May. 8th, 2013

piranha: red origami crane (Default)
so the onion took on chris brown once again in an article titled Heartbroken Chris Brown Always Thought Rihanna Was Woman He’d Beat To Death. cue scores of tweeting feminists who are upset at the onion because "violence against women isn't funny".

like, duh.

hanna rosin in slate at least doesn't misunderstand the onion, but to me her piece still misses the mark. what's most interesting me here is that people are arguing about whether or not the fictional violence was "funny". why? that's not the only way to assess the article.

i never once thought the article was making fun of violence, or was using violence against women to score a cheap laugh. i didn't think that the fictional violence was funny either (though i think that sometimes it can be; i usually appreciate it when it is turned against a bully). instead the article is completely unsubtle satire, directed at chris brown and his enablers, media and fans alike. i can actually appreciate the lack of subtlety, because really, chris brown doesn't deserve any. any laughs this got from me were in appreciation of the satire itself, of it pointing a huge, shaming arrow at entertainment news and gossip, at chris brown's fans who think he's hot, at a culture which raises women to blame themselves and stay with men who abuse them, at the fact that this man is not in jail where he should be, but instead continues to be treated as if he were a person we should empathize with while he jerks out some tears over his most recent breakup with the woman he abused.

i didn't laugh out loud because my funnybone was tickled (it wasn't), i guffawed at the perfect skewering, and i sort of snorted at the irony that some of the best analysis and insight we get is from comedic outlets like the onion and jon stewart, who're skewering mainstream media mercilessly, and pointing out exactly how wrong our culture is to venerate this shite. that's neither misogynistic nor racist.

i'm not sure what is up with the offended feminists. i don't subscribe to the dumb idea that feminists don't have a sense of humour, and it annoys me when people talk down to those who don't laugh at the same things; one size does definitely not fit all when it comes to humour. there are many allegedly funny things that don't amuse me, and i don't think my sense of humour is impaired; a lot of humour out there is stupid, thoughtless, or cruel. i also think satire overlaps with humour instead of being a pure subset, and it's highly context-driven, so it's all too easy to miss. but i thought this was not subtle at all, and yet a number of feminists really do seem to completely miss the point in this case. or is it something i am not seeing?

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