Categorized | Education, Letters

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Reader’s letter: Emergence of satire site reveals stunning inability to recognise satire

Posted on 17 June 2014

Some commenters make me want to cry. This is my response.

*This piece is a reader submission.

By E. L. Fong


“This article is ridiculous!” “Yes, but so are you.”

Despite the pointed, self-effacing tagline proclaiming the falsity of news on its site on the banner that heads its every page, online satirical news portal New Nation has been struck by a barrage of enraged netizens denouncing the veracity of its articles.

Although New Nation administrators patiently pore through pages of comments, pointing out that the site is not actually intended to report real news, some readers just don’t seem to understand that if it’s too unbelievable to be true, it probably isn’t.

It has been argued that if one has to explain satire, it isn’t good satire, and does not deserve publication because no one understands the joke.

However, a line must be drawn between obscure rambling masquerading as satire and obvious, pointed satire that people are just too oblivious to get. There isn’t any shame in belonging to the latter category — we’ve all been there once or twice in our lives. The important thing is to realise when one is overreacting to something that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously in the first place. This self-realisation, unfortunately, seems to be a long time coming for a number of irate commenters.

Reactions to the revelation that New Nation is actually 50% fake news have, predictably, not been very varied.

When asked about his feelings upon being told the punchline to an article after repeatedly and passionately calling it #&*% in several different languages, netizen Bo Chap replied that he felt betrayed.

“It’s the government’s fault,” he fumed. “If only the Ministry of Education taught me how to recognise a joke in Secondary School, I wouldn’t sound like an idiot over the Internet today.”

This post was written by:

- who has written 2685 posts on New Nation.

Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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  • MOE

    He is neither Heng, nor Swee.

    It’s Kiat’s fault.

    Was that too obscure?

  • Rayner Teo

    I was dismayed to read this contribution. The best part of is the commenters who actually take this seriously. Their comments are hilarious. Please don’t steal that spark of joy from our mundane lives. Please don’t draw attention to the effing obvious. Please don’t ruin the magic.

    • Duh

      It’s hilarious up to a point, then it becomes sad that some can be so oblivious. For the sake of the country, I’m hoping that part of it can explained by NN trolling the comment section to get a rise from anyone who would listen.

  • Chris Bong

    It is really sad but true. Quite a bit of Singaporean just read things at face value. Satire and out right sarcasm just go over their heads. Very sad. Keep up the good work Wang Pei.