Earlier today, the men and (maybe one or two) women behind the Onion launched Clickhole, an insanely timely and original parody of viral-content driven, clickbaity websites like Buzzfeed, Upworthy, Viralnova, Salon, Slate, Huffington Post, CNN, and basically every other website that isn’t Thought Catalog. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen online this year. It’s just great.
But, while Clickhole is hands down the funniest thing online these days, is it really necessary? Do we really need to add more satire to the world? After all, satire is just a gateway to racism and hashtag outrage. We all enjoy watching the Colbert Report and reading the Onion, but we know that we’re only one click away from being offended. We know that at any moment humor can turn ugly. Stephen could accidentally say something that resembles a slur. A punchline could bring back slavery.
Besides, what the hell is satire anyways? For some reason, people get into debates about satire on all of my articles. I’ll say it again: everything I write is serious – I’m a god damn woman that speaks the shit out of her mind, and a lot of people can’t handle that. They assume it has to be some sort of goof off act. Some kind of clown-off – merry hijinks meant for giggles and jolly jippers. A fucking laugh fest. Well, it’s not, and I’m real. I love to be serious.
And I think most other people love to be serious as well. And I think that these days, irony and satire are more damaging than they are helpful. Oh, wow, you made a joke about something serious. Good job, what are you a little baby? A little baby that has to make jokes because they can’t talk like a grown up and be mad all the time and have a serious discussion about real issues? Is that what you are? Yeah. I bet that’s what you are, little baby.
Let’s face it, guys. Things aren’t going well right now, and it’s not time for jokes. School shootings are on the rise. White crime is on the rise. Women are being raped every single time they leave their homes – and when they’re at home, they’re being raped with dick pics and death threats on twitter. The world is a seriously fucked up place and it’s just getting worse. Is this really the time to joke around? Is this really the time to have a big goof online with your friends? Is this really the time for Clickhole?
You know what would have been super cool? What if instead of trying to be “funny,” the Onion decided to do some serious journalism for once? What if they acted like grownups and used their words to affect real change with hashtags and strong words?
How about instead of going for jokes, they actually try to affect change by talking in a straightforward manner. What if they changed the conversation by launching a site that wasn’t about parody? What if they had the courage to be sincere for a change?
Well guess what? They can. Let’s use the power of social media to force the Onion and Clickhole to try being real. Let’s all get on twitter and signal boost #BeSeriousTheOnion and #SincerityPleaseClickhole and see if we can get these guys to drop the dismissive attitude and stop being ironic troll assholes.
Remember, anyone can mock and parody – it takes a real hero to get online and speak passionately and honestly.
From my heart, as a mother, a teacher, and a writer, thanks.