Let the world take note of the Onion and its incredible commentary on the Middle East. On Friday, it tackled the escalating conflict in Gaza with the headline: “Palestinians Starting To Have Mixed Feelings About Being Used As Human Shields.” The piece employs sarcastic understatement with aplomb, pointing out the lunacy of human action.
It would ruin the humor to try and summarize the deceptively mundane “news” article that follows that title. It’s the truth artfully concealed as a lie, however. Whether or not Palestinians have awoken to the reality that it is their leaders who put them in the line of fire and give Israel cause to retaliate, the Onion points out that truth for anyone who gets their news on the Internet.
But that’s what the Onion is all about: satire so close to reality as to be painful at times. It is not the Swiftian fantasy or Regency allegorical poem that acts like a mirror to the world around us, cutting through the politics and cliques of society. It is a humor company named for a humble root, which lays waste to men’s pride and delusions, pricking consciences with the truth. We laugh, only that we should not cry.