Series: Elements of Structure Part 9: Parody & Satire
I think I would cease to function if I didn’t have my sense of humor.
Everyone thinks they have a sense of humor, but…
Humor is one of the most difficult mediums to write. One way to allow students to access their natural silliness is to introduce them to parody and satire.
Parody: intended to spoof by using humor based on an existing piece/genre
Satire: intended to criticize something or someone, often with humor, but not necessarily.
Is Monty Python Satire? (Click for a PDF)
Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, Revisionist History (did I list that one, too!?) did a show on satire. The upshot is we Americans do a pretty terrible job at satire–it’s McWeaksauce sometimes–but is still important. I wonder what it says about the nation who invented stand-up can’t do satire as well? Hmm.
How would we go about introducing students to parody and satire? They are well-versed in memes and Youtube channels that provide so many examples and are masters at consuming media/humor. But how to create content? Perhaps I would pose the question to them: what angers, frustrates, or annoys them, and how would they like to create their own parodies? It’s important to point out parodies are not mean-spirited or bullying. What rules do they think are silly or goofy (I think the beloved yellow safety vest hall pass might their first target)?
And yes, while I think this is terrible, from a jester-level sense of humor, it is kind of funny:
From a historical standpoint, how has parody and satire changed the world? And it has, no doubt. Mocking rulers, institutions, sacred cows and laws, parody and satire help us all laugh so we don’t cry. And that makes us stronger.
And of course: (PG 13 language)
This is something I’m going to try on very soon. We all could use a good laugh.