Who else is ready for campaign season to be over? I don’t know about you, but I’m just about ready to graduate to the next thing that will irritate me. Luckily, The Paramount will be hosting guests that will make things a lot more tolerable for those of us with “election fatigue.”
Don’t get me wrong. I fully appreciate the political process, but the cycle of vitriol sure has sapped the joy out of a lot of us. This year, bringing up politics is a sure fire way to escalate a talk from civil discourse to a shouting match. And I can’t begin to tell you how many people in my online social circles have been blocked or removed the past several months for being dogmatic blowhards. It’s harder and harder to find middle ground these days, often because it seems anyone with a strong opinion has an agenda to make you agree with them. To those, it’s a Michael Jackson kind of situation: either black or white.
Heck, you can’t even watch the news anymore without a Costco-sized bottle of aspirin at the ready. CNN, Headline News, FOX News, Breitbart, Drudge Report… it’s like journalism is secondary to sensationalism. It’s a shouting contest where ultimately no one wins. What happened to journalistic objectivism? My inner Simon and Garfunkel croons, where have you gone, Walter Cronkite?
Now that intelligent and unbiased news has gone the way of the dodo, we might as well embrace the absurdity of the current situation. Since we can’t depend on journalism to deliver intelligent analysis, a nation turns its lonely eyes to satire. Thank goodness we still have that degree of astute observation available to us, because at least they provide a degree of spice to our daily media consumption. Otherwise, our brain’s media diet would only consist of the same old white bread and water usually reserved for prisoners.
So who sprinkles tasty morsels of mockery into our daily lives of mundane media bombardment? Why, it’s The Onion, of course! For nearly 25 years, this satirical news organization serves all the parody that’s fit to print, they have been presenting articles that lampoon not just news but often the structure of journalism itself. Their website is their most visible vessel, but they also publish a printed newspaper in select markets (including Austin, TX). I figure Austin was selected because anyone living close enough to the state capitol (not to mention some of our recent governors) must have a craving for some comic relief.
While The Onion excels at jabbing our own national news and the political processes, the staff takes aim at many aspects of our daily life. Regular features like those found in more conventional publications (Sports, Entertainment, Personal Interest Stories, etc) are present, all with the same candor and wit that makes all of their reading so devilishly entertaining. If you have the interwebs, feel free to follow them on Twitter to keep a finger on the sarcastic pulse of what’s happening in the world. These are the guys whom you are happy to have blow up your Twitter feed. Trust me, there’s nothing they won’t blast. Like the Eye of Sauron (or something less dorky, if that works for you), nothing avoids their sniper-like gaze.
And with the election in its final lap, The Onion brings their wit to The Paramount. On stage will be the members of the creative staff, offering insight into the writing and a behind-the-scenes peek at the production of the Onion News Network. Oh, and they’re also going to provide coverage of the election like only they can. I’m sure they won’t just jab at the Presidential candidates; they’re more likely to hit them over the head with a lead pipe like Professor Plum in the Conservatory.
I look forward to it with eager anticipation. I’ve been dying to have someone deflate this political balloon of all its hot air. And as for their trademark acerbic touch, I must confess a deep gratitude. Their version of the news often makes me want to keep up with the world instead of sticking my head in the sand like an ostrich. To The Onion, my own inner Simon and Garfunkel sing on:
So koo koo kachoo, Mrs. Robinson Austin. The Onion is coming to bring tears of laughter to your eyes. Tears of laughter, that is. The crew will surely alleviate the stress of utter stupidity that all other networks heap upon us. After all, the process can be so ridiculous you have no choice but to giggle and guffaw. I mean, come on… take a look at this guy. Even he can’t help but laugh.
Or maybe he’s just been peeling away layer after layer of the political machine for so many years he has no choice but to laugh. After all, being enveloped in that environment has got to be so maddening that it’s apt to make you cry. You know, just like peeling an onion.
The Onion lands on stage on Friday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m. Leave your own political convictions at the door, because nothing is sacred.