1. chrimbusisuponus
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    chrimbusisuponus New Member

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    Ideas for satirical piece

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by chrimbusisuponus, Dec 20, 2010.

    Long story, so I will try to condense. First of all, I'm not a professional writer, so please do not be appalled at my writing skills or lack of knowledge :) I was a PR major in college, so I took writing classes but that wasn't my primary field of study.

    I need advice on writing a satirical piece. Here's the real situation: it's about a church I attended from the time I was 5 years old. The leadership there is awful and mean hearted. The pastor lets his daughter and wife attempt to rule the place. There are still very good people at the church but they are being hurt way to often by these two women. So here's what I need advice on...neither of them have facebooks, but we found out they get on someone else's name to make trouble outside of facebook. So, I want to write a satircal piece about them and post it to facebook (haha, this all sounds so childish ;) I know they read my posts, so this is the perfect avenue. I would describe the situation more, and in doing so would make it seem much less childish to you, but I don't want to clutter up this page!

    Normally I wouldn't give these people another thought, but they're hurting my friends and family that still go there and they're not stopping anytime soon. In fact, it's only getting worse.
    So, a satire...I will show you the rough ideas I have so far...
     
  2. chrimbusisuponus
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    chrimbusisuponus New Member

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    Here's just one...

    what would you think about this situation. Say your dad or mom never talked to you. Say they taught you things sometimes (because it's their responsibility to teach you the ways of life and the things of God), and they would casually say they were praying for you, but they never actually got to know you. They didn't appear to have an intrest in your life as far as how you were doing, how is your school work, or if you're grown up and out of the house, how your family is doing. Say your parents never offered to help you with anything as well. But then if they found out you did something that personally offended them (like, say you drank a glass of wine, or said something 'pissed' you
    off-yikes, bad word!, or they found out you said you wish they were more involved and cared about you and they thought that was a ridiculous insulting thing to say), so they find out about this thing that personally offends them and they call you right away. They insist they didn't raise you right (offensive and disrespectful if you're a grown adult and a fellow family member), and they say all of this to you despite the fact that you have a sister that is throwing fits left and right and hurting people and moving like a steamroller and anything in her path gets destroyed. Not only would that be weird that they cared in the first place to call when they APPEAR to not care about anything else, not only would that be hurtful that they would say such demeaning and disrespectful things to you (that, would they say to you if Christ was there?), but that would also be extremely hypocritical for your parents to address such a minor issue (which many would argue is even an issue especially if they truly knew you and cared about you), when they should
    be addressing your sister's heart condition that unfortunately "soap" won't help. Her attitudes and hatefulness and jealousy makes your "slip" look like a speck! Certainly no one's parents would do this...but I'm not sure. Sometimes we can be so blind to things that are right in front of us. I hope I don't treat my children like this in the future. If I do, I hope God speaks to my heart and shows me that I need to yank the rod out of my own eye first. Oh, and I certainly hope this wouldn't happen to anyone in any church leadership type position, seeing as it would disqualify them for that position. How tragic would that be :( Goodness, I know people I love who couldn't be considered for leadership positions because of the way their family behaved, including my own in the past!

    By the way, I'm not interested if you agree or disagree with Christianity or religion :) I just want to know how to make this a good piece.
     
  3. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    Hm, sounds like you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder...

    Anyway, I always admired Swift's "A Modest Proposal" when it comes to satire. You could propose a ridiculous solution, like "well I guess this just goes to show that there is absolutely nothing good about religion!" And then, of course, proceed to provide evidence to the contrary in an oblique manner:

    "Thanks to the pastor, it's now utterly clear to me that when Jesus said 'Love thy neighbor', he really meant 'chastise thy neighbor when thy neighbor doth wrong. And when he doth good, thou mayst ignore him.' Without this bold and proper interpretation, I might have done something foolish like help the poor instead of offer him a cross and Bible. After all, food for the soul is so much more sustaining than food for the body!"

    Please keep in mind that this is just an example. I have high respect for Christianity; I'm just explaining an effective way to write a satire.
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I'm confused. Your first post said you wanted to write a piece about a church to which you belong. The second post was about you and your parents. If your issue is with your parents, I don't think a satirical piece is going to help.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you'd best take care not to leave yourself open to being sued for libel!
     
  6. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    Just so I don't offend anyone, this is just my opinion and how I see this branch of Christianity based on my experience....
    I used to go to a Methodist church and it was like its own little society in there. There was a time when I went through a pretty rough patch in my life and I started dressing differently and dying my hair and all sorts of things, but I was still nice and a good kid and (at that time) just as much of a Christian as the rest of them, but all of the church members turned up their noses at me and told their kids not to hang out with me and such. Now I'm past that phase, but there's still drama going on. They've fired a pastor because he didn't stop to talk to the members very often when he saw them in Wal-Mart. They fired another because he told someone off, which is a little more understandable. There have been sexual harassment issues (and it's not even a Catholic church), all of the staff members talk about everyone behind their backs, and they ganged up on the one older lady who stood up and said "Shame on all of us; we should be worshiping God in church, not having coffee and gossiping."
    So feel free to use any of that in your satire; and perhaps I'll simultaneously write a script for a soap opera. Very traditional values + very conservative republicans = Methodist religion.
     
  7. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Ditto Mama's warning about liable. If you say something that people (could) believe and it turns out to a) not be true &/or b) harms someone then they may sue you. Even if it's a long shot that they win, they can still file suit. There is some leeway when it comes to public figures, but not to a small-time pastor.

    Now, on to your satire. Though I would think hard before letting it free onto the tubes, you can certainly write it for yourself - to help you sort through your feelings and thoughts.

    So, how about an animal parable? If the community were a farmyard or woods or etc, what would it look like?

    -Frank
     
  8. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    I actually think it's pretty unlikely that you'd be sued for libel. The pastor would have to show that the information you printed was untrue and then he would still have to prove that you had damaged him monetarily in order to get any money out of you. Plus, you don't write for a newspaper or anything public like that, so I doubt any lawyer would be interested since there wouldn't be a lot of money in it. Nonetheless, as a precaution you should never say anything that isn't true and you should never call the pastor by name. Subtlety is your friend. Animal parables are a good idea.
     
  9. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Jo, I tend to think that actual libel suits are rare, but you are mistaken.

    First off, the person does not need to demonstrate much of anything to sue someone. That comes AFTER the person has been sued. Then it's up to the subject of the lawsuit to either pay for a lawyer or represent him/herself in court. Some people sue for liable just to save face, and cause a lot of time and money to be spent by all involved in the process.

    Second, liable and defamation does not simply cover monetary damages, but the vague idea of making someone look bad.

    Also, it doesn't matter how you publish the information. Suits have been filed over people spreading rumors face to face, so posting it to a couple hundred mutual friends on FaceBook would certainly count. And given that most lawyers (that I know of) work by the hour, they could make just as much money helping the pastor sue for liable as they could drawing up wills or reading over business partnership agreements.

    Again, I agree it's not likely for a liable suit to be filed, but the OP shouldn't ignore the possibility.

    -Frank
     
  10. Edward G
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    Edward G Banned

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    Aren't the religious great! Boy, just reading through these posts makes me want to join a church and get right with the Lord.

    I think God should've given the world to the monkeys.
     
  11. chrimbusisuponus
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    chrimbusisuponus New Member

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    Thank you!

    Wow, I'm so appreciative of the wonderful advice given here. I was not intending to EVER mention names (and I was using parents instead of pastor, like I would use barnyard animals). The barnyard animal idea is fantastic, I will be working on that idea. So much better than using the parent analogy!

    I do have a chip on my shoulder when bad things happen to innocent people in that church...and by the way to the last commenter, thank God that these people don't reflect how God loves me.

    I will read A Modest Proposal as well before I start brainstorming w/ the farm animal idea!

    As far as posting it to my small social network sight, it was a thought and I entertained it and I'm probably not going to end up going through with it...but it's already helped me vent my emotions and think more clearly. Whoever suggested that was right!

    Thank you :)
     
  12. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    Chrimbusisuponus have to say I think reading your first post alarm bells going off. A satirical piece is very different to getting annoyed with someone and writing about how mean they are on social networks.

    However you seem to have taken the ideas and libel/defamation warnings on board.

    Can I present a different challenge to you. Write the story from THEIR point of view. Its quite likely these people don't think they are doing wrong. Trying writing their point of view. A unique thing to be able to do.
     
  13. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    He did, but they insisted on evolving into humans.

    You could try to make your story about a made-up church that is meant to represent churches in general, and create characters using the best, the worst, and the most interesting traits of everyone in your community. Try to make it a general comment on certain kinds of human folly.
     

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