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Seriously Ironic? - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Seriously Ironic?
I had a grand time watching this micro-musical, which plays so deftly off of the Broadway tradition in presenting its story arc:
See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die
I wonder, though, what the political purpose of this collaboration is and, further, whether it has any hope of achieving it. Is this merely an example of singing to the converted? Or did its creators believe that it might function to educate through irony, as many claim the shows of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have? Most of the students I teach would laugh along with me if I showed them this video. But that doesn't meant that they would automatically share my views on the subject. On the contrary, it seems increasingly clear to me -- and this is why, as much as I enjoy programs like The Daily Show, I am wary of the idea that they are necessarily mind-opening -- that laughter these days can readily be elicited, not only from those who share the perspective of the humorist, but from people whose convictions align them with the demographics to be laughed at.

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7 comments or Leave a comment
chefxh From: chefxh Date: December 3rd, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

camp is the question

I think the notion of camp divides the audience like a scalpel. This lacks the melancholy, originality, and humility of camp. Still made me laugh, but I didn't like the way I was reflected.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 5th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: camp is the question

Yes, I think camp is the perfect word to use here. Camp only works well, as your comment inspired me to reflect, when it comes from an experience of marginalization and pain. This is too easy, however well intentioned.
katieengl From: katieengl Date: December 3rd, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i think i wrote a paper about the potential value of the daily show once... i cant remember =)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 5th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: camp is the question


I really enjoyed that one.
From: ext_136530 Date: December 4th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
isn't there value in singing to the converted if they haven't been sung to before? maybe they help reveal the broader (potential) coalition of like-minded people of the left (usually just liberals) who often don't find a cultural product speaking to them?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 5th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's a beautiful way of putting it, one you should maybe redeploy in the future (though I'm inclined to pilfer it): "Isn't there value in singing to the converted if they haven't been sung to before?" More singing is definitely in order.

I'm reminded, for some reason, of Kant's piece "What Is Enlightenment?", which turns on the Entmündigkeit -- literally "mouthlessness" -- of the not-yet-enlightened. We talk about giving them a voice. But maybe that task entails not only empowering them to communicate but also communicating with them in a voice that will move them, giving them ears to hear, as it were.

Nice to see you here, BTW.
derdriu From: derdriu Date: December 7th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm mildly disturbed at how the proponent of Prop 8 side is portrayed (excuse the alliteration). It lacks the over-the-top quality of TDS or CR that generally allows the audience to identify what is being made fun of and how.
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