After spending many years reading satirical news articles online in between looking up real news stories online, Joseph Capgrass, 38, of Ipswich has confessed that he has lost the ability to tell the difference between real and parody news coverage. It has left his world in tatters.
‘You think you know, you know? But can you ever? I mean, it’s as if the real news is a parody of the parody,’ said Capgrass. ‘I was on the BBC’s Science and Environment page and found myself trying to rate the quality of the story’s comic content out of five. Later, I tried to Google ‘Actual Lib Dem Conference News’ because I just couldn’t comprehend that what I was reading wasn’t a hoax. I still can’t, to be quite honest with you.’
In recent weeks, Capgrass has brought up faux ‘news’ stories at dinner parties and several times used mock articles to win intellectual debates. He has also cackled joyfully at true but tragic stories, losing himself friends and self-respect in the process.
‘I laughed for eight minutes at this picture of a man with a nose on his head which turned out to be a real photo. Of a real man. With an actual nose on his head. No, it really was. Wasn’t it? In my defence, the same person who told me that had already fooled me into thinking Tesco were selling inflatable gay best friends for women.’
Ultimately this phenomenon has led Capgrass him to question the sincerity of all his friends’ talk of ailments and misfortunes, not to mention their plans for life and beliefs about themselves. Even the history he knows and shares with family and friends has begun to appear dubious, which got him into serious trouble on his wife’s birthday.
‘All I want is to live in a world where everything isn’t just a sardonic parody, where this sense of remorseless cosmic irony isn’t guiding my life and everyone else’s,’ sighed Capgrass. ‘Not a world where politicians act so much like, well, politicians, and people actually believe novels by Dan Brown? It’s like some joker is putting words in my mouth. Well, I don’t want any of it! I want to be allowed to say what I want to say without being edited to fit someone else’s [brilliant vision] or being interrupted half way through a…’