It’s said that the best satire is the work that people don’t recognize as satire. It’s the reason a surprising number of rightwing Republicans don’t understand that Stephen Colbert is fucking with them.
As the leading source of satire in North America, The Onion may have come up with one of the most brilliantly poignant pieces of satire ever: “Best Part of Gay 12-Year-Old’s Day Half Hour Spent Eating Lunch Alone On Staircase.” It is simultaneously the most depressing and the most brilliant thing you’ll read all day.
The one major criticism I’ve read about the piece is that it’s not funny. Which seems rather odd, considering that the piece is about LGBT-related bullying in schools, a subject that contains all the humour of a tombstone epitaph. It’s honest and almost entirely inseparable from reality, and it sheds light on the hell some kids have to go through every day. So no, it’s not funny because it’s not supposed to be funny.
It’s supposed to be real.