One More Reason to Love The Onion (Well, Unless This Offends You)

Study: Many Americans Too Fat To Commit Suicide

“Body fat absorbs toxins, so fat people simply cannot ingest enough bottles of sleeping pills to have any effect, much less stop their hearts,” Reese said. “And slitting one’s wrists in the bathtub is not an option if you can’t find a butcher knife thick enough to reach the arteries under your rolls of wrist flab, or can’t fit into the bathtub in the first place. All the self-loathing in the world is not going to help the obese get their meaty index fingers through the trigger guard, nor give them the flexibility to raise the pistol to their head. It’s heartbreaking.”


I’ve seen arguments that this hits a little too close to home to be funny, but to me, it’s a note-perfect send-up of OBESITY CRISIS!!!! reporting. The last paragraph is so good, I don’t even want to wreck it for you by quoting it here.

What do you guys think? Is it spot-on satire, or do they take a little too much glee in describing rolls of jiggling blubber and whatnot?

xoxo,
a woman who finds suicide jokes hilarious, yet was apparently the only person on earth offended by that Reebok ad

(Cross-posted to Shapely Prose)

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18 Comments

Filed under 09_kate_harding

18 responses to “One More Reason to Love The Onion (Well, Unless This Offends You)

  1. Good satire should walk the line, and The Onion does it better than anyone. The side graphic of American ability to commit suicide is note-perfect, as are the stock photos of fat people (in any story about fat people, there will be a point at which the control room hollers, “cue the fatty B-roll!” At which point we’ll see photos of fat torsos with no shots of faces. Because the fat is what’s important and disgusting.)

  2. DrNick

    Hi, Everybody!

    I do think, as satire, it’s funny. Considering, though, my first order of Hoodia Goronii just arrived and I’ll be photographing myself during the process of my latest anti-obesity experiment while working to stave off suicidal ideation during it all…

    Forgive me. My giggle nerve seems to be going numb.

    The Coroner! I’m so sick of that guy!

  3. I thought the piece was pretty funny, especially that last paragraph! It satirizes fat-phobia more than fat people, I’d say.

    I just saw the Reebok ad now. I wasn’t that offended, but I can see that angle. I just found it a bit disturbing, and it made me think of the killer breast roaming the countryside in Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask).

  4. I have started to write something about the Reebok ad twice and give up each time. It takes up too much brain space.

  5. Angelos

    I got 3 posters of classic Onion covers when I used to get it in the mail.

    After the 9/11 one, my second favorite is this one.

    That’s just masterful.

  6. Kate Harding

    LOL, Angelos.

  7. Melissa McEwan

    Totally fucking hilarious–and, you’re right, that last paragraph is priceless!

    Although, if I’m honest, my favorite bit is right in the lede: “the nation’s obesity epidemic has reached a new level of crisis, with many overweight Americans’ increased girth rendering them physically unable to end their own, fat lives.” LOL!

    First of all, “their own, fat lives” is just a funny turn of phrase.

    Secondly, it’s searingly ironic, because when you’re a fat person, it’s hard for your whole life not to be about being fat, even when it isn’t for you, because other people constantly have to remind you how fat you are. So to describe one’s whole life as “their own, fat life” is just brilliant to me, on many levels.

  8. it’s a crying shame but one of the best things i’ve ever written was my suicide note.

    i was planning to shoot myself at the kitchen table and leave this note on the fridge:

    I was cleaning my gun.

    i thought the irony was delicious.

  9. mustelid

    Damn, this is so wrong I can’t stop laughing. Minstrel Boy, while that is friggin’ hilarious, I’m glad you didn’t go through w/ it.

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  11. Pingback: Guest Blogger BStu: “Differently Straight” « Shapely Prose

  12. Betsy

    I’m with you – it’s definitely satirizing the hysterical media, rather than making fun of people themselves.

  13. Meowser

    I finally read it. I’m convinced a fat person must have written it. It’s a piss.

    This sentence made me snorf:

    Another researcher at the Obesity Pathology Clinic has developed a computer model which demonstrates that even if the obese were able to jump off a skyscraper, their bodies would be “more likely to bounce than splat.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  14. “All the self-loathing in the world is not going to help the obese get their meaty index fingers through the trigger guard, nor give them the flexibility to raise the pistol to their head. It’s heartbreaking.”

    That’s a thing of beauty.

  15. I love the Onion piece. As a fat activist I unfortunately feel the need to read a lot of those fat hysteria news articles. The Onion parodies them devastatingly well by exaggerating the fat-hating language that peppers the articles. The brilliant, sad thing is that they are only exaggerating the language a tiny bit.

  16. The captions.

    The captions.

    I can’t stop laughing. I’m trying, but I just can’t do it.

  17. Oh I love the Onion! Very funny and thanks for posting. Somehow I missed this one. Absolutely spot-on perfect parody.

  18. amish451

    MB ..We are so damned glad you stayed with us (…or missed??), this world and my world is a much better place for your continued presence ….

    Suicide ….used to share my morning paper with the janitor, Columbus, a very old Black man with a wry sense of humor. Lead story of the day was a suicide, a White woman from one of the more classy neighborhoods in town. Columbus observed that, “my folks don’t commit suicide very much ..course they do kill each other a lot.”…..
    That memory and that old man are always there for me, when I think about writing the note …and now I have “I was cleaning my gun.” ….

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