Journalism Class Dabbles in Satire

Satire cartoon by Mike Luckonich

Satire cartoon by Mike Luckonich

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Recently, the students in Mr. Denlinger’s 4th period 9th- and 10th-grade journalism class took a look at what exactly satire is – defined by Merriam Webster as “a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn” – and then tried their hand at creating some of their own. Several of the products are included below.



Advantages of Being Homeless – Talib Smith

The Homeless- their situation is sad because they don’t have a home or a lot of money, but in reality they’re making more on the street than you at your 9-5 job. The advantages are shown by the statistics that they make twice the amount of money you make daily.

Why do you think there are so many people are homeless today? There are 1.56 million people in the U.S that are homeless. They are saving thousands of dollars not spending money on clothes, food, or a place to live.

Homeless people are growing exponentially. Just recently in a single night 553,742 people were experiencing homelessness. For every 10,000 people 17 of those people are homeless. It’s insane being able to make money off the street having no skills whatsoever. More and more people are catching onto the secret way of making money as seen by the statistics.

I’ve interviewed a few people from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – one of the places with the highest homeless population.

Talib Smith: So you’ve just become homeless. How do you think you’ll get by?

Shill Wakespear: Yeah, I think I’ll be fine. I don’t have to worry about paying bills, having to buy food, or having to buy clothes. Yeah, I’ll be selling flowers I find and washing windows of cars at gas stations and then I’ll move to Massachusetts where the real money is.

T.S: Okay, what do you mean the real money?

S.W: Massachusetts is ranked first for education, second for health care, so I think I’ll be taken care of pretty well without even lifting a finger.

T.S: Okay, thank you.

So even a recent homeless person is already on track to becoming the next Mark Wahlberg and leaving everyone else in the dust in the financial race.


Quality Resource Time – Makaila Holston Smith

The life of an Obama high school student is endless, time-consuming, work. To lessen the workload students take home, Quality Resource Time was created. We revisit every subject once every two weeks to go over any hard topics during class or even have a small classwork assignment to boost your grade.

No phones are ever taken out during quality resource time. They will be confiscated and sent down to the office immediately. Q.R.T. is strictly used for one specific class. For example, doing a chemistry assignment in a visual arts Q.R.T. is strictly prohibited and frowned upon by teachers. Even our electives have a Q.R.T. so when your steel drums teacher has to teach a middle school class during Q.R.T. be sure to find a random room so you don’t get a Saturday detention when his coverage doesn’t show up.

Of course, all teachers create a lesson plan for Q.R.T. so we aren’t just in a room talking amongst our peers. While teachers prepare for Q.R.T. they look forward to seeing their students all over again two times in one day. It’s not like they could be using Q.R.T. time as a prep to grade our work. No, that’s for home.

Lastly, Q.R.T. is mandatory so attendance is taken. So, of course, everyone comes. It’s not like the few students who actually come will get notes to work the system and save a monotonous 40 minutes by going to their favorite teacher’s classroom to hang out with their friends. Because there’s a lesson plan remember.


Nobody – Silas Maxwell Switzer

“Nobody knows the system better than I do,” declares Donald Trump during his most recent speech. The audience gasps in unison as they add “the system” to their list of things that Nobody knows better than Donald Trump. As his audience leaves the venue, they are shocked at the course through which Donald Trump’s studies have taken him.

Throughout the course of his presidency, Trump has declared that Nobody knows stocks, ISIS, politicians, and cheese better than he does. The President constantly struggles to be the absolute most informed on every possible topic. He has spent his life studying every possible work of art and literature to ensure that he was fully prepared to make the most out of his presidency. He even declared during his fight for the presidency that Nobody knew how to run a campaign better than he did. Trump has massive amounts of knowledge, and so far, Nobody has been able to top him.

As John Smith exited the GNR building where the Trump speech was held, I managed to snag him for a quick interview. I asked him what he thought about the President’s declaration that, once again, Nobody knew something better than him. Smith said that “It’s starting to become less and less of a shock. The President clearly keeps himself extremely well educated.” Other attendees had similar things to say.

When Trump left the GNR building he held his head up in what seemed to be almost feigned pride. The President’s honesty and modesty should set an example for us all, as Nobody seems to be besting him at every turn.

Gerald Nobody is a professor of social science at Yale University. He triple-majored in business, law, and medicine with a minor in art history. Nobody is considered to be one of the most well-read persons in the USA, though he is somewhat of a recluse. He was not reachable for an interview. The professor does not reportedly make a conscious effort to consistently be better than the President, and seems to just do so out of sheer will to learn.

As the President continues to be forced to admit that Nobody knows more than him, his overall approval rating is dropping lower and lower. It seems the people of the United States would prefer a President that lied about how much he knew and never bothered to prove his knowledge. Maybe that president will come sometime in the future.


What Makes a Virtuous Bus Passenger? – John Wesesky

Polite, righteous, and overall nice is how many would describe virtuous bus passengers. Riding the bus to and from school allows students to witness these many pure passengers who ride with them. Even though they barely see the same people on the buses, they always see the same characteristics. These characteristics being what makes up an everyday angelic passenger.

The first characteristic of a virtuous passenger is sitting in the designated seats for the disabled and elderly. They are obviously superior to all the rest. Therefore, they deserve to sit in these seats. The elderly only have bad legs and can possibly barely walk without the assistance of a cane. If they can walk to the bus stop and catch the bus, they surely can stand for the meantime.  Then comes the disabled. They do not need the seats; they are inferior to the virtuous. They do not deserve the seats. They should really be designated for VIPs (very important passengers). Many witnesses say that they had the pleasure to observe these gods and goddesses at work. Many even bowed at their feet as they passed them on the bus. To be in the presence of them made their life much better.

The second characteristic of a virtuous passenger is taking up a seat with their bag. Their bags are much more important than letting a fellow traveler sit down. That traveler is insignificant and probably has been walking all day. Whatever. They have no reason to be sitting next to the VIPs. Fellow classmate Chazzlyn Burke stated that when she saw a passenger take up a seat so that she “was ecstatic.” She was so excited and felt privileged to be near their existence. So was another student, Jaiell Eleam.

Jaiell has also stated her major respect for the third and final characteristic, being the riders who are loud beyond compare.  These are what Jaiell likes best and so does other student Kingston Cox. Cox just loves the loud people. To hear what their conversations are about absolutely makes his day and Jaiell’s.  Eleam especially likes it when they get louder. To be able to hear their lovely, angelic voices is a gift from the heavens. Everybody else’s conversation is irrelevant. Nobody else’s voice deserves to be heard.

Only VIPs contain these wanted characteristics. If seen on the bus, people should feel blessed and very happy. These virtuous people deserve the most upright respect for their major contributions to the bus system. To hear and see them is such a compliment. Everyone is forever in their debt.


Man Caught Reading Book – Jordan Holtz

On March 1, 2020, a man was caught walking down Penn Ave. in downtown Pittsburgh reading a book. After the takeover of smartphones, books have been made illegal. The woman that we interviewed said, “It was horrifying! I called 911 immediately.”

When the police arrived they tased him on sight, and a quarantine was set up to retrieve the book. After the book was retrieved it was sent to the National Book Erasing Center to be destroyed. The engaging officer said, “It was a scary sight for all of us. We’re just glad he’s going to be locked up for a long time.” When they searched his house they found over 100 books. They shipped all the books to the NBEC and his house was burnt to the ground due to it being contaminated.

The neighbors said they had no idea he was hiding all those books. There will be an investigation to determine where he got the books from.

President Trump says, “This was a catastrophic experience for some and I pray for all the families that have suffered from books.”


A Fergalicious National Anthem – Chazzlyn Burke

This year’s traditional All-Star game happened from February 16-18 this year at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The teams were between Cleveland Cavaliers player Lebron James and Golden State player Stephen Curry. Everyone attending and watching was excited to see who would win and how every team’s strategies would play out. We all thought that the game was the main event but we were clearly wrong. Fergie Duhamel, a former Black Eyed Peas member, sang the national anthem and it was spectacular.

“I’ve always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA”, says Fergie and that is exactly what she did. It was a performance unlike any other. Fergie’s new and spectacular version of the Star Spangled Banner had so many reviews and comments she pretty much broke the internet. I asked a couple of my fellow peers for any comments on Fergie’s performance and here is what a few of them had to say.

“If you ever thought about what angels sound like when they sing, this is it.”

-Jimmy Jake

“Her voice sparkled in my ears like a million suns coated in glitter.”

-Anya Oppal

“I could listen over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over.”

-Henry Nut

Unfortunately, creativity like this during another version of the Star Spangled Banner probably won’t be tried again any time soon because her performance was just oh so amazing! And will be truly missed on the internet community. Thank you, Fergie. Your performance truly was a blessing.

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Journalism Class Dabbles in Satire