To be more precise, a tweet that crossposted to my Facebook status contained a link that one or more people identified as “abusive.”
The link in question led to a satirical blog post decrying “World War II” on the History Channel as implausible, poorly written and plotted, and basically ridiculous–as if it was a work of fiction. The blogger was trying to make a humorous point that if history was packaged and sold as a fictional story for television, no one would believe it.
When you think about it, that’s very true. So many insane and unlikely things have happened over the course of history, perpetrated by characters that any competent editor would have red-lined out of a novel manuscript or television screenplay, that if a fictional work followed the true stream of human events, blow-by-blow, it would be unpublishable. Historical fiction does exist, of course, but it’s nearly always played straight, with a narrow focus and no sense of the absurd.
My link to the post was probably blocked for two reasons. First, when I went back and read the comments on the blog, it became obvious that people were having difficulty with the satire. They took the blogger’s article literally and reckoned him some sort of history denier, conspiracy nut, or anti-German/anti-Japanese bigot. Satire uses outrageous humor to make a serious point (reference Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal). If the satirist is confusing his audience, he’s missed the mark.
Second, and this was something I should have considered more carefully before I posted the link, the blogger went over-the-top near the end of the article. He said some irresponsible things about the use of nuclear weapons and also included a link to a very graphic Wikipedia article about the Nanking Massacre. The reference was gratuitous and unnecessary, and there’s certainly nothing funny about that horrifying event. I think the blogger got so wrapped up in being outrageous, he lost the point he was trying to make.
Anyhow, I’ve removed the link to the blog article on my Facebook wall. It was confusing, and the point wasn’t worth causing offense.