I think it goes to show that past generations at least have some respect and this generation has some respect of the people who died in 1941. I think the same should go for September 11 and should be double that since this was not a military target but a civilian target.

  14. gwaernardel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    Just out of curiosity, did anyone read the articles in The Onion shortly after the attacks? I thought they were rather good actually. I've been told we're not supposed to link to the site, so I'll leave it up to you to find it, but it was actually a pretty funny satire about Americans in general. One particular article had some excellent points about how it's great fun to watch buildings getting blown up in Independence Day or Armageddon but there was nothing fun about September 11th.
  15. Lordban Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2000
    star 5
    It is really too early for those who were linked to lost ones at WTC to accept the idea of satirising the events of 9/11, but I will nonetheless say that, eventually, they'll have to accept it. As a humorist put it, "if you're not struck by death, you have all the reasons of the world to laugh about it, and if you're yourself struck by death, you have no reason not to laugh about it." It's part of the recovery process, and satyre is probably the best way to have people laugh. Someday, they will have to accept the satyric jokes about 9/11 and maybe invent a couple ones too. They may shed a few more tears because of it, but in the end, they'll have to accept that life, and theirs in particular, still goes on ; and they'll have to accept the fact that their fellow humans are the most likely to laugh when presented with a good satyre.
  16. AL Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    The main argument against this seems to be that it is way too early for all the people who were in one way, shape or form related to the victims and the attacks, to be reminded of the tragedy. The oroblem is, they could not possibly get it out of their minds in the past year. The events of the day and following it have been dominating the news constantly and hence they are constantly reminded of the atrocities. Songs are being written about it, plays are being produced, documentaries shot and broadcast. If all those niches can deal with it, then why not satire?
  17. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    "Songs are being written about it, plays are being produced, documentaries shot and broadcast. If all those niches can deal with it, then why not satire?"

    Obviously, satire has been used in reference to the topic in question. You already posted examples. I believe that the vast majority of songs and other medium that have been sludged into the marketplace are only attempts by the artists/producer to cash in when emotions are running high and I do not approve. Does that mean I can or should stop it from occurring? Nope.
  18. AL Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    In that case, a satire is much more reverential than such songs as it is bringing up certain important points regarding the entire event and not succumbing to sanctimonius and sentimentalist tripe with which these "artists" are essentially trying to make money or increase their profiles.
  19. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    I agree. It's complete crapulence on their part. Most of the songs are horribly written to top it off.
  20. StarFire Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    In that case, a satire is much more reverential than such songs as it is bringing up certain important points regarding the entire event

    What kind of points are you thinking of?
  21. AL Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    Starfire, I ansered this question yesterday; if you go back a page, you can read all the points I list that satire can cover.
  22. StarFire Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    You listed a number of ironic things, and stuff that could be made fun of. Nothing "reverential" there.
  23. AL Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1998
    star 5

    The satire itself is reverential as the form itself excludes any reverence. Approaching the mindless jingoistic diatribe coming from Bush and Cheney with satire is a far healthier response to the events following September 11th, than the sickening songs we have been hearing oh so frequently.

    Tell me, what did you think of Terror's March Backwards? Did you find it funny? Was it offensive to you? Your thoughts. that's what I want to know.

  24. Vaderbait Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2001
    star 6
    Making fun of people has always been acceptable. But I still haven't heard any jokes about Pearl Harbor. [face_plain]

    There was one hilarious cartoon that came out right after September 11th. It showed in the background some Islamic Extremists dancing and shooting off their guns, and in the foreground is another sitting on the ground reading a book. A horrified look is on his face, and the text bubble reads: "Have any of you read the last chapter in this book?!" The books title was: "Pearl Harbor and the war in the Pacific" or "US vs.Japan, World War II" or something like that.

    I had that in my locker for months. :p
  25. StarFire Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    AL: The satire itself is reverential as the form itself excludes any reverence.

    In other words, it's reverential because it's not? I don't get it...

    Approaching the mindless jingoistic diatribe coming from Bush and Cheney with satire is a far healthier response to the events following September 11th, than the sickening songs we have been hearing oh so frequently.

    Again, what exactly is the point? To have a few laughs? To help people "heal"? To make fun of the Bush administration?

    Vaderbait: [face_laugh]
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