Your assignment is to write a detailed exploration for a piece of satire. This exploration is meant to help you decide the direction you want to take in your upcoming satirical piece, and demonstrate a familiarity with satirical concepts. You should consider and review the pieces of satire that you found most effective (from Springboard and from The New Yorker). What elements worked? What have you identified that effectively created humor? For this plan, you must complete each (1-5) of the following elements:
Identify a topic. Choose anything that interests you. Consider the topics we have seen so far (advice, sports, television, school shortcuts, etc) and identify something in society that can be criticized. You may want to examine the positions that people hold strongly and the things that people ignore; the behaviors people do without thinking and those that they struggle to do intentionally; the choices people make and those that they refuse to consider. Anything can be satirized, but you should choose something that you are passionate about, even if other people don’t take it seriously (like putting the toilet paper roll on backwards!!!!)
Approach the topic with hyperbole. Write a statement of 2-4 sentences that explains the topic in severely overstated terms. (Alex Johnson of Maine is stuck in the public bathroom of Idlewild park for the third week in a row, suffering from severe muscle cramps in his legs, which may need to be amputated. He reports that each time he attempts to retrieve a piece of toilet paper, the roll spins away from him, releasing too much TP onto the floor, dirtying it on restroom’s damp cement. The local Taco Bell has donated food to help sustain Mr. Johnson, although this has only made the problem worse.)
Approach the topic with irony. Write a statement of 2-4 sentences that creates an ironic situation based on the topic. (The local BJ’s Restaurant has been the site of a standoff between protesters and management. For days protesters have staged a sit-in at the local restaurant chain, demanding that management replace the rolls to a “roll-out” position, refusing to wipe until their demands have been met.)
Approach the topic with Wit. Write 2-3 sentences that use clever language, wordplay, or analogy. (Mr. Johnson says that, after three weeks, he is nearly wiped, and doesn’t think he will last much longer.)
Approach the topic using one of the following techniques.
Caricature: Write 2-4 sentences exaggerating or distorting the most prominent features of an individual within your subject. Ensure that you are choosing an individual because their position is important to criticizing the topic.
Ridicule: Write 2-3 different statements that each use humor to belittle a person or idea significant to your topic
Parody: Write 3-5 sentences that explain how a person, idea, or work may be parodied. This parody should exaggerate the qualities that are associated with the person, idea, or work (consider the fake TV News from “In Depth, but Shallowly” on pg 234).
Be sure to organize your homework so that I can clearly see that you have completed each step.
Number each completed step.
Goals are to explore how a variety of satirical techniques can be used to achieve a particular effect.
Exemplary Work should be highlighly detailed and organized in its presentation of its satirical exploration.