Satire: The Special Studies Adventure

by Christopher Overton

For one week myself and a group of 11 other students had the great opportunity to learn about the style and types of satire that exist in the world all around us. From the Daily show to South Park and The Far Side to the New Yorker, we learned about the deeply complex and surprisingly intelligent world of satire. We spent each day of the week focusing on specific styles of satire, from written articles and books to shows and even comics, delving into their history and the techniques used by their creators to create these pieces of satire. Some of the highlights of the week include the chance we had to create our own piece of satire on Friday to present before the rest of the class and the pizza, subs, and hot pot we got to enjoy while reading or watching pieces of satire. This week gives you a greater appreciation for many of the shows that are dismissed as merely childish and crass, like the Simpsons and Southpark. By knowing about the techniques employed in satire, you recognize them throughout the episodes and this helps you to recognize their purpose. To those of you who dismiss satirical creations as mindless or simple, I would highly recommend that you try out this special studies next year. It will make you rethink the whole way that you look at satire.

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