Scapegoats – Friday Fictioneers

Hello darlings. It has come to my attention that my satire is not (ha ha ha) always appreciated or understood. What is it about this simple-minded Internet generation that everything has to be true, and everything is taken at face value? There doesn’t NEED to be a sarcasm font, you just have to actually read with discernment and in context. Listen to what the writer says.

I suppose there’s always going to be the overly literal minds out there with no imagination — the same folks that think that Alice Cooper is a devil worshiping sadist, or that Marilyn Manson is the Anti-Christ and had his bottom ribs removed in order to be able to perform auto-fellatio.

So, not to be patronizing, condescending, or otherwise couche-tardy, (PLEASE PUT ON YOUR IRONY GLASSES NOW) the following is satire, darlings. Dripping with irony (and no, irony is not coincidence. Irony is not pathos. Irony is when you say one thing so strongly and heavy-handedly when you clearly and obviously mean the other. ) And yes, darlings, the following tale is very heavy-handed and ham-fisted, I know. Intentionally so.

I wonder what these 21st century simpletons would have made of Jonathan Swift? Would they have lambasted him on his blog for suggesting the Irish solve both their hunger and overpopulation problems by eating their children? Look out, Jon, here come the Trolls.

Without further rantage (it’s a word now, darlings, trust me) here is my tale of scapegoating.

(Oh, a tad more ado I’m afraid. I did a weird thing this week, and it bears explanation. The first post I saw was actually Doug’s and he had a picture of a goat. I thought THAT was the picture. Turns out it wasn’t, it’s the Chopsticks picture by Marie Gail Stratford. However, given the innocent, but still racially motivated message on the chopsticks paper, I maintain that my story relates to both. Thanks MG and Doug.)
If you want to read more Friday Fictioneers (100 words based on a photo prompt, hosted by the wonderful Rochelle Wisoff-Fields) click click on the little blue frog one time, click click on the little blue frog

copyright Marie Gail Stratford

copyright Marie Gail Stratford

goat-on-stump

Leah and her partner stared at the stack of applications and sighed.

“This is impossible,” Setsuko moaned. “Affirmative action is bullshit. Look at this one. He’d be perfect for the job.”

“Except he’s black, Suko darling. You really want the White Rights groups crying racism?”

“I know, I know. What about this one? Joe Marsh. Looks promising.”

Leah took a closer look. “Joe. Short for Josephine, love. We’ve already got too many women on payroll.”

“I’ve got it!” Setsuko squealed with triumph. “White male, mid-thirties, comes from an affluent family… shit!”

“What?”

“He’s gay,” Suko sighed.

Leah seethed with resentment. “Fucking Straight Agenda!”

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36 responses to “Scapegoats – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Irony indeed. I find myself getting quite nervous when I visit your site Helena, in case I misunderstand and make a fool of myself. 😉

  2. Sarcasm works for me, m’dear. Capital story you’ve told this week, and don’t let the haters tell you otherwise.

    Incidentally, your struggle with being misunderstood reminds me of a 1987 release of the album I Predict 1990 by Steve Taylor. The album includes the obviously sarcastic song “I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good” that ended up inflaming people on both sides of the abortion rights issue. You can read more here: http://www.sockheaven.net/discography/taylor/ip1990/01.html. To this day, Steve Taylor is a favorite lyricist of mine. (Rochelle even used to perform mime and choreographed a few dances to his music back in the day.) Although he is a religious performer, his songs speak directly to social issues and the human condition, making him much more universal that the majority of musicians out there.

    My. look how I’ve gone on. Anywho, thanks for the story. A healthy dose of cynicism is in good order now and again.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

      • Haha! Yes! In fact, given what I know about you, I would expect you to be familiar with him. And if he fell hard, none of the rest of us should feel badly about falling hard when our works are misunderstood.

        By the way, are you familiar with the lyrics he wrote during the 1990s for the Newsboys? I nearly laughed myself silly when someone online was ranting about the foolishness of his lyrics in the song “Breakfast in Hell.” Seriously? When a song says, “When the big one finds you, may this song remind you that they don’t serve breakfast in hell.” you can be VERY well assured that the song is sarcastic, perhaps even cynical.

        Glad to find another lover of the greatest lyricist in the world. If I find any video footage of the mimes and dances to his music, I’ll be sure to share them. You’ll get a kick out of them.

        Cheers!
        MG

  3. This made me laugh, my dear. Great ending. I think the irony is clear and I am afraid that for those who are oblivious enough to miss it, like those who shoot a herd of elephants because it’s blocking the view of “nature”, even your emphatic introduction won’t be enough. But at least you tried. 🙂 Fantastic story. Have a great week.
    -David

  4. When we first moved to Canada, I got in a lot of trouble for my dry, British sense of humour. I’d say things, people would assume I was serious and be horribly offended. Never mind a sarcasm font, I needed a sarcasm light over my head.
    People see, read and hear what they are ready to, Helena, and I figure if we leave a few by the way-side, so be it. I enjoyed your story – a nice flip around on the norm. I have issues with positive discrimination as well as negative, so I feel for your characters!

  5. Sadly, it’s getting this way in some jobs. People need to meet their quota of “at least 5% these” and “at least a few of those”.

  6. I’m all for equality (really, truly, I am), but I know for a fact that for equality purposes good candidates for jobs are overlooked by companies who have diversity goals as to prove they are equal opportunity employers. Companies seriously have percentage goals. A certain percentage has to be female. A certain percentage has to be minorities. I understand why those things exist, but it still sucks when a qualified candidate is dismissed simply because it will upset the diversity equation.

    • I suppose there are a bunch of things that I’m saying with this little bit of ham-fisted tripe. That’s one of them — I also wanted to flip the norms on their head and portray rich white straight men as the minority so that I could demonstrate how ridiculous the whole system is.

      • Statistically speaking, rich white men ARE a minority, but they are powerful because rich. They still make all the rules. Or most of them, at any rate.

  7. More than anything this has made me want to go snooping around your blog to see what got you so riled up!

    But also, a great take on… er… some pictures 😉

  8. Here’s the problem with irony: “you just have to actually read with discernment and in context.” Of course, that’s why I love your writing. I WANT to read it with discernment and in context. You are infinitely clever and you take no prisoners. Your story was spot-on in many, many ways.

  9. Forget the story, I love you just for mentioning Alice Cooper! Satire is only good when it’s handled well and I thought you handled it very well. I’m curious though, what does “couche-tardy” mean?

  10. Ah the pitfalls of hiring in a politically correct world where the Emperor is no longer naked in his new clothes but “is endorsing a clothing-optional lifestyle”. Nicely done.

  11. I’m English and tbh I tend to struggle a bit with all the American sincerity online. Ah well.
    I think your satire works here specifically because you don’t overplay it – once you set up the premise, the characters and dialogue are completely naturalistic and believable.

  12. Pingback: Sarcasm Font | elmowrites·

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