Archive for October, 2013

South Park: The Greatest Modern Satire

October 28, 2013

            It’s almost common knowledge that with every new episode of South Park, major controversy follows.  The racy, crude, and often extremely offensive show is known for its disregard for any limits that other programs might hold themselves to.  If there’s a line, South Park has crossed it.  If there’s a distasteful joke, South Park has made it.  South Park almost always goes above and beyond what’s perceived to be acceptable and makes fun of everyone and anything it can.  Because of this, the show has been a target for angry parents or anyone offended by their rude humor.  But, what some forget is that South Park does not make offensive jokes just to be offensive, but rather to satirize.  Often, South Park will target societal flaws and viciously attack them, or recreate them on such an over the top level that what once seemed like acceptable just looks silly.  South Park’s ability to make intelligent commentary through seemingly unintelligent humor makes it the greatest modern satire.

            An example of South Park’s genius satire is the episode “Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow”.  In this episode, Stan and Cartman, two of the main characters of the show, accidently destroy the world’s largest beaver damn, which subsequently floods the nearby town.  The two agree to tell no one, rather decide let the whole situation work itself out.  Unfortunately, no one seems to be willing to help the men and women of the flooded town.  When Stan asks his dad why no one has gone to their aid, his dad, Randy, answers, “That’s not important right now, son.  What’s important is figuring out whose fault this is.”  That simple sentence perfectly summarizes a common attitude taken towards many situations these days.  The people spend so much time trying to find out who’s to blame no one actually gets around to solving the problem.

            Another great example of South Park’s brand of satire is “Sexual Healing”.  This episode was aired in response to the Tiger Woods scandal, in the famous golfer’s unfaithful actions were all brought to light.  In the episode, scientists become concerned with the sexual antics of many rich and successful people.  Once scientist states, “We all know that the normal, healthy male thinks only of sex occasionally and has no desire for sex with multiple partners.”  Unable to comprehend the deviant actions of celebrities, the United States tries desperately to search for the reason behind their sexual escapades.  Ultimately this ‘abnormal’ behavior is blamed on the ‘disease’ called sex addiction.  Because of this new discovery, many kids across America are tested for sex addiction.  As with every South Park episode, the ridiculousness continues to build until the entire nation blames the sex addiction outbreak on a wizard alien living in Independence Hall (which actually ends up existing).  After Kyle and Butters, two of the main characters diagnosed with sex addiction, kill the alien, celebrities such as Tiger Woods and Charlie Sheen are supposedly ‘cured’ of their ‘disease’.  This outlandish episode perfectly satirizes society’s inability to understand the scandalous actions of celebrities and suggests that, given the same situation, most men would do the exact same thing.

            “Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow” and “Sexual Healing” are just two examples of the many clever and satirical South Park episodes.  The show perfectly holds a mirror up to life, displaying humanity’s own behaviors through idiotic characters to show how ridiculous people are.  People can laugh at the different characters’ stupid antics, but also see a bit of themselves in their actions.  South Park is able to show the silliest qualities of society at their most extreme, showing how truly preposterous they really are. 

Modern Day Satire

October 28, 2013

Kicking and Screaming is a beloved modern day satire. Kicking and Screaming satirizes the modern day stereotypical little league coach. The movie pokes fun at the stresses that come with being the coach of your son’s soccer team. The movie also includes jokes about old men marrying someone a lot younger than them, neighborhood rivalry, family rivalry, and coffee drinkers. 

Modern Day Satire

October 28, 2013

Grand Theft Auto V satirizes many everyday things. While the main story line satirizes some things like video games, government corruption, and different types of people, most of the satire comes from parts of the game that aren’t even important. Things such as the radio commercials and talkshows, t.v. shows, internet searches, and many more examples satirize many aspects of society. While some parts of this satire are very blatant and almost a direct shot at a certain aspect of society, other parts are very subtle. In this video game you follow three main characters, who are completely different from eachother and allow the player to see different examples of satire. 

One of the most prominent examples of satire is government corruption and the importance for members of the government to look good in the eye of the public even if they may not be doing the right thing. Many missions of this game are dedicated to this issue. The main characters spend time doing illegal deeds for government officials, so they don’t lose their positions and power. Another example is the many radio commercials that advertise products that are completely immoral, but sound a lot like real radio commercials. Another example of satire is the social media sites which is called life invader, which obviously satirizes most of the social media sites. Much of the satire satirizes the people who are playing the game. It satirizes video games and the audience that is playing the game. Their are countless more examples of satire in this very thought-out game many of which I probably have not seen.

The Simpsons

October 28, 2013

The Simpsons family is a middle class family with Homer working at a nuclear power plant and Marge as a housewife and mother. By having Homer work in a nuclear power plant, the show can comment on the state of the environment. Through Bart and Lisa’s days at Springfield Elementary School, the show’s writers illustrate pressing or controversial issues in the field of education. The town features a vast array of media channels—from kids’ television programming to local news, which enables the producers to make jokes about themselves and the entertainment industry. In the movie of the Simpsons made a couple years ago the town has been contaminated by a radioactive dumping accident. The government learns of the weird and odd animals being created near the pond thats contaminated and they look at plans of shutting it down. The president is a spin off of Arnold Schwarzenegger, they show him as not smart and the head of the EPA convinces the president to choose the bubble plan. In the bubble plan, the government shuts down the town and infection by covering the area with a giant glass bubble. No one can get in or out except for Homer and his family when they find a sinkhole leading to the other side. After a few ordeals with hiding in Alaska and finding his true self he returns to Springfield to try and disarm the nuclear bomb they are attempting to use to wipe out the town. The government even begins to advertise a new grand crayon for tourism. The government hides the plan from the public and leaves only Homer to stop the detonation.

It is satirical because it shows how the government thinks they can just blow up a town and then use the aftermath crater as a way to make money. It also showed how little the president has a role in government decisions and it is a bunch of shady deals under the table to pass bills.

South Park Modern Day Satire

October 28, 2013

South Park is a TV show that satirizes modern day events, issues and hot topics. For example, one episode is about Al Gore, the ex vice president, coming to the little town of South Park and speaking about a topic that many people seem to believe he is only doing so to get attention. His topic is about a creature called ManBearPig. He goes to the elementary school wanting to spread the message about the dangers of an animal that is half man, half bear and half pig. No one takes to this idea about the creature and Al Gore is persistent it exists. Al Gore starts trying to hanging out with the fourth grade kids Kenny, Kyle, Stan and Cartman and tries to teach them his ideas and get them in on the hunt for ManBearPig. Eventually they go into a cavern where a cave in happens and the kids are trapped inside the cave. Al Gore states that ManBearPig caused the cave in and is inside the cave. Everyone knows this is impossible and no one believes Al Gore. Everyone thinks Al Gore is setting up the whole front to get attention because he is no longer in the spotlight as Vice President.

This episode pokes fun of Al Gore and his attempts to bring the world into light about global warming. No one really believes it to the extreme that Al Gore presents it as and people see it as a way for Al Gore to get attention, much like in the South Park Episode. South Park is a great version of modern day satire and pokes fun about everything from kid trends, to serious and controversial world wide issues.

Modern Day Satire

October 28, 2013

The movie the Campaign satirizes politicians, and elections in general. We have Cam Brady, the stereotypical politician with the perfect hair, perfect family, and is always smiling. Then we have Marty Huggins, a nobody without any political experience, a dysfunctional family, and Chinese dogs. Cam is running for is fifth consecutive term unopposed until Marty decided he had enough. From the beginning we see Marty having everything in his life changed so it appeals to the voters, which satirizes that voters don’t actually know who they are voting for. The political war begins as Cam and Marty, only try to make their opponent look worse in their, trying to hide the fact they aren’t great candidates themselves. The both are trying to sabotage each others lives, so that maybe they will give up after their life is torn apart. This instance satirizes how politicians go to extreme measures to be elected, but they don’t stop, and think how it is affecting others.

Also being satirized in the film is the role of big businesses in elections. The film gives us the Motch brothers, who trying to make sure that the candidate that is oaky with them insourcing jobs from China. Marty originally agrees, but comes to realize that isn’t what he wanted when he decided to run. The brothers switch sides, and go with Cam because he wants to win so bad that he’ll allow anything to happen. In the end Cam will win, which points out that the little guy who actually cares, and wants to make our home a better place can never win. Cam wins, but in a twist he gives up the position to Marty realizing that he never did what he was suppose to do in Congress.

Satire

October 28, 2013

Talladega Nights satirizes the American culture of NASCAR and the south.  Its characters have enlarged southern accents.  When someone who is not from the south, Jean Girad, enters into their playing field they act hostile towards him.  This pokes fun at the exclusive culture that once existed in some cultures in the south.  They say ridiculous things that don’t make sense like “shake and bake” and “if you’re not first, you’re last” just to name a few.  The characters are portrayed as rednecks and idiots that can only drive well. 

Most importantly NASCAR is life to them.  Since day one Ricky Bobby has wanted to go fast.  He gets his chance when his team’s driver quits and he is thrown into the position.  He ends up doing well and winning a bunch of races.  Whether it was intentional or not the movie says that anyone can do well in NASCAR and that it is not a real sport requiring athleticism.  One scene at the dinner table shows the table littered with beer, pizza, fried chicken, coke, power aide, and mountain dew.  Although the family is rich from Ricky’s winnings, they still choose to eat unhealthy and simple meals.   

The Redneck

October 22, 2013

The Redneck

            Rednecks are often known for living out in the country and having an accent. They get their name from having a sunburnt necks because of hours working in the fields. Looking closer at a redneck, you find that being able to kill your own food and enjoy the outdoors is just as important. A redneck is someone who would rather spend his time plowing a field than sitting in an office. In fact, he will rarely ever be seen in the city, but rather spends all his time out in the country amongst his fellow rednecks. A redneck would look very out of place in a city environment because he is generally wearing either blaze orange or camouflage, and often never shaves. His life is generally centered around hunting and other outdoor activities of the sort, and he almost always drives a truck. He is generally characterized with some stupidity, laziness, or occasional craziness. 

            Si Robertson perfectly embodies the characteristics of a good redneck. He acts crazy and often does stupid things, but his entire life and occupation is centered around hunting. His brother created a multimillion-dollar duck company that he and most of the rest of his family works for.  He spends all his time out in the country and wouldn’t fit in a city. He is definitely a redneck and is surrounded by the outdoors and a bunch of other rednecks. 

Periodical Essay

October 22, 2013

An offensive lineman is a true man. Always deserving of praise, yet never seeking to find it. The greatest of the sport only ever acknowledged by the insiders and analysts. Always working harder, and complaining less. A linemen knows he makes or breaks every play and is content in simply knowing it. He is big and strong like a work horse, and treated like too. Yet, outside of the game he is as calm and cool. He is teddy bear. Linemen do not fight or bickering; they are brothers and guardians to their team. Linemen are quiet in nature, yet as knowledgable as a quarterback.
These traits are what make Jeff Saturday and Nick Mangold unspoken heroes. Both centers command their lines and sort out plays so the running backs can have all the glory. They are future Hall of Famers that will be known to only true fans of the game.

The Real Life of a Wrestler

October 22, 2013

The wrestler is a dedicated and relentless athlete who will do any amount of work to obtain his goals.  He trains all throughout the year and never loses sight of his end goal.  His training sessions are long and exhausting.  Letting up is not something he knows how to do in the wrestling room.  He is constantly putting pressure on his opponent to score. 

Weight Control is a part of wrestling that all wrestlers do not enjoy.  Long weeks of eating smart and healthy are ruined by binged eating on Sundays.  The wrestler pays the price all of next week.  During practice the heat is cranked up in the room and a hard sweat is required daily to lose the necessary weight.  Lunch is a bittersweet moment in the day because he knows he can only eat so much, but he has been looking forward to lunch all day.  As soon as practice is over the wrestler will strip and weigh himself to see how he must manage his weight for the week.  Hopefully enough weight has been lost weight during practice that the wrestler can eat an energizing dinner.  This process of checking weight and moderating your diet is done throughout the week. 

School becomes a hard and uncontrollable task during wrestling season.  Sleep never seems sufficient and homework is rarely done after practice.  Most homework is completed either during school or in the mornings.  Practices leave the wrestler exhausted and ready for sleep.  After a warm shower and food it is quite hard to stay awake.  Out of town tournaments on the weekends cause for days to be missed resulting in falling behind in classes.  Wrestlers either must come in early for help or must plan in advance. 

The above passages may not make wrestling seem enjoyable or worth the effort.  As an outsider to the sport wrestling does seem terrible, but completely demoralizing an opponent to the point of submission makes it worth it.  Before the match the wrestler is nervous and has butterflies.  Before the match it is important for the wrestler to get a good sweat so when he begins to wrestle he is ready and fluid.  When the whistle blows there is no holding back.  All energy is put into scoring.  The first period can be even and exhausting.  The second period can even be the same with a tough opponent, but the third period is where an opponent is broken.  It is very visible when a wrestler’s spirit becomes broken and he has simply given up.  One of the most rewarding feelings is being on the other side and breaking some ones spirits.