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BULLY LOL?

WATCH: How Can We Add Some Funny To This Onion “Satire” Of A Bullied Gay Teen?

Sometimes satire isn’t meant to be funny, but there’s something about this Onion parody of a bullied gay teen that just doesn’t sit well with me. Yes, satire can expose the sad side of unfortunate issues in new and insightful ways, but it generally should still make us laugh or donate some humor into a dark situation, which this does not.

Methinks perhaps The Onion played it safe here, and was afraid to parody homosexuality. It doesn’t even seem like a fully fleshed out story: gay teen gets bullied, gay teen eats lunch on the stairwell. Meh. One of the kids’ lines doesn’t make sense: he’d like to eat in the stairwell on weekends?

F**k no—a gay teen wants to go to the mall on the weekends and eat McDonald’s with his best bitches. If this kid is too young to have homosexual aspects, or isn’t showing them, he would pass unnoticed by the other kids and probably wouldn’t be bullied as much.

It’s okay, Onion. You can make fun of gay people, even gay teens—we can take a joke just like the rest of you. Just don’t take it too far, and stick close to the stereotypes that ring true.

So here’s an edit on your piece: how about we have give this closeted 12-year-old either (a) a best girlfriend who eats lunch with him as they discuss how awesome Justin Bieber is, and they’re both bullied by Bieber-phobes and hold a pro-Bieber rally or (b) a lesbian friend who eats right next to him in the stairwell but they have nothing to talk about?

I kind of like (b): there can be awkward silences between the gay boy being ecstatic about Madonna’s album and the lesbian girl’s passion for finding vintage Ani DeFranco vinyl at local thrift shops.

By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           Mar 9, 2012
Tagged: , , ,
  • 73 Comments
    • Kamuriie
      Kamuriie

      I normally love The Onion, but I didn’t laugh at this at all. Am I missing something?

      Mar 9, 2012 at 10:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • doug105
      doug105

      i think they’re trying to show that there is nothing funny about it.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 10:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      Wow, the Onion seldom fails, but this is a total fail, just don’t get it.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      “Still closeted 7 year old…” on a news report, the idea of a kid find solace in a staircase, at school nonetheless, rather than at home, having a number to the times of being called a faggot, so researched, but nothing done against? It may not be golden, but the satire’s there.

      Then again, I got the impression that maybe he just really likes the staircase and everyone else is just trying to make a big deal out of it?

      Mar 9, 2012 at 11:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      You guys, the Onion satirizes everything under the sun, no matter how controversial it is. Does this hit close to home? Sure, but is it any more offensive than the time they live-tweeted a supposed gunman on Capitol Hill? Or their coverage of 9/11? You may not personally find this piece entertaining, but please don’t be the kind of person who gets angry over the Onion.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 11:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • camembert
      camembert

      @doug105: I completely agree with your interpretation. What’s funny about the odd-kid-out eating lunch alone everyday?

      Mar 9, 2012 at 11:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Samwise
      Samwise

      I don’t know… in an odd way, I think it’s funny because it’s painful and sad. And true. When I was in 7th grade, I didn’t have “best bitches” to go to the mall with. This is reality for a lot of gay kids. It strikes the same poignant chord as this classic: http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-15yearold-only-homosexual-in-whole-world,791/

      Mar 9, 2012 at 11:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Seamus
      Seamus

      I found it amusing because of how pathetic it is that the child is ostracized and abused so much by his peers that he actually enjoys eating alone now. Sometimes something tragic can also be funny. ‘Funny,’ however, is subjective. That being said, I don’t find it offensive.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kirby
      Kirby

      clearly they are trying to show it’s not funny, I get it

      Mar 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Real Mike in Asheville
      The Real Mike in Asheville

      Sorry Evan/QUEERTY, but this is the classical Greek rhetoric of satire — its not supposed to be funny, it is to show, without hyperbole, the very dark side of human nature and consequences. And these consequences are very dark — a kid forced to find solace by eating alone in a windowless stairwell.

      [The form of satire is very different from, say, Noel Coward’s use in his many satirical stage plays.]

      How very poignant this video is — Well done Onion.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Christopher Banks
      Christopher Banks

      I like it – think it would make a good campaign video.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adrian
      Adrian

      The satire comes from the fact that no one is really putting a gun to this kids head, forcing him to eat on the staircase, and the fact that the reporter may be assuming the kid is gay simply because he is perceived as gay and called a “fag” by other students.

      If the kid would fight back then it wouldn’t be satire, it would be an action movie.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      I *like* stairwells. “Halfway down the stairs is the stair where I sit/There isn’t any other stair quite like it/I’m not at the bottom, I’m not at the top/So this is the stair where I always stop.”

      Mar 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kyle
      kyle

      @Mark: No they don’t. Do they satirize Jews in WWII? No. They satirize lynchings? No, they don’t. They wouldn’t dare. But, they would “dare” with gays, because they are “allowed” by society.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kyle
      kyle

      @The Real Mike in Asheville: Wrong.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kyle
      kyle

      @The Real Mike in Asheville: I posted before I finished…
      then in the same ocntext, was Jerry Lewis’s dressing up as a clown and marching Jews into ovens be considered satire?

      Mar 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adrian
      Adrian

      @kyle:

      out of curiousity. does this Onion video upset you? if so why? also, have you gotten upset by other Onion videos or just this one?

      Mar 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott
      Scott

      For once The Onion did a piece properly, without going over the top. I can see how people will laugh at the ridiculousness of a kid sitting alone in a stairwell and calling him a loser but that same person will eventually come to the realization that this kind of thing could happen. Especially if that person births a kid who’s picked on in school. This piece plants a seed.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Harvard
      Harvard

      All gay teens want to go to the mall and eat McDonalds with their best bitches? F**k NO! The suggested improvements to the video are actually ideas for completely different videos: the point here is that the kid feels alone and isolated. The problem isn’t that the Onion is afraid to make fun of gays, the problem is you didn’t laugh. I don’t think they meant us to laugh.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Real Mike in Asheville
      The Real Mike in Asheville

      @kyle: @kyle: Well, Kyle, Mel Brooks made his satires of Nazis in both the Producers and its “Spring Time for Germany, and Hitler Too!” and “To Be or Not To Be”. Of course, there is Chaplin’s “The Dictator”, too.

      Regarding lynchings, there is the wonderful satire “Oh Brother, Where Are Art Thou”, oh, and, of course, Mel Brooks, again, “Blazing Saddles” with the amazing scene of Cleavon Little [he is black in case you don’t know of him] confronted by an angry racist mob that the town has hired a black man as their new sheriff, quells the crowd by pulling a gun and pointing it at his own head, with the line “Hold it! Next man moves, and the n-word gets it!”

      ******

      Expand your understanding of rhetorical strategy Kyle, you might learn something. This video make viewers hold the opposite of the storyline — it is very well written and very successful as satire and, more importantly, as an argument for adults to get involved in ending bullying.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kyle
      kyle [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Adrian: It’s not funny. Does it bother me? Yes. Why? Because it’s not funny. If they did a headline like, Area Black Saves Money On Gas By Getting Dragged By Pickup” and I didn’t think it was funny, would you ask me the same question?

      And, no. I love The Onion. Area Homosexual Saves Four From Fire is one of my favorites.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      I agree with Mark. Don’t get angry at the Onion they make fun of everything and everyone. Haven’t you ever read it?

      Mar 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lew Ojeda
    • Zack
      Zack

      it made me feel kind of sorry for that kid

      Mar 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adrian
      Adrian

      @kyle: I think there is a difference in not finding something funny and getting upset over something. if you don’t find something funny yet others do, then you simply don’t share something in common with those people. there’s no need to get upset about it…unless you feel left out. that’s all.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 9:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sceth
      Sceth

      Comedy with a subversive punchline is dark/black/Russian/British; with a suppressed (or stupid, or completely absent) punchline it’s “unfunny.” I’d class this as dark uncomedy.

      Regardless, I lolled.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 11:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Pathos. I didn’t have a problem with it.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 11:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark [Different person #1 using similar name]

      Who wrote this piece? KUDOS to The Onion for the thought provoking video and BOOS to those who apparently can’t follow anything above the level of Donald Duck.

      Mar 9, 2012 at 11:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • someone
      someone

      who wrote wrote this is an idiot “stick close to the stereotypes that ring true.” not all gays act in accord with stereotypes. The onion did as was said above classic Greek dark satire. There is no hyperbole ie a kid throwing his purse around and going with “his bitches” to the mall. What the onion did was showing real human behavior, you are supposed to laugh at the ridiculousness of im “wanting” to eat alone, because he doesn’t he wants people to stop mocking him, wants to be normal. Just because you can’t understand anything above “loony tunes” doesn’t mean everyone wants to see an obvious parody of “stereotypes that ring true”

      Mar 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ed
      Ed

      Of course its not funny. Its not supposed to be. The piece is perfect the way it is, and the cutesy, sitcomesque additions you suggest would ruin it. Frankly,the fact that you don’t get this explains why you’re writing for Queerty instead of The Onion.

      Mar 12, 2012 at 1:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ed
      Ed

      If this kid is too young to have homosexual aspects, or isn’t showing them, he would pass unnoticed by the other kids and probably wouldn’t be bullied as much.

      I assume you missed this bit:

      McElroy, who has revealed his sexual orientation to no one but is unceasingly ridiculed by his peers for perceived feminine qualities in his voice, dress, and gait…

      It may be the most effective and heartbreaking part of the story, and you missed it completely.

      Mar 12, 2012 at 1:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lon
      Lon

      Satire ! always == comedy.

      I watched it. The satire is pretty self-evident.
      If anyone is still confused, please read up on what satire actually is.

      Mar 12, 2012 at 5:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Katt
      Katt

      This is fine satire. I read this article and the comments and then watched the video. I still laughed! Then I felt bad about laughing at defensless bullied gay kid, who did nothing to deserve his forced exile. I thought “If I were at that school I would eat with him or take up for him in a fight.” It worked! Can you imagine how much more it would work on others who don’t have to read these overly sensitive comments or an article that touts how “not funny” it is?

      Mar 13, 2012 at 11:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Donald Irwin

      I guess they haven’t heard, the fat lady sang, it’s over

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Grant Mealey

      Nice ?? over half a mil to beat a dead horse ???

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel Riffle

      Tax payers money goes to bigots

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay Phelps

      The lawyers of America owe the Republican Party a big thank you for all the business that their prejudice made.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zily Popygaj

      – Spiteful, petty, ignorant, and rather stupid people who are willing to deprive themselves and suffer AS LONG AS they can get to hurt someone whom they have decided to dislike. And then, of course, they whine and claim to be “martyrs” because of their *self-imposed* suffering.
      – My mother was like that. I think it’s a mental illness, I honestly do, because I can’t think of any thought process that is even *remotely* rational which would lead one to deliberately impose suffering upon oneself *merely* to try to hurt someone else. Ergo, it is irrational, ergo mental illness…..
      – I also think it’s nutty to obsess over what one *imagines* other people are doing in the privacy of their own homes, while one’s own life goes un-lived and un-tended…

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Isabelle Rhiannon Gryphon

      #supertards

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Porter

      Hey it’s Idaho, most Republican, conservative state around !

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RC Camacho

      Pay up assholes.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RC Camacho
      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mary Rich

      They should really get on board with reality…equality is for all people. I mean really Idaho get with it. The Nation is going forward and you are apart of the 50 states or do you want to be a part of another country????That is the ???? of the century..???Now isn’t it…lets move forward and make it legal for all to marry, all, not just men & women, ALL equal means equal PERIOD.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vallen Mikulski

      A good day in Idaho to be a republican lawyer.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris Hale

      I could take a couple of years off work with that kind of money…

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jose Luis Ortiz

      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Diego Santos

      It’s a blue state the hell you expect?

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Cherry

      Hate is expensive.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Time Donneeds

      Haters don’t make it to the pearly gates even with $715,000

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ivan Jackson

      Ha ha ha ha; is all I’m gonna say!

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kathy Burton

      Really expensive! What a unbelievable waste.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stacey Kubsch
      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Patrick McGarry

      Pay up!!

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan Sainovich

      That made a group of lawyers a lot of money. That could have fed a lot of people.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Malin

      Bigotry is very costly and only serves to demean the haters. GOOD!

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony Canta

      Let’s see: How many homeless and starving children would that money help??? There is nothing christian about the assholes that are pushing for a ban on same sex marriage.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Donny Thomas

      Cost alot to be told what is common sence

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam Beinstein

      Kaleb

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Don Blair

      Republican values cost the tax payers dearly.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Victor Gear

      The word equality is not conditional. It is where all are treated as equals.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Carroll

      Maybe if these recalcitrant office holders had to fork out the dosh out of their own pockets it might be a different story.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jessica Bogert

      Tyler Rossman

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexandra Lorraine Hayman

      haha oops Idaho sucks to be you

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James Savik

      This is how this scam works. The attorney general gets asked to file this appeal. He opens his rolodex and calls one of his attorney bros and hands him the case. Attorney bro files the appeal, argues it knowing that NONE of them have been successful and then bills the state for his hours and expenses. It’s how AG’s spread the love.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve Shinn

      Really very sad.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ron Lockwitch

      Pay up assholes now that it is LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES AND ITS TERRITORIES!

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brent RJ Consigny

      Congratulations to the worst Governor ever! Butch Otter needs to resign immediately!

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lily Adile Lamb

      They could’ve spent that money on the homeless community to help them :( instead of trying to separate happy couples

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gregory P. Gallien

      The law is the law…these efforts need to be shut down by the Feds.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian Thornton

      Keep on spending you stupid morons. Smh!

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam D. Maloney

      “Defense of Gay Marriage?” Shouldn’t it be ‘war against equal marriage’?

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom Willett

      Alabama’s is in the millions.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Benoot

      They rather spend their money on hate instead of <3 & charity. Bigots are such hypocrite h8 breeders.

      Dec 19, 2015 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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