Friday, December 10, 2010

Nothing to report

Dear G.K.,

Maybe you have heard of the electronic aperiodical Caepe? They specialize in satire, of course; but then I discovered a particular article (append "articles/marriage-handled-amicably,18566/" to their address), which I must suppose they meant to be funny, along lines like those of the item "Report: Mom Just Locked Her Door", which is funny in how it describes in action-news-speak a moment of household tension many of us recognize. The thing is, though, "Amicably" just isn't funny.

Perhaps I might toss a lit.crit. word into the mix? Part of the humour in "Locked" is the dramatic irony present in many of the characters' statements, e.g.
"It wasn't me," Katie, 11, told reporters. "I was just sitting here. I didn't do anything."
Anyone who has grown up with parents and siblings will recognize that the disclaimer "I was just sitting here" identifies one of the many (small) things that lead to "Mom"s escapade.

The irony in the "Amicably" item is that it has essentially substituted "marriage" for "divorce", and an ordinary family in mundane settings for celebrities amidst artifice. OK, so maybe it's a satire of the celebrity gossip rag. It's still not funny. It's just a sad story of a marriage gone tired, and I can easily imagine in our modern culture that some will find the joke to be that these are "stupid bored married people! they should just split and have fun!" Here's the thing: altogether, the pretend couple described are actually doing the very thing (if not everything) they should do, given that neither seems to be a danger to the other. So we have an example of perfectly ordinary people being faithful in spite of trials, being held up for laughs?

I think the world needs more people alive with two legs!

your adopted nephew Bat


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