I've been watching this thread with amused fatigue.
I will admit that when I read the OP (shortly after it was posted and before anyone had commented) I was surprised. The "theory" that was the subject of the post had begun to circulate within 24 hours of the first incident so it didn't surprise me, nor did the fact that someone in this forum might create a threat to address it. What did surprise me was the post's author.
I won't claim for one second that I thought to myself "McG wrote this? He couldn't possibly believe such a thing!"
In fact, while I reluctantly believed throughout the few days the story developed that a "rightwing kook" was behind the threats, the possibility that a "leftwing kook" with grandiose notions of influencing the mid-terms for the Democrats didn't seem unreasonable to me. Regardless of how one might explain them, the facts that none of the bombs ignited, the packaging seemed deliberately designed to scream "I am a rightwing kook and this is a bomb!" and the fevered times in which we live made the leftwing kook theory
at least plausible, if not likely.
I can't speak for McG as to whether or not he found the "leftwing kook" theory plausible, but I certainly won't say that I found it impossible to believe that he might, or that he might start a thread to address it, but the manner and content of the OP didn't seem consistent with the style McG uses with serious posts. It didn't immediately occur to me that he was engaged in satire, but I was puzzled and so held off on commenting until the thread developed further.
If I had been aware of the thread that McG was clearly satirizing, I'm confident I would have immediately recognized his post for what it was. Wry satire.
It's often the case and understandably so that satirical posts and sarcastic comments are misinterpreted and especially if the author has a desert dry sense of humor and is skilled in their use. I suppose it's a matter of taste, but I very much appreciate a sharp, dry wit and understand that the use of smiley emoticons and explanatory links dulls it. A person with a sense of humor like this is appealing to a segmented audience:
1) Themselves, of course, Call a post like this a joke
, a prank
or whatever, crafting an effective one requires cleverness and commitment and is a small work of skill of which the author can be modestly proud. Regardless of the brand of humor employed, all jokesters
to please themselves. The pleasure comes from the reaction.
2) An expected small group who "get it." Jokes
like this one are not intended to fly over the heads of everyone reading or hearing them. The jokester almost always wants at least one person to be in on the joke; to join him or her in appreciating the reaction of the third segment.
3) The usually larger group who don't
get it and react just as the jokester
hopes they will.
If this thread was your first introduction to McG you can be forgiven for not recognizing the satire. I clearly recall my first encounter with him years ago and I swallowed the bait he threw out; along with the hook. Robert was kind enough to educate me so that I stopped making a fool of myself responding to him as if he was serious. I haven't made that same mistake since and it's telling that certain people consistently do despite having had years of experience with McG and his style.
What it doesn't
tell me is that most of these folks are too stupid to get it. If it had been a satirical post centered on a premise of conservatives acting badly, the joke would not only have been recognized nearly instantly, it would have been found quite funny. Conservative objections would have been met with "Oh C'mon, it's a joke!"
Some may recall this was the case when the photo of Kathy Griffin holding the severed head of Donald Trump was published, a stunt that certainly can't be called satire, nor, as far I'm concerned, even remotely humorous.
What it does tell me is that a lot of us are incapable of or have difficulty with recognizing and appreciating humor when issues with a political aspect are its subject. Unfortunately, these days, just about everything is being politicized and humor is suffering for it. (Unless of course, you were the Democrat's 2016 presidential candidate in which case a crack about all blacks looking alike
, can, as is reasonable, be appreciated as humorous - I wouldn't count on the left's sense of humor holding up for long though. Liberal comedians can never be sure when they might find themselves standing on a stage apologizing, with tear-filled eyes, for their gross insensitivity
Unfortunately, it also tells me something about a handful of regular A2K members that is not flattering nor worth going into details about. If you haven't figured it out yet, you never will.
I previously commented that using this style of humor requires skill and commitment. The skill comes into play in hiding the humor, the commitment comes in, in allowing the bait to attract an audience. I can't say whether or not McG thought his post would very quickly be recognized as satire, and I haven't read the one being satirized so I don't know who participated in it, but I think it would have been fair to assume that those who did, should have recognized the similarity of the titles of both. Again, I can't read McG's mind, but I would imagine that he smiled with satisfaction if and when someone who entirely bought the premise of the other thread ventured into this one and called it ridiculous or an outrage.
The reactions to this post, have been pretty predictable.
Initially, the post seems, largely, to have been taken seriously and not recognized as satire. OK, not everyone got it; that's pretty common with satire. Anyone who didn't get it responded predictably and in a rather boring fashion, in keeping with their POV: Mockery, anger, insults, and deflection.
It became amusing (and fatiguing) once the possibility of satire was introduced:
The response of the Usual Suspects
can be paraphrased as:
Only a sick goonie would seriously post your original comment. Your excuse that it was a joke is lame and I don't believe it, but if it was a joke you're still a sick goonie and you owe us an apology. BTW - Trump is evil and you are a lickspittle goonie for supporting him...and probably evil too.
I did laugh when I read one satire-denier
explain that McG sure seemed to him to be serious
with his OP. Well, duh...
Hopefully, McG has learned that in the future he needs to attach a string of Smiley emoticons to posts like this one.
Oh, look! Lash has commented! She's a despicable fraud who loves Trump and is probably a Russian troll!
Then there were one or two posters who seem to have been slightly embarrassed by not recognizing it as satire and tried to excuse their lack of perception by insulting McG:
"Well, maybe it was satire, but it's not like McG isn't a rightwing lowbrow who laps up these sort of vile conspiracy theories at his favorite Alt-Right sites. Besides this is too serious a matter to joke about. For God's Sake! Jim Acosta had to evacuate his CNN office and stand out in the streets of NYC!"
It was nice to see that at least a couple of people had a clear enough view of the current American landscape to acknowledge the possibility that the leftwing kook theory
was, at least, possible.
And kudos to Nimh who supported
the notion that it was entirely possible that McG had engaged in satire when other liberal minds were fixated on denial and/or condemnation.
It's very good to see that McG is not taking the bait of his harshest critics and explaining or defending his original intent with this thread. It would be a sort of after-the-fact inclusion of a Smiley emoticon and it would be entirely pointless. When you tell someone, with whom you are very familiar, that you were kidding and they don't believe you, you are not going to convince them on the 2nd, 3rd or 100th try, and it has nothing to do with your powers of persuasion. They are, for whatever reason, invested in defaming you and what they actually do or do not believe is immaterial.
Needless to say that McG has nothing to apologize for and if he had I think I would have felt the bedrock under my feet shift before I even saw it.
I predict McG will continue to exhibit his wry sense of humor in this forum, and I for one will appreciate it. I also predict it will most often be met by the same reactions seen here.