Tag Archives | Satire

A History Of Subversive Remix Videos

Artist Jonathan McIntosh presents 30 of the best and most notable mashup videos from before the age of YouTube:
Political remixes can be traced back to the 1920s, when Soviet filmmakers like Esfir Shub recut American Hollywood films to give them a sharper class commentary. During World War II, Charles A. Ridley created (and gave away for free) the first viral political mashup by reediting footage of Nazi soldiers to make them appear to dance and sing to the tune "The Lambeth Walk." When VCRs became more widely accessible in the early 1980s, UK artists calling themselves video scratchers appropriated television footage to create biting critiques of pop culture media and Margaret Thatcher's economic policies [and] recut television commercials and music videos to provide a feminist critique.
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The Invention Of The Meritocracy

rise-of-meritocracy-coverThe New Inquiry unearths the 1959 work of sci-fi satire that arguably coined the term — now used in earnest by many pundits to describe and defend our current society:

Michael Young’s The Rise of the Meritocracy begins in 2034 with a puzzled member of the commanding elite of the future wondering why in the world various discontented factions of the meritocratic society could be contemplating a general strike.

The more plausible meritocracy seems, the more self-righteous and intransigent the “meritorious” will become. In other words, the obvious shortcomings of the meritocracy myth don’t prevent beneficiaries of the status quo from taking ideological comfort in the idea.

There are inescapable problems of definition and measurement. What counts as merit? Who decides, and how is this decision objective? What sort of tests can be devised to isolate “merit” from some inherently privileged position in society that facilitates it? Doesn’t power redefine merit in terms of itself, and what it needs to preserve itself?

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The Church of Rebecca Black

You notice fake people

acting out fake lives.

You start to believe your reality is a CIA experiment so you can reconcile the utter phoniness of everything and everyone around you. You think about all the odd discrepancies you've noticed over the years in your environment and people's behavior to confirm your paranoia. You concoct elaborate conspiracy theories about ethereal machines from another dimension. You call it entertainment. You don't care what happens. You can't help but get sucked back in cause there's no such thing as death. You learn to love the lie cause you can use it against itself. You start to laugh. You start a religion about partying. You smear body paint and glitter all over yourself. You're a god on a mission to tell everyone they too are gods. You blow the fuuuuuudge up.
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Satire: Democracy’s Most Unexpected Enemy

SPNick Meador writes on his blog:

A 2009 study found that people tend to interpret ambiguous political satire according to their own views and self-image. This has enormous implications for satirical programs mocking democratic behavior, produced by media conglomerates that support Internet censorship. (The following is an essay that I was not able to place with a magazine, but still wanted to share with the world. Feel free to re-post on your blog or website, in accordance with the Creative Commons license. Just give me credit and link back here.)

“The revolutionaries of any decade will become the reactionaries of the next decade, if they do not change their nervous system, because the world around them is changing. He or she who stands still in a moving, racing, accelerating age, moves backwards relatively speaking.” – Robert Anton Wilson, Prometheus Rising (1)

On Thursday, December 1, 2011, Stephen Colbert addressed the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill currently under consideration in U.S.… Read the rest

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How The Family Circus Confronted the Web

Dysfunctional Family CircusTuesday cartoonist Bil Keane died at the age of 89 — and one webmaster fondly remembers how Keane gracefully confronted unauthorized parodies on the internet.

Keane was a good sport about fake Amazon reviews that gushed about supposedly hidden literary themes in collections of his newspaper comic strips, and he once even drew his own characters into a “guest appearance” in a Zippy the Pinhead strip. But in 1999, Keane’s syndicate threatened legal action against the “Dysfunctional Family Circus” site, which had been re-captioning Keane’s cartoons for over four years.

Heading off a “free speech” showdown, Keane resolved the situation with a friendly phone call to the webmaster, who ultimately decided to voluntarily remove the images just because “He’s actually a nice guy.”

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The Radical 1930s Cartoons Of Syd Hoff

Cartooning legend Syd Hoff wrote comics for the New Yorker for 44 years and illustrated dozens of children’s books. However, under the alias A. Redfield, he also created work with a harder-hitting tone for the Daily Worker and New Masses. Via Phil Nel, a collection of Hoff’s political cartoons, which remain as poignant and relevant as ever, in light of the world we live in today:

comics

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Afghanistan Getting Its Own Politically-Charged Version Of ‘The Office’ Sitcom

The Office was a hit in England before it became a hit in the States. With the mock-documentary, hand-cam style of filming, Afghanistan is now getting it's own version entitled The Ministry. Daily Mail reports:
Rather than being set in a Slough paper manufacturing firm, 'The Ministry' is based in the war-torn country's Ministry of Garbage. The mock-documentary has been filmed in exactly the same way as Ricky Gervais' BBC comedy. Footage of the characters addressing the camera directly, as if being interviewed, is interspersed with scenes of them apparently going about their working lives. The comedy, which will be broadcast on Afghanistan's largest commercial television station Tolo TV later this year, features a sleazy manager, a dozy security guard and a man-hating female secretary.
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