I have been known to pen the occasional satirical piece in my time, and have enjoyed a modicum of success in this most dishonourable of pursuits. As is the case with some of my fellow satirists, I have had skits, rumours, and outright lies published on genuine news websites, and even in the national press.
As my mate Seaton Carew will attest - it's pretty funny sometimes when you see something that you've made up off the top of your head be picked up on and reported as 'news.'
Seaton did a classic today - reported a celeb/sportsman wedding taking place on the 31st of June. Slack work by sub-editors is no excuse - they were suckered in good and proper. Top marks to the chilli munching man with the silver shoes!
So - how do you become successful as a satirist? And why would you want to anyway? You don't get paid for it - but it seems that internet satire writing is all important for some individuals, for reasons known only to themselves.
To start with - it's easy. It doesn't take long to realise that the most popular internet satire stories concern either some form of sexual innuendo, or a celebrity or two, and if you can successfully combine the two into an attention grabbing headline, then you're quids in. (Not literally - people don't get paid for this stuff as a rule) but you may well get your name placed near the top of a list.
Which is all well and good, but if somebody wants to get better at what they do, then they need to move on from that initial adrenalin rush of success, and branch out into other, more ambitious attempts. It just seems utterly pointless to me, churning out gallons of slop stories about teen celebrities, day after day after day, just so that you can look at some chart and say "Yes! I am number one!"
Being number one is a hollow achievement - and I'm not saying this because I'm bitter or resentful in any way (I've been number one on a popular website several times since I joined it) but I don't see the point of churning out mindlessly repetetive rubbish which is essentially the same story with the same vaguely suggestive title ad nauseum.
There's really no point. It doesn't make anybody a top writer, satirist, humourist, or even remotely funny because they can churn out a sexually suggestive title involving much googled celebrities. No matter how many 'hits' stories like that can garner, the percentage of people who have been duped by a headline and rapidly move on, without even bothering to read the article in question must number in the high nineties.
Times change, and things (and themes) move on. The thing is, that if anybody has the temerity to suggest any kind of change, in the interests of natural progression, they get shouted down and almost witch hunted by the people who don't want creativity or innovation.
And some people will fight to the death to maintain their meaningless positions in a meaningless chart. They really will. They cry: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" from the rooftops. And plough the same tired furrow. Over, and over, and over, and over again.
Which could be interpreted with a degree of understanding (some people just won't accept progress at any price) were it not for the fact that sometimes these individuals can become incredibly vindictive.
I had first hand experience of that this week when a one time Facebook friend and so-called top writer defriended me and flagged my stuff as offensive on that website. Now I can't put things up on there for a few ex-work colleagues who enjoy my silly little stories.
Amazing the lengths some people will go to.
Which is partly why I post this blog today. Given a choice, I'd much rather read Seaton Carew's excellent June 31st wedding jape than some crap about Russell Brand being pulled by airport security for having porno mags in his luggage, or about some pervert reheating teen celeb's underwear in a microwave so that he can sniff said articles "as if fresh..."
And I get flagged on Facebook for being offensive?
Sadly, these are the lengths some people will go to, in order to stay at the top of a cloud cuckooland chart.
It's all rather sad.