The Social Power of Satire

12/05/2011 01:24

Everyone enjoys a little humour. Everyone wants to possess a bit of a laugh when they can, and the more laughs you've in your life then usually the more satisfied you will be as well as more you will feel that you are living a good life. Laughing is even beneficial to your health, reducing your likelihood of having a heart attack and struggling with other chronic diseases when you indulge in it using a regular enough basis. But protecting your good health is not the only serious complication of un-seriousness. Humour, and in particular satire, can change the world.


Often humour satire is capable of doing things that more serious media including journalists and commentators, philosophy or politics canrrrt do. This is partly because what good jokes do is to capture a feeling; more serious commentators create rational arguments, but often sufferers do not make decisions and form their opinions based upon rational argument, they form their opinions and then make their decisions largely based upon feelings about what they love or what resonates using them. And that shouldn't be looked upon or thought of as bad - reason is excellent if you have all the facts, but often complex social and political issues can not be reduced to a single group of hard and fast facts to get analyzed.

Political satire which really strikes a cord can have a dramatic impact on how people vote. I recall an election in england when one of the people running for Pm was Michael Howard; comedy programs started always portraying him for a vampire and saying clearly there was 'something of the night about him', and since their campaign using the slogan 'are you thinking what we are thinking' was a tiny bit creepy the charicature somehow hit home, exactly what certain it had a big impact on people's opinions.

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Satire will also be really great at bursting bubbles. Ideas can seem really beautiful nonetheless they can also have fatal flaws. Arguing against a perception that people want to be true can be be extremely hard, as you might seem a bit nasty for even trying. But humor can indicate the paradox or idiocy in something and burst the bubble instantly. It is also true that there are several more people who are enthusiastic about funny stuff that are interested in serious stuff, as it's just more enjoyable. When you want to change the world reserve the polemics and get writing those jokes, because you'll get a bigger and more receptive audience and your words will have a greater impact.