Poe's Law

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Saturday, January 24, 2009 | Published in

One of the more interesting memes that's reared it's head on the internet in the last couple of years is Poe's Law. This law was originally proposed by the great NathanPoe, a regular at Christian Forums. Poe's law states:

Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing.

This includes any and every kind of fundamentalism although it was originally in regards to Creationism. The great part about Poe's Law is that it makes trolling extremely easy on religious forums.You can make up any old crazy belief system and people will think that you are being honest.

The scary part though isn't that people will take you serious. No, no, no. The scary part is that no matter how crazy of a belief system you pull out of your ass there will always be someone out there with an EVEN CRAZIER belief system. You can't out-fundie a fundie. They have no trouble believing in six impossible things before breakfast. There is no way your brain can even begin to compete with their looniness.

There is a downside to Poe's Law though. The fact that someone will always take your parody seriously means that it is (almost) impossible to satirize fundamentalists. They are self-parodies. Like the law says, unless you slip in some very obvious humor (or slyly wink to the audience) there is no way to tell the difference between someone seriously sharing their beliefs and someone just aping them.

"Satire is over. Reality has made it obsolete."

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