I Was Going To Spoof Them, But Then Reality Intruded

One of the things I like to do every now and then is to insert tongue firmly  into cheek and let my sense of humor take off when writing.  It’s fun to satirize, to spoof something that’s happening.  To put a spin on it, go off on a tangent, and take it to its “logical” extreme.    Earlier this week, this story hit the news:  Texas wants to allow students at universities to carry concealed weapons on campus. After getting over the “you have got to be kidding me!” reaction, a terrific idea for a spoof news story occurred to me.   Then I decided against it, because not only would it be a real possibility, the politicians’ reactions I envisioned would most likely be their real reactions. My initial thought of “what’s the most insane thing I could have a politician say” became “that’s what they probably would say.”     There’s a “law” called Poe’s Law:  “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.”  It can also be put as any parody of an extreme position is hard to distinguish from a sincere extreme position.    My idea for a spoof ran afoul of that, and there are other recent stories which make me realize the sad truth behind Poe’s Law.

Over the years, in various Internet debates about abortion, I’ve brought up a fact:  15 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage.  The figure may actually be higher, since very early miscarriages may be missed.  I’ve gotten sarcastic in my arguments at times, saying “what are you going to do, throw every woman in jail for a miscarriage?”   I thought I was being sarcastic, that it was such a ridiculous proposition that not even the most hard-core anti-abortion fanatics would agree with that.   I was wrong.  There’s a lawmaker in Georgia right now who’s introduced a bill to do just that.

State Rep. Bobby Franklin of Georgia introduced a bill in his state last week that, if enacted, would require proof that a miscarriage occurred naturally. If a woman can’t prove that her miscarriage–or spontaneous abortion–occurred without intervention, she could face felony charges.

In other words, not only would a woman have to deal with  having miscarried, she then has to prove that it really, really was a miscarriage to the state.   Then we have the increasing number of states who suddenly realized there were Muslims in this country, and decided that they should ban sharia law in the courts, or in Tennessee, a law that doesn’t quite ban sharia altogether, but:

The law is blatantly discriminatory. It doesn’t target terrorist organizations in general, but rather terrorist organizations of a specific religious faith. Under this law, for example, I would not face 15 years in prison if I provide material support to an organization that favors the violent overthrow of government and a return to fundamentalist Christian law.

I might point out that there are quite a number of organizations who seem to be quite intent on implementing fundamentalist Christian laws in this country, and several have made various calls for violent action at times.  In any event, it’s interesting to see the sudden interest in banning “sharia law” by people who don’t have a clue about what it actually is, and how it is a consideration in US courts, just like any other foreign law.

It’s the increasing number of news items like this that made me realize it is  going to be virtually impossible to write a satirical piece on them.  No matter how blatantly illogical, unrealistic, or just outright stupid I’d think I’d made it, there would be someone out there in real life who would promptly show that I was right on the money, or was being understated.  As weird as my imagination can be, reality keeps intruding to show it is even weirder.



Filed under Politics

10 responses to “I Was Going To Spoof Them, But Then Reality Intruded

  1. Thanks for this, Norbrook. I had never heard of Poe’s Law but I have seen it in action. We live in particularly crazy times.

    When I aggregate the noontime news for BPI Campus, I have to put a SATIRE tag on some of the Onion stories because some of the news stories are so ridiculous. I have occasionally have to put a NOT SATIRE tag on a news story that is so over the top, it warrants special attention. For example, in January Judith Miller, formerly of the NY Times, admonished Julian Assange for not verifying his sources. 😯

    • I’ve felt the same way many times, especially dealing with birthers. There is no statement you can come up with, no matter how crazy, that one of them will not say in all seriousness.

  2. TrumpDog

    State Rep. Bobby Franklin of Georgia introduced a bill in his state last week that, if enacted, would require proof that a miscarriage occurred naturally. If a woman can’t prove that her miscarriage–or spontaneous abortion–occurred without intervention, she could face felony charges.


    I really don’t know what to say.

    • Franklin is a genuine nut case. He’s one of the people you think of when you say “village idiot.” It doesn’t matter which side of the issue you fall on, this is one of those “WTF???” ideas.

      • Nathan Katungi

        What is even more distressing is that people elected this “village idiot” to office. I guess that’s the price of democracy.

  3. Aquagranny911

    Good one Norbrook, and let me add these and this is not snark.

    Our Repugnants want to now have an official AZ “State Fire Arm” sort of like bird, flower etc. It’s to be the Colt revolver, I believe.

    Next, Pima County wishes to secede from AZ (can’t blame them in a way) and form their own State, Baja Arizona. Some have suggested that Pima County just be returned to Mexico. However, the group promoting this schism, “Start Our Own State” wishes to stay with the USA as the 51st State.

  4. Aquagranny911

    Yeah well, Utah didn’t just have six people killed, a Congresswoman left for dead and 12 others wounded. Not to be too nasty or snarky but my Sis suggested that Gabby Giffords be the one who should pick out the brand of “State Fire Arm” maybe with some input from the grieving families and those who are still alive after that mess in Tucson, hardly more than a month ago.

    Sorry, very, very angry…..going away now.

    • It’s all right to be angry–Lord knows I am–but always remember that we have to channel it in a positive manner.

      I just wonder about all those who channel it to bashing the guy who’s trying to clean up the mess…

    • g

      Kayne West nailed it. I paraphrase: Republicans don’ t care about…people.

      I don’ t have the energy to be “very, very angry” right now. But stinging eyes will suffice.