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Academic Post 07

…”Fake News; Satire Done Good and Stuff”
Written by Julie Metni, October 15, 2008 

     I read the syllabus to check what the topic for this week’s post was to be. Well, out of curiosity, I Google’d the bolded topic: Fake News.

     Amongst the trash and definitions that came up, a link [below] that came up from one of the websites in the search is a perfect, if not ironic, example of fake news; the author ”fakes” the fake news. Read the article in the link below before continuing.

The Fake News: Bird Terror….. Click Here for Article

     Once finished, take a second to ask yourself if you found that you were analyzing the article at the same time as you were reading it. If you did, you’re on track. Personally, I sometimes forget what I was thinking and need to refer back to it. So keep the tab or window open if you need to, too.

     If you read the article and registered what was going on, let us continue. Or maybe not yet – let’s look at the face value of the website to begin with first.

     The image at the top (the header) is clearly focused on creating comical relief to defer how controversial the [non-fictional] underlying message in that particular article, or the whole website, really is. Even the little sub-header, “Satire Done Good and Stuff,” connotes jargon as a certain level of distraction from what the author hints in a variety of the articles, found on the home page of the website.

     Professor Ian Reilly said in his lecture on October 15, “margarine is not just margarine, plastic is not just plastic. There are deeper levels of signification.” Do not take anything for face value. Anything.

     Nothing.

     Let’s get into it.

     The title alone arouses curiosity and suspicion as to how much time this particular author has on their hands. Where did you come up with this? Nation in Panic After Cat Terror Incident? What on earth could a feline possibly do to create nation-wide terror?

     As you probably have realized, and related to the article, that any nation’s greatest fear is that of terroristic destruction, and this topic is the central underlying message in this ”faked” article. The author is mocking a hugely accepted fear of fearing death, which is what the author primarily plays on. Like most people do everyday, they have taken something from a news story, such as one on terrorism, and taken a swim in the ocean of cognitive dissonance. The author has taken a serious issue and helped those who are vulnerable to accepting terror, but also vulnerable to easy humility, and has untied the uncomfortable denotations. This creates the theme of mocking the reasoning involved as to why anyone should of be scared of such a threat in the first place.

     However, the author also leads our connotations to everyday life, and lets us decipher the way we deal with similar things ourselves. A cat is a cat, a bird is a bird. To the naked eye, everything looks the same, for lack of a better analysis. But what goes on beneath the surface is what the author is trying to communicate. Segregation, racism, terror, and poverty are topics that are controversial enough to arouse worries in any conversation. The author uses these topics as a baseline for his news satire, ironically turning what people are terrified by into mindless entertainment for the World Wide Web community.