After having read the article titled “A Modest Proposal On Gun Violence In Our Schools” I had to sit back for a moment and digest. It was very clever. At the beginning of the article I had believed that the author was legitimately proposing that American citizens let their children and their children’s teachers bring firearms to school. I was completely flabbergasted at the thought that Daniel Akst was seriously proposing such an irresponsible idea. However, as I finished the last line I also read the bold text, which informs the reader that Daniel Akst was writing in satire. That is what was so clever about it. It waited for you to finish. If you did not completely read the post, Akst’s point of view would seem real.
Satire is nothing new. It has existed far beyond the time of computers and it will certainly never fade away any time soon. Stephen Colbert is the perfect example of this. He is an actor but stays in character as a right wing Republican.
The idea of believing satire to be real is the problem at hand. If you can believe that Akst truly wanted children to bring firearms to school, what does that say about the real people who exist? Alex Jones is the perfect example. Not only does he propose a rather ridiculous stance on gun control, but he also represents the type of people that make Akst’s satire seem real.
The problem is not the satire or even obnoxious people like Alex Jones, but the fact that people nowadays take information out of context. We do not read entire articles anymore. We are a generation that has been raised and adapted to writing status updates and tweets that we cannot comprehend and process long forms of information. It could easily be why the United States is falling behind academically compared to the rest of the world. We are constantly connected and with that brings about a short attention span, inability to process information, and to retain information. A push toward breaking that addiction and need to have all that information at your fingertips needs to happen or else sooner or later truth will fade into the background and things that were not meant to be taken seriously are used to fight legitimate battles.