Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Column: Taking a Shot at Satire

Galileeblog, my blog, is now loaded up with satire. I thought I would tell you that so that it would help you in deciphering my posts – if anybody ever reads them. I’m reminded of Jackie Mason’s opening to his impressionist bits. “OK, this is Shimon Peres, ha ha ha … when I do an impression I like to first tell you who it is.”

But it’s wrong to say that nobody understands my humor. I am actually cracking a couple of people up pretty good and that is a big mitzvah these days. Still, I hope to improve because some people don’t recognize that I am satirizing. They think that it’s really a news story I’m writing. I was concerned about that so I put little smiles at the beginning of each satirical post to give warning and even made a note of this device in the header. But still, it seems that reality is so bizarre these days that confusion reigns.

Here’s one example of a misunderstood satirical post of mine:

Modern Day Romeo and Juliet in Ramallah a "Hopeful Sign" According to Israeli Left

:) A modern day Romeo and Juliet murder and riot scene in Ramallah and Taibe (link) encouraged Israeli Leftists as to the future prospects of peace in the region. 'Seeing the love between this couple proves that there is hope for the future. It's true that this Juliet died a tragic death but our Romeo was spared, which is something to be hopeful about. All in all, one less person died in this love story. Could anyone think of a more positive sign for the future?'

The link there takes you to the blog, “Little Green Footballs,” which picked up the news story:

TAIBA — Efforts were under way on Sunday to calm the situation in this Christian village east of Ramallah after an attack by hundreds of Muslim men from nearby villages left many houses and vehicles torched.

The incident began on Saturday night and lasted until early Sunday, when Palestinian Authority security forces interfered to disperse the attackers. Residents said several houses were looted and many families were forced to flee to Ramallah and other Christian villages, although no one was injured.

The attack on the village of 1,500 was triggered by the murder of a Muslim woman from the nearby village of Deir Jarir earlier this week. The 30-year-old woman, according to PA security sources, was apparently murdered by members of her family for having had a romance with a Christian man from Taiba.

“When her family discovered that she had been involved in a forbidden relationship with a Christian, they apparently forced her to drink poison,” said one source. “Then they buried her without reporting her death to the relevant authorities.”

I had posted my satire on this story, thinking it clear that as far as the Israeli Left is willing to go this would surely be seen as an exaggeration. I was wrong. I received this email from a friend who keeps up very well with what is going on here:

“This is a ghastly story. Don't tell me the leftists are putting a positive spin on this. Horrific.”

Live and learn. Now it is not at all clear to me that what I wrote was obvious satire. I’m confused. I’ll try to do better.

Here is another one of my satirical posts – note the little smile!

Israeli Experts to Fly to New Orleans -- Recommend Disengagement from Gulf Coast

:) Israeli experts are on their way to battered Big Easy. Rumors have it that they have been conducting secret meetings in Brussels in order to come up with a solution to the situation. The details have not yet been released but sources say the Israeli experts are confident that their plan will succeed and bring a better, more secure life to Americans. One expert was quoted as saying: 'We have experience in running, disengaging, expelling and evacuating that is unmatched in today's world and as such we offer our assistance with full confidence that it is the best available.'

“What possesses him?” you may be asking yourselves, “to write such things?’’

I don’t know. “Sultanknish” has done some satire on Israel that was inspirational and I’ve become an avid reader of “Scrappleface” -- Scott Ott’s hilarious blog, but since Scott doesn’t cover Israel in depth, I thought I would take a shot at it. I’m finding it therapeutic if nothing else. Assisted national suicide is a tough process.


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