I love The Onion, and this piece titled Al-Qaeda Marching Band To Join Macy's Parade After Incredible Audition is a good example why. As with most satire there's always the risk that someone won't get it and take it seriously, which can offer its own form of entertainment. A perfect example of this happened recently on Facebook when a friend of mine "shared" the aforementioned article and a friend of his took it seriously. To avoid piling on I'm going to use pseudonyms when replaying the conversation that ensued in the comment section of the post:
Took It Seriously: absolutely obnoxious that this country even allows this to happen, what an insult to the Americans who have lost their lives to these people……….sorry <Jon'sFriend> call it as I see it, I hope you son never knows what it is like to find himself in the sight of an Al-Qaeda terrorist.
Jon's Friend: Its a joke <TookItSeriously>
Took it Seriously: It's a joke?
Jon's Friend: Yes – The Onion is a humor site.
Took it Seriously: Quit givin me a heart attack <Jon's Friend>!! No chocolate for you this week!! Forgive my momentary loss of sanity!!
Before you're too judgmental about Took it Seriously, remember that we live in the post-9/11 age of hyperventilating news so we're inundated with seemingly implausible headlines like:
- FBI pulls guns on dance troupe as they spark terror alert… by running through Lincoln Tunnel while dressed in camouflage
- 'Don't touch my junk'
- How to travel with a machete — and other TSA app advice
- Please Remove Your Prosthetic Breast: The TSA Horror Story to Trump Them All
- TSA Head John Pistole: No Body-Cavity Searches…Yet
Seriously, if you live in a world where headlines like these appear on a regular basis I think you can be excused for mistaking The Onion for a real news outlet.