I’ve been having quite a bit of fun writing satire. I’m not the funniest guy in the world nor am I a world-class comedian, but something about satire allows me to bring out some of the funny I have in me through a medium that is meant to be half serious. I remember reading Thomas Payne’s A Modest Proposal in grade school and found it hilarious because of the chaos it caused back in its day as well as in my classroom. Some of my classmates didn’t understand it, some thought it was real and an actual letter recommending the consumption of infants as well as how to best prepare them, and others actually got the joke. I like that satire takes on society and critically analyzes it in a form that’s meant to be laughed at but is also meant to be a critique. I think this medium can be rather enlightening because when you begin to look at some major issues through a less serious light, you start to see the nonsense and hilarity of things.
I think, to this day, one of the best forms of satire ever created was Grand Theft Auto V. GTA V’s unbelievable onslaught of societal critiques brings out the stupidity of society, the intricacies we overlook day to day, and even makes light of some typically heavy situations that many wouldn’t dare to touch which is just one of the many things that makes Rockstar’s games so enthralling. GTA V makes fun of the push for medicinal drugs including medical cocaine (Yes, I’m aware it was actually a prescription at one point and was how one soft drink got their name), the Electrotoke which allows users to cleanly inhale marijuana, heroin, and crack cocaine, and even gives major social media companies and their users hefty shots in the forms of LifeInvader (Facebook) and Bleeter (Twitter), allowing the player to see and utilize these sites as the game progresses to see the asinine information people post to their public profiles reflecting real-life society’s propensity to do the same. The posts are amazing and progress as the story progresses. GTA V also goes after political affiliations and candidates, poking fun in the forms of Jock Cranley, a former Vinewood stuntman making a run for Republican candidate for governor, and Sue Murray, a former school teacher who became rich in a divorce settlement as the hard liberal democrat opponent, both suggesting infantile and outrageous solutions to complex problems while making fun of both parties. It’s really genius all that’s in that game and it will be hard to surpass but GTA has managed to do it with each game that’s come out being better than the last.
Satire is something that’s meant to be taken serious and not serious at the same time. It points out flaws in society or idiosyncrasies while also pointing out major problems in a lighthearted and entertaining way. There are many satire news sites, such as the Onion or the new Babylon Bee, which continue to raise awareness of various issues by making fun of them. I’ve been writing some little snippets of satire here and there, primarily as if they were news stories coming out of Los Santos (the fictional city in GTA meant to be real-world Los Angeles) and I’ve gotten some good feedback on them. I’m working on transitioning into tackling real-life issues because I think that will get some good footing and allow people here to enjoy it too.