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People can read irony literally and miss the author's intention
Irony assumes a certain amount of shared knowledge; a fairly high level of education and academic or cultural capital is often needed to grasp the various meanings; as such irony can be considered elitist and provides elite cultural producers with tools for protecting their own power
Irony is politically ambiguous since it works within and against a dominant tradition; for example, the self-conscious appropriation and undermining existing images and rhetoric such as "dark continent" or "spoils of war"; it is easily misunderstood
Irony both subverts and reinforces the very conventions it challenges; it may actually be making things worse rather than better
Irony without context may mean that students, as well as some adults, may misunderstand particularly if the literal reading conforms to a previously held biased view; people will often not read contextualizing text
Irony can be either "Cool", as described above, or it can use "humour and play"
Since museums are typically seen as ‘high culture’, we wanted to explore a pop culture alternative – in this case comedy – and explore whether it is successful in accurately representing identities.
As we will demonstrate, because comedy is such a commercial art and so widely disseminated, it is not a effective vehicle for telling multiple stories because it depends on generality and stereotypes to appeal to the ‘masses.’
Begins and ends with the stereotype that all Black men are criminals.
The fact that when he begins working for the bank he is still referred to as Armed Gunman and wears the stocking makes light of the fact that even though many Black people hold prominent positions in society, White people maintain the perception of the “black criminal”.
stereotype of the gay man as sex-hungry and only interested in having fun
portrays the gay lifestyle as carefree without complication
symbolizes the isolation of the gay lifestyle as something which must be kept at a distance from the hetero lifestyle (the isolation of the cruise is the only place where they can and “should ” be themselves)
German Professor Arnold Heidseick suggested that Jacobs-Huey take into account the function of satire in comedic performance: satire often utilizes exaggeration and distortion in order to ask the audience to question social standards;
Satire often invites the audience to agree that there’s something wrong with the status quo.
What these clips and the article show is that satirical comedy does not accurately represent identities because its purpose is to exaggerate for effect.
While the professor named above states that one effect could invite the audience to agree that something is wrong with the status quo (which would be the ideal reaction); however, to the less discerning audience member, satirical comedy could also serve to confirm negative personally-held pre-existing assumptions about other cultures.
What cultural groups does the comedian represent (i.e., with what groups does s/he identify)?
What cultural groups is the comedian portraying?
How does his portrayal of those groups socially construct and/or dispel conceptions of race, gender, class, sexuality, nationality, etc.?
How does the material and its delivery mesh with societal values (e.g., is it considered funny/serious, acceptable/unacceptable), and who gets to decide the threshold for those values?
If the audience responds positively (i.e., laughs) to humor based on race, gender, sexuality, etc., what does that mean about the jokes, the groups who are the butt of jokes, and the everyday societal situations (i.e., our cultural framework) that give power to the jokes?
When audience members laugh, but are not from members of the social group being roasted, at what point does this convey prejudice and discrimination?
Trailer Park Boys is a popular Canadian comedic mockumentary television series that focused on the misadventures of a group of trailer park residents, some of whom are ex-convicts, living in a fictional trailer park located in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia .
The series was consistently shot in a mockumentary style (including the use of long takes), but often the camera crew became engrossed in the plot. On several occasions, the camera and boom mic operators are spoken to by the characters, and often end up becoming directly involved in the action.
All of this is intended to produce the feeling that these are real events that are happening to real people, when in reality, the show is loosely scripted and much of the dialog is ad-libbed from very basic plot points laid out beforehand.
Comedy does not tell the multiple story, it tells the typically story. Since comedy is such a commercial art, if it were to tell the individual story, it would have the effect of an inside joke – it wouldn’t be funny because it wouldn’t be recognizable.
As we have seen with the examples of Chris Rock and Russell Peters, even though both comedians are making fun of their own cultures, they also fail at telling the multiple stories of their people.
One possible explanation for this could be that the commercial institution of comedy is run by the dominant culture which might influence comedians like Chris Rock and Russell Peters to base their comedy on subjects and stereotypes that are recognizable to White people and subversive to the Black culture.
Regardless of what we say in this presentation, comedy is not going anywhere; it makes people laugh and it makes money. It’s a form of catharsis when it’s used to satirize our politicians, world disasters, celebrities and social norms; it takes away their power and gives it to the audience.
However, when comedy uses race as its material, it becomes a problem when viewers use it to justify their preconceived assumptions about other cultures. Ideally, comedy works as a common denominator from which we can begin to talk about diversity and equity.