Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Whelp, Satire Is Dead. Might As Well Take Up F*cking Noolding

I'm a clever guy. I am. But I literally cannot invent any satirical headline, either on the spot or amid an orgy of creative epiphanies, that I cannot imagine having absolutely zero chance of appearing in tomorrow’s news headlines—or on my stupid goddamn Facebook feed—regardless of whether or not the headline is true, or truthiness.

The torrent of recent national headlines on news sites—from CNN to Breitbart to Hacksaw Biff’s Truth-Be-Told Corkboard—all serve as a death knell for satire. Satire writers, in particular, have become hamstrung by contemporary reality. The introduction of "alternative facts" into the modern lexicon not only puts the proverbial final nail in satire's proverbial coffin, it also adds profuse gobs of Liquid Nails about the seams, and a 2-ton ACME anvil on the lid. For good measure, a yuge glob of shit rests on the anvil.

If I were to be confronted with any of the following headlines, I'd simply shrug my shoulders and be all like "Huh! Well, whad'ya' know!": "Rodeo Clowns Converge On Washington To Protest Department Of Novelty Suspenders Defunding", or "Trump Secretly Breeding Chainsaw-Wielding Velociraptor Overseers To 'Carefully Yet Humanely' Monitor Middle School Journalism Club", or "Study Shows Nation's Salt Trucks Woefully Unprepared For Inevitable Nuclear Winter".  Or "Steve Bannon Actually Smiles For Once In His Life".

I'm a satire writer. Well, I was a satire writer. I have come here to do two things: announce my retirement from the craft, and present empirical evidence that contradicts the edicts of the leaders of the free world …and I'm all out of empirical evidence.

So, I quit.

There's no longer any sense in staring like a dope at the hundreds of thousands of tiny black specks in the drop ceiling above my computer desk while contorting my brain to finally (finally!) summon a seedling of a satirical premise, then to write and rework and write and rework and write and rework, and maybe—if I think the finished product is worth half-a-bag-of-moldy-turnips—submit the fruits of my labor to McSweeney's, or Sherman Oaks Review of Books, or that bastion of shrewd literary farce Fox News.

Now, though? What’s the goddamn use? My life had purpose when I’d yank my mind’s ripcord and rev the ol’ idea engine until the spewing fumes made me gradually so woozy from creative output that I’d eventually become high as a gun junkie dry-humping a never-fired Winchester 30-06 on Appalachian prom night. Good times. In today’s political climate, I’d pass out indefinitely from lack of oxygen.

Rather than piss away my life doing what the elders call THINKING, I figure I might as well take up fucking noodling instead. Yeah, that's right…noodling: fishing for catfish with bare fucking hands by sticking them in a fucking catfish hole. I briefly considered such rousing hobbies as train surfing or handcuff collecting, but I ultimately settled on noodling. Fucking noodling.

You heard it here first, from me—I am officially no longer a satirist. I'm a noodler.

Why bother employing the literary skills I paid $50k+ to learn in a society-mandated post-high school education structure, and then gradually develop said skills via the arduous slog of trial-and-error in the 16 years since graduation when I can simply plunge my fucking arm under a rock and wait for a 39 pound flathead catfish to begin to digest my fucking forearm? Why use my natural and matured academic gift to glaze a shrewd warning to mankind with a syrupy layer of wit that the lawmakers (read: white Christian men) in the high castles aim to wring you out like a dirty rag and drink whatever soiled profits drip when I can focus my efforts into bonding with a dependable lifelong noodling partner who can spot the fuck outta’ me when I attempt to surface from twenty foot depths with a fucking mammoth thrashing catfish latched on to the very fucking hand I once used to type the aforementioned syrupy layers of wit. Why mock with wry humor the authoritative establishments which seek to mercilessly shred the fabric that binds all of humanity when I can register for the fucking Annual Okie Noodling Tournament in Pauls Valley, fucking Oklahoma, and test my chops against noodling luminaries in an activity that is, essentially, slow-punching a fucking catfish in the fucking mouth and then lugging it to an alien surface for a photo-op on a stupid fucking dock. Imagine the huge dumbass smile on my fucking face. I'll be so fucking ecstatic there’s a fucking catfish dangling from my wrist. Fuck! 

Okay. Okay.


Perhaps you too should reconsider your profession. Are you a historian? Why waste your time scrutinizing eye witness accounts of past scholars and contemplating echoing themes of civilization to identify subtle pre-WWIII red flags when you can relive the exploits of the “face of noodling” Jerry Rider on VH fucking Sespecially such ground-breaking network TV moments as when Rider fucking manhandled a whopping bullhead on Late Night with David fucking Letterman, circa 198 fucking 9. Are you a climate scientist? Why waste your time meticulously reconstructing past climates by examining ice cores and tree rings in hopes of rescuing the vast majority of the inhabitants of Earth from an agonizing sixth extinction when you can fucking noodle the living shit out of the very aquatic habitats you have dedicated your whole fucking live to saving from the same stupid species who invented such a dumb fucking sport as NOODLING? Can you read? Why squander your pathetic useless life reading books like a fucking idiot when you can deep throat catfish up to your fucking elbow instead?

Fuck words and fuck sentences and fuck story arcs about the human condition that transcend culture and time. Fuck "Moby Dick" (unless your knuckles are blowhole deep). You're living in a noodler’s world now.

If you need me, don’t bother looking in my beloved writing den, where I once basked in inspiration opposite my Dell laptop and a half-empty Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA nearby. Nope. You can find me on the muddy banks of the Muskingum River, wearin’ my newfangled cutoff jean shorts and sportin’ a tight bushy noodler ‘stache—not like ‘dem pansy hipster ‘staches all up in that new Crazy Mocha downtown.

That’s right, I fucking noodle now. And I got four-to-eight years to perfect my craft.


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