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How effective do you think satire is at bringing about social change? Give some reasons for your answer.
This post is due by class time on Monday, 9/29.
Posted by Holly Vanderhaar on September 26, 2008 11:29 AM | Permalink
Satire is very effective in that it raises issues and puts it in a context that can be uniformly perceived by most people. I feel that with many issues, it often times become very hazy as to where the extremes lie. For example, in Team America: World Police, American jingoism is satired through the movie's constant theme song America F**k Yeah! which makes it clear the kind of attitude that is necessary to keep up the war. Sometimes through symplifying things, it becomes easier to get down to the level of the entire audience, leaving out all the details, and just asking one question which everyone must have an opinion on.
Another reason is its mass-communicational qualities which make it highly accessible to the people. In many ways, though all satire are criticized in some shape or form, it never fails to get reception. It sort of clings onto us, spreads fast in society, and forces us to laugh and think at the same time. Just the fact that we may feel obligated to refuse its critiques on society, on us is an example of its pure seductiveness.
Yefei Jin |
September 26, 2008 11:13 PM
I think satire is a useful tool to make others aware of a need for social change. The author does not present the point in a way that forces his or her moral values on the reader, so the reader may be more open to accepting the actual meaning of the satire. The reader is able to rationalize the narrator’s perspective and judge on his or her own that it is wrong rather than just being lectured on what the author believes. The reader will come to the conclusion, after reading the narrator’s satirical arguments, that something is wrong and there needs to be change. On its own, satire cannot bring about social change, but it can inspire people to act out against something that they do not agree with.
Laura Ullery |
September 27, 2008 11:36 AM
Satire is effective primarily because it is so accesable. Those who most need to be convinced of the need for social change are the general public. Most people do not want to sit through reading an article full of boring arguements or of someone preaching at them, but with a saterical piece, many more are apt to listen because the article is often both funny and gets the reader thinking without boring them. The author can then bring up the need for change without preaching at his audience and the reader is able to come to his own conclution on what the right course of action should be.
Molly Kim |
September 27, 2008 4:29 PM
I think satire is effective because it offends people. Most of the time, if people are offended, they either mentally or physically get upset. This emotion, although seemingly against the author, is actually very effective when properly channeled. Also, making a satire often allows more freedom than just writing against something directly. It exaggerates and parodies and, although it is commonly understood to be pointedly making a statement against or for something, the facade of a parody can allow for more freedom and attacks. The exaggeration forces the strong emotions into (hopefully) action or at least a formulated stance on the targeted issue.
Amy Durmaskin |
September 27, 2008 10:20 PM
I think satire is only kind-of effective. Personally, I enjoy satire because it is usually fun and accessible and witty and offers an insight into social happenings that I would otherwise maybe never look into, but it doesn't typically motivate me to take action, at least not any satire I have been exposed to so far. The sneaky criticisms are usually relevant and important, but i'm not sure that satirical sarcasm and irony is realistically inspiring enough to get people to get their hands dirty in the name of social change.
Trevor Simmons |
September 28, 2008 10:27 AM
I think satire is an effective way of bringing about social change most of the time because it appeals to a broader audience, and exposes problems in society without forcing its views on the people. However, I think that there is a fine line and risk associated with satire because the audience sometimes will take the satire for a literal meaning, which can bring about outrage in the public, or confusion. Although it can sometimes have a negative effect like this, I still think satire, when used correctly, can appeal and reach out to a larger audience and expose problems within society, and show that social change needs to happen.
Danielle LeBreck |
September 28, 2008 11:25 AM
I feel that satire is only effective if the readers take it as satire. I do think it's a clever way to sort of make fun of something that is important. It can be taken the wrong way by some readers and than i feel that the satire of the piece was pointless. I personally don't think that I would use satire in something but it does make for some interesting reading.
Madeleine Lucas |
September 28, 2008 2:33 PM
Good satire is mockery with a point, one that has a disquieting humor and inspires change through its criticisms and the reactions, often angry, its readers have. It is a unique writing tool that I think only a few people can really pull off. I think satire is only effective if it isn't completely ridiculous and overzealous, if it raises an issue that is current, controversial, and the arguments are cunningly presented, and if it reaches enough people to have some sort of an impact. A well=put satire can be an impassioned writer's surest weapon.
Caitlin Mantych |
September 28, 2008 5:27 PM
Satire can be effective but also it might hurt the situation as well. Sometimes the audience might not be able to pick up on the author’s intent and use to support their argument for or against something. For example, if an author says that smoking is a great thing for you to do and you believe it and use his points to argue how great smoking is, then author’s main point is completely missed. Other times when a person does see through the sarcasm, they might realize something about their beliefs and change them a bit. I really don’t think that satire is going to bring a big change in social life because in my experience I tend to disregard the information and end up laughing instead of interpreting the authors point.
Megan Johnson |
September 28, 2008 6:22 PM
Satire is an effective tool because of the fact that it is often entertaining. It brings to people's attention issues that they might otherwise not be interested in learning about. For example, many young people today cite the Daily Show or the Colbert Report as their sole source of news and politics information. Most high school-aged students would never watch world news broadcasts or read newspapers (except for the Onion), and would thus know significantly less about current events if not for these satirical shows. Satire is made more powerful simply because of this wider audience it is able to reach.
Nicole Hilgendorf |
September 28, 2008 6:26 PM
Because it is so provocative and confronting, satire makes for a useful strategem in initiating social change. Satire is a "take no prisoners' sort of genre, putting the issues out in the wide open, completely exposed. When issues stop being swept under the rug, people finally take notice. Or perhaps people gain the courage to admit that, "This isn't right. We can't keep allowing this to happen."
Satire is an effective method in its universal appeal. Usually humorous, it's easier for readers to relate to the material and absorb the message if its told in a comical way and more likely. Of course, satire always going to offend someone, but the masses are bound to get a kick out of it.
Korri Schneider |
September 28, 2008 8:46 PM
Satire is effective to some, because it can strengthen the reader's own opinions and viewpoints while they are creating reasons why what they are reading is kind of absurd to them, such as when it is written
intelligently enough. But overall, I think that it is one of the lesser effective styles of writing in terms of bringing new people to thoughts about social change. In my opinion, many people's political viewpoints are made ridiculous because they abuse satire and use it to the extreme. Also, the majority of people probably
quickly recognize satire as an amusing and subconsciously do not consider it seriously enough.
Kat Busch |
September 28, 2008 9:23 PM
Satire, like all forms of art, can effect social change only bywhat it moves people to do. Unlike more direct means of reform such as civil disobedience, physically disruptive protests, and boycotts, satire is effective only if it can encourage/ anger/ embarass its consumers into changing or more actively seeking change. Satire is an intermediate step in civil reform, calling for change without actually doing the change itself anything. Its effectiveness is measured by how many people answer its call. Even if it can't guilt the offending party into changing its ways, satire that galvanizes sympathetic consumers out of inaction is still a successful.
Tyler Dirks |
September 28, 2008 11:01 PM
I think satire has a huge effect on bringing social change. I believe this because when people read a satire, i'm especially speaking of those who have an opposing view of the author, can read the author's points of view in a way that allows them to see who thinks what and why. It gives exact reasons on why they think it is wrong, or immoral in some cases instead of the author just preaching his or her beliefs. It also gives support to rule out opposing views. Satire shows how wrong certain things are in our social lives and ways. All of this goes to show that the reasoning was well thought out and not carelessly thrown together. Therefore, I believe, if read with an open mind and a sense of understanding, satire can be very effective in provoking social change.
Alex Kraak |
September 29, 2008 12:55 AM
Alex Kraak |
September 29, 2008 12:56 AM
I believe that satire is very effective in bringing social change. That is of course if it is read in the right state of open mindedness. It brings upon all of the things that are wrong with certain issues while providing alternative ways to deal with the problems. It is a well thought out idea and solution to our social changes that are brought about in a non preachy manner. One is able to read a satire and gain a sense of motivation to change the social dilemma. Also, if you are able to read the satire in it's correct form, without being offended, you can most likely get a good laugh out of the ridiculous things said by the author. I believe satire is an excellent way to bring about social change.
Alex Kraak |
September 29, 2008 1:02 AM