Forum:Are there limits to satire?

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I've been watching the ever-growing For votes on Holocaust Tycoon and I'm quite troubled about it. Mind you, normally I'm not a quizzy person and I endure all forms of sarcastic and dark humor, without prejudice. And I repeat my remark on the VFH - this is indeed a well written piece.

But still, featuring an article like that on the main page will be, at least in my view, completely tasteless. We can point that out for many Uncync articles, and it is quite possible that I'm disturbed by it because of my personal history.

Nevertheless, sometimes I feel that under the pretence of "satire", we go one step too far. -- Brigadier Sir Mordillo Icons-flag-il GUN UotY WotM FP UotM AotM MI3 AnotM VFH +S 08:51, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

It could maybe do with further expansion beyond germany and russia to include events like cambodian year zero and the rape of nangking perhaps?--The Right Honourable Maj Sir Elvis UmP KUN FIC MDA VFH Bur. CM and bars UGM F@H (Petition) 09:45, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. This is a tough one. I feel that satire is only truly satire if the article reaches a larger (usually political) point, or the logic turns in on itself and I'm not sure that this article does that. The next question is: Is this article funny? Again, I'm not sure it does that either.--Super90 10:17, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
They featured my totally tasteless article where I, in graphic detail, describe the process of slaughtering and dismembering a sheep. We've featured worse, and we're often brutally tasteless. We make fun of dead people, Hitler is a bit of a national hero, etc. It's the world...upside-down. Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 11:46, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Objectively speaking, the article is no worse than half the stuff that's been featured before. - Nonymous 13:01, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
I see where you're coming from, and it is somewhat uncomfortable. But, if a majority does vote for it, I think it would say enough people find it OK --Chronarion 15:55, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
You're ignoring voter apat- you know what, forget it. BerogenVFH 16:23, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Mordillo: I know where you're coming from on this. I kinda feel indirectly responsible for that article, too, which is why I haven't voted against it, but I'm not entirely comfortable with it on the front page, which is why I haven't voted for. In the past, we've prided ourselves in treating satire as an "anything goes" affair. It's unfortunate that this leads us to posting articles that makes you or me uncomfortable as a result, but that's the POINT of satire. It's SUPPOSED to make you uncomfortable, or it's not accomplishing it's mission (see "A Modest Proposal"). Satire is society's scalpel, and it does cut. I think Elvis has the right idea. Spread the discomfort a little to include other areas (like Yugoslavia, or Sudan), and it might dull the pain a bit.--<<Bradmonogram.png>> 13:34, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

That's always a good move, if you're feeling hurt, make everyone feel your pain. Literally. -- Brigadier Sir Mordillo Icons-flag-il GUN UotY WotM FP UotM AotM MI3 AnotM VFH +S 13:37, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Mindlessly lashing out works for me--The Right Honourable Maj Sir Elvis UmP KUN FIC MDA VFH Bur. CM and bars UGM F@H (Petition) 15:06, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Adorablebaby

You've used your vote; that's what it's for. I personally, now this is just me speaking, felt that it's "ick" overcame its "ha", and voted accordingly. That being said, w/o "ick" all we'd have is adorable babies. Do you really want that? Do you? Think about the children!--Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 15:11, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I'm still disappointed cancer porn fell off VFH. It's so perfectly-formed and gets so many swipes in along the way - David Gerard 15:54, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
I voted for HT and I admit to have done it on impulse. Neverthless, we do have limits here. Racist jokes are always huffed, for example - and this is a non-written rule. Maybe we could have written down our code of ethics somewhere. -- herr doktor needsAbrain Rocket [scream!] 16:28, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Nope no ethics only morals. --The Right Honourable Maj Sir Elvis UmP KUN FIC MDA VFH Bur. CM and bars UGM F@H (Petition) 16:44, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

No censorship on VFH. I think we all agree on that. I might have voted for Holocaust Tycoon if it went harder after white supremacist game makers, but the article as written required one to know about games like "KZ Manager" and "Commando: Libya" to understand the context -- and frankly, I'm not sure one could really find any humor in that genre. Without the context, it feels like a tasteless joke about one of the great horrors of the 20th Century. So I'm disappointed this will probably be featured. Satire should be fearless, but like journalism, it should aspire to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, and I fail to see how the article does either. I'm not calling for any banning of the article or suspension of the VFH voting rules, but I think we're going to regret having this on the front page.--Procopius 17:17, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Actually, when I wrote the first version I hadn't heard of KZ Manager, etc. The original article was born out of a discussion on IRC about where people could go with humour, and in some cases where people shouldn't go with it, so a lot of these points were talked through at that time. Surprisingly I agree with a lot of the points above, but I'd like to add that sometimes humour can force us to ask uncomfortable questions about ourselves. -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)
I didn't know about those before reading the article either. I think the reasoning goes something along the lines of Holocaust Tycoon => Rollercoaster Tycoon, but with genocide instead of rollercoasters. - Nonymous 19:04, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Wait, you mean to tell me that people actually read Uncyclopedia? I always thought they just kind of hung around. Tompkinssig Smallturtle t o m p k i n s  blah. ﺞوﻦ וףה ՃՄ ண்ஸ ފއހ วอฏม +տ trade websites 19:58, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Personally, I just keep waffling on this one - which does speak to the article's quality. On the one hand, it's well composed and funny, but the humor kind of hurts me. And then on the other hand, there's the question of "satire of what?" - I mean, I guess it's a satire of the linked "Ethnic Cleansing" game, but that's hardly a sacred cow that needs slaughtering. All in all, I have voted against, but I'd withdraw my vote if the Photoshopped Auschwitz photo was removed. That's just me. - Lemon. Lemonwedge 21:57, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
I believe there is an entire article around the concentrated orange jews. Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 03:06, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
/collective groan at the pun...--Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 03:27, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Until Uncyclopedia actually starts advocating that people go out and do hateful things, I say there's no limit to what we can do. Crazyswordsman...With SAVINGS!!!! (T/C) 05:33, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Well, see - that's the thing. Nobody's talking about censorship. Nobody's even talking about editing or removing the article (okay, I mentioned editing, but none of the sensible people, in any case) - you can't claim censorship because a couple people voted against something. If anything, we're censoring the pathologically unfunny. - Lemon. Lemonwedge 22:39, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
We'll always be a censor on ourselves - If something is unfunny and has a philosophy that would make Neo-Nazis cry, we're not going to feature it because voters would rebel. In fact, we may even huff something of that magnitude. -- §. | WotM | PLS | T | C | A 08:14, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

How are the limits to satire defined? For instance, I just voted to huff an article calling Martin Luther King "Martin Lucifer Coon Jewnior" and containing the sentence "During several rallys (sic), King reportedly ate the hearts of several lynched White Folks and then snorted two lines of pure cocaine over the deceased."

Here's where the chicken crosses the road: I think the article is offensive...but I might be inclined to cut an article more slack if it used similarly hard-edged mockery against, say, the followers of televangelist Jimmy Swaggert.

Is that just because I'm (hypothetically) a liberal atheist who's prejudiced against fundamentalist Christians instead of a racist who's prejudiced against Jews and blacks? Is satire written by a Nazi racist automatically bad, while satire written by an atheist, or a liberal, or a multi-racialist, or a freethinker, or a lesbian wallaby with a learning disability automatically OK? Well, obviously not. We are free and fair.

Is some of it about power? It's OK to mock the powerful -- the Government, the nation's ruling elite, great educational institutions, and Microsoft -- while picking on the downtrodden and historically hated people is bad? What if the downtrodden are historically hated groups like the Ku Klux Klan? Surely it is still OK to hit them with hard satire even though they are a despised minority?

So WTF? If a disabled lesbian wallaby writes a mean article that slams the piss out of Nike® as marsupial-murdering sexist shoe fascists who...Oh, never mind. This post has gotten stupid. ----OEJ 16:56, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Satire has limits you know

Those include vanity, racism, bigotry, hateful messages, porn, and maybe a few others I've forgotten. At least according to the Uncyclopedia rules and what the admins have huffed over the past two years or so. Anything that makes Adolph Hitler look like a fool or buffoon is just what The Three Stooges, Charlie Chaplin, and other masters of satire did during WWII. I think that everyone can agree that Adolph Hitler was one of the worst human beings ever born, and deserves everything we can throw at him to make fun of him. What better way than an Holocaust Tycoon game, so we can remember the evils that Hitler and his followers did, and make fun of them at the same time? We promised never to forget and never repeat the same evil things that Hitler did. That does not mean we cannot make fun of him with Satire. If it is making fun of the Holocaust survivors or victims or their families, then VFD the thing. That is bigotry and racism because they were Jewish and forced into concentration camps and tortured, murdered, etc. The leader of Iran, and many Liberals and left-wingers deny that the Holocaust even happened, what better way to force them to remember than by a Holocaust Tycoon satire article? I could be wrong you know, because I am a Pirate Ninja and also batshit insane. Take what I say with a grain of salt. --Lt. Sir Orion Blastar (talk) 19:18, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

For those Liberals who are ticked off at me revealing a dirty little secret of some liberals and left-wingers. Some of these "Liberal" Professors deny the Holocaust and speak out against Israel Some teachers in Public High Schools and other Colleges who are liberal deny it as well. Kim Jung II is a left-winger and denies the Holocaust as well as some Communists who are also left-wingers as well. So does the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who admits to being a left-winger denies the Holocaust as well. --Lt. Sir Orion Blastar (talk) 22:59, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Heh, you'll forgive me if I look at stupidity as being above the left-vs-right argument. I see stupid people on all sides.--<<Bradmonogram.png>> 00:06, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I am really a moderate. I find left-wingers more hypocritical than right-wingers, but right-wingers are hypocritical enough by themselves. Left-wingers accuse me of being a right-winger, and right-wingers accuse me of being a left-winger so I get nailed by both sides. Now I am getting death threats and emails telling me to go kill myself by ticked off left-wingers who read my comment above. I'll bet if I said right-wingers and conservatives, I'd have the right-wingers doing the same thing to me. Unbelievable! --Lt. Sir Orion Blastar (talk) 01:49, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one that has made those observations. I'm also a person that rejects the usual left/right. Being indepented of them makes you hated by both, curiously. I have been accused of being both, though I am neither and slightly closer aligned to the right, purely because I can trust them a bit more (at least they don't lie to you quite as much). I'm technicall a Libertarian, very slightly right-leaning and very anti-authoritarian, which is what both sides actually hate about me. Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 07:19, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Meh, left-right is all a bit BS, Political Compass is where it's at, Left Libertarian FTW (oh look all your left examples are, lets see, yep Authoritarian)--The Right Honourable Maj Sir Elvis UmP KUN FIC MDA VFH Bur. CM and bars UGM F@H (Petition) 00:28, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Psh. The Political Compass is just the version of the Nolan Chart that moderate leftists use in order to pretend that economic authoritarianism isn't a form of authoritarianism. :-p. ---QuillRev. Isra (talk) 00:59, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I too am a left-libertarian, almost an anarchist, but not quite - somewhere near Ghandi. Tompkinssig Smallturtle t o m p k i n s  blah. ﺞوﻦ וףה ՃՄ ண்ஸ ފއހ วอฏม +տ trade websites 01:04, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I guess the point is, Orion, why did you choose to highlight the left-wing holocaust deniers in your original statement? You're correct that there are liberal and left-wingers that deny the Holocaust, but there are also conservatives and right-wingers that deny the Holocaust. But why highlight either? Couldn't you have gotten your main point across simply by saying "There are many people that deny the Holocause ever happened, and what better way to force them to rememeber than by a Holocaust Tycoon satire article?" Anytime that you insert a phrase like "liberal", "conservative", "left-wing" or "right-wing" into a place where it's not necessary to get your main point across, you're just opening up an invitation for criticism (as you acknowledged yourself). --Composure1 02:01, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Well the right-wing people do not try and deny that there are right-wingers who deny that the holocaust existed. I didn't find it necessary to even mention right-wingers. Just that many left-wingers were saying that right-wingers were like Nazis, etc, so I decided to point out that I know of some left-wingers, who like Nazis, deny that the holocaust existed. I was challenged by left-wingers, and one of them posted on my talk page to provide some examples and I did. I will repost my message here: "Claim down, I never said that all left-wingers deny the holocaust, only that some of them do and some of the others try to hide that fact. Arthur Butz is one such left-winger. He got help from John Tuson Bennett formerly of the Australian Civil Liberties Union and famous left-winger. Fred A. Leuchter, Jr is a Liberal Professor in the USA who is a holocaust denier. I could go on, but it is pointless because most likely you will try to claim that these left-wingers are not holocaust deniers or that they are right-wingers (even if one believes in civil liberties and one of the others teaches liberalism) so what is the point? I am a moderate, by the way. Left-wingers I find to be more hypocritical than right-wingers, but right-wingers are hypocritical enough by themselves. By the way, straight from the Asian Times Kim Jung Ill sends people to Canada and the USA to deny the holocaust and other things that Kim Jung Ill himself believes and wants to promote in the west." All I wanted to prove was that there are nutcases on all sides of the political compass. I did, and I even cited some sources. --Lt. Sir Orion Blastar (talk) 03:38, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
The right-wing doesn't deny it because there's no reason to deny it. The right supports Israel (overall) a bit more than the left-wing, who also tend to support Israel. In fact, everyone supports Israel except a small contingent of people that have ulterior motives to not support them. Technically, it's in our best interest to obliterate the arabs on the east side of Israel and the west bank, as well as a good percentage of them elsewhere, but that's because I know too much world history. The article is funny because it is funny and it's poking fun at something that happens to be a sensitive subject. It has little to do with that and a lot to do with the fact it's well-written satire. Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 07:26, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
The labels "left" and "right" being bandied about are making me giggle here. I would not call a Christian fundamentalist white-supremacy group "left". Actually, if "left" and "right" are defined in the context of the US political labels "progressive" and "conservative" then these guys are so far outside the system that the labels don't stick. Calling David Duke a "liberal" is like calling a rock ambidextrous. It don't make no dam' sense, you see.----OEJ 15:19, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
As I mentioned before, the political compass is really a sphere of grays, you cannot plot it out on 2D space, because many people hold both left and right and moderate views on things. In fact, I doubt there is anyone who resembles a true liberal anymore. When I talk to people outside of the USA and I use the terms liberal and conservative, they tell me that it really means the same thing to them. That Americans are stupid if they think they are different. I did a lot of research and even cited sources when I wrote I can't believe it's not Liberalism! because when you think about it American Liberals and American NeoCons are basically the same thing, and both American political parties are actually the left and right hand of the same entity, the Illuminati, NWO, Evil Atheist Conspiracy, Ted Turner's House of Pancakes, Skull and Bones, Specter, SMERSH, Cobra, whatever you want to call it. --Lt. Sir Orion Blastar (talk) 03:38, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Ah well you see Brig. Dog, that's the American viewpoint the British one is quite different, the FCO for instance has traditionaly been pro-arab as has most of the rest of the nation, of course some of this could be attributed to the quilty felt of the broken promises made by Lawrence to the arabs during WWI but then Brits generally consider the last 100 years recent history where as, in our view, Americans for instance think Vietnam ancient history (and thus seemed to have repeated their mistake, annoyingly so has our government in Iraq and Afghanistan, somewhere where we have a long and proud tradition or successfully invading them then having major problems occupying before a headlong retreat), it's just that we value the "special relationship" more than the morally correct stance of stopping the Israelis (note:Israelis, NOT JEWS IN GENERAL) from be arseholes so we can sort this shit out once and for all with a fair 2 state solution.</end TL;DR geopolitical rant>--The Right Honourable Maj Sir Elvis UmP KUN FIC MDA VFH Bur. CM and bars UGM F@H (Petition) 16:51, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I smell Drama.
Never lump people all into one group over a simple little left-right dimension. Even after adding in a Libertarian-Authoritarian axis, you still don't seem to get specific enough of a look at one's viewpoint. I know a lot of right-wingers that deny evolution, or even the idea that the planet has been around for more than 4000 years. You don't see me claiming that all right-wingers ignore facts. Are you trying to troll? --User:Nintendorulez 21:24, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
You are so trolling...it's 6,000 years, not 4,000. Duh. Everyone knows that.--Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 21:36, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Nope, not trying to troll, just trying to tell the truth. Not all Christians believe that the world is 4000/6000 years old and are against evolution either. Maybe just the Fundamentalist Ones think that, but they are actually a minority, but often make the news because their leaders are into politics and TV evangelicals. Most Christians are really moderates like me, who believe that Jesus taught critical thinking, logic, and how to figure things out on our own. So we develop opinions like God created angels, who created the universe via the big bang, and created living things on Earth by setting evolution in motion, and the universe pretty much runs on autopilot, and God lives in Heaven, somewhere, could be in the universe and well hidden or something, and he tunes his TiVO into our lives to see what we are doing. I think God must be into soap operas or something, based on how most people are living their lives. Also God is not a genie, and prayers are meant as a way to thank God and communicate with God, and not ask God to grant wishes or whatever. God helps those who help themselves, and even asks us to help others out. God must be into war movies, due to all of the wars going on. I think God allowed George W. Bush to win in 2000 and 2004, because he thought it would be entertaining to do so, and also to punish left-wingers who tried to remove his name from the pledge of allegiance, the US money, and other things. I mean honestly, if God didn't exist, how could you explain that George W. Bush won two Presidential elections despite being very unpopular and the other candidates being better qualified, won the Presidential debates, and being more popular with the voters. I mean the whole Iraqi War thing should have had Bush voted out of office, but no, divine intervention caused Bush to win. --Lt. Sir Orion Blastar (talk) 03:38, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

So basically you're saying:

"You can make fun of everything else, but not me."

Forgive me, but that kind of argument won't work on me anytime soon. When I see some of the people who oppose this article start voicing objections to offensive material not targeted at them, I'll be more inclined to side with them. - Nonymous 00:45, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

That is not what I said. Look at my articles, a large part of them makes fun of Jews and Israel, so I'm all for it. However, I don't see Holocaust Tycoon as a good satire or even as an insulting one. I see it as taking one of the darkest events in human history and degrading it into....a computer game. This is not insulting, this is...disresepectful? Do I get my point across? What I'm saying it, again, that we should, as a community, put some sort of boundaries here. Defining those boundaries is, highly problematic and possibly impossible.-- Brigadier Sir Mordillo Icons-flag-il GUN UotY WotM FP UotM AotM MI3 AnotM VFH +S 06:43, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
So basically yes. There's limits. SpacerSpacerPremierTomMayfairChe RedPhone Unsoc Hammer and sickle 00:52, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Cool well, none of the stuff in the article is directed at me but the times stuff has been (quite explicitly, i.e. Elvis is shit type stuff) I havn't objected and (have actualy lobbied for clemency for the user responsible) so do I get some kind of loyalty card to use when I need you to side with me?</only semi-seriouse>--The Right Honourable Maj Sir Elvis UmP KUN FIC MDA VFH Bur. CM and bars UGM F@H (Petition) 01:05, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
You get a 20% discount on any purchase of $50 or more made on a weekend. - Nonymous 01:09, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Every weekend, or just weekends when you have a sale? How do I know that you haven't jacked up the price to 50% more on the weekends when you apply the 20% discount on purchases of $50 or more like most retailers do when they have such a discount? Say something costs $100 normally, then you jack up the price to $150 on weekends, then when you apply the 20% discount the sales price is $120? That is why I refuse to buy stuff with a discount on weekends, I got burned and learned my lessons. --Lt. Sir Orion Blastar (talk) 01:54, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, every weekend. In August, that falls before the 4th day of the second week. - 03:01, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
/me sticks hand up. Um, white trash, redneck, WASPy background over here...if anything there are probably a few mullet'd holocaust deniers roosting on the parts of my family tree that fail to branch out. I didn't find it funny, nor was it witty enough to pass as satire. It just seemed (apologies to those who contributed it) unnecessary and in bad taste. --Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 03:24, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
You thought it was bad before, it's gotten worse as it's stayed on the front page. /me grumbles something about IPs...--<<Bradmonogram.png>> 03:26, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
/me pats Brad on back. I sometimes feel the same way, man. But every once in a while an IP thinks something through, and does something good for Uncyc. Then an angel gets it's wings. And baby Jesus doesn't cry. And <vaguely comforting homily>...--Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 03:40, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, tasteless is an accepted category here. We have plenty of totally tasteless articles that poke fun at various things (sometimes not what you would expect, too - look at the works of David Gerard, Mhaille, and one of my featured articles). Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 07:30, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
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