Am I even doing this right?:
I’m no satire pro, but I like it.
Not over-done, too cheesy, or it’s not trying too hard to be funny.
It’s really sweet! Concise and with a fun twist. I would just fix some typos/syntax stuff and clarify Mrs. Trengali’s role. In this case, since you’re in the POV of a reporter, you’d use her full name, right? So you could say “Jan Trengali, teacher of the class,” or something like that…
Sources: wrote for a comedy newspaper.
Oh okay that makes sense. I guess I wasn’t fully in character I was more writing from my own pov (she’s my actual Journalism teacher lol)
bump (just a few more sets of eyes please )
It’s okay, but the idea is so strong that it could be better.
Good satire needs details. Your text, like the line “They praised modern day politics, speaking of how…”, is too general. You have to name horse and jockey. That includes a “today” example and that might be outdated (and not funny any more) tomorrow, but that’s the price you’ll have to pay. Example:
“Homework for tomorrow: write a 400-words article how building a wall on the Mexican border can make America great again.”, professor Jones wrote on the blackboard. Suddenly, the floor opened. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin stepped into the classroom.
“What’s that about America great AGAIN? Did anyone shrink it after we left?”, Washington asked.
“Did you sell California back to the Indians?”, Franklin wanted to know.
“We call them Native Americans now.”, Mr Jones replied.
Jefferson raised an eyebrow: “Native Americans? Aren’t the whites and the blacks and the Latinos allowed to be born here any more?”
“We don’t call the blacks black either. They are Afro Americans…”
Franklin shook his head: “And the whites are called German Americans or Irish Americans?”
Mr Jones wasn’t finished jet with his explanation: “… and when Latinos are born here, we send them back to where they came from.”
“Into the belly of their mother?”, Franklin asked.
Washington shook his head: “It’s good we’re back, Ben. It’s about time we teach people to read the lines we wrote for them so many years ago.”
“People don’t read any more. We watch videos now, and we only listen to the one with the biggest mouth and the highest advertising budget.”, Mister Jones replied.
I’m losing myself, which means it’s really a good idea. I hope it’s clear what I mean with “details”: real topics from today’s news, things that people talk about, and there’s a ping-pong match going on between the teacher (who tries to explain the silly ideas of today) and the founding fathers (who have a complete different idea about everything that comes on the table). It has to be to the point and opposite, preferably funny (satire is to laugh about something serious).
Also, you might notice a difference in style: your story is more “general” (most of them… the students were…), while mine is very personal, one man speaks, another one reacts. That makes it possible to have another character add something from his own point of view.
The final point is: research. I humbly admit that I’m not aware of whom the Founding Fathers are and what the details are of their legacy. It would be much stronger if one of them quoted a famous line to comment on today’s topic.
I admire your courage, as satire is one of the most difficult pieces of writing, and I hope this helped a bit.
Wow thank you so much!
Ok, I’ll find some stuff for the Founding Fathers have opinions on
I think I know what happened. Some satire is stories, but I based mine off the satire articles like those of the Onion. I’ll definitely consider a story style.
Ooh I LOVE that idea!
This didn’t help a bit… it helped a LOT! It’s the most in depth advice I’ve gotten so far, so thank you so much!!!
Satire is always a dangerous road to travel. It’s sharp, biting humour and very personal too. There will always be readers who feel offended or even insulted. Be prepared for that: when you critique others, they will fight back with everything they have.
It also has to be clear that it’s ironic. You can pick a side, but it’s better (and more difficult) to make fun of both sides. Example:
“The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.”, George Washington said. (it’s a quote)
“Slavery is a crime now. You can’t call black people ‘black’ any more. People get fired nowadays for saying the n-word. If you want to be great in the 2020’s, you’ll have to limit your way of thinking, Sirs.”, Mr Jones explained.
“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom - and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”, Benjamin Franklin said. (also a quote)
“That’s what I meant: you’re still free to think the n-word, but it wouldn’t be wise to take the liberty of saying it in public. African Americans might feel like they are treated poorly by all the rich Americans…”, Mr Jones confirmed.
Mr Jones explains what was wrong in the old days (slavery) and at the same time the quotes of Franklin and Washington explain what is wrong in our times (discrimination). The idea is that both make the reader laugh.
As I said before: the idea is challenging and it has many openings for jokes, but it’s a lot of work to do it right (this small piece of text took me more than an hour to write). So: good luck and give it your best.
Thanks again! Will do!
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