This has potential

A poster over at EHSSQ message boards just announced a new satirical website he’s running, The Slinging News. Someone, obviously, isn’t content to let the SN’s (unintentional) self-parody go unanswered. The Slinging News is worth a look (and won’t take long since there’s not much content yet). The site’s primary creative force, Eddie Tor (which is either the most serendipitously punned named ever for someone killing time as the Edi Tor of a satirical e-zine or is a really clever pseudonym), has a satirically inclined eye and ear, but much of the stuff up there right now didn’t strike me as all that funny or satirical (the Ernie Haase Slinging News cover was more tonally similar to the bland politesse of EHSSQ message-board chatter than satire). Satire and parody are extremely difficult to get right because there are so many competing demands pulling the satirist in different directions: the primary requirement is to be funny, of course, but funny in a way that pokes fun at recognizable people, events, institutions, and practices without making a bunch of insider jokes and without being too obviously partisan in a manner that will alienate half your audience. The bit at the Slinging News about the Keepers of the Aquarium promotion company, for instance, seems to be having some fun with the Unthanks’ constant rah-rah-siss-boom-bah overplay of anything related to Chris Unthank’s promotion company, Southern Spin (the “staff” of the Slinging News is also very Unthankable, consisting of a man, a woman, and what appear to be their two children, a male and female). But the joke falls flat, at least on me, since I don’t “get” the Keepers of the Aquarium, unless it’s meant to be some way-too-obscure reference to the way message boards and websites treat sg performers like goldfish in a bowl, nor is the story itself very parodic (you could replace most of the fake names with real names and the copy would read like something on sogospelnews or in SN, which is itself kinda funny but not satiric). The Onion remains the gold standard of satire and parody, a publication that makes fun of everything and everyone with a pitch-perfect sense of timing and tone. It’d be terrific if the Slinging News matures into a more Oniony publication, and I certainly hope it does. At any rate, Eddie says he’s looking for feedback so give it to him.

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