Discussion of Amber Day’s “Ironic Authenticity”   Leave a comment

I believe that the area where Amber Day most clearly shows a pattern of argument resembling the one we have looked at in class is on page 32 in her discussion of irony as a mode of engagement.  At the very beginning of the page, Day outlines the issue and the points of agreement across boundaries of opinion of irony.  The second paragraph continues the agreements with a few concessions, but begins her rebuttal by stating that the fact that some forms of irony are apathetic “does not mean we should elide all forms of irony with these modes”.  From here she continues outlining her opinion in the issue.  In the next paragraph, she essentially follows this same pattern with a slightly different issue.  She offers a fair summary by stating that “earnestness itself is not always believable” and pointing out that “for some, the personal and ironic can offer a more comfortable way of getting to authenticity”. After further discussion on each side of the issue, she leaves her own opinion somewhat unclear until later in the chapter.

When Day claims that irony is helpful in engaging the audience and encouraging action, rather than leading to detachment, I immediately thought of the Funnyordie.com Health Insurance PSA video.  The obvious irony of the actors’ false defense of the insurance company CEOs works to persuade the audience that the health insurance system needs to be restructured.  In the end, the actors make a literal call to action with the text urging viewers to tell Congress to support a strong public health insurance option.  The format of this argument as a video featuring several popular actors also fits with the point that Day makes about technologies allowing organizations “engaging numerous fans and building strong affective communities”.


Posted November 15, 2011 by sarahgoin in Uncategorized

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