Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not Funny.

Dear Mike Orren,

Greetings, good sir. My name is Alibaster Abthernabther. I am a best selling author, champion yacht racer, hot air balloon enthusiast, snake handler and devoted Pegasus News reader.

I am writing, somewhat belatedly, to offer my praise and congratulations for your recently constructed humor guidelines for the Pegasus News writing staff. I, too, find it particularly cruel when someone mocks the death of another human being within relatively close physical proximity. Of course, as you so deftly describe, the mortal inviolability of individuals outside of our immediate area is completely open to hilarious send-up. And Pegasus News is nothing if not a citadel of uproariously pointed yet socially responsible satire. You have my permission to reprint that last sentence as a critic's blurb if you so desire.

Many readers might mistake what you do as simply regurgitating local news and event information that has been covered or posted somewhere else (by the by, I find it a courageous choice that you did not go with the more accurate name: Pegasus News Aggregate). Clearly, this is not the case. You are apparently a seasoned collective of comedians performing comedy. It is blindingly obvious.

You were courteous enough to post your new humor policy so that all six of your regular readers would be aware of the stringent guidelines that Pegasus News now adheres to. Please allow me to review some of these items and follow them with appropriate praise.
"Making fun of the arrogant and powerful is always funny. Making fun of the weak and powerless is not."
So noble. You are the Robin Hood of joke craft.
"The misfortunes of innocents are never funny."
So true. Your immeasurable compassion makes me want to weep like a 9/11 widow.
"If we can't laugh at ourselves, we can't laugh at anyone. "
So humble. If Hitler was a child-molesting necrophiliac cannibal you would make Martin Luther King Jr. look like Hitler.
"Death is almost never funny. Hypocrisy is always funny."
So precise. But is it funny when a hypocrite dies? I suppose that's why you preceded "never" with the qualifier "almost." Good show.

So many people mistakenly think of comedy, whether it's on page, on stage or clumsily manhandled in a local news aggregate blog, as a subjective form of artistic expression. As you have so carefully classified, true comedy is just audience-oriented entertainment that needs to be defined and restricted with arbitrary borders so that no one gets their feelings hurt. Everyone knows that, even an albino retard midget in a mixed race relationship with an hermaphrodite kidney transplant recipient. Which reminds me of your best rule of all.
"Offbeat humor is best when it is on-topic."
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary may define "offbeat" as "eccentric," which is defined as "deviating from an established or usual pattern or style," which is the exact polar opposite of "on-topic." But leave it to Pegasus News to rewrite the rules so that we might know what is really and truly funny. Kudos to you!

Alibaster Abthernabther