It’s funny. Sometimes people take technology for granted. They just kind of get caught up in all the various sundries of life and lose touch with what’s important.
Now I’ve been seeing a lot of cowboys lately. There’s a movie, Cowboys vs. Aliens coming out (which looks awesome), I’ve been doing a lot of Deadlands lately, and finally there’s a cowboy movie on TV right now.
And you know what? The whole cowboy thing? It’s like, a hundred years old. Most of that stuff is set around the 1880s, 1890s. That’s the Victorian era, for those of you across the pond. That’s practically ancient history. Look at how far we’ve come in such a short period of time. It boggles the mind. I mean, we’ve walked on the moon. We’ve walked on the moon. Think about that.
You know who does a good job of expressing this kind of amazement? The onion. Look at this.
Okay, so yeah, it’s satire. Just like everything the onion does. But let’s take a look at it, shall we?
The image basically boils down to a fake front page newspaper for the late edition of the day of the moon landing. The headline reads “Holy Shit. Man walks on fucking Moon”. There is the oh-so iconic picture of Neil Armstrong on the moon, the iconic picture of Earth from the Moon and some fake articles describing in, perhaps not the most polite of language, the fake history of those few moments immediately after the landing.
Do what is it saying? Basically it’s trying to make humor through the application of contradiction. One would not expect that kind of language A) about something that we take to be a historical event nor B) in any form of press. It uses a contrast between an image we automatically associate as something historical plus a format we automatically consider conservative (or, at least, professional) against just the sheer irreverence and absurdity of the textual component in such a situation to immediately indicate that there is not only something comically wrong about this, but to alter one’s perceptions of the situations accordingly.
Think about it. The onion isn’t an old organization. They weren’t around when this actually happened. This is old news. So besides the laughs, which, admitably, it has some of. What message is this trying to get across?
It probably has something to do with the fact that man has walked on the moon and that that is amazing. Most people today take such things for granted, but if something like that were to happen today, most people’s reactions would be “holy shit!” or some approximation thereof. It’s a monumental event, and so by expressing it in the exclametaive form, the onion seeks to remind people of the significance and sheer amazement such an event should engender.
Satire, as opposed to pastiche, functions in that age old ‘telling the emperor he’s naked’ role. It acts as a means to educate through comedy. So the next times you worry about delays related to technology or are annoyed with how slow the internet is loading. Just think to yourself “Holy shit! Man has walked on the Moon!” And the sheer amazement of the technology you use everyday should start falling into perspective.
Well, hopefully at least. If it doesn’t, just Google “Everything is amazing and no one is happy.” It’ll serve the same purpose.