UnNews talk:Make A Wish orders cancer survivor to pay up
Good satire works from facts. This story did not. As an attempt at humor, it fell flat.
It simply makes light of (fictitious) kids with cancer and misstates the work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Not cool, friends.
I get satire. I really do. I love it, in fact. I work at the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and pound for pound we're a pretty funny bunch. Some of us are downright hilarious. Just ask us.
But when you take a story like this and try to make humor by portraying a great organization as one that is corrupt and cruel, all you do is plant erroneous seeds of doubt about our integrity in the minds of your readers, and make yourselves look contemptible.
The irony on which you are trading is erroneous. By suggesting that we get our money back if a wish recipient lives to adulthood, you advance the falsehood that the children to whom we grant wishes are terminally ill. In fact, they all have life-threatening medical conditions, but upwards of 80 percent of them live into adulthood.
If you don't understand the object of your satire -- and if your attempt at humor is built entirely upon a false assumption derived from your own lack of information -- I'm sorry, but you're just not funny.
But it gets worse: Consider this excerpt: "...Make-A-Wish - and (sic) organization that supports the death of terminally ill children, while attempting to make celebrities feel good about themselves..." What in the world is funny about that?
Good satire is fun to read, even when someone is poking fun at you or your organization. It is not fun to read this sort of trash. If you had any shame, you'd take this post down.
My guess is, it will stay posted.
Paul Allvin Vice President of Marketing and Communications Make-A-Wish Foundation of America
- Neither the organization's good work nor the sense of humor of its personnel renders it immune from satire. The concept of this UnNews is good: What happens to a charity providing support for terminal victims if the victim isn't terminal? That is satire based on facts.
- The problem I have with this UnNews is that its heartstring-tugging pursuit of authenticity, combined with obviously absurd details, did leave me wondering whether the author had a grudge against the organization. The last time one of my UnNewses had occasion to slander someone (the Purdue coed who countered the Imam's complaint that provocative dress induces earthquakes, with a Facebook page urging provocative dress), I omitted her name entirely, so that my satire would not call anyone a slut by name. My concern is that this article doesn't pull its punches enough--it is insufficiently absurd.
- The author conveyed your concerns to the Chief of UnNews, who says on his talk page that he will comment here. The article may be taken down. If it is, I hope it is not based on the guilt trip in your final sentence; we do hear you. Spıke ¬ 01:32 26-May-10
- Dear Mr Allvin,
- Congratulations! You are the first UnNews reader to submit a coherent and legitimate complaint to editorial staff, at least since I got here in 2006.
- You probably understand that satire, and humor in general, is ultimately subjective. A reasonable person understands that sometimes, some people find some things funny which others find offensive. Such are the vagaries of human existence.
- We are amateur humorists here, Mr. Allvin. Humor (and on occasion, humourists) is an experimental science. Sometimes, a joke is so awful, even the person who conceived it hates it. Still, short of your lone complaint, I have no reason to pull or edit the subject story.
- From reading your letter, I see no valid arguments. In fact, by appealing to my sense of shame, followed by the sarcastic remark, "My guess is, it will stay posted", I see no other recourse than to say to you, sir, "I know you are, but what am I?"
- The Editor,
I am the dirt under your rollers. 02:20, May 26, 2010 (UTC)