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Satire: Bridge Collapses – Women and Minorities Hardest Hit

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The I-35 westbound bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed, sending rush hour traffic tumbling into the river below. Rescue crews rapidly descended on the location only to be blocked by the media and onlookers stumbling over one another to get the best pictures of the carnage to upload to YouTube.

Back in Washington, DC the rush to find someone to blame has already begun. Taking to the floor of the Senate, Senator Dick Durbin said, "You would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings." Senator Kerry blamed Republican politics saying, "What you see here is a harvest of four years of complete avoidance of real problem-solving and real governance in favor of spin and ideology."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement saying, "While George Bush was passing tax cuts for the rich and pursuing an unwinnable war in Iraq, he left our infrastructure crumbling."

Vice President Cheney released a statement from an undisclosed location rebutting the claims of some Democrats saying, "This is a stark reminder that we live in a post-9/11 world where Al Qaeda can cause a tragedy like this. We should all be reinforced that we are fighting a global war on terror."

The linking of the bridge collapse to the war on terror only increased the rage on popular left-wing hate blogs like the DailyKos where one commenter said, "At least when Mussolini ruled with fascism in Italy, the trains ran on time. With HitlerBushCo and his fascist regime, we can't even keep bridges standing."

It wasn't just the partisans who were quick to lay blame on the Bush administration. Recently fired professor Ward Churchill cited America's imperialist policies and called those who were injured or killed in the collapse "little Eichmanns". National Organization of Women President Kim Gandy noted the lack of media coverage on the women victims and said that "this tragedy is a stark reminder that the Bush Administration has again and again failed women." Planned Parenthood is offering free abortions and contraception for those affected by the collapse.

Louis Farrakhan suggested that the bridge was blown up to kill the minority population. Reverend Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have already announced plans to travel to the area highlighting that the slow response to the tragedy was due to racism and the overwhelming majority of victims were minorities. Comedian Chris Rock was quick to rebut this claim saying, "There are no black people in Minnesota. The only black people in Minnesota are Prince and Kirby Puckett."

Fred Phelps, a pseudo-Christian minister, laid the blame elsewhere, suggesting that the bridge collapse was divine punishment for homosexuals and support for gay marriage in the United States. This has sparked outrage from the various GLBT support groups.

Plans for a relief bill are underway headed by Republican Senator Ted Stevens to provide aid for the area and to rebuild the bridge. Porkbusters was quick to point out that the relief bill was already loaded with earmarks including money for a "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska. When this was pointed out, Senator Stevens said in protest, "If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state and take money only from our state, I will resign from this body." Senator Trent Lott said he is tired of hearing from Porkbusters.

Senator Ted Kennedy was unavailable for comment due to intense irony. Ann Coulter has already penned her next four columns making Chappaquiddick jokes.

Note to readers: Yes, this is biting satire. Yes, there are people who have lost loved ones and any decent person should have them in their prayers/thoughts (and I do). My motivation in writing this is the fact that about 8am EDT tomorrow, the politicians and pundits are going to start the blood-letting.

You know it's going to happen, it always does. There is a certain segment of the population that descends on human tragedy to chuck corpses at their political opponents. And it's not just the left, or the right. Pundits will try to tie this to "their issue". People will make it a partisan issue. And you know some asshole has a video that he made instead of trying to help someone that's going to go up on YouTube. Ann Coulter will probably not be able to write a column without bringing up Chappaquiddick for a month.

It's sub-human, it's sub-primate, and I'm ashamed that these people drive our news cycle. That's why I wrote this, to point out the complete absurdity of it all, in the hopes that if at least a few don't change, that most of you simply turn off the TV because all the televised media (and most of the print) is a waste of time anyway.

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About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • Jay Rath

    You’re criticizing commentary that might (or might not) occur tomorrow?

    You might want to wait until there is something to satirize before you weigh in on a tragedy that’s barely a few hours old.

    I’m a former staffer at The Onion, and I find this to be in horrible taste.

    Oh — and if you have to explain your jokes at the end of your story, it’s not funny.

  • http://elsaelsa.com elsa

    I am also appalled. :-(

  • http://yesteryearmuseum.blogspot.com Doug DeLong

    Timing is everything. You just don’t satirize something while bodies are still floating in the river and family members are desparately searching for loved ones.

    Send your article to Ann Coulter,though. She’ll probably love it.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Tomorrow when they’re already saying it, it isn’t satirizing, it’s reality.

    And the commentary is already happening.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek
  • Dr Dreadful

    Make that three of us.

    It seems as if John has had this piece written for a while, with blanks ready to be filled in, waiting for a tragedy like this to make whatever twisted point he’s trying to make.

    Let’s be appalled about the folks making political capital out of this when and if they do so. Not now, when the dust has barely settled and the bodies of the dead aren’t even cold in the fucking morgue.

    Badly done, John. Very badly done.

  • Jeff

    I hope the families of the six dead people get to read this. They’ll need a laugh when they are planning the funerals.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    irony to me is writing something like this while bodies are still being recovered to make even a valid point is being at least as much of a whore as what the Article is feebly attempting to skewer

    objects in mirror are closer than they appear

    Excelsior?

  • http://spatulaforum.blogspot.com/ Nik

    I find this extraordinarily tasteless and not even effective satire in the least.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    say that tomorrow when most of this shit is already on the airwaves….

    Tomorrow this piece wouldn’t be satire, it’d be summary.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    irony to me is writing something like this while bodies are still being recovered to make even a valid point is being at least as much of a whore as what the Article is feebly attempting to skewer

    objects in mirror are closer than they appear

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    see I told you so.

    see I told you so.

    [Duplicated link deleted]

    Tomorrow morning there will be more SITYS.

  • http://spatulaforum.blogspot.com/ Nik

    My problem is I fail to see any difference between your own essay and the “pundits and politicians” you’re railing against for “descends on human tragedy to chuck corpses at their political opponents.” The only difference is you’re using satire as a cloak to excuse your own exploitation of this event, IMHO. Perhaps you didn’t intend this but there’s really no other way I can read this myself.

  • Dan

    It does read like a preemptive strike from someone who knows where the blame lies, but thinks no one should say anything about it or be considered tactless.

    Maybe we should start having a discussion on infrastructure, considering my home state of Pennsylvania gets closer to a disaster like this every day and politicians ignore the problem.

    Thanks for legitimizing the discussion by showing how shallow any satire of the situation can be. Keep it up.

  • STM

    Yeah, really fu.king piss-poor John.

    Bodies in the water and all that.

    Just makes you look like a fair-dinkum prize c…

  • http://yesteryearmuseum.blogspot.com Doug DeLong

    Saying “See I told you so” doesn’t justify the satire. If your point is that some people might exploit a tragedy to score political points, fine, make that point, or better yet, wait until you can point to concrete examples and write about that.

    But when you satirize a tragedy of this magnitude, it just makes you look really insensitive to the plight of people who are affected by the tragedy. That’s the real problem.

  • Egbert Sousé

    Let me get this straight, you don’t like when people exploit a tragedy to push their agenda, so you are going to exploit a tragedy to push your agenda. I am sure you see a difference.

    Note to author: Satire is supposed to be funny. The formula is “Comedy equals tragedy plus time.” I agree with the Onion fellow. If you have to explain it, then you failed as a writer.

    “And you know some asshole has a video that he made instead of trying to help someone”

    It reads better if you take out “a video that he made” and insert “blogged about it.” I am guessing most commentors will agree with me.

  • http://www.zenbullets.com zenbullets

    Just to speak in John’s defence, I don’t think there is anything in his article that is disrepectful to the injured or their families, and his satire makes a valid point.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Jeez. People. He’s not satirizing the bridge collapse or the victims, he’s satirizing opportunistic politicians from both parties. Hardly the same thing at all.

    Dave

  • STM

    OK, but the timing’s a shocker. In retrospect, it might have been better to wait. And call me old-fashioned, but I’m not sure it really is satire when it’s posted the same day the ice-cream’s hit the fan. His motives might (at a pinch) be pure, but perception is everything when it comes to this stuff.

  • Daryl d

    I loved it! It’s so truthful that it hurts.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Mr Bambenek may be satirizing political opportunism but his timing is appalling, his insensitivity breathtaking and he is also doing exactly the same as those he targets.

    It is not news that both sides of the US political “spectrum” are doing a major disservice to the people they purport to serve so another article in this vein is no more than another cheap shot from one side to the other. It hardly matters which side is targetting which.

    Oh, and it is not very funny either, satire isn’t easy to do well and this article isn’t satirical, although it does bite…

  • http://www.rightontheright.com Justin Higgins

    Nothing he writes about makes fun of the victims, he’s almost ultra-careful to avoid that part of the tragedy. Good attack on the politicians that exploit John.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    John,

    Couldn’t you have waited with this? The timing is appalling. It’s never funny when people die in a disaster or a terror attack. But a satire can be done after a time – like a week after the bodies are buried…

  • http://www.joyrides4shutins.typepad.com Peter

    I’m all for political skewering, but I gotta be honest and say I’m not “digg”ing this at all — literally or figuratively. The fact that this went up before all the bodies have been recovered (at least according to 2 news resources this morning) is both appalling and tasteless. To quote Ricky Roma from Glengarry Glen Ross, “you never open your mouth until you know what the shot is.”

    I usually like your stuff, John, but if this is what passes for “news commentary” in a post Virginia Tech world, then I’d better turn in my press badge. Maybe next time you’ll ask yourself W.W.J.D.? (What would Jon Stewart Do?)

  • http://yesteryearmuseum.blogspot.com Doug DeLong

    John, would you have written this same article just hours after the World Trade Center towers fell?

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    I’m sorry, people are going to start laying blame before all the facts are known. They do it all the time. It’ll be weeks before a perliminary report is in explaining what happened. Months before its final. And people are already blaming Bush. And they did it at V. Tech too. The gun control debate started no more than 12 hours after the first shot was heard.

    At least the WTC blame game waited a couple of days. Katrina was same day too. They had 2 full days of finding blame every which way until it became apparent that FEMA wasn’t up to the task.

    It happens every tragedy. And apparently it’s ok for most of you because it supports your politics. Oh, but don’t point out the absurdity, that’s just not nice.

  • http://www.ogresview.mu.nu Ogre

    I’m offended. What do I get to burn?

    And can we stop reading all the news coverage of the next few days now? I’m pretty sure this is a complete summary. Those who think it’s in poor taste, come back and read this in one week. Watch and see how accurate a summary this will be.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Fox has already started the cycle of politicization.

    So has MSNBC.

    CNN seems to be flirting around it right now but getting there.

    see I told you so.

    But let’s not criticize them… they’re beyond reproach… even with bodies in the water.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek
  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek
  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Franken suspended campaign activities… good for him… one politician who remembers he’s human.

    Nevermind the no small number of people who ran to the press to get on TV.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    John, just to keep you informed, you posted several links more than once and didn’t format the Al Franken one correctly. I’ve fixed them all up but maybe you could take a moment…

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    But this is the Internet… taking a moment would mean departing from quantity over quality!

  • http://www.joyrides4shutins.typepad.com Peter

    AYFKM!?! “And they did it at V. Tech too. The gun control debate started no more than 12 hours after the first shot was heard.”

    Yeah, um, and no one has really successfully cracked satrically about *that* situation, either. Who would WANT to? People are DEAD. No one is saying you’re wrong about the MSM, John, just that your piece was ill-timed, ill-conceived.

    If you want to be critical of the media, then by all means. But instead of getting defensive, why not just admit that a) maybe it’s too early to be funny about disaster, or b) that no amount of humor would make a disaster like this funny.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Attn: Prof. Peter, PhD PhD PhD PhD and Nobel Laurette in Literature.

    Humor is not the same as satire.

    I wasn’t attempting to be funny, I was attempting to tear down the people who already have started to score political points at this. Writing this a week from now wouldn’t be satire, it’d be summary.

  • Nancy

    Well, you’re right about it being ‘biting’ humor; it certainly does bite, as Chris said. You have made a point about the sensationalistic vultures of politics & the MSM, but I think there were better ways to do it than this.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Perhaps, Nancy…

  • Nancy

    However, John, per my comment on the other ‘bridge’ article, after thinking about it, I’m not so sure I’m offended at all. After all, you & Realist are at least not making a buck off it, or using it for self-aggrandizement, that I can see – & people (including all of us) are going to discuss it into the ground. I can’t see anything wrong with discussing it online, either, as long as it isn’t for profit or personal gain.

  • http://www.joyrides4shutins.typepad.com Peter

    “I was attempting to tear down the people who already have started to score political points at this.”

    “Hello pot? This is kettle speaking…”

    Don’t need a PhD to figure that one out.

  • Daryl d

    John:

    Don’t let these people get you down. Even though this article is satire, it makes a lot of points. Satire doesn’t work always and I have a hard time writing satirical articles, but you were spot on with this. Perhaps you could have waited another day, but oh well.

  • Dee

    Wow! This has created a storm of angry comments; while I agree with the angle of the satire– you had to suspect it was going to ruffle some feathers. Perhaps if it was titled it as a ‘psychic reading’ then people wouldn’t be so up in arms about it. It is a horrible tragedy, but the real tragedy is that what you wrote is bang on! And even worse is that this tragedy will only be headline news until some diaper wearing astronaut or some paparazzi catches a false Hollywood icon at the wrong moment takes precedence and captures the short attention span of the public.

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    This isn’t even remotely funny, nor is it even remotely “biting.” It’s just stupid. “We should all be reinforced that we are fighting a global war on terror”? What kind of English is that? I can handle poor taste if it makes me laugh, or makes me think, but this just makes me embarrassed for Blogcritics.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek
  • Dr Dreadful

    John,

    Any chance you could stop obsessing on the “see I told you so”s and concentrate on what’s actually happening in Minnesota?

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Any chance you could stop obsessing on the “see I told you so”s and concentrate on what’s actually happening in Minnesota?

    Damn good fucking point Dr D.
    Sadly there will be another tragedy to replace this one, probabaly sooner then we realize – because – that’s life.

    And then what? The Media is going to do what they’re going to do. Fight back with words of wisdom and comfort instead of lambasting others or trying to prove how right you are. Is that really what’s important right now?

    Not to get too preachy, or presume that others share my beliefs – but I think some time would be better spent in prayer – or at least meditation to conjure up some positive energy for those folks.

    Or shut up, show up and lend a hand.

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Sorry for one thing – I didnt read this all the way thru. and didnt see your comment about prayers. that’s a good thing.

    but please..the ‘I told you so’s’? not good.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    You’re right… I should let the criticisms go unanswered because we’d hate for any intelligent discussion to happen.

    I’ll go back to ignoring comments, my bad for wasting everyone’s time responding to the critics.

  • http://www.andrewiandodge.com Marty Dodge

    Writing something edgy to get lots of comments. Bad taste, bad timing and not even funny.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Notice the lack of his attacking the right? This is a left wing attack piece with a token Cheney slam to appear non-bias.

    Every “I told you so” links to a liberal. Here is an offical response from Tony “Tarbaby” Snow:

    if an inspection report identifies deficiencies, the state is responsible for taking corrective actions

    I added the bold, but the White House is once again blaming the state. The road is Interstate 35W. I thought interstate was the realm of the Feds and not state governments.

  • Nancy

    Brad, you think John B. is a Leftie? Whhhoooooo-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week! JEE-zus! If John’s a leftist, then you must be somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun…?

  • daryl d

    I heard that Al Sharpton is already headed out there because one of the victims happens to be Black.

  • Nancy

    Sharpton would. He’ll do anything, prostitute himself anywhere anyhow, for attention. He’s just another political attention junkie, like all the rest.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    You know, there was another bridge collapse like this a few years ago here in Texas on the South Padre Island bridge. It was almost entirely forgotten because it happened less than 24 hours before 9/11 and got sort of overwhelmed. Only 4 were killed, but the section of collapsed bridge was much larger.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    for fuck’s sake, john. i saw this title in the “most comments” section and immediately knew it was you. i have family in minneapolis, including many who use that bridge on a daily basis. your title is really fucking stupid and thoughtless. i hope you know that. [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor.]

  • zingzing

    hrm. i wasn’t going to read it, but then i did. while the satire wasn’t “biting,” your note at the end made it make some sense. still, i would’ve waited a few days, letting them actually count the dead before writing something like this. you could have made your point using just about anything rather than this, but you did what you did. whatever.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Nancy,
    I got that backasswards. I reversed left and right, but my comment should show what I was saying.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Actually,
    re-reading my post shows you are backasswards and not my post. I said he did NOT attack any righties. I said this was a left wing attack piece as in an attack piece used to attack the left wing.

  • Clavos

    Your comment wasn’t clear to me either, until you explained yourself, so Nancy’s not “backasswards,” IMO.

  • Dr Dreadful

    #48: Typical Bambenek. Writes something he knows is going to piss people off, then has a hissy fit when he gets called on it.

  • http://kanrei.blogspot.com Brad Schader

    Clavos,
    With two votes it clearly means either A)I was not clear or B) Bush stole another election. I am sorry Nancy. I am saying this typical right wing babble- use something bad with a body count to attack the left.

  • Derik

    Well written and while unfortunate in it’s timing, it was necessary to be preemptive to the inevitable.

    I must correct the author on one point. Sadly Kirby Puckett died early last year, leaving us with only Prince.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    I was wondering if anyone was going to pick up on that.

  • zingzing

    and prince lives in toronto these days.

    i can’t believe chris deleted my vulgarity. i thought it was nice enough.

  • http://www.onebigdog.net Big Dog

    Certainly John would not have written this kind of thing after 9/11 because the political atmosphere was somewhat different. The country came together to do something when that happened. It was not until weeks later when Clinton was implicated as soft on terror did the “it happened on Bush’s watch” crowd start.

    Fast forward to Katrina and the media and the Democratic party were certainly laying blame while bodies were floating and unaccounted for. They took every opportunity to use Katrina (a natural event) to blame Bush and the Republican majority (talk about using body counts to attack, Clavos).

    John merely beat these people to the punch and he did so by blasting what was coming, not what happened to those poor folks on that bridge.

    He was right, already we have people blaming war costs and Bush for not having money for infrastructure. The problem is, Congress is at fault. Money is collected for roads and infrastructure in the form of taxes. It is never earmarked for that because they place it in the general fund and spend it on things that we do not need.

    John, good item. You knew it would cause a firestorm and it has. At least it has people talking…

  • Nancy

    That’s OK, Brad. I wasn’t going to pass out if you did think I was backassward, which I sometimes am.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Masterful piece, John. Don’t let the bastards get you down.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Masterful? In what way, may I ask? This is no way satire–and yes, I do know the difference between satire and humor. There’s no irony here, no wit. All this i, really, is a frightened voice lashing desperately at a perceived boogeyman lurking in the closet. It doesn’t even qualify as a preemptive strike against the boogeyman. It points to the author’s paranoia at best. That his initial reaction to a tragedy like this would be how the “liberal madia” would report it speaks volumes.
    Of course, he’s beyond reproach. Any criticism leveled towards him is met with a childish stamp of the foot, and a whimpering “See I told you so.”

    Sad, sad.

  • egads

    Matthew 13:57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Which goes to prove things can always get more tasteless.

  • STM

    I suppose the key here is deciding whether it’s satire or gibber.

  • STM

    I suppose what I find really distasteful is that yesterday and last night (our time given that we are a day ahead of the US), we had a whole lot of pictures come in from Minnesota on our wire feed that graphically document the scale of the horror, and I’ll say again … timing’s everything.

  • gator

    You haven’t even come close to accomplishing what you wanted. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Jerry in Detroit

    As an expatriate Minnesotan, I follow MN news with interest. What the Leftards are attempting to gloss over is the fact that they raided DOT funds for a light rail system. They desperately do not want people to find out that they undercut highway maintenance to do so.

  • http://rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    Two things are missing from this piece: a sense of pity and a sense of humor.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    I-35 falls under Federal funding, Jerry. You might want to read the news more closely.

  • Heloise

    Dear John, I thought the title was certainly funny. The only problem I see with it is that since you mention women and minorities in the title, you should have made that item bigger in your piece to greater effect. That even when minorities and women are missing in something this bad, they still get the short end.

    However, women and minorities were not absent this collapse from what I saw. Not sure if it is in bad taste as the other bloggers suggest, just surprised I think.

    PS: my piece you didn’t like (pre-rewrite) just got promoted. I figured out the punchline should have been: a Dow jones! That’s funny.

    Anyway,

    you got clobbered on this one, but I still dugg it.

    Heloise

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    When people die, how do you divvyitup, and come to the conclusion that “women and minorities get the short end”?
    This isn’t a statistical exercise, and it sure as hell isn’t amusing.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Re: Mr Rath’s comment #1:

    I’m a former staffer at The Onion, and I find this to be in horrible taste.
    If I were Brother Bambenek, I would consider it a distinct accomplishment to write a satire that would offend even an employee of The Onion.

    Oh — and if you have to explain your jokes at the end of your story, it’s not funny.
    It is pretty funny and self-explanatory, and he didn’t have to explain it in order for people to understand his point. Perhaps it was an unnecessarily defensive action to explain himself, but he was (correctly, it turns out) anticipating people carefully choosing not to get the point.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    The women and minorities hardest his was a spin-off of the NYTimes spoof headline “World Ends: Women and Minorities Hardest Hit”. Think Katrina. In the end, you were more likely to die if you were white than black, but that certainly isn’t well known.

    I put the note at the end for the exact reason Al mentions. Most people don’t get satire, biting or otherwise. That and most people entertained quite a selective reading of this.

    The only thing left is to wait for the funding bill to repair this bridge and all the pork that gets stuffed into that bill. Probably at least as much pork as there is money for the actual project.

    I blame the Bush tax cuts, because it sure as hell isn’t the fact that DC porks the hell out of every bill these days.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    One core fact remains. If you assume people will not get your point, then you know deep in your heart you never made your point.
    Satire is satire. There is no sub-genre of “biting satire.” That’s a critical point after the fact.
    If Johnathan Swift had found it necessary to explain “Gulliver’s Travels” as a satire, I doubt it would be still read today.

  • daryl d

    Ray and others:

    You are reacting as if someone killed your relative. Lighten up! Sometimes, the best way to heal the pain of a tradgedy is humor and as dark as the humor is in this, it works.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    As usual, Daryl, you assume too much. In point of fact, I have ties to Minneapolis going back for years.
    I hardly think you’re in a position to tell the world how to deal with tragedy. Some of us don’t find death amusing. And “lightening up” is seldom, if ever the appropriate way of dealing with it.
    You’re betting on the wrong horse, Daryl.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    If Johnathan Swift had found it necessary to explain “Gulliver’s Travels” as a satire, I doubt it would be still read today.

    Ever hear of “A Modest Proposal” by the aforementioned Jonathan Swift? Pissed a lot of people off in its day, because they simply didn’t get it (what with its encouragement of cannibalism and infanticide and all).

    But it is still a classic piece of satire. Lighten up.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    You missed my point, RJ, which doesn’t surprise me. Satirists don’t add postscripts to explain how they were only kidding. And a good comic never goes back to explain his joke, unless it’s in a self-deprecating way. And a good writer doesn’t backtrack and say it wasn’t a joke, it was satire, and proceed to nitpick the nuances between the two.
    Right-wingers such as yourself and Bambenek (and the self-serving synchophant Daryl D., however, march in lockstep, and scream, “I didn’t say that.”
    The fact remains people died, your liberal conspiracy never happened and most of the world grieves for the lives lost.
    You guys are not serving your cause (whatever it is) by minimizing the tragedy. Calls for inspecting the nation’s bridges is not a partisan battle.
    Lighten up? Thanks, but as I said, people died. It’s not a matter for political fodder, no matter how you try to spin it.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “your liberal conspiracy never happened”

    CNN was trying to blame Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty for the disaster last night…

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Actually this piece is funny because John’s unaware that his rush to exploit the situation is no different from those he is chastising.

    A good writer could very easily have created an event rather than using the obvious one right in from of him.

    By the way, where did you get your copy of Modest Proposal? Mine doesn’t have a disclaimer. Smarten up.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Satirists don’t add postscripts to explain how they were only kidding. And a good comic never goes back to explain his joke, unless it’s in a self-deprecating way. And a good writer doesn’t backtrack and say it wasn’t a joke, it was satire, and proceed to nitpick the nuances between the two.”

    John only did this in an effort to preemptively appease reactionaries like you. Sadly, his attempt appears not to have worked…

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Which proves my point incontrivertibly– satire is not a preemptive art for. You can’t satirize what hasn’t happened. . . unless, of course, you’re a right-wing reactionary.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Pardon the typos.
    Nonetheless, where does your “side” find anything to satirize in a tragedy which took live? I only see controversy in the blogosphere. I don’t see any actual politicians–Republicans or Democrats– so quick to lay blame. Maybe they have more important things to do– like focusing on how to prevent this from happening again.

  • Clavos

    In 2006, the best year in more than a decade, 23 times as many people died every day in traffic fatalities as died in Minneapolis.

    A sad event, yes, but I rather doubt that “most of the world” even heard about it, much less grieves it.

    Calls for inspecting the nation’s bridges are, as is the usual MO in this country, a classic case of a day late and a dollar short.

    That bridge WAS inspected before; numerous times, and warnings were issued that it was deficient.

    They were ignored.

    Hundreds more nationwide have already been declared deficient as well.

    The type of bridge it was, a truss span, is such a bad design bridges aren’t even designed that way anymore. Why was that design used? It was cheaper to build.

    But then, that’s the USA. Richest Third World country on Earth.

    Bah.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Bah?

    Did those pilots not bite, then? :-(

  • Clavos

    Thanks, Doc, for the sympathetic emoticon.

    The pilots didn’t bite yet, but I would have been surprised if they had done so this quickly.

    We’ve established a rapport; I have a better idea of what they want, and they’ll likely bite one day soon. On some deals, it’s taken up to two years to hook ‘em.

    No, the “bah” was just disgust at: A) The collapsing of the bridge and attendant loss of life, B) The quintessentially American overblown reaction to it, and C) The fact that a) an inferior design was used in the first place, and b) no one minded the warnings about its condition years ago.

    Two things I don’t like about Yanks:

    1) Their smug self assurance that America is the best of everything (or should be).

    2) Their tendency to overreact to everything.

    /soapbox

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Have we decided if this is funny yet? We need a unanimous decision before we can move forward.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    It, no; you, yes.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Matthew, it depends on which state you’re in. In some states, a 10-2 vote is required; in others, a simple majority will suffice.

    Personally, I think it’s about as funny as a liquid sewage enema. But that’s just me. I’ve no doubt that RJ, for example, is currently in the emergency room with a ruptured hernia from laughing too hard.

  • sal m
  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “I don’t see any actual politicians–Republicans or Democrats– so quick to lay blame.”

    Sigh

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    When Karl Rove called me and told me to write this, he said Democrats were already in Blame Bush First mode. Who am I to believe? Some commenter on BlogCritics with a whiners’ account, or Karl Rove, the most moral man in America?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Oh, I see Sal beat me to it…

    Anyway, let this be a lesson to you, John: Don’t ever be correctly prescient about the disgusting ways in which political types will try to spin a national tragedy for their own partisan advantage. Because, for some reason, being right about that really pisses some people off.

    :-/

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Funny thing is, I did rip on GOP types too (Cheney, Coulter, Stevens, the entire GOP congress of last term).

    You know the bill that will fund the repair of this bridge will be porked to hell. Even bridges that don’t need repairs, or bridges that don’t need to be built will be in there. And something else in West Virginia will be named after Robert Byrd.

  • STM

    Clav: “A sad event, yes, but I rather doubt that “most of the world” even heard about it, much less grieves it.”

    Mate, most of the rest of the world not only ehard about it, but has been watching it for days.

    It’s a big story. Could happen anywhere, really.

  • Clavos

    In Australia, the UK, and Europe, yes, mate; but that’s not most of the rest of the world, now, is it?

    Doubt too many people in the Sudan and most of Africa, China, or India, to name just a few places, are cognizant, much less concerned about it.

    Even in the first world, most people pay no attention whatever to the news and world events. We news junkies tend to lose sight of that.

  • http://yesteryearmuseum.blogspot.com Doug DeLong

    #99 – “Karl Rove, the most moral man in America?”

    Now THAT’S good satire!!

  • daryl d

    John:

    Once again, oustanding work. All I have to say. For now.

  • Minneapolis1

    Satire, yes. Biting, not really. Why don’t you leave us alone for a couple more days?

  • Silver Surfer

    Perhaps not bother you at all, ever, would be the preferred option

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Doug, glad you liked it.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Holy shit. What the hell did you intend with this? It’s dreadful.

  • sal m
  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    You might want to re-read the article, Sal. The columnist didn’t blame Bush at all. There was one quote from one Somali who implied the US was focusing more on war than on bridge building.
    That’s hardly the Tribune indicting the Bush Administration.