Saturday, December 7, 2013

Our Satires vs. Theirs

I was trying to think of some modern examples of satire, and the only thing that kept coming to mind was Saturday Night Live (I know Ms. King mentioned this week- I just can't remember in what context). I realize there are countless of contemporary satires, but I really think SNL is the most widely known and comprehensible. It's certainly written for and enjoyed by the masses.
Google describes satire as "the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose or critique people's stupidity or vices." I could not think of a better explanation for SNL. It's almost comical to think Candide is in the same genre as SNL, but it certainly shows the progression of satire from Voltaire's time to ours. While discussing Candide in class, all of us often laughed out loud at his audacity- the monkeys come to mind. However, now that I'm thinking of the novella in comparison to certain SNL sketches (specifically when they're targeting politicians), it really doesn't seem all that, for lack of a better word, irreverent or shocking as I had originally thought. 

2 comments:

Amy Clement said...

I would definitely agree that SNL is probably our times's satire. It focuses on pointing out the ridiculousness of current people and events. It is a little sad, however, that satire like Voltaire and Swift's would not be appreciated today. I remember Mrs. Klebba talking us about an editorial in some newspaper in the style of Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal. The writer suggested a law dictating that french fries now have to be called "freedom fries" to protest anti-patriotism within the country. Instead of finding the humor in the editorial, hundreds wrote in saying how great of an idea it is since "French fries" are only promoting Anti-Americanism.

Samantha Gillen said...

Another modern satire-- the office. My dad and two brothers are obsessed with it and have been for the past few years. Now that I'm thinking about it, many recent comedy shows are satirical. The office, glee, parks and recreations, they all poke fun at certain organizations and people.