Does Satire Work?

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Satire is artistic insurance.  It gives you the freedom to express any anger, negativity about humanity, or hatred towards groups that is inextricably tied to your message of change.

For example:

“Idiocracy” – Criticizm of uneducated and apathetic people tied to the message to reform our American “idiot” ways.

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“Dr. Stangelove” – Criticism of the U.S. military and war culture in general tied to the message to reform our attitude towards warfare.

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And finally, “Bamboozled” which is a criticism of how African Americans are treated in the entertainment industry tied to the message to reform our consciousness of how racism is perpetuated through tv and film.

Satire gives artists freedom to cross lines of political correctness in order to express flaws in social institutions.  It’s cathartic and usually funny to criticize ourselves, essentially.  But does it actually facilitate social change, or does it just help us feel less anxious about the issues under the surface of society, allowing us to go on with our lives unimpeded by our silly consciences?  I don’t know.

Satire is seen as a powerful tool of art and social activism.  But is it just a pacifier for societal anxieties or does it really rattle our core beliefs and illuminate our mistakes?

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3 Responses to “Does Satire Work?”

  1. im not sure that satire fully works because people can still be offended by it. just because you say that something is a joke doesnt mean that it is going to erase the fact that it is offinsive.

  2. Satires have to be one of the best ways to explain something. you have to have some sort of humor to get over tough situations. If you like satires try reading A Modest Proposal it is great.

  3. fngrnailtree Says:

    it would depend on what you mean by “works”. and even then it’s up to the interpreter.
    Kurt Vonnegut is a satirical genius. he made a career out of it. in each of his short stories (ex: “Harrison Bergeron”, “EPICAC”, and “The Euphio Question”) Vonnegut blends science fiction and satire to form a meaningful message. his work definitely changed my thinking, or at least opened my eyes to different ways of thinking, yet kept to timeless themes.
    what satire does for one, it may not do for another. everyone reacts differently because of their individual backgrounds and temperaments. often times the ability to recognize a satiric piece is a feat in itself. the effectiveness of satire depends on its delivery, preparation, and ones awareness and opinion of the topic.

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