Archive for August 2011

What’s the story morning glory?   Leave a comment

This is my first blog and I can already feel that this might get a little bit out of control. I keep reminding myself that this is for class, not for fun. And that’s where I get confused.

Satire is fun, right?

So class should be fun?

Therefore, blogging should fun.Glad that’s out of the way.

Now we can talk about me!

Name: Hillary Ann Plocheck

Best thing since frozen yogurt: MUSIC

Currently listening to: Wolf Gang (Check him out!)

Goals for this class: Receive a 4.0 so I can spend next fall and spring semester studying abroad in England.

I’m here because: I plan to minor in both Rhetoric and Government

Sadly, I must admit that my experience with satire isn’t too broad. Like the average Joe, I’ve seen SNL, Mad TV, and other sketches. I started reading Catch 22, but I wasn’t hooked so the book has officially been added to the collection of “I keep these books in my room because they make me look smart”. However, one of my recent favorites would have to be Glee. Glee is satirical you say? Why, yes! Have you heard some of the things that come out of Sue Sylvertser’s mouth?

“You may be two of the stupidest teens I’ve ever encountered — and that’s saying something. I once taught a cheerleading seminar to Sarah Palin.”
— to Brittany and Santana in “Hell-O”

I consider myself blessed with a bit of sarcastic wit, as well. My mother most likely wouldn’t say blessed though. I, like her, have the uncanny knack of turning the arguments back on the instigator. I’m fully aware that I wasn’t as easy kid growing up.

Then again, the truly brilliant are always a challenge.

May the force be with you,

Hillary Ann


Posted August 31, 2011 by hillaryplocheck in Uncategorized

Concerning Jorge Corona, to whom it may correspond.   1 comment

Hello. My name is Graham Fawkes, I am an Englishman, and I am also Mr.  Jorge Corona’s personal typist. Mr. Corona had too much to do this weekend, and did not allow me to disclose the sort of things he was involved in as a precautionary measure against rival school, soccer, aeronautic, criminal, secret, and government organizations, but I am more than happy to answer and blog on his behalf. Very well then, on we go.

Mr. Corona likes reading, or rather having my brother Frank Fawkes (freelancer) summarize for him, comic texts such as Mark Twain’s writings, Demetri Martin’s new book, properly titled “This is a Book”, and others. As for the televisual medium, Mr. Corona enjoys The Colbert Report, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and has recently delved into the witty waters that emanate from the show 30 Rock. Where comic movies are concerned, he’s a fan of Burn After Reading. Strangely enough he is not a big comedy buff where movies are concerned, as he prefers dramas in this particular section of the media.

Jorge’s choice to take this course had nothing to do with the material. Mr. Corona has reiterated time after time that his contempt for actually writing satire, instead of just enjoying it, is as intense as Paula Deen’s love for saturated fats seems to be. He would much rather be learning how to get through a Rhetoric of Doing Nothing class without doing anything than be here.

Sorry, I know that last bit sounds very harsh indeed, but those are Mr. Corona’s exact words and I cannot misquote him in any way- else my brother Frank Fawkes (freelancer) will be tortured once again. I do apologize. In any case, Mr. Corona has no further questions other than how to buy himself an A grade, but he says he will ask you that personally after class. He encourages you to ask him questions because, I’ve come to find, he is an egomaniac.

You’ll probably be reading from me a lot more. It’s not Mr. Corona’s nature to actually DO anything.

Much respect,
Graham Fawkes

Posted August 31, 2011 by Jorge Corona in Uncategorized

Justin – Favorite Comic Texts   Leave a comment

Good day to my fellow RHE 309K classmates! In response to the prompt given to us by Sara, I would like to share my favorite kinds of comedy shows, and why I am taking this course.

A few of my favorite shows happen to be satires, which I find to be a pleasant coincidence. Among these shows are Community, The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, Malcolm in the Middle, and King of the Hill. They have provided satirical takes on typical processes, such as student government elections and the functions of local government, while tackling the conventions of family and group relationships. Over the years, these television shows have influenced my beliefs and morals, albeit in an over-the-top fashion.

A particular episode of Community reminded me of typical election debates, and propaganda that goes along with them. In the episode “Intro to Political Science,” community college students run for president of their student government. After two main characters withdraw their candidacy, it comes down to the “political showdown of the century,” where two characters lock themselves into a stalemate of sorts.

Both characters are caricatures of common candidates running for political office. Leonard, the stubborn old man, mirrors candidates who tend to avoid answering a question by way of childish behavior. Magnitude, the “one man party” of Greendale Community College, is a reference to the constant repetition of slogans used to rally voters. Overall, the writers appear to be mocking the idea of modern elections, stating that there is little substance to the process.

I chose to take Rhetoric of Satire because I love humor. That may seem like an oversimplified answer, but that’s why this course appealed to me. Right now, I’m an admirer of comedy; I can only see what is on the surface. However, I want to study the nature of humor as an educational medium. People like George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Stephen Colbert, and Jon Stewart have that profound effect of informing their audiences about issues that need a voice. And then you have The Onion, which has drawn out absurdities in today’s society. Their work is inspirational and hilarious, yet complicated to me. I want to know why it works so well, or how it works so well.

I’m really excited to see what this class has in store for me as a writer and student.

Posted August 31, 2011 by justindcastillo in Uncategorized

Reading for Wednesday   1 comment

For tomorrow, please read this article from The Onion: “Massachusetts Supreme Court Orders All Citizens to Gay Marry.” We’ll be talking about summary in class tomorrow, so we’ll work together on summarizing the implicit argument of this satirical article.

Posted August 30, 2011 by sarasaylor in Uncategorized

Favorite Comic Texts   Leave a comment

In comic texts I have only read the onion but I have found that the papers’ humor is too dry for me.  Yet I love the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.  I could honestly say that I am a Daily Show fanatic and attempt to watch John Stewart poke rhetorical fun at everyone at least once a day.  Other satirical programs I watch include South Park, Family Guy, and American Dad.  I enjoy the different point of views between Family Guy and American Dad.  Family Guy’s liberal stake in most issues and American Dad’s fake conservative stake really provide for satirical humor.  I can honestly say though that Rhetoric of Satire was my first rhetoric choice for my undergraduate writing credit and I believe satire is being used more and more to expand awareness of critical situations on the national political scale.

Posted August 29, 2011 by blakematthys in Uncategorized

Favorite comic texts   14 comments

As you’ve probably guessed, I am a fan of fake news. I read The Onion and The Texas Travesty, and I watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report as often as possible. Recently, I’ve been enjoying the posts at  literallyunbelievable, a blog that tracks literal misinterpretations of fake news stories on Facebook. I’ve never been a regular South Park viewer, but I enjoy it every now and then, and I respect the way the show satirizes absurdities on multiple sides of the political spectrum. Some of my favorite stand-up comics include Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle, Bill Hicks, and David Cross. Like many of you, I’m also a great fan of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller; this is probably my favorite literary satire. I’m also interested in satirical visual art, including Art Spiegelman’s comics and Mark Fiore’s animated videos.

One satirical show that has strongly influenced my thinking about rhetoric is Mr. Show, a sketch comedy project by Bob Odenkirk and David Cross that aired on HBO in the 1990s. This show is all over the place, but it consistently makes fun of the conventions of TV, especially ads. Our conversation in class on Friday made me think of this spoof campaign video between two figures who are not running for political office:

Some of the same scare tactics and stock images we saw in Colbert’s mock ads make an appearance here–including, of course, stock footage of Hitler.

All of the comic texts listed here have given me a sense of community with other fans at some point or another; quoting Mr. Show with my co-workers got me through a good many stressful restaurant shifts in college. But when I try to think about satire as a form of rhetoric, or persuasion, I wonder whether it’s possible for a satirical argument to change the minds of viewers who don’t already agree with it, rather than just reinforcing the beliefs that like-minded people already share. For example, if someone who supports Super PACs as a healthy form of free speech watches Stephen Colbert’s critique of current campaign finance laws, would the humor make it possible for her to rethink her own position? Or would the humor offend her and make her less likely to be persuaded by Colbert’s implicit argument? In short, can satire help us to laugh at our own beliefs? This is a question I hope to think about throughout the course.

Once you have your WP username and password up and running, please submit a short post following this example. Tell us about your favorite comic texts, movies, shows, etc., and why you chose to take a course on satire (if the topic was part of your decision–it’s okay if not!), and any thoughts or questions you have about rhetoric and satire as we get started.



Posted August 26, 2011 by sarasaylor in Uncategorized

Videos for Friday: Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC   1 comment

For Friday’s class, I’ve asked you to read the Aug. 21 New York Times article, “Comic’s PAC is More Than a Gag.” The article discusses comedian Stephen Colbert, who recently founded a Political Action Committee (PAC) in order to make a satirical comment on the way that PACs allow unlimited individual and corporate donations to influence elections in the US.

Colbert waving to the crowd after the FEC approved his super PAC

In addition to reading the article, please check out these brief videos from Colbert’s Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report. If you’re already familiar with this issue, you can skip to the third one (August 11).

April 14 – Colbert decides to form a Super PAC

June 30 – “I can haz Super PAC!” – The Federal Election Commission approves Colbert’s Super PAC

August 11 – Super PAC releases ads for “Rick Parry” before the Iowa Straw Poll

Before class on Friday, do your best to get a sense of what’s going on in this controversy: Who is Stephen Colbert?
What is a Political Action Committee? Why are PACs controversial? If you’re stumped, you can read more about Colbert’s satire of campaign finance here: Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC Gets Approval (USA Today).

Posted August 24, 2011 by sarasaylor in Uncategorized