This man is also good at taking jokes. (KRT via AP Video, File/Associated Press)
This man is also good at taking jokes. (KRT via AP Video, File/Associated Press)

Some people are idiots.

We should cater to those people.

Fortunately, Facebook is on it. They are experimenting with putting a Satire label on articles from outlets like The Onion.

Why?

Well, you see, some people were having difficulty telling whether these articles were serious or not. So they want labels.

And we live in a different world than we used to.

The fact that people are idiots is nothing new. But people, incredibly, used to be embarrassed by that fact. People who were fooled into thinking Onion articles were real used to be ashamed about it. They used to keep this fact quiet. They did not use to demand that the whole world be reorganized to accommodate them.

That was then.

This is now.

Now, there are just as many idiots, but they are much more vocal.

So instead of assuming that people are smart enough to discover some things about the world for themselves without being told, we have to put labels on everything. This hot coffee that you ordered to be hot will be hot. This peanut butter cookie contains peanuts. To use phone, pick up phone. It is simply unreasonable to ask people to navigate this baffling world unaided, as they have done for thousands of years.

Before, people were capable of reading and determining the intent of the author of a piece using context and intelligence. But since both context and intelligence are in short supply these days, it is clear what must be done. And Facebook is on it.

Some people say, “Well, if you can’t tell it’s satire, that is usually your fault, occasionally the writer’s fault for making the intent of the piece unclear, and sometimes the world’s fault for being just crazy enough that some satire is indistinguishable from the real thing.”

These people should not be listened to.

Then again, if the fact that a piece from the “The Onion” isn’t a good enough Satire flag for you, I don’t know that actually labeling a piece “Satire” is going to do you any good, either.

Look, satirical articles are like babies. People have been making them for hundreds of years, and you should not be allowed to consume one by mistake.

(I frequently consume babies, but only on purpose. I am just doing my part in implementing Jonathan Swift’s wise, sane solution to the problem of the Irish Famine, a solution that was not labeled as satire.)

You see what I’m saying.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.