Satire Friday: Onionesque

Barack Obama calls for change

Image by Unlisted Sightings via Flickr

Perhaps you’ve heard of The Onion, the often profane, usually funny, totally made-up news source, which now boasts print newspapers and a multifaceted web site. I was first introduced to The Onion by my then college aged son, who could grab a free copy of The Onion on the University of Michigan campus from a corner newspaper box. The Onion’s theme, which is fully disclosed in its editorial details is this: 1) all stories are fiction, and 2) many stories are R-rated and not appropriate for children. Stories in The Onion start out sounding like genuine news, often about well-known public figures. They cite quotes from real or real-sounding people, give names of actual people and places, employ legitimate-sounding statistics, and use photos of real folks, although with heavy application of  Photoshop.  They often spoof a current news crisis issue, and take it to extremes, such as in this gem about President Obama:

Obama Earns Money for US by Appearing in Japanese Television Commercial 

Someone unfamiliar with The Onion, who just happened across the paper or website, may at first glance think they’re reading a plausible news story. But in short order, stories go from somewhat plausible to sketchy, to improbable, all the while laced with satire and hilariously ironic details. As one gets farther into the newspaper/website,  the stories are often cruder, vulgar, and R-rated  – too risqué for my tastes, which shows that even the best satire writers are only great part of the time. I stick to and endorse only the few front page stories that are cleverly written and funny, and leave the crude ones for those who appreciate that kind of writing. 

My appreciation of fine, made-up satirical news has led me to dabble in some my own made-up news stories at times, to the point that I’ve decided to start my own onion-like category, aptly titled Onionesque. Look for some new Onionesque posts soon. In the meantime, you can revisit some of my old Onionesque posts if you’re feeling ready for a dose of healthy news-related satire.

Senate Bill 2274: McCain-Logan

Angry Bloggers Storm WordPress Headquarters

Set for Life

© Huffygirl 2011


3 thoughts on “Satire Friday: Onionesque

  1. I’ve read The Onion before. I wonder if it got its name from the layers of news you uncover as you read further. I don’t particularly care for it, although some of it is really quite funny.

    I remember your article/post on the storming of WP HQ. Many people thought it was true and there was some confusion in the blogosphere. However, it was a masterpiece in subterfuge and quite funny, once you knew it wasn’t real.

    • I don’t care for a lot of what is printed on The Onion either – much of it is too crude for me. But I do appreciate the ones that feature cleverly written satire, which is what I hope I can carry on with here.

      Thanks for calling my piece “…a masterpiece in suterfuge…” – that’s something you don’t hear any day. I’m taking a risk with writing onionesque satire – because not everyone “gets” it, not everyone likes it, and if it’s too believable, it raises alarm and confusion. We’ll see how this all works out and thanks for your input Sandra.

  2. Pingback: Denver to import oxygen from Canada | Huffygirl's Blog

Don't leave yet. Tell me what's on your mind.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s