Did the Onion go too far?

Jonathan Burk

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I don't know what I was expecting, but this has to be the funniest issue of The Onion ever (www.theonion.com). But several other people I know thought the entire issue was demeaning and in poor taste. Of course they couldn't stop laughing either.
I think they really nailed the shock, pain and every other emotion I've felt in the last few weeks.
My favorite quote:
""Islamic law states, 'An eye for an eye.' By that logic, we should destroy one of Osama bin Laden's skyscrapers. Problem is, he doesn't have any, because he lives in f*****g underground caves."
Other headlines:
"U.S. Vows To Defeat Whoever It Is We're At War With"
"Bush Sr. Apologizes To Son For Funding Bin Laden In '80s"
"American Life Turns Into Bad Jerry Bruckheimer Movie"
 

LarryDavenport

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I thought it was well done. I applaud their guts! Some of us need to whistle in the dark otherwise we'd blow our brains out.
I was glad that Jon Stewart can start to laugh again, but I'm dissapointed that SNL won't be doing any political humor during this "crisis."
I can't wait for George Carlin's HBO special in November. I wonder what he'll say.
And I hope people get off Bill Maher's back.
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David Oliver

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I thought it was extremely well done. not just because it was funny but because it was relevant. The best humor illuminates issues as well as mocking them. The story about "Life Turns Into Bad Bruckheimer Film" was fantastic and also was driving home a point. Then the little blurb about the little kids being ahrrassed because they were Muslim, spot on. I thought it was one of the best issues ever.
 

Joseph S

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but I'm dissapointed that SNL won't be doing any political humor during this "crisis."
I was hoping for a special edition of the "Ex-Presidents" and the Bush/Gore combo.
The onion did a fine job with this edition.
 

Yoshi Sugawara

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Wow, one of the best, well-written, intelligent commentary I've ever read....
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[Edited last by Yoshi Sugawara on September 26, 2001 at 04:30 PM]
 

MickeS

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No, they did not go too far. This is some of the best and most poignant reporting (even though it's fake) about the attack I've seen in any medium.
This article almost brought me to tears, and not from laughing: Not knowing what else to do, woman bakes american-flag cake .
This bit from the "American life turns into bad Bruckheimer movie" is both funny, sad and truthful:
"If the world were going to suddenly turn into a movie without warning, I wish it would have been one of those boring, talky Merchant-Ivory ones instead. I hate those movies, but I sure wish we were living in one right now."
 

Andrew W

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I thought it was right on target, the victims and there family were not treated disrespectfully. The terrorists, fundamental Christians and the politicians were the butt of the jokes and deservedly so. A few of the items were more ironic than satirical and struck just the right nerve.
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Tom-G

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Sometimes, putting social issues in the context of humor has an enlightening aspect to give the recipient. I use George Carlin as the prime example. He puts social issues in this type of context which makes his fans really think about what he is saying. It's not a matter of being in bad taste because it's not intended to demean or belittle.
No, the Onion did not go too far. They did a commendable job.
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As for the bad rap about the characters--hey, I've seen space operas that put their emphasis on human personalities and relationships. They're called "Star Trek" movies. Give me transparent underwater cities and vast hollow senatorial spheres any day. --Roger Ebert on The Phantom Menace
 

JasonK

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I agree with you all. I applaud the Onion for writing such intelligent humor. This isn't the first time they've pushed the envelope (anyone remember these headlines: "Area 6 yr. old becomes youngest ever to crash plane" or "Prisoners retire McVeigh's uniform.")
They didn't publish new material last week, but I am glad they stuck to what they do best - write damn funny material.
 

Pete_S

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There are some truly touching parts in several of the articles, regardless of the "HOLY FUCKING SHIT - Attack on America" banner (which had me laughing hysterically when I first saw it). My favorite is the last paragraph of the story about American life turning into a bad Bruckheimer film:
The collective sense of outrage, helplessness, and desperation felt by Americans is beyond comprehension. And it will be years before the full ramifications of the events of Sept. 11 become clear. But one thing is clear: No Austrian bodybuilder, gripping Uzis and striding shirtless through the debris, will save us and make it all better. Shocked and speechless, we are all still waiting for the end credits to roll. They aren't going to.
Absolutely great stuff, and not just because it's funny. I'll be getting an extra copy to store with the other couple of newspapers and special ed. magazines I've collected in the past couple of weeks.
 

paul_v

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Yes it was fantastic. Did any of you read the "On TV Tonight" schedule? LOL I was laughing my ass off!
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Shane Gralaw

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After reading the Ebert answer man section (devoted this week to the death of irony- since NO ONE could possibly find anything funny about this) I'm glad to see he's way off base. I went to the Onion site and found that irony is alive and well. Hell, my roomates and I were cracking a lot of similar jokes while watching the coverage. Of course it is tragic- the event itself is not funny but some of the over-the-top reactions to it are ripe for parody. I'm glad The Onion had the guts to go for it. If everyone simply shuts down, then the terrorists have won a victory.
 

Jack Briggs

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Long live the Onion!
We need this sort of shot in the arm right now. Thanks for the link/thread.
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AaronNWilson

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How could you not laugh at the situation. The reactions in the states are going way overboard, I've even heard of East Indians being targeted up in BC because they kinda look like Arabs. The thought of that is just crazy.
You also have Bush saying things like "Wanted Dead or Alive". I thing this totally reflects the feeling in the states right now. There is a large number of people who want blood to retaliate for these acts of terrorism and I think the Onion was just latching onto that sentiment and trying to make light of it.
BY the way, what was it that Bill Maher said that was annoying people?
Aaron
 

SteveMc

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I thought it was well done. I applaud their guts! Some of us need to whistle in the dark otherwise we'd blow our brains out.
I was glad that Jon Stewart can start to laugh again, but I'm dissapointed that SNL won't be doing any political humor during this "crisis."
I can't wait for George Carlin's HBO special in November. I wonder what he'll say.
I agree, we have to find some humor or we ( or at least I) will go insane. I don't mean tactlessly mainkg fun of what happened, but we need to move on. I saw a rerun of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart...my god! Here I thought I was all done with my emotional episodes and then I see this...very very sad indeed, but I love the guy for doing the show. Very powerful indeed.
I too am a big Carlin fan, I have often thought of his reaction has been to all of this. He won't be going on about how stuff blowing up is fun, we deserved it, government sucks, blah blah...even if it IS what he really thinks. He'd get kicked off stage by angry mobs at this point. Maybe a couple years down the road, but now is definately is not the time.
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LarryDavenport

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Go to Carlin's website and look under Timeline to see the title of his upcoming HBO special. I'm sure he'll have to change the title.
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Greg_Y

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I've been reading The Onion for quite a while now and, for me, the recent issue was a disappointment. I don't think they went far enough. One, it was a week too late. Two, it was extremely restrained for The Onion. I'm sure no one here agrees with me and I'll probably get flamed, but that's my opinion. If they had put out this issue in the week after the attacks (it would have been posted 8 days after the day), it would have been different. But they waited two weeks to post a watered-down issue. As far as The Onion goes, it shows little of the usual irreverancy.
It *is* funny. Just not as good as it could have been.
 

Steve Felix

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I'm leaning towards Greg's side here. It was surprisingly sensitive, especially the cake article. (I was very disappointed by the Bruckheimer one though.)
[Edited last by Steve Felix on September 28, 2001 at 11:07 PM]
 

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