That's Not Funny!
Now and then a reader will write to say they're outraged by a story -- that it's "not humorous".
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Most of the time, such readers are meant to be outraged. Stories in True are not always intended to be funny. For years, this web site's introduction, on the front page, notes that the taglines (Randy's commentary which ends every story) are meant to be "humorous, ironic, or opinionated". With luck, the tag will be some combination of the three. But that "or" is important: "humorous" is only one of the possible attributes of a tag -- and a story. That message, by the way, is repeated in the "Welcome" message sent out when you subscribed.
You know, the one that's headed "PLEASE READ THIS MESSAGE".
So let's get specific. After a story about some kids who pulled a stupid stunt while driving a car (trying to "jump" an unfinished bridge -- which ended tragically), one reader complained:
My "harsh" reply first: please don't ever assume you know what my experience is; I've seen far more tragedy up close than anyone should ever have to see. Have you ever had to do CPR on a 7-year-old child? I have -- and he didn't make it. (He was not, however, my child.)
So, a story's "not funny"? Yep: that's the point. True is definitely meant to entertain first, but it has another, equally important mission: to provoke thought. And, sometimes, to provoke outrage. True is about people doing often very stupid things. The only way to bring about change is to illuminate the problem, and to provoke action. A story makes you angry? Good -- Randy did his job: now go out and do something to change things. Blaming the messenger is ...well... a stupid way to go about changing things.