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06:09:2006 Entry: "Ann : The Parody Blog"

The Parody Blog

I'm not sure what to think. Recently I've taken notice of a lot of parody blogs, usually blogs written by what I suspect to be a liberal-leaning individual with sharp wit and a good sense of satire (not to mention good spelling and design sense), lampooning the ideology of the far religious right. (I'm not providing links, but if you're curious, just ask me and I'll send you some) At first read, you're offended by the racist sentiments and Limbaugh-lingo and repulsed by the over-the-top religious zealotry...until you realize it's just SO over-the-top that it's a fake, a parody blog, a blog made to look like a real blog in the way The Onion is made to look like a real tabloid, except with more passion than the droll Onion ever had. Although, if Warren Jeffs had a blog, I'm not sure I wouldn't think it too was a parody blog, being that it would be way beyond over-the-top.

One of the problem with some of these blogs is that they're just too well done, technically, as in, done by design professionals. And y'all know that them dee-zyne profeshunals got edumicated in one a them thar librul arts schools which are run by e-mmoral homosexhwuls and commies, so I reckon a real bona fide right wing zealot wouldn'ta be caught dead gettin' edimicated in a place like that, y'all. OK, that was a just a taste of what some of these parody blogs sound like, complete with hillbilly twang.

See, I have a place in my heart for the parody blog, being that made-up people have a long history with Stan and me. At the risk of sounding redundant, our own "fake person," Terry Mattheson, has been with us since the early 80s, turning in generic art history papers, turning in a fake application for a teaching assistant in graduate school complete with fake resume and fake slides of fake art. Terry even had a very short-lived stint with his own web page back in '96 when I was learning how to make web pages.

But then it gets back to the whole cult of irony that we seem to live in, where nothing is real and everything is ironic. And sometimes I just get so sick of ironic. Sometimes I just want real.

At times I would love to resuscitate Terry and give him/her his/her own blog where he/she writes about his/her various semesters abroad, relatives' weddings in the Hamptons, vacations in the Poconos (Terry hails from Chatapeaqua, NY, a fake place), being a ski instructor to other wealthy students in Vail, and the adventures of professor asskissing, something our Terry was well known for (and modelled after real students we knew). Of course those are things I know nothing about, so the challenge would be a bit difficult and forced. Not to mention time. Seems like the older you get, the less time you have for these things, and the more you value your time spent on the "real". There's so much I need to do with my own sites, let alone work on Terry!

I do enjoy the parody blogs for a bit of a giggle. I hear the voices the fake people speak and they sound like the fake voices and accents that Stan and I do with eachother sometimes. Sometimes I enjoy them for all the layers of deception. First glance, it's a right winger. Second glance, it's someone making fun of a right-winger. Third glance, it might just possibly be a right winger pretending to be a left-winger making fun of what they think a left-winger's idea of what a right-winger is. Then there's the comments...people commenting on their entries and telling them what truly horrible, biggoted, despicable people they are. Obviously, the commenting reader hasn't picked up on the blatant absurdities and doesn't realize it's a parody. It is amusing.

But I have a suggestion for the authors of these blogs if they really want to fool people into thinking their characters are real: Unlearn it all. Unlearn your immaculate spelling, your perfect grammar, your good punctuation. Discard your design skills. Reject your html abilities. It's wrapped up in a slick package. Put more bad graphics of magnetic ribbon "support our troops" on your pages. Put more Jesus fish on your pages. Put little angels and badly done red white and blue eagle graphics. I know, aesthetically it really hurts, and it goes counter to your good-design intuition, but the frame has to blend better with the art.

5 Comments

I agree that they really need to be willing to make themselves look like they make mistakes if they are going to take this parody thing to the next level. All of the technical perfection makes work - almost anything related to bolgs especially - look like an assignment they are filling for some class.

I think the idea of pardoing fundamentalism on any religion has its place and shows that the people doing this want to think about things on a more cirtical level. Doing parody about religion - though does beg a question....If you can't take the fundamentalist view seriously, then what do you REALLY believe? Additionally, being willing to parody something does indicate that the person doing the parody may have some feelings for what they are making fun of - even if it is only their own way of distancing themselves from the ideas they are still giving it some credability simply by using the material.

I think at some point is life all of us are forced to seek deeper ways of thinking than parody - so enjoy it while you're young - as the saying goes.

Posted by stanley @ 05:25:2006:07:40 PM CST

"If you can't take the fundamentalist view seriously, then what do you REALLY believe?"

What are you saying here? Why would anyone (except a fundamentalist themselves) take a fundamentalist view seriously? Fundamentalists of any religion (not just Xtian) need to be ignored. I guess I'm confused by your point.

However, I do agree that parodying something does in a way give it credibility because it is obviously having an effect on those parodying it, whereas perhaps a better tact would be to ignore it.

Or then again, exposing it to sunlight is also a good disinfectant, as the saying goes.

So, Stan, do you want any links?

Posted by Ann @ 05:25:2006:07:47 PM CST

It is the point I was making - if a person is going to start with that material to parody they are giving it some credibility or do they believe something different?

I have no interest in the fundamentalist views, and I wouldn't wast time making fun of it either.

If the subject being parodied was humanism - for instance the question would be the same sort of question - but instead of being in the context of Fundamentalism if would be in the contexe of Humanism...see...

If you don't take Humanism seriously then what do you REALLY believe?

Send me a link for fun.

Posted by stanley @ 05:25:2006:07:54 PM CST

Well, just because people don't believe in one thing, doesn't mean they have to believe in another thing. Maybe they don't believe, period. And there's nothing wrong with that. Maybe it's better not to believe, you know?

Posted by Ann @ 05:25:2006:08:00 PM CST

That sounds like a clear expression of your own personal beliefs, and well expressed too.

Posted by stanley @ 05:25:2006:08:06 PM CST

By Ann @ 11:19 PM CST:06:09:06 ..::Link::..

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