Will Satire Save Us in the Age of Drumpf, I mean Trump?

Let me just start by answering the question in my title, “Will Satire Save Us in the Age of Drumpf, I mean Trump?” And to put it simply, no, it won’t. But it will definitely ease the pain a little by the best medicine there is, laughter. In this article, Jonathan Coe examines the relationship between caricature and today’s reality and how strikingly intertwined the two have become, specifically in the past year. Caricature is defined as “a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.” Due to recent critical events unfolding in today’s political landscape, the term reality and caricature have essentially been sewn together within the comedic perspective. It’s crazy to think when you’re watching ‘SNL’, a show that prides itself on satire and exaggerating the truth for laughs has actually become just a representation of today’s reality. Most of their satirical skits are spot on and you laugh pretty hard, but soon find yourself buried in the cold reality – this satirical political shitstorm you see mimicked on television is actually happening in real life, sometimes depicted too accurate it’s scary. You would think this would be a gold mine of new material for Satirist’s, but the article is suggesting otherwise, stating that it has become increasingly difficult because it’s hard enough for them to accept and keep up with the current reality they once exaggerated about for a comedic purpose. An interesting point I found the article states is that much of satire is directed at people whose ideals are aligned with the material so it’s hard to get a diverse and wide audience to really take in the message.

Our political climate is drastically heating up, and leaving a lot of people in doubt and fear about America’s future. Do you guys think SNL’s skits on Trump are going to continue to be funny a year from now? 6 months from now?  Or is it just funny now because this is all happening so fast, and it’s so new to the audience. 

Coe writes, “In short, the present moment calls for absurdism, caricature, and tomfoolery, because these are the only ways to capture our current reality.” What do you believe has gotten us into this absurdism reality where all of a sudden anything goes? How can we fix it?

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Author: Zlatko K

Communications Major

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