Satire - Satirical Prophecy

Satirical Prophecy

Satire is occasionally prophetic: the jokes precede actual events. Among the eminent examples are:

  • The 1784 presaging of modern daylight saving time, later actually proposed in 1907. While an American envoy to France, Benjamin Franklin anonymously published a letter in 1784 suggesting that Parisians economise on candles by arising earlier to use morning sunlight.
  • In the 1920s an English cartoonist imagined a very laughable thing for that time: a hotel for cars. He drew a multi-story car park.
  • The second episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, which debuted in 1969, featured a skit entitled "The Mouse Problem" (meant to satirize contemporary media exposés on homosexuality), which depicted a cultural phenomenon eerily similar to modern furry fandom (which did not become widespread until the 1980s, over a decade after the skit was first aired)
  • The comedy film "Americathon", released in 1979 and set in the United States of 1998, predicted a number of trends and events that would eventually unfold in the near future, including an American debt crisis, Chinese capitalism, the fall of the Soviet Union, terrorism aimed at the civilian population, a presidential sex scandal, corporate takeover of the government, and the popularity of reality shows.
  • In January 2001, a satirical news article in The Onion, entitled "Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity Is Finally Over" had newly elected President George Bush vowing to "develop new and expensive weapons technologies" and to "engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years." Furthermore he would "bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession." However, the article predicted the "deregulation of... industries, and the defunding of... social-service programs," which turned out to be erroneous, as the Administration dramatically increased such spending, including under a trillion dollar prescription drug program.
  • In 1975, the first episode of Saturday Night Live included an ad for a triple blade razor called the Triple-Trac; in 2001, Gillette introduced the Mach3. In 2004, The Onion satirized Schick and Gillette's marketing of ever-increasingly multi-blade razors with a mock article proclaiming Gillette will now introduce a five-blade razor. In 2006, Gillette released the Gillette Fusion, a five-blade razor.
  • In August 2012, The Onion posted a satirical news item titled "Nation Celebrates Full Week Without Deadly Mass Shooting", referencing the close proximity between the recent mass shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin less than a month later. The final line of the article read, ‘At press time, federal authorities had issued a reminder to all Americans that a lot can happen in 24 hours, “so let’s not get too excited yet.”’ The following morning, a gunman shot a former coworker near the Empire State Building, with nine others wounded by police gunfire, and The Onion responded by updating it to a prompt "Never mind."

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Famous quotes containing the words prophecy and/or satirical:

    We may be witnesses to a Biblical prophecy come true. “And there shall be destruction and darkness come upon creation, and the beasts shall reign over the earth.”
    —Ted Sherdeman. Gordon Douglas. Dr. Medford (Edmund Gwenn)

    The satirical rogue says here that old men have grey beards,
    that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber
    and plum-tree gum, and that they have a plentiful lack of wit,
    together with most weak hams.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)