Tag Archives: satire

Dear Aspiring Screenwriter

13 Mar

Dear Aspiring Screenwriter,

We are writing to thank you for the submission of your screenplay, The Common Life-Cycle of the Short-Beaked Garfish. We found it to be poignant and humorous with just the right touch of pathos, and feel that it is exactly the right fit for our studio. However, we do have a few notes about the protagonist Cate, and would like to see the following modifications made to the script:

– Name changed to something more “whimsical,” like Lula, Plum, Tulip or Pippa

– Tulip should have “quirkier” taste – maybe reads Salinger? Listens to “alternative” music? (Not too alternative)

– More emphasis on how “different” Tulip is and unlike other girls – should have a scene where she is dressed in feminine attire but holds her own drinking and trading lewd stories with the boys. Also maybe she drives a Vespa?

– Not sure why you describe Tulip as plain and “big-boned”????? Definitely should not be plain, unless in a girl-next-door or before-the-makeover sense. Audiences don’t respond to fat characters, unless in a humorous way. Should be no bigger than Jennifer Lawrence, maybe with her fresh-faced everywoman appeal. Viewers identify with Jennifer Lawrence.

– At least one scene where Tulip is lying on her couch in her underwear reading a book. Maybe David Foster Wallace to show her intellectual side?

– At least one scene where Tulip does something like jump into a lake fully-clothed to show how unconventional and care-free she is

– At least one sex scene – and no, the “awkward and uncomfortable blow job” she gives to the bartender in the bar bathroom does not count. Why does the scene end with her sharing a cigarette with him before she rejoins her friends? Why doesn’t she take him back to her place and then make him breakfast in the morning?

– Not sure that I buy Tulip as a full-fledged editor. Maybe an editor’s assistant? Seems more likely for a girl her age

– Definitely a vintage “feel” to Tulip’s look – full skirts (not too long), jewellery like you would find in your grandmother’s closet, “natural” looking makeup to emphasize her fresh-scrubbed beauty. Glasses with thick plastic frames for when she wants to be taken “seriously.”

– Maybe in the scene where Tulip is walking across the park describing her abortion to two of her close friends, some kids could be playing soccer nearby and accidentally kick the ball her way. Then she runs after it, and we see her doing some complicated footwork with the ball and running around with the kids for a few seconds before she kicks the ball into the net. Shows the ephemeral nature of life but also how quirky and unlike other people she is.

– Maybe instead of having an abortion she had a miscarriage? Or suffered the recent death of a family pet??? Not sure how abortion will play out with audiences, especially if she’s not consumed with regret. And really not feeling the line, “It was the easiest decision I’ve ever made.” Women don’t ever feel that way about abortion??

– Tulip seems to only have female friends?? Would like to see a male friend added to the mix, maybe someone who’s been in love with her for years and years. Maybe his name is Jack and he’s a sensitive, thoughtful writer type? Anyway how is Tulip going to drink with the boys if there are no boys.

– Not sure it’s believable that Tulip would break up with her boyfriend in order to pursue her career goals? She’s only an editor’s assistant after all. Maybe instead she could realize she has feelings for Jack?

– Instead of the “short-beaked garfish” maybe Tulip can be fascinated by butterflies. But quirky butterflies?

– Not sure why the script ends with Tulip boarding a plane by herself to Paris? Wouldn’t it be better if Jack went with her, and when they got there she helped him edit his book? No one goes to Paris alone

We very much look forward to reading your next draft! With these few small changes we really feel that we have a winner on our hands. Although of course little movies like this could never be our bread-and-butter (especially not with a female protagonist – that will eliminate at least half the population from wanting to see it), they are our labour of love and truly the work of which we are proudest. We very much look forward to producing The Common Life-Cycle of the Quirky Butterfly.

Kind regards,

Big Production Company


The Oatmeal Is Actually Pretty Gross, You Guys

26 Sep

When I was a kid, I loved watermelon. Loved it. I couldn’t get enough of that shit.

Then one day, when I was five or six, I ate a bunch of that delicious summertime fruit, caught some kind of stomach bug, and ended up puking violent pink puke all night. Ever since then, I haven’t been able to stand the taste or smell of watermelon.

This is pretty much how I’m feeling about The Oatmeal right now.

A few days ago I wrote a post about The Oatmeal’s recent comic, My dog the paradox. I had some concerns regarding the misogynistic language he used in it, but I was pretty nice about it. I’m a pretty nice person, you guys.

I don’t feel so nice right now.

See, in my post about the dog comic, I was all, I’m disappointed, because I thought that The Oatmeal was smarter and better than this. I’ve since learned that apparently The Oatmeal is not better than this.

Apparently, not only did Matt from The Oatmeal write a comic about his dog, he also wrote an extremely hilarious comic called 5 Super Neat Ways To Use A Hooker. I know! So funny! I bet you’re laughing already, without even having clicked on the link!

Basically it’s a comic about how sex workers are objects, and you could use them in a variety of ways, such as to prop up couch forts, or act as bird feeders.

The whole thing is pretty fucking gross. The drawings, which show garishly made up women with blank stares and bodies hanging out of their clothing, make it even worse.

Don’t worry, though. Matt from The Oatmeal already knows that you’re angry. He knows that you’re offended. He just doesn’t care, because the problem isn’t him, it’s you.

In his contact section, he’s pretty open about the fact that he doesn’t give a shit about what you think. Not only that, but he definitely doesn’t want to hear anything negative from you about his comics:

Do not expect diplomacy. The Oatmeal is a one man operation, and this gives me the right to say horrible things to you if it pleases me. You may even have a valid point or fantastic insight, but this won’t stop me from calling you horrible names and claiming to have spent an evening or two with your mother. [hahaha, a YOUR MOM joke – those things are always hilarious!]

Do not email me because you are offended by: my hooker comic, eating horses, abortion, how Twilight works, or my usage of the word retard.

Do remember that this site is for fun, and to not take it too seriously. If you don’t understand satire don’t email me.

Um, Oatmeal Dude? I think you might be the one who doesn’t understand satire. Let’s have a look-see at how Merriam-Webster defines it, shall we?

1: a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn

2: trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly

In what way is 5 Super Neat Ways To Use A Hooker holding up human vice and folly to ridicule or scorn? I’ve got news for you, buddy: it’s not. What it is doing is reinforcing the idea that sex workers aren’t people.

We live in a world where being a sex worker is the most dangerous occupation in North America, at least in terms the homicide rate. According to one statistic, the homicide rate for sex workers was estimated to be 204 per 100,000. Compare that to the next highest rate, which is for female liquor store employees and is 4 per 100,000 or the highest rate for men, which is 29 per 100,000 for male taxi drivers.

We live in a world where Robert Pickton confessed to murdering 49 women, most of them sex workers. A world where he disposed of their bodies in a variety of disgusting, inhuman ways, and then had the balls to initially plead not guilty.

We live in a world where, in a recent study done in San Francisco, 82% of the sex workers interviewed had been physically assaulted, 83% had been threatened with a weapon and 68% had been raped while employed as sex workers.

A huge part of this violence is because sex workers are viewed by society as things rather than people. Things to be used. Things that exist solely to fulfill men’s needs. Things to be mocked in an online comic.

But, you know, Matt from The Oatmeal is being totally satirical when he compares them to objects or animals, or when he draws their blank, expressionless faces and their sagging, doughy bodies.

I used to think The Oatmeal was smart and funny. I mean, it has a lot of comics about cats, and I am a total sucker for comics about cats! I also enjoyed the way it dissected pop culture, and some of the stuff it had to say about religion. I thought the dude who wrote it was pretty hilarious and cool.

Now, though, every time I think of The Oatmeal, I get that pukey watermelon feeling. I can’t ever look at it the same way, and it’s going to be hard not to yell THIS GUY HATES WOMEN when people try to share his comics with me.

You know what pisses me off the most? The fact that I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. The fact that I was all, well, I’m sure he didn’t mean to be a misogynist. Even if I’d just seen his hooker comic, I might have been able to continue to believe that he didn’t know any better, or that he didn’t understand. But no, his contact section clears that right up for me – he knows that what he’s saying is terrible, he just doesn’t give a fuck. He doesn’t give a fuck because it’s satire.

I’m so angry and disappointed. I’m so fucking tired of smart, funny things that are basically men-only spaces. I’m tired of feeling like I’m a persona non grata just because I have a vagina.