Sites like McSweeney's and the Onion rely on the Internet to find enough people in the world who appreciate the form to remain successful. But when you throw satire out to the masses, things go badly. I've written two columns about satirists being attacked by people who simply missed the joke, and I've certainly had mixed results when employing satire online.
One of my favorite columns was my defense of gay marriage from the point of view of a married heterosexual who only understood homosexuality from what he saw on TV. In it, I warned the gay community that if gay marriage were legal: 1) they'd have no excuse not to commit; 2) their sex would get less hot; and 3) the niche market for gay men as interior designers would suffer because married people aren't hip. Taken in whole, my objections to gay marriage were so stupid, it made a case for why gay marriage should be legal. That's sort of how satire works sometimes. Plenty of people got it, but lots of feisty folks wanted to know who the hell I was to tell them whether or not they had a right to get married. That was the day I learned that gay people could be just as stupid as heteros.
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