Because the world needs more laughs, I’m continuing on with my Satire Series today. If you’ve stumbled across my blog for the first time, do scroll back to read the first posts on the topic. Should you enjoy my eclectic posts, I invite you to subscribe. My interests are broad and varied and topics could be anything.
Here’s a short recap if you’re stopping here for the first time ~ The word satire owes its roots to the Latin for well-fed as in saturated and sated. Makes sense to me. Being well-fed feels good and so does having a good laugh. There are three main forms of irony found in Satire. So far, we’ve looked at Dramatic Irony and Verbal Irony. For today’s post I’m taking a look at Political pokings.
When I began this personal quest for laughs I didn’t realize there were so many facets to the topic. I became interested because literature often uses satire to show foolishness or vice and I’m a writer. I admit I ‘m drawn to it because the late night comedians have had a field day with political satire in the past few weeks. Under the umbrella of free speech and the cloak of their profession, they reach high in their jibs and jabs without repercussion here and elsewhere in the western world. Not long ago a comedian in the Middle East was jailed and later released for his irreverent satire, and a comedian in North Korea was sent to a hard labor camp. It’s sad when people and nations take themselves so seriously they can’t laugh without fear of repercussion. Life can sure be absurd.
One very vocal use of satire is done on the political stage. Interesting to note, the intelligent mocking of ridiculous politicians isn’t a modern art form. (Though we do possess an unusual abundance to work with). William Shakespeare often poked political fun in his plays. When he said “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark” the statement had broader meaning than simply Hamlet’s story. He was referring to sinister dealings in politics. Dealings that although unseen, still obviously reeked.
Benjamin Franklin is credited for the first political cartoon in America. He was always using his wit to charm and disarm. I should devote a blog post to him sometime! Ben and his era may have had their absurdities back then, but I’ll wager it was nothing near what we have today. You’ll see a terrific array of political satire delivered through late night TV. It may offend the sensitive viewer. It just makes me laugh, and for that, I appreciate the brilliance more.
Here’s an interesting (and 35 minute) take on political parody as served up by Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. I miss Jon.
Come back tomorrow for more~
“I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.” ~Buckminster Fuller
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