WTF is Real Fake News?: The Mashup of Reality and Satire

We lack a shared reality thereby making it impossible to ridicule the absurdity of reality.

Although the “golden age” of satire may differ for different people (research for golden age of satire focuses on mid 18th century texts), some have argued that the Trump presidency will usher in a golden age of satire due to his over-the-top persona and absurd approach to politics. Given this reality, satirical outlets must step up their game to one-up (or trump) the absurdity of reality. In fact, Trey Parker and Matt Stone have sworn off parodying Trump “because satire has become reality.”

South Park’s Creators Have Given Up on Satirizing Donald Trump (The Atlantic)

We are clearly in a unique satirical age, although I don’t believe that this is because of Trump, rather Trump and our current satirical environment are both outcomes of a flood of information, one of which we are often ill-prepared to make sense of, and one where  “truthiness” (2005) is the ultimate evidence; things that make us feel good and think less are clearly “right.”

truthiness

This emotional response is not a new phenomenon (it is the combination of human psychology, the digital and social media environment, and our seemingly pervasive reliance on media for entertainment, information, and habitual use), it still results in a satirical environment that seems to “transcend, fracture, subvert, circumvent, interrogate and disrupt, hijack and appropriate modernity and postmodernity.” In short, we are in a metamodern satirical age.

As someone who was raised on Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Frank Zappa, and SNL, written a Love Letter for Jon Stewart, and taught a course on satire and diversity at Syracuse University, I have observed 5 major trends in the current overlap between satire (i.e., the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues) and reality (i.e., the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them) that, IMO, do not bode well for us as a collective community.

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Posted in Blog Posts, Charisse is Cool, Everyone's a Critic, Satire, Television | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Mary Tyler Moore: The Exemplary Disruption of the Single City Girl now available at flowjournal.org

https://www.flowjournal.org/2017/02/disruption-of-the-single-city-girl-archetype/

This weekend, I met Jay Sandrich, director/producer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Cosby Show, A Different World, SOAP, Benson, Empty Nest, It Takes Two, The Tony Randall Show, Golden Girls, and more. He liked my essay, but thought it was a little “too intelligent.”

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In 2004, I moved to Los Angeles at 22. Fresh from undergrad and newly thin, I imagined that men would be knocking down my door and my life would be filled with dinner and dancing. I had no idea where this expectation came from, but I was excited for my life in the big city. I would be a Single City Girl. In 2016, I taught a 5-week course investigating the role of the Single City Girl in mediated representations of gender, class, and race. Entitled #singlecitygirl and only featuring a generic description, the class was filled almost immediately. Comprised of almost all women, many of the students expressed their excitement over the term “Single City Girl” and had their own definitions and exemplars. For these young women, being a Single City Girl meant being independent and embracing life to its fullest. The Single City Girl archetype had come to define their expectations of life, even if they did not know from where it came.

The longer version of the paper is available here: The Archetype of the Single City Girl (Ongoing)

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Summer 2016: Cuba, Japan, China

Check out my trips to Cuba, Japan, and China this summer. 2016 may have sucked but my travel this year was AWESOME.

Photo Book via Shutterfly

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Is Color-Blindness Possible? Racial & Experiential Effects on the Neural Substrates for Motor Empathy (PSYC 555; Fall 2008)

I received some tragic news this morning. Bosco Tjan, one of my former USC Psychology Professors, was killed by a student in the Psychology building on campus yesterday afternoon. I am stunned, shocked, and missing my Trojan family.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-usc-professor-killed-bosco-tjan-20161203-story.html

As an academic, I find solace in reviewing my work for his fMRI class in 2008. Our final project, titled: “Is Color-Blindness Possible? Racial & Experiential Effects on the Neural Substrates for Motor Empathy” was presented exactly 8 years ago today, and is even more relevant in 2016. In short, we found that actions performed by a race congruent actor are interpreted as communication, whereas actions performed by a race incongruent actor involve more sensory motor processing. You can check out our entire presentation below…

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