Monday, February 20, 2012

America at its best

The United States, to my eye, is incomparably the greatest show on earth... we have clowns among us who are as far above the clowns of any other great state as Jack Dempsey is above the paralytic-and not a few dozen or score of them, but whole droves and herds.
HL Mencken

Mencken has been dead 55 + years and his words still ring true. For example:

The Onion (America's Finest News Source) is a weekly satirical newspaper. It's stories are targeted towards a college aged, male demographic, a tad salacious, always near libelous, but with enough truth to make them plausible, and so it's been since it's founding in 1988.

Occasionally, their stories are so dead on that rarely does reality intrude. Often, nonthinking adults take The Onion seriously. In spite of themselves, the editors of The Onion have given up trying to make American's understand, as Foghorn leghorn used to say, 'It's a joke son, it's a joke!"

Social media sites have become a big outlet for The Onion's most egregious tales. Pandering politicians, too stupid to think, post on Facebook or Twitter, their outrage at Onion stories, which they've taken at face value, never considering the source, as the failings of those who don't believe as they do. When candidates take Onion headlines seriously, it's time for new candidates.

Naturally a web site has sprung up "Literally Unbelievable" to post the Facebook rantings of people you'd have thought would be on shorter leashes. Abandon hope all ye who enter.



James said...

Mencken's comments remind us that our present condition is nothing new.

GP said...

Of course, I must go to the Literally Unbelievable page and suffer along with the comedians...