Is Satire Dead?

I recently saw a commercial for the Comedy Central roast of Charlie Sheen, and it kind of bugged me. Not the commercial itself, but how this kind of thing suggests that they’re really not taking Sheen’s criminal behavior seriously. I don’t know if all the rumors I’ve heard about the guy are true, but I’m pretty sure the stuff about him abusing women is. I guess I feel that someone who behaves that way is not someone you should sign up for a good-natured ribbing. It’s great when celebrities have a sense of humor about themselves, but some issues might be too serious to let the celebrity in on the joke. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be joked about; I think you can make just about anything into a joke, and to turn this to a different antisemitic alcoholic celebrity, Mel Gibson calling a cop “sugartits” IS hilarious. But at the same time, it’s also harassment, and for people to reduce it to, “Oh, Mel, you’re such a card!” is trivializing things a bit. When I hear about celebrities enjoying jokes about themselves, my feelings are often mixed. Part of me thinks, “It’s awesome that they can laugh at themselves!”, but another part worries that it might weaken the satire a bit. Perhaps it’s what I see as the difference between parody and satire. The former is all in good fun, while the latter sometimes SHOULD make its targets mad. And with someone like Sheen or Gibson, I’d kind of like it if they were offended by the jokes made about them, because I think they deserve it. Besides, it’s when humor actually shakes things up that it can lead to change.

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1 Response to Is Satire Dead?

  1. Pingback: Post-Caring Society | VoVatia

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