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The current article on Virginia Tech Massacre is yet another matter of upset in the Uncyclopedia community. The page was first created by Zombiebaron on April 16th, the day of the tragedy, and was immediately protected to prevent editing for some time. The issue over protecting the page was somewhat controversial and required discussion. I was (along with Ljlego, at first) an advocate of protecting the page. I politely stated:
|Having written two pieces about Hitler and a few pieces about the Holocaust here on Uncyclopedia, let me just say that there is always a humorous approach to any subject, no matter how tragic; some people enjoy dark humor. But it has taken us 60+ years to be able to make jokes about the Holocaust, and even then it's a sensitive subject. The key here is time. It's absolutely cruel to begin poking fun at things without allowing time for mourning and healing. We may never actually make a page to satirize this subject, and I'm fine with that. But what I'm not fine with is people calling us hypocrites because we refuse to be assholes. If anything, you people are the hypocrites. How dare you expect us to get rid of our "offensive" material on Asperger's Syndrome or September 11th and then cry because we're not making fun of the loss of 32 people. Go fuck yourselves.|
After a forum discussion, it was decided that the page should be unprotected. I immediately began working on a version of the article. The original idea was mine, but Ljlego and Mhaille proved to be fantastic collaborators and helped me expand on the idea. The article received a score of 45 in its Pee Review:
|Like I said in the box, I'm definitely not the right person to talk to for a general consensus's view on things like "is this offensive" or "too soon." I'm a firm believer in the concept that tragedy doesn't lose its impact two days, two years or two decades after it occurs, and the idea of social satire coming "too soon" is an offense to past tragedy (ie. Pearl Harbor happening so long ago doesn't make it any less disheartening or solemn than this event, and thus satirizing either at any time is completely acceptable to me; satire is a mirror on society -- if you don't like the reflection, change your fucking face). With that lengthy preamble out of the way, I can say firmly that this article is excellent. It is also a perfect example of a situation where gross stereotyping -- in this case Asians, obviously -- is completely acceptable (the nod to the overtness in cite 4 is very clever).|
- — The Thinker on Pee Review
It was subsequently nominated on the VFH by Mhaille on July 11th. It was shot down by a vote of 10-7. Votes against were justified with the feeling that it was "too soon" to satirize this tragedy, or that it was distasteful due to the subject matter.
|Much like a page about my anus, it would have to be extrasuperfantastical to overcome the subject matter. This fails to reach the lofty heights of excellence. A valiant effort, though, and for that I give you kudos. Well, kudo. I've only got the one.|
- — Modusoperandi on the 1st VFH nomination
| Several months ago Uncyclopedia placed a memorial link on the Main Page. It had a ribbon and it proclaimed "Today, even the idiots at Uncyclopedia are Hokies". At the bottom it linked to a memorial fund. Seeing that made me feel all warm and fuzzy. It was at that moment I gained a whole new respect for Uncyclopedia.
Time passed and it was unlocked and made into a tasteful article. It barely focuses on the killing itself, but merely makes fun of the loser that was Cho Seung Hui. (If you read up about him, he really was a pathetic twat.) I believe part of it it satires the view that violent video games and other things influence school shootings, whereas the article states that Cho was actually influenced by literature. It may also reference the overly heavy media attention the tragedy received.
To me, this page isn't very offensive. Of course, I wasn't directly affected by it. The argument against featuring it as being offensive is ridiculous, because we have featured various pages involving the holocaust, terrorism, racism, etc. To not feature on those grounds alone would be total hypocrisy. Of course, it's all debatable.
The other main issue regarding this page is that it might be "too soon". Is there such a thing? Many tragedies that happened decades ago still hurt those it affected. If you think it's still too early to feature a page about the VTech Massacre, fine. But when will it no longer be too soon? Tell me, and on that day I will renominate it.
- — Kip the Dip on the matter
The primary editors of the page, Ljlego, and myself, as well as others in the community who supported the featuring of the article, have made arguments that the article was written in good faith, and in a way that was meant to satirize things other than the victims.
We take the risk on Uncyclopedia of having and embracing possibly offensive material, and we've defended ourselves from censors and offended readers plenty of times in the past. Yes, we're a website dedicated to satire, and I'm aware that we do have limits on what is acceptable content, but this article was written in what I believe is an appropriately respectful angle. We still have the banner at the bottom of the page asking for donations to the victims' families, and I, as aforementioned, was a strong advocate of protecting the page.
This is an emotional and sensitive issue, but since when can we not find humor in tragedy? I'm very empathetic to the families of the victims, which is why I, Ljlego, and Mhaille wrote this out of respect and edited it in what we believed was a careful and sincere manner to the victims, their families, and Cho himself. The tragedy itself saddens me deeply, but I stand from the point of observational humor that there is a side of lightheartedness behind every tragedy. I respect the viewpoints of those who dislike the article, but do not appreciate the assumption that I or any other editors to this page are callous individuals or that the article is meant to be offensive or bases itself on "shock humor".
|I thought that emc and I (plus some help from Mhaille) made this article about as respectful as it can possibly be. From reading the Against comments, it appears to me that some of them are rather contradictory. Many of you seem to have something of a conflict of interest. Many seem to simply be morally opposed to the subject matter, which I might add is a rather weak reason to find something not worthy of feature. Excluding all the obvious choices, we've had three or four articles featured very recently that deal with terrorism, another "hot-button" issue that affects many people. The writers there mock not the deaths of the thousands of soldiers currently serving in Iraq, but the people sending them there. We also quite recently featured an article entitled Dead Nigger Storage. If you'll humor me, read the article. You'll note that it mocks (however minorly) bigoted killing of black people. This, again, was in an effort not to mock the plight of the African-American people (which hits very close to home for many people), but in an effort to mock the very people who condone it. Here it's the same idea. I can understand if you don't like the actual article, removing the title and subject. But I implore all of you who have voted against simply because you were offended that this article was made to reexamine your moral compass, and at least find it in your heart to abstain. Realize that you may be led astray by personal feelings and that, at the end of the day, grieving is better done progressively than by dwelling.|
- — Ljlego on the 2nd VFH nomination
I, as the author, am unapologetic for anyone's interpretation of this article as "offensive". There is a very gray area (with varying shades of gray) that separates what is acceptable and what is not, and it has been made clear that there are many individuals on both sides of that line to varying degrees here at Uncyclopedia over the Virginia Tech Massacre article. Regardless of users' stance on whether or not the article ought to have been featured or written, and regardless of anyone's interpretation of the article, whether they find it offensive, funny, stupid, or brilliant, Uncyclopedia sends its condolences to all this tragedy has affected.
|So many tangles in life are ultimately hopeless that we have no appropriate sword other than laughter.|