Satire 2.0: Creating an argument that agrees with the other side’s premise

Last week, things got a little heated for Stephen Colbert. The host of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report had a segment discussing Dan Snyder, owner of the NFL’s Washington Redskins.

In the piece, Colbert discussed Snyder’s journey to talk to members of various Native Americans to talk about their reaction to the football team’s name, which many have criticized as being racist, mostly because it’s racist.

After those talks, Snyder was apparently moved by the plight of the Native Americans and started the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation to help them.

Colbert was similarly moved by Snyder’s journey, and that’s where the trouble began, and where the #CancelColbert movement started on Twitter. Continue reading

Respek Knuckles: Louisiana Public Schools

Sometimes it seems as though the world is made of outrage and bad decisions. It’s the perfect environment for good satire. The classic example is Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, which was written when the wealthy were coming up with radical solutions to the problem of the poor (as well as England’s general attitude toward the Irish being generally hostile). A Modest Proposal outlined a solution of preparing the children of the poor as meals for the wealthy, thus reducing poverty and raising money through the extravagance of the meals. It mocked the bad decisions of the time and generated outrage, which could be turned from the satire to the real issues.

Now Louisiana’s Sabine Parish School Board has upgraded the level at which satire operates by turning it into a live performance art piece. Continue reading