Something that has always been around, but even more so today with the rise of fatalistic and sarcastic humour, is satire. In situations that are hard and serious, satire busts through the door to make a joke of it. But, is it really a joke?
A lot of people argue that satire takes serious situations and turns them upside down. What should be considered seriously, isn’t. But is that what it’s really about? Satire, in my opinion, is a way to make people aware of situations they may not have previously known about. It’s a way of relating to something that is far away from your usual day to day life.
One person who is the master of satire, is Bo Burnham. The song, ‘Sad’ perfectly encapsulates what satire is all about. It’s satire about satire.
‘I’ve been telling you guys, terribly sad things this whole song. You haven’t been sad at all
You’ve been happy, no.
You’ve been laughing
That’s it, laughter, it’s the key to everything
It’s the way to solve all the sadness in the world
I mean, not for the people that are actually sad, but for the people like us who’ve gotta f**king deal with ’em all the time
Being a comedian isn’t being an insensitive prick capitalizing on the most animalistic impulses of the public, it’s being a hero!
The world isn’t sad. The world’s funny! I get it now! I’m a sociopath!’
See what I mean? Satire, about satire.
He makes a good observation, that making jokes about bad situations can mean you can separate yourself from them, and find it funny instead of sad. On the other hand, why cry about it? Will being sad about it help the people in these sad situations get better?
Often times, satire is also a way of criticising those in power. Jokes about Trump, or Putin, or Cameron, take them down a peg or two and make them know they aren’t taken seriously. Criticising politicians and other influential figures is essential for a democracy, and what better way to do that than make fun of them?
People like Trump don’t deserve to be taken seriously. Everything about them is a joke. As long as you make sure you’re aware of what he can do, and do something other than just makes jokes, why not make jokes about them too? I personally love referring to Trump as a ‘chicken nugget on fire’. It’s an accurate and ridiculing description for him.
Satire is essential. If all you did was talk about serious situations seriously and seriously discussed them with serious tone and serious words, you’d never be happy. There are bad things happening all over the world, and satirical humour surrounding them keeps the world from seeming so gloomy. We’re facing a rise in Neo-Nazism here, and just thinking about that makes me want to vomit.
In order to raise awareness and not want to jump off the nearest cliff, satirical humour is the next best option.