Three Feelings I Felt When The Onion Made Fun of Me

There’s often a tension we feel between “secular” work and “ministry.” We notice others around us working with refugees, performing life-saving surgeries, and advocating for the unborn. Meanwhile, we’re assisting with zoom whitening procedures, writing about fashion (ahem), and serving artisanal coffee.  The Onion perfectly exploited this tension in a series of photos of the crisis in Syria. The photos of destruction, violence, fear, and bloodshed were captioned with fluffy commentary about “The 6 Best Dresses At The Golden Globes.” The photos and captions were so incongruent, they seemed to ridicule the supposed trite nature of the post-Globes fashion commentary.

I found myself going through three stages when I viewed The Onion’s photos: defensiveness, guilt, and resolve. Immediately, I searched for ways to ridicule someone other than myself. Oh like a satirical news website is so important. The Golden Globes are stupid and self-congratulatory anyway.

Then it morphed into guilt. Why do I even write about fashion when there’s so much pain in the world? I’m wasting my time.

Finally, it shifted into resolve. I considered if I was doing my small part or if my days were filled with mindless, godless living. I reminded myself to pray for the oppressed and help alleviate suffering in some small way.

Then I went back to finishing my article on vintage jewelry.

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  • Lauren,

    A long time ago, I wrote article about Kurt Vonnegut, in which I expressed my feeling that he derives his fame and his sense of moral superiority from critique, without replacing it (or knowing how to replace it) with something better.

    More and more, I see this as a larger cultural problem. The amazing size and variety of our world allows the sharp-witted to exploit inconsistencies such as the one you describe, but in so doing they are really sort of misleading. The implication is that “we have better things to do with our time,” but following that to its logical end would suggest that in its best and purest form, life is an act of monotany and unending self-sacrifice. Though self-sacrifice is an important component of how we organize ourselves as Christians, it would be silly to suggest God’s intent in creating beauty and variety in life was for us to ignore it.

  • Richard Clark

    Someone should make a list of most hilarious Onion articles (emphasizing the most mundane “local man” trope) with similar coinciding pictures.