ENGLISH 9 – Mr. Smith A parody is a humorous imitation of a (usually) serious piece of writing. Often people call it a ‘takeoff’ because the writer borrows the form or the topic of a well-known work and copies it in a funny way. Also commonly referred to as a ‘spoof.’ The original work can be in any form; everything is an acceptable target for parody. Something about the re-imagining of the original evokes a humorous response from the reader. Thoughts… What is a satire? The literary technique of ridiculing a human or government action or vice with biting wit, irony, or sarcasm in order to expose or correct it. The object of satire – known as the butt of the satire – is usually some human frailty; people, institutions, ideas, obsessions, and things are all fair game for satirists. The key is that a satire wants to EFFECT CHANGE in the world. A PARODY simply wants to ‘borrow’ the fame of it’s source and/or make fun of it. A satire usually achieves this effect by going to an extreme degree of exaggeration (or hyperbole). If a satirist (one who writes satires) can elicit an emotional response from his or her reader, he can get them to listen to a more reasonable suggestion… A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, 1729. I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout. …[children] at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; […] A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter. The Simpsons – Homer tries to buy a gun. Butt of the Satire: American gun registry laws. Satire’s Comment: That while some people feel that America’s gun registry laws are too strict, they are in fact ineffective. An Inconvenient Truth – “None Like It Hot!” Butt of the Satire: “America’s handsomest politicians…” Satire’s Comment: That a cheap, quick fix solution will not solve the problem of global warming. UCB Comedy – “BP Spills Coffee” Butt of the Satire: BP’s CEOs and whoever else is responsible for dealing with the Gulf Oil spill… Satire’s Comment: That REAL solutions are needed from REAL leaders. This is a major ecological disaster, requiring significant efforts to contain and clean; neither a ‘quick-fix’ nor serendipitous solution will work. Butt of the Satire: We, the people of the western world, specifically those obsessed with popular media. Satire’s Comment: That in order to make an issue known to the world, it must be presented in a weakly sensational, frivolous way, which is immoral and inhumane. Butt of the Satire: People who are critical of video games and the video game industry. Satire’s Comment: That it is ridiculous to assume that video games alone are responsible for corrupting youth. Parents play a significant role in the upbringing of a child, and if they are allowing their children to play video games without supervision, the fault is their own. Watch the following television show and answer the following questions: 1. Choose ONE person, place, product, societal convention (etc.) that is the target of satire in this episode. In a MINIMUM of FIVE sentences discuss the comment being made about your selected target. 2.