Friday, August 17, 2012

literary devices: speaking of tone...

SATIRE: Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon. (Wikipedia)

One of my absolute favorite devices used in literature is SATIRE. My appreciation for dry and witty humor runs deep in my literary soul. I find that satire is especially ubiquitous (<--look it up!) in our American entertainment culture. Find a current piece of satire (a song, a YouTube video, a show/show clip, a comic, a meme, a website article, etc.). If nothing comes to mind, just trying Googling or YouTubing "satire." As always, make this school appropriate. Post your piece (or a link to your piece) of satire on this blog post. THEN, in ~150+ words, explain your satire. What is it literally? What is it satirizing? What specific elements clue you in to the fact that this is satirical? What is the effect on you, the reader/viewer? 



    Alright. Before concluding that I full-heartily agree with the concept of the political cartoon, assuming the link works and has been seen by whomever is reading this; it's important that it be known that the message behind it is applicable to both parties. So the artist is satirizing the Republican Party for only seeing what they want to see. Though it is true; the concept is applicable to both parties and the bigotry on both sides. The artist uses these "ear-muff" looking devices that interferes with the two elephants view so that they can only see a certain way. By making it removable the artist is implying they are not born ignorant of the issues but chooses to see them in their own way. Truthfully, just the fact that it's two elephants on a t-shirt with "blinders" on, justifies this as a satire. Okay. I affiliate myself with the Republican Party, though consider myself moderate in political ideology. Understandably, this satire is correct in pointing out a flaw with some extreme conservatives but the argument can be vise-versa, with the “social-liberals”. Arguably both Democrats and Republicans are choosing to be partisan and only see along party lines.


    This particular cartoon is a not-too-subtle satire of Obama’s policies towards keeping America’s borders secure. Obama has been known throughout his presidency to promote very loose, indirect strategies towards keeping illegal immigrants from crossing the border. He repeatedly denied legislation that would construct a physical barrier, such as a large fence or something of the sort, as well as assigning troops to stand guard. This cartoon takes these policies and carries them out to the extreme. While the deductive logic that is used in the cartoon may be a bit extreme, it does accomplish its purpose in a humorous way. Many satirical cartoons employ this strategy. They take a somewhat unpopular or strange aspect of a public figure and blow that aspect up until it is ridiculous and humorous. This can be either a policy such as the subject discussed in this cartoon, or physical, such as the Presidents unusually large ears in this comic.

    The word satire means: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people for their stupidity or vice. Often we see satire used in plays, political cartoons, novels films, and other parts of literary works. Satire is still most commonly found in political cartoons. In the cartoon that in have chosen, there are people standing in line at the unemployment office and the caption says “United We Stand”. This is satirizing the fact that our country is called the United States of America and yet we do nothing for those who need jobs. Instead we are giving jobs away to other countries like Mexico because they will work for less money than the Americans. It is obvious that this is satirical by the way that they are all standing in line at the unemployment office, and they are saying that we all stand united. It is impossible for us to stand united when we are even providing jobs for our fellow Americans.

  4. “Potayto, Potahto”. Some people say “sirup” and others say “searup”. This video clip is satirizing how people say the same word but with different pronunciation. In the video, three guys are arguing over how to say the word “milk”. It gets carried away. Specific and obvious elements in the video that suggest that this clip is satirical, is that first off, it’s funny. Another reason why it’s satirical is because how ridiculous the ending is with everyone about to shoot themselves. This exaggeration reminded me of, “A Modest Proposal”, by Jonathan Swift. I really enjoyed this satire. Even at school people (including myself) get teased for the way we phrase words. Sometimes people get into heated arguments over what is actually the right way to say a word. Old.Holly265 (Yep, I really on yahoo answer for my information) answers the yahoo question, What is the meaning of this phrase - potato, potahto?, with “It indicates that different people can express things in more than one way, without there being only one "right" way: and there is no need to fight about something trivial.”


    At first glance, this picture appears to be condoning the genocide in Darfur. But it is much like "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift. Literally, this comic is saying that by not aiding these people, the "annoying" and "cumbersome" issue will resolve itself. BUT, this is obviously not the case. It is in fact poking fun at people who are saying that America is too busy or broken to help any other countries. Many people state that we must fix our own problems before we help others. And while it is true that we should not neglect our own country, we CANNOT allow genocide to happen. America, as a responsible world power, must administer justice and defend the defenseless. This cartoon is simply stating the views of the people who wish not to act, and showing them the end result: death. This can be seen clearly. The man with the globe shaped head symbolizes the world and the people who wish not to help these people. Notice, as he is stating why he feels America should not help the victims, more and more of the people are disappearing from the screen until eventually, there is no one there. This comic is simply pointing out that no action means no survivors. This comic at first shocked me, until I remembered that it was indeed satirical. Once I realized this, I became infuriated at the laughable idea that America should not step in and help these poor victims. Like truly good satire, it inspired me to want to act, instead of allowing genocide to occur. Hopefully, it will open up the eyes of the uncaring in America and in other nations, so that they will aide these people before it is too late. We cannot just let the problem "sort itself out" as so many people say we should, because, as the satirical comic shows, it sorts out death, not a resolved nation.

    My appreciation for humor runs through my veins and deep into my literary soul as well, Miss J. I find that satire, in general, allows a greater understanding for what is happening in our lives. The political cartoon I chose is short, sweet and to the point. It is a picture of two recent graduates, one wearing a graduation robe and the other a military uniform. The caption above them says, “I figure it’s easier to find a war than a job these days.” This is satirizing the fact that it is in fact easier to enlist in the military opposed to a job opportunity in your field of study. This cartoon just makes me realize that I need to start looking into what I would like to do for a future career.


    Satire is a style of writing or art that ridicules it's subject. It is usually found in novels, plays, and films. However, it is most commonly found in political cartoons. The cartoon I have chosen satirizes the fact that gas prices are through the roof. Gasoline prices have jumped to nearly $4 a gallon in the past year. Many Americans can't afford to pay this much and are forced to use other transportation services. In this satirical cartoon, a hiker comes across a leprechaun with a pot of gold on his walk and asks for a full tank of gas instead. Because a pot of gold seems to equal the price of a full tank of gas nowadays, this political cartoon can be considered satirical.

  8. This parody is, clearly, making fun of Miley Cyrus' song "7 things." Dave Days is singing about the 7 things he hates about (his cardboard version of) Miley Cyrus. His comical & witty lyrics make this song extremely satirical. Miley's original song is, well, for lack of better words, obnoxious. This parody is mocking both the lyrics and the annoying tune. It is apparent that this is a satire because of a couple reasons. First of all, obviously, someone isn't going to have 7 things they hate about a cardboard rock star. Especially with three of them being "you're fake, you break, you are not real.." Can you say "stating the obvious"? Another reason why this is clearly a satire is because of Dave's annoying voice. He can sing normally, but here I think he is singing extremely nasally and annoyingly because he is mocking Miley's voice. Even as a Miley Cyrus fan, this song makes me giggle. I love the the fact that he has taken one of her top hits and made something entirely new out of it. It is both humorous and satirical, which are two characteristics every good parody needs.


    This is a song by my favorite band, relient k, that satirizes popular culture and entertainment. It`s obvious that this is a satirical piece because Marilyn Manson hasn`t actually EATEN anyone. What Matt Theissen is attempting to do is use synechdoche to portray the horrifying possibilities of this popular entertainment by painting a negative picture of a PART of that entertainment: Marilyn Manson. Matt theissen says that Marilyn Manson "ate" his girlfriend... meaning "consumed". In other words, popular culture took his girlfriend captive, and turned her into a nasty person. It`s important to note the strong feeling conveyed by the band towards popular culture. They say, "SATAN consumed her mind... and he may do it again." It`s obvious that relient k believes Satan uses popular entertainment to captivate us. So, all together, relient k (in satire) parrallels Satan, Marilyn Manson, and pop culture to move us to a position of disdain towards poular entertainment.

    We, as Americans, don’t realize how lucky we truly are. Watching this video has opened my eyes a little more to the suffering of other people, and I don’t like what I see. This satirical video is showcasing how we live such superfluous lives, while others have to walk hundreds of miles to get a ration of food that will feed 4 people for a whole month. That’s a whole family. Yet, we can just drive to Publix to pick up one thing like a candy bar that we were in a mood for. It’s truly sad how we take things for granted. This video is about a teenage girl who grows up in a middle class family, and how she has food in her belly, a roof over her head, and clothes on her back compared to people who have nothing. But, yet, she always has want for more whether it is for a better car, better iPod, or even a better bed. It’s truly sad, for I see this in a lot of teenagers, and even in adults, even in myself.


    Ohhh, The evil cow meme. A perfect example of satire. These memes are suggesting that we, as Americans, eat far too much beef. We eat the beef--usually way more than our stomachs can handle, and then we waste the rest of the cow. When we look back to how the Indians survive, we are put to shame. If they were going to kill an animal--specifically a cow-- they sure as heck used every last bit of that cow for something. Everything. They were not wasteful, but American are the epitome of wasteful. We are wasteful, selfish, greedy, pleasure-seeking, and fat. That is what this meme is really trying to unconver with its humor. Because, come on. It really is funny. Flaming demon cows out for payback. Classic! You're my sister, so you know how i feel about eating out and eating much more than chicken--so this meme doesn't quite hit home with me, but this satircal message sure hits home with a lot of people in America. The cows obviously aren't literally saying that they are going to "burn us in our beds". That would be ridiculous. Cows are dumb and not smart. Whoever made this meme may not have meant for this message to uncover the flaws of society, but when you analyze--possibly overanalyze it-- you see that it points out the sad truth that we really are a selfish and fat nation. And yet we won the olympics. This truly shows that America has their priorities screwed up. Everyone else is fat while we pay athletes millions of dollars to make what they love their career just so that we can get entertainment out of it and idolize them. It's sick. And yes, that's just about everything that i got out of this hilarious meme. Sorry for not capitolizing all my i's. I figured you wouldn't mind, and this is supposed to be casually linguistic.


    (Picture 3)

    I chose a picture that showed a pole with a sign pasted on to the pole. The sign stated,"No posting of signs on public Property." The sign literally wants to tell people to not put up signs in the vicinity, however it is a sign itself. I don't think this piece was satirical on purpose. The sign is the only way to inform others in the area to not post signs, even when the sign was technically breaking the posted rules. One can tell that this is a satirical piece because the very act that is being prohibited on the sign is in fact being broken by the sign itself. ( This picture can also be known as satiric and ironic because no one would be taking a picture of a "Don't post signs in a public area" sign anyway.) This picture makes me laugh because it is so ironic that it makes it funny. No one meant to make the sign for this reaction, however it gives a totally different tone and meaning while it is on a pole rather than another area.