Comedy, Satire and Change
From its inception, the world had never been a perfect place, so human beings make attempts to improve the world through many strange and varied forms. So, comedy and satire became tools of “punishment” and “shame”, in order to draw attention to our habits, reactions, acts etc..
We can define two forms of satire: Horatian – which is the bright and humorous form of satire: Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Juvenalian which is bitter and darker: Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal.
Irony – is one of the most common tools of satire, and it expresses something that opposes itself or what is expected. Bender defines irony
Exaggeration – overstating something in order to highlight your point http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfkz2cLlRnQ&feature=related.
Juxtaposition: put two unconnected ideas into correlation
Incongruity: to present something inappropriate, obscene or vulgar.
Oxymoron: combine two contradictory terms.
Parody: to imitate, to impersonate in order to ridicule him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clPcFp14I_M&feature=pyv
Satire is an art form which has existed since Antiquity and which endured through the years as a form of cultural critique. Nowadays, thanks to Television and Internet we have endless resources of comedy and satire, but it seems that it doesn’t create the same impact as it used to create before. So the question is: has satire lost its attributes, its purpose? Is it still relevant? My opinion is that satire lost some of its impact especially because people don’t seem to understand its meaning, and they find it rather stupid, immature or cruel. More than that, nowadays the majority of people tend to avoid everything that highlights their mistakes, their behaviour and their level of culture. So, this is why this type of audience has shrunk so much and therefore the impact of satire has decreased. A perfect example for this can be the show South Park, which is by far one of the best comedy and satire programmes ever made, and yet is permanently criticised by people who can simply not understand its meaning; they seem to judge it as a despicable program with foolish content and ‘toilet humour’.
Despite all these things, comedy and satire are are some elements that we can not miss in a free society. The comedians are those who point out our mistakes, who remind us that some of our convictions are not as right as we thought they were. What is strong and valuable about satire is its sincerity and humanism, and we must understand the importance of being able to criticise and point fingers to those who need a change. Unfortunately, satire and comedy will not make major changes upon individuals but at least it’s heard by people who had ears to hear it.