Revised Critical essay About McClennen’s Satire

Flash points:

  • “This was humor to have fun and enjoy life, not to ask questions or challenge the status quo.”
  • In addition, Lewis points to the damage done by jokes that tend to dismiss troubling subjects through amusement and silliness, downplaying real pain and suffering,and threatening compassion and concern for others.
  • This idea draws on Henry Giroux’s theory of public pedagogy,which argues

    that most learning takes place outside the traditional classroom and that public culture is often the primary means through which society acquires knowledge and learns to model social interactions.

In pages 68-95 of Proud To Be An American Satirist the author Sophia McClennen’s establishes that Humor that doesn’t make the audience ask questions or challenge the status-quo offers no substance. She talks about comedy scene shortly after the 9/11 attack“shortly after the 9/11 attacks some suggested that humor was a necessary balm, a therapeutic act that could help heal a wounded nation…..This was humor to have fun and enjoy life, not to ask questions or challenge the status quo.”

From this we see that humor can help heal but without making the reader ask real world questions can never be anything more then something to be used then discarded. If healing humor exist so does its inverse.

Humor that distracts from real issues by downplaying them or writing them off completely is destructive. McClennen quotes Paul Lewis talking about sadistic humor “In addition, Lewis points to the damage done by jokes that tend to dismiss troubling subjects through amusement and silliness, downplaying real pain and suffering,and threatening compassion and concern for others.”In this we see opposite side of comedy and how it can used to twist human morality. So the question is who is it twisting?

She goes on to explain how media educates us saying “This idea draws on Henry Giroux’s theory of public pedagogy,which argues that most learning takes place outside the traditional classroom and that public culture is often the primary means through which society acquires knowledge and learns to model social interactions.”When you think of how many high school students, collage students,and young adults view this material and repeat its jokes, now can you understand the importance of its venue. McClennen overlooks some of the other forms of comedy like South Park.

McClennen claims that Pseudo-Satires like South Park offer only cynical humor with no real attempt to get people to think about problems. A bold claim considering IMDb actually rates South Park higher then The Colbert Report. By south park’s 14th Premiere it had 3.7 million viewers compared to Colbert’s 2 million.As for South Park lacking in satirical content I would have to disagree. In fact there is even a wiki page dedicated to sorting through the main satirical themes of the show. As well online discussions all over the internet and Reddit talking about the meanings behind each episode.

In the end McClennen did well to research Satirical comedy and back up her thesis, but was too hasty in writing off other forums of comedy

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Author: lukerlev

collage life...

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