In this course we will explore the subject of satire: what it is, how it has been used in the past, and whether that use has evolved over the years. We will engage satire in its many forms, from written, to illustrated, to dramatized; from the works of Jonathon Swift and Mark Twain, to Mad Magazine and Saturday Night Live. We will investigate in detail the tangled vine that produces humor, satire, caricature, and irony; while, at the same time, may produce mockery, ridicule, derision, and hate speech. We will examine whether it's possible to apply moral and ethical guidelines to such a diverse practice, and how the Western philosophy of Free Speech factors into the equation. (Before we proceed, please read this warning.)
From the folks who have brought you satire over the years...
Satire is a sort of [mirror], wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own. -- Jonathan Swift
People say satire is dead. It's not dead; it's alive and living in the White House. — Robin Williams
You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it. — Art Buchwald
You can't debate satire. Either you get it or you don't. — Michael Moore
I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel - it's vulgar. — Molly Ivans
Irreverence is the champion of liberty and it’s only sure defense. — Mark Twain