School’s out Friday

Now before you go and get all fired up wondering why I’d post such an inappropriate video, keep in mind that this was published on a site called ‘The Onion‘. Here’s what it’s about, according to Wikipedia!

The Onion‍ ’​s articles satirically comment on current events, both real and fictional. It satirizes the tone and format of traditional news organizations with stories, editorials, op-ed pieces, and man-in-the-street interviews using a traditional news website layout and an editorial voice modeled after that of the Associated Press. The publication’s humor often depends on presenting mundane, everyday events as newsworthy, surreal or alarming. Comedian Bob Odenkirk has praised the publication stating, “It’s the best comedy writing in the country, and it has been since it started.”

What’s quite hilarious is the comment thread on YouTube, where it’s apparent that some people are convinced it’s a genuine video. The Onion site does say that their content is not appropriate for people under the age of 18, but I’ve been thinking about how you could use this as a discussion starter with students to discuss their digital lives. You could follow it up with a discussion about YouTube comments and see what they make of them. Can they identify satire? When is it apparent that someone has been duped? What is a comment like the following saying?

Going by the comment section alone, you’d think you’d reached the Poe’s Law Event Horizon. It’s a warped plane of existence were parody and reality twist, churn and overlap. Sarcasm and sincerity become one, and the ignorant bear the same face as the knowing, and nothing is quite as it seems. Enter at your own risk.
Then you could send your students on a journey exploring Poe’s Law.  Ahhh, the possibilities…
Have a great weekend – lovely weather forecast for Melbourne. The sun beckons. 🙂