Fishbowls, aquariums and explanations

Helpful reader MG writes to tell me why I didn’t “get” the Slinging News bit about Keepers of the Aquarium. Answer: because I don’t have a good memory (MG didn’t say that though). “There was a discussion,” MG writes, “some time back on sogospelnews that the satirist could be taking a shot at,” titled … you guessed it, “Keepers of the Aquarium” (as opposed to Fishers of Men). All of which confirms my earlier sense that this early Slinger work is heavy laden with inside-jokes (though of course for online sg publications, aiming for the message-board crowd and thinking in terms of that collective message-board memory is not an all bad idea). Apropos the inside-jokes, savvy JL wrote to comment on the tendencies of the site’s humor:

Looks to me like the new parody site is run by someone whose creative skills are primarily visual, rather than verbal, so I’m willing to wait and see if they add the written kind of satire you are referring to or not. At this point, they are primarily manipulating visual images to create jokes, kind of like what student journalists like to do with April Fool’s issues, sans the erotic overtones, etc. It may turn out to be more of an insider site … if you read the Singing News and other message boards, you may get it, maybe not. Will be interesting to see what the Tors decide to add, where they take it. It is a gutsy move, it seems to me (given the tone of stuff I’ve occasionally read on the message boards that you have linked to) to even announce that you plan to parody SG. Let’s give them that, anyway.

Good points, all of these. As JL went on to note, the effort at this point is all in the visuals rather than writing (you can click on thumbnails to get more of the images, but there is no “more” to get on the teaser text, and most of the humor is satirically self-deprecating to the site creator(s) or relies on the same kind of manipulated images that the “staff” bios use to get laughs). For it to be really funny, the site creators are going to have to be willing to take some honest shots at some big names or events or familiar habits within sg that everybody recognizes (”Jerry Kirskey admits food addiction” or “SG plagued by glory bumps epidemic” or something like that). But the site will need time to find its stride and hit the right tones. I’m willing to wait and see.

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