Satirising Satire

A pseudo-response to an article I didn’t properly read.

How to construct a “How to Write a “Political Correctness Run Amok” Article”

Aren’t you tired of all the backlash to well thought out and justified protestation? That silly lot that think it’s now hip to adopt an antidisestablishmentarianist tune? Aren’t you sick to death of all the hyperbolic exclamations replete with gratuitously superfluous long words that simply boil down to unnecessary tautology? Don’t you wish you had some forum to communicate your anguish without sinking down to the level of those first order protesters already under fire? Well luckily for you my handy guide will tell you how to do just that, by creating your very own instructional blog post that satirises the whole lot of them!

Step One: Create steps. That way, by the end of the post, readers will just assume some good points have been made. This is achieved by virtue of the fact you’ve simply tallied up so many. A dud point here or there can easily be overlooked too using this format so no pressure to be so bright. If you want to be really showy you can even add another numbered system with a catchy name that uses alliteration or something. The success of this is all down to psychological phenomenon #1 the ‘Event Boundary‘, as studied by Notre Dame scientist Gabriel Radvansky. A process whereby your brain compartmentalises information the information in receives. This is most evident, for example, when you leave one room to collect something elsewhere only to forget what it is you were looking for upon arrival.

Step Two: Provide links in your post to unrelated but interesting side topics. This will help subtly reinforce the point that you are a well read intelligent individual capable of drawing upon a huge range of somewhat relevant references. A fundamental part of satire is making yourself out to be of a far superior intellect. That way they’re likely to buy the fact your aimless musings represent a far more concise and concentrated effort than they would otherwise believe.

Step Three: Build in a fail safe. The world’s a turbulent place and you can never know if and when you’re going to hit a nerve. If you can subtly place into the tagline of your piece anything that will allow you to later feign ignorance as to this possibility, then you’ll be saving your future self a real ball-ache.

Step Four: Build up your straw man. To do so take the arguments from a few particular individuals and gut them of all sense and depth. No bother if you don’t quite understand how that appendage works exactly, throw it out with the rest of the organs anyway. Now next, this bit’s really important and often overlooked, carefully pick out the straw your going to fill your new opposition with. So many times I see would-be satirical writers picking the same strong sturdy straw, but you want the straw to be as easy to tackle as possible. So do yourself a favour, pick the weak stuff and fill it on up. Whenever in doubt over which straw to use at this stage just remember: brittle is better.

Step Five: Blow that straw man down.

Strawman

You’ve hopefully at this stage got a straw man who looks ready to collapse in on himself so it shouldn’t be that hard. Overkill, however, is what we’re going for. Any opportunity you have to point to that brittle straw and say it’s not relevant, take it. Construct an illicit motive behind their whole enterprise and use that to frame even the most innocuous elements of their piece.  Go for an in-depth rebuttal of that one crazy extreme article nobody agrees with anyway and use it to brand all articles of that type the same. Following that one, criticise your opponents for painting everyone with the same brush, luckily behind the smokescreen of “satire” you’re able to do the same with impunity. If you’re really daring you could then even shield yourself further by making concessions to the moderate stance they actually took in the first place. This is provided you can keep it crystal clear they weren’t being nearly so sensible themselves. Lets see them them construct a retort now.

Step Seven: Skip a step. Trust me on this, it’s likely they won’t notice, particularly if the preceding step is rather long and there’s a picture included to distract them. Doing this gives you a further notch on that all important aforementioned step tally making this psychological phenomenon #2. In the off-chance they are more eagle eyed they’ll undoubtably rush to the comment section below. Anticipate this and cover it up with a line about “testing them as readers” within a comment of your own. They’ll pat themselves on the back for spotting it and you’ll have created yourself a win-win situation. You winner.

Step Eight: Maintain the gag. Oh believe me folks, I know! It must be super tempting to make a genuine stab at discussing the issue head on amid all this. When you boldly step out into the realm of genuine debate however, you place yourself open to attack. You wouldn’t want to run the risk of somebody satirising you after all! Aha. No. So play things safe and thank the gods nobody would be ridiculous enough to try and satirise satire.

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