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Sun Aug 20, 2017, 03:28 AM

The Brilliance of Tina Fey's Cake Satire, Explained

http://www.playboy.com/articles/tina-fey-cake

By Tom Carson

August 18, 2017

When Tina Fey vented about Charlottesville, neo-Nazis and Donald Trump while cramming her mouth with handfuls of a sheet cake decorated with an American flag on Weekend Update: Summer Edition last night, the internet went nuts. “Love Tina Fey, but I’m REALLY not feeling her ‘Ignore racism and stress-eat instead’ take. It strikes me as willfully naive and privileged,” bloggers Tom & Lorenzo tweeted. “Tina Fey’s 'Eat Cake’ Strategy After Charlottesville Is Bad Advice,” The Daily Beast somberly opined.

Thanks for that sharp insight, Daily Beast. The only problem with it is that Fey isn’t in the advice-giving business. She’s in the satire business, so don’t call us crazy for suspecting that when she urged viewers outraged by white nationalism’s depredations to “find a local business you support—maybe a Jewish run bakery or African-American run bakery—order a cake with the American flag on it…and just eat it,” she was mocking a clueless attitude, not endorsing it.

To anyone who took to Twitter to complain that her recommended solution to Trump-induced stress looked like “white privilege in action,” all we can say is bingo. We’ve watched the routine more than once, and it’s brilliant. It’s a brainy, self-lacerating caricature of how easily Trump-phobic vanilla liberals with relatively pampered lives, knowing they’re at little or no risk of being oppressed or marginalized themselves during his reign, can settle for venting their genuine but ineffectual rage without consequences.

Since the likes of Fey don’t feel remotely threatened (and would sound crazy if they pretended to be), they aren’t under any real pressure to convert their anger into action. That’s how anger ends up turning into self-gratification by other means. We’ll never know how anyone could watch her stuffing her face until her lips were covered in goo as she tried to spit out anti-Trump, anti-Nazi venom while choking down another bite—even Lucille Ball was never crueler to herself for a joke’s sake—and imagine that Fey was earnestly proposing this as a good coping strategy. Not only was it satire, but it was pretty damn brutal satire in the bargain.

..more..

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Arrow 65 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Brilliance of Tina Fey's Cake Satire, Explained (Original post)
G_j Aug 2017 OP
Behind the Aegis Aug 2017 #1
SMC22307 Aug 2017 #2
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #3
DRoseDARs Aug 2017 #4
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2017 #5
Warren DeMontague Aug 2017 #11
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #19
Wounded Bear Aug 2017 #24
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #26
Wounded Bear Aug 2017 #28
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #29
PCIntern Aug 2017 #39
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #40
dsc Aug 2017 #49
Sen. Walter Sobchak Aug 2017 #37
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2017 #42
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #45
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2017 #46
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #48
JimmyCarlBlack Aug 2017 #50
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #51
DesertRat Aug 2017 #53
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #57
Eliot Rosewater Aug 2017 #63
90-percent Aug 2017 #62
obamanut2012 Aug 2017 #7
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #23
fleabiscuit Aug 2017 #58
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #59
Demit Aug 2017 #8
Barack_America Aug 2017 #17
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #21
Barack_America Aug 2017 #27
bettyellen Aug 2017 #35
gordianot Aug 2017 #6
Brainstormy Aug 2017 #9
gordianot Aug 2017 #10
Brainstormy Aug 2017 #14
Warren DeMontague Aug 2017 #12
Gidney N Cloyd Aug 2017 #36
MichMan Aug 2017 #31
bettyellen Aug 2017 #38
MichMan Aug 2017 #41
bettyellen Aug 2017 #44
femmedem Aug 2017 #13
sagesnow Aug 2017 #52
PunkinPi Aug 2017 #15
solara Aug 2017 #16
G_j Aug 2017 #22
Paladin Aug 2017 #18
Persondem Aug 2017 #20
samnsara Aug 2017 #55
Wounded Bear Aug 2017 #25
marybourg Aug 2017 #30
nini Aug 2017 #32
TexasBushwhacker Aug 2017 #60
judesedit Aug 2017 #33
judesedit Aug 2017 #34
SweetieD Aug 2017 #43
IronLionZion Aug 2017 #47
SunSeeker Aug 2017 #61
samnsara Aug 2017 #54
AntiFascist Aug 2017 #56
lindysalsagal Aug 2017 #64
WinkyDink Aug 2017 #65

Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 03:42 AM

1. ....

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 04:17 AM

2. K&R

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 04:26 AM

3. Spare the mansplaining, Tom Carson. The call to inaction was not funny, nor was the rape joke.

Fey chose to end her monologue with another call to inaction, followed by an off-color comment about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings:

“Treat these rallies this week as you would the opening of a thoughtful movie with two female leads: don’t show up. Let these morons scream into the empty air. I love you Charlottesville, and as Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘Who’s that hot light-skinned girl over by the butter churn?’”

For a joke to be a joke, it has to actually be funny. This bit was not.


http://jezebel.com/tina-feys-vexing-self-parody-1797975376

Fey's barbs at Trump and the militias were indeed funny. But the call to inaction and the rape joke, even if meant as "satire" of a "clueless attitude," is not funny. Not everything Tina Fey does is funny. I can live with that. Why can't you?

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 04:50 AM

4. Maybe Megan should know what the word "satire" means before she opines about the bit?

 

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/satire


satire play
noun sat·ire ˈsa-ˌtī ( -ə ) r
Definition of satire
1 : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn
2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly



Wit is lost on the witless.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 05:02 AM

5. So a man says a woman's satire about racism was great, doesn't mention gender at all

but is somehow 'mansplaining'? Are you saying that a man can never comment in any way on anything any woman does, even if it's to praise it?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 06:22 AM

11. You noticed that, too, huh

verily, 'tis a conundrum.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 11:43 AM

19. You do realize this is man pontificating in a PLAYBOY article?

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #19)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:00 PM

24. Perhaps he was "mansplaining" to other men?

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #24)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:05 PM

26. Of course, because men look at Playboy for the articles.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #26)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:08 PM

28. Many do, because Playboy has always had top notch text content to go with the porn.

Most of our best and brightest-men and women-of the last few decades have published there, and been interviewed by them.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #28)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:09 PM

29. Ok.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #29)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:55 PM

39. I have to chime in here Sunseeker...

all those years if I were looking for nasty-ass release material, I wouldn't go to Playboy for it: there was Juggs, Hustler, Penthouse, Screw (AKA Al Goldstein's Mag as it was described in the mainstream press). Playboy had it all: literature, satire, jokes, cartoons by some of the finest artists in America who draw for a living, political commentary, information on food, liquor, and stereo (!), and art among many other things. Yes it had pix of very hot ladies but after a while they became ordinary and the reading material jumped out at you. The list of authors who published in Playboy is remarkable and the interviews were first-rate.

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Response to PCIntern (Reply #39)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:56 PM

40. TMI

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Response to PCIntern (Reply #39)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 05:32 PM

49. I have to say that my dad got me a subscription for a couple of years

maybe he was hoping I would be straight, who knows. But despite my lack of interest in the pictures I found the articles to be rather fascinating. I remember that it had the only interview with Daniel Ortega to name one example. For those who aren't pushing 50, Daniel Ortega was the leader of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua when I was in college.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #26)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:34 PM

37. How many "men" have been in the market for PG13 nudity in the last twenty years?

 

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #19)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 01:05 PM

42. As pointed out, that just makes it more likely his audience is men

which makes it still less "mansplaining". A man saying to men that a woman did a great job but without making it about her being a woman, or it being about gender at all? It's as far from "mansplaining" as you can get.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #42)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 02:52 PM

45. Mansplaining is explaining with condescension, assuming the target is stupid.

This whole "explanation" is basically about making the statement that the people who didn't find the "stay home" (and slave rape) lines funny are just too stupid to realize it was all satire. That is a pretty arrogant attitude, and tends to be found among men who think it's cool to look at women as sex objects (the reason Playboy exists) and think women are too stupid to understand things.

Folks that didn't find those lines funny get that it was a comedy skit. We're not stupid, thank you. We just didn't find it funny.

Fey seemed way too sincere about imploring us to stay home for it to be funny, particularly since she is not known to engage in street protests herself. And does anyone really think a joke about raping slaves merits a hardy guffaw?

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #45)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 03:02 PM

46. No, it's not. Because that's nothing to do with being a man.

At no point did he say that it was women who disagreed with him. He is agreeing with a woman, Tina Fey.

I get that you disagree with Fey, but if Carson had written what you have, then it really would be 'mansplaining'. He would be a man telling a woman what was or wasn't acceptable to say about rape.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #46)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 04:09 PM

48. I don't disagree with Fey. I just think a couple of her jokes weren't funny.

I don't think it is a coincidence that Carson is a man, and his tone, and the fact that he published his piece in Playboy. But women can mansplain too, just like women can be sexist and discriminate against other women.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #45)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 07:01 PM

50. That's not what mansplaing is

No, mansplaining is being condescending specifically to women. Nothing in the OP's post even hinted that he was speaking specifically to women.

Second, your point is not in response to his point. You keep saying "my point isn't that people don't get it's satire, my point is that it's simply not funny." Beyond what should be the obvious which is that funny is in the eye of the beholder and it's not up to you decide what's funny for others, there are in fact thousands of people who have criticized this skit by taking it at face value and not realizing that it's satire. Just because you may have realized it was satire (which you didn't find funny as you've reminded us over and over again…) doesn't mean that everyone else did. The OP is responding to the existence of many, many responses to Fey that took her words literally and thought she was actually calling upon people to do nothing but eat cake. Go do a little google search if you don't believe me.

Not everyone who disagrees with you and explains why is mansplaining. To use that term when it doesn't apply is just going to create a boy-who-cried-wolf dynamic.

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Response to JimmyCarlBlack (Reply #50)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 07:04 PM

51. Oh thank GOD you mansplained that to me!

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #51)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 07:38 PM

53. Wow

A man joined the site just to mansplain that to you!

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Response to DesertRat (Reply #53)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 08:25 PM

57. LOL That post is its own parody.

Thanks for pointing that out, DesertRat!

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #51)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 02:32 PM

63. LOL

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Response to JimmyCarlBlack (Reply #50)

Tue Aug 22, 2017, 02:16 PM

62. JCB!

The Indian of the group. welcome to du.

-90% Jimmy

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 05:37 AM

7. Megan Reynolds is terribly wrong in that piece

And, this has nothing to do with mansplaining.

The link is in OP is dead on.

People are embarrassing themselves attacking Tina Fey over this. IT IS SATIRE.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 11:59 AM

23. I'm not attacking Fey. I just think she missed the mark on a couple jokes.

I like Tina Fey. That doesn't mean I have to like everything she does or that I don't have a good sense of humor or that I don't understand what satire is.

It really is stunning how angry some people are over folks not finding a joke funny.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #23)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 08:32 PM

58. Might have started with that one. nt

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Response to fleabiscuit (Reply #58)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 08:53 PM

59. I've been saying that repeatedly. Geez.

Here's two other posts in this thread.

One where I say her other lines were funny:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=9491531

And one where I say I don't disagree with Fey, I just think a couple of her jokes weren't funny:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=9493331

So is that why so many people are so worked up over some of us not finding her "stay home" line funny? They think we're attacking Fey?




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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 05:37 AM

8. Humor is subjective. The French thought Jerry Lewis was hilarious.

There's no correct way to respond to humor. You can lay out what you don't think is funny, and why, but you can't tell other people that your reaction is right and theirs is wrong. That's all. Not everything Tina Fey does is funny TO YOU—yes, I can live with that.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 10:59 AM

17. You really expect NBC to allow Fey to call people into the streets???

C'mon.

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #17)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 11:54 AM

21. Well, Fey did say she'd like to see 6'4" drag queens take to the steets.

So NBC did let her say that.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #21)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:06 PM

27. You're right, they did call 6'4" black drag queens into the streets.

You'd have to ask them why they thought that was reasonable.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #21)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:32 PM

35. I'd pay to see the look on those neo-Nazi faces though.

 

The Sally Hemmings bit was off but the rest was pretty damned funny satire.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 05:08 AM

6. There is not anything about Nazi thugs that is funny.

The very existence of these disaffected self proclaimed white
Males who embrace victimized is an existential threat to civilization. Ignore Nazi's at your own peril much like an American white male version of the Islamic State.

Their numbers may be small now but the hate they represent is real. This is something that Tina Fey or any of us for that matter has ever experienced before. Binge eating ignoring the problem is probably how this will happen. Confronting them on the street feeds the hate and violence, they seem to enjoy it. Having a Fascist Demagogue for President obviously has consequences and Trump is counting on that to survive. I wish I had an answer other than I will never become a Fascist Racist myself nor will I ever vote for a Republican who are ultimately responsible for creating the monstrosities growing among us.

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Response to gordianot (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 06:05 AM

9. In other words, Monty Python

is not funny? This kind of satire is immensely useful. Better than bullets for changing minds. I can't believe all the colossal point missing going on over this skit .

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Response to Brainstormy (Reply #9)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 06:17 AM

10. It was not funny the situation is not funny.

Tina Fey like the rest of us does not know how to deal with it I do not condemn her. Humor just does not seem to work this is not a funny moment. Now the Spanish Inquisition after several hundred years may be funny. We do seem to have suffered from "Springtime for Trump in America".

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Response to gordianot (Reply #10)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 08:16 AM

14. I respectfully disagree. n/t

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Response to gordianot (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 06:24 AM

12. Nazis and other authoritarians hate, simply HATE being laughed at.

In fact, I'm pretty sure there's a straight mathematical inverse correlation between someone's ability to laugh at themselves, and the amount that they are full of shit.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #12)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:33 PM

36. +1. That theory would explain a lot of things.

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Response to gordianot (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:21 PM

31. I thought these guys were funny



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Response to MichMan (Reply #31)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:36 PM

38. My dad was a WW2 POW and he loved that show- my uncle who served in the Navy but saw much less

 

action himself, hated it and it bothered him my Dad liked it. So go figure.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #38)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:56 PM

41. Telling how much times have changed

I think it was very telling just how people took things a lot less seriously back then in a time when WWII wasn't really that far removed. While I was a child at the time and didn't fully understand the genocide, I now think it was very interesting that people who lived through the war years could accept this show without getting all bent out of shape, as they understood that it made the Nazi's out to be buffoons.

If TV execs proposed this today "Hey what about a comedy about a Nazi POW camp!" , there would be outrage, protests and demands that they be fired. It would never see the air.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #41)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 01:09 PM

44. It's complicated. It might be that getting shot and imprisoned was a relief after all the action he

 

Saw too. I know he had friends blown up right in front of him, had life long PSTD. But he didn't want me to worry about him, so he mostly joked about it. He joked about his bullet wound came from me biting his leg. After he'd been shot, he watched German soldiers kill downed prisoners rather than take them prisoner. He pleaded with them in a good natured way in the few words of German he knew and they did spare his life. Yeah, the prison camp was probably a relief for him.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 07:16 AM

13. Stress-eating magnified to the sublimely ridiculous.

I protest, I campaign for Democrats, I donate. And I stress eat. I thought it was hilarious.

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Response to femmedem (Reply #13)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 07:23 PM

52. Me also-- I've protested and

knocked on hundreds of doors for Democrats and donate what I can but I still thought Tina's skit was hilarious. It is funny in the same dark way that graveside jokes are funny to nurses and ambulance crews who deal with death day to day. It apparently is not for everyone and will not be appreciated by the faint of heart.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 10:17 AM

15. k&r




"If I encounter a white supremacist, I'll follow Tina Fey's advice and make sure he gets the sheet caked out of him." - Jay Kuo (@nycjayjay)

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 10:24 AM

16. Stress eating a white sheet cake?

Killer stuff. For me, this was a brilliant piece of satire. Biting, scathing, insightful and very funny.

I don't always laugh at satire, especially political satire, and I don't always get all of the points being made. But I admire and embrace the artfulness and the teaching aspects of it.

Tina is brave and original and very talented.

Just my two cents.



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Response to solara (Reply #16)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 11:55 AM

22. Ain't no putting something by Tina

she is as sharp as she is hip.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 11:03 AM

18. If you're not getting Fey's inspired satire, you're not trying hard enough. (nt)

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 11:46 AM

20. Yes. Thank you. Fey's satire was spot on.

Too bad some people can't see beyond 2-D literal interpretations.

K & R

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Response to Persondem (Reply #20)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 07:55 PM

55. i agree.. it was brilliant!

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:02 PM

25. Historically, the best satire raises the most controversy...

at least she got people talking about the problem.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #25)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:10 PM

30. Bingo! nt

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:27 PM

32. There's a term 'The Trump Ten'

This is a known issue with people gaining weight form stress eating since the election because of the stress of the Trump era. My sister's doctor use that exact terminology when talking about many of his patients putting on some weight.

I thought the cake hit that mark on top of it being a 'white sheet' cake.

People are so used to be outraged all the time that they miss the message in satire. Whether one finds it 'funny' or not is one thing. but to see people accuse her of some of the stuff they are is ridiculous.

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Response to nini (Reply #32)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 09:00 PM

60. More people are seeing psychiatrists and therapists too

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:29 PM

33. Exactly

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 12:29 PM

34. Exactly

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 01:08 PM

43. I didn't find fey's piece funny or interesting. I'm honestly confused why it is garnering so

much attention.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Sun Aug 20, 2017, 04:03 PM

47. I did find it odd how many people took a sketch comedy show seriously

when they generally ridicule whatever is happening in current events and make jokes about everything and Tina Fey is absolutely brilliant at it. Yet this one video was supposed to be serious?

Anything on SNL is NOT serious. Her bit reminds of when DUers (like me) have posted links to Trump rally tickets and encouraged people here to NOT sign up for as many free tickets as possible so that there would be empty seats. Or like during prohibition when former wineries would sell grape juice with yeast and other ingredients and tell people DON'T do these things or you will end up with illegal wine.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #47)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 09:07 PM

61. No, it was not supposed to be serious. It was supposed to be funny. And it wasn't.

Or at least some of us who didn't think it was funny. And it's not because we don't like Fey or want to attack Fey. Those lines just did not make us laugh.

Don't know why so many here got so worked up over some of us not finding Fey's "stay home" line and slave rape joke funny.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 07:54 PM

54. well MY panties weren't inna bunch. I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon Aug 21, 2017, 07:59 PM

56. Too many liberals took it personally...

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 02:50 PM

64. As with all comedy, laugh, or change the channel.

All comics have to find their niche and serve up the funny knowing they won't reach all demographics. They live dangerously, but they make us look at ourselves and help keep perspective.

When comics make fun of women, I laugh along when it's a universal truth or frustration about how women act. I draw the line at insulting women for their appearance. But that's my line. Everyone finds theirs and gets to decide when to move on.

My take on her sheetcake was that he's making everyone crazy. That's all. She was mirroring my insane feeling in my head when I turn on the TV and someone says "President trump." I could be driven to eating sheetcake. I get it. She's never been one to tell anyone what to do. Others get into the meat of the policy. She just made fun of Palin's stupidity, not her policy.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Aug 23, 2017, 02:52 PM

65. Let them eat cake---so she did! (P.S. Wicked satire is often not supposed to be funny. See:

 

"Proposal, A Modest."

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