Note to the Onion A-Team of Edgy Satire: Ha! No, really guys, I just have to say that. I mean, you killed it with your piece last week on Fort Lauderdale. I only keep wondering how many folks on your A-Team of Edgy Satire were needed to craft this literary gem. As an author of 24 books, five plays and more than 1,000 blogs, and a longtime blogger for the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, I must say that I found your unique satiric approach clever indeed. Most great satirists over the centuries have taken an entirely different tack than your own, of course. From Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain all the way up to George Carlin and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Though each admittedly witty enough, I suppose, every one of them has fallen back on an oh-so-conventional reliance upon facts as the basis of their humor. But the Onion? Wow, you found a way around such trivia, entirely ignoring any information that included a nasty whiff of reality. This takes a special talent, believe me.
Funny enough, I'd always felt the Onion tried to, well you know, peel back the layers underneath the skin of the day's events. Get to the core of the onion, as it were. But this Lauderdale piece has offered me a whole new understanding of your comedy.
Particularly brilliant was the way your A-Team of Edgy Satire drew on anachronism as a foundation for your fun-poking. How did your crack staff ever come up with the idea of smirking at a Fort Lauderdale that hasn't existed for more than 20 years? And to do that as if your words reflected the truth of this place in 2013? Ha again, I say! Genius. When I first read this stuff, I laughed so hard that my café cubano nearly came out my nose. Really. Like, hey, these hilarious lines: "Wait, I guess a lot of baseball teams do spring training in Ft. Lauderdale, right? So you have spring training, which leads to baseball, which is called America's pastime, and ‘America's pastime' certainly has the word ‘America' in it." Only problem here, guys? Spring Training in Fort Lauderdale ended in 2009. Baltimore Orioles. One team not "a lot." No kidding - you could look it up. Also ingeniously outdated were your references to "drunk spring breakers" and "fireworks stands." The Spring Break thing broke for good here in 1989. Oh and yes, I do know of one fireworks shop, a large brick-and-mortar building actually, but no "fireworks stands" at all. I could go on but you get the idea. I especially had to admire the socially responsible angle you selected, you know, all that stuff about a possible "terrorist attack" or "mass shooting" or "other unexpected tragedy" in Fort Lauderdale. Ha ha, I say once more to your A-Team of Edgy Satire! Just too funny, honest! Perhaps most of all, though, I respected the lesson here for America's young writers who aspire to someday work on your vaunted A-Team of Edgy Satire: "There is no need to actually visit cities you ridicule, no need to thoroughly research them either. And, frankly kids, why bother even doing a simple Google search, huh? Not when you can simply make it all up as cleverly as we do at the Onion!" Satire is so very much funnier that way, without any reference to fact. As I said before, wow, you really did find a whole new approach to this kind of humor. Ok, anyway guys, I've expressed as much admiration as I can muster here. I'm word-limited in these blogs but, trust me, there is lots more I could say about your story if I had the space. In closing, I can only add this to all you distinguished members of the Onion's A-Team of Edgy Satire: I sincerely apologize for my dependence on factual information for this quick reply to your Lauderdale piece. As your colleague, I haven't figured out yet how to transform fact-free writing into biting social commentary, as you have. But after seeing how successfully you manage it, whoa, I'm definitely going to keep trying.