Digital Satire

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Rhetoric, Satire, and Digital Media


Aristotle taught that rhetoric is the art of persuasion consisting of various methods used in attempting to persuade an audience.[1] A persuasive argument can be measured by the effectiveness of its rhetorical devices. Such devices may or may not be fact based, and may employ humorous ridicule, hyperbole, sarcasm, or cynicism. Rhetoric utilizing this technique is often called satire.[2] Aristotle lists three persuasive audience appeals: Logos, Pathos, and Ethos - the logical, emotional, and ethical appeal to the audience, respectively. It is essential to understand how to use logos, pathos, and ethos in order to effectively persuade your audience. There are five cannons of rhetoric: Invention, Arrangement, Style, Memory, and Delivery. Using the five canons of rhetoric you can build an effective argument.

Rhetoric aims to improve speech skills by improving the way a speaker of a specialized audience speaks to his or her audience[3].


Satire being a more literary genre which is seen to use more of a sense of criticism towards a specific person or group[4]. It can also be found in graphic and entertaining arts such as magazine articles and theatrical performances. In satire shortcomings are held up to ridicule for not being in harmony with accepted norms.

Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon [5].

A common feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm—"in satire, irony is militant" (Frye) - but parody, and burlesque are frequently used in satirical speech and writing. This "militant" irony or sarcasm often professes to approve of (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist wishes to attack [6].

Satire is used to make a mockery of an individual or group that has failed to act as the followers of the individual or group wanted them to. Satire is usually applied to a subject where the failed individual or group has failed in[7].

Satirical works often contain "straight" humour. Laughter is not an essential component of satire,(Corum 175)fix this citation as in spectrum of satire there are types that are not meant to arise laughter and be "funny".

Conversely, not all humour is necessarily "satirical", even on such topics as politics, religion or art, or even when it uses the satirical tools of irony, parody, and burlesque [8].

Satirical playwright Dario Fo pointed out the difference between satire and teasing. Teasing is the reactionary side of the comic, it limits itself to a shallow parody of physical appearance. Satire instead uses the comic to go against power and its oppressions, has a subversive character, and a moral dimension which draws judgement against its targets [9].

Teasing is an ancient form of simple buffoonery, a form of comedy without satire's subversive edge. Teasing includes light and affectionate parody, good-humoured mockery, simple one-dimensional poking fun, benign spoofs. Teasing typically consists in a impersonation of someone monkeying around with his exterior attributes, tics, physical blemishes, voice and mannerisms, quirks, way of dressing and walking, the phrases he typically repeats. By contrast, teasing never touches on the core issue, never makes a serious criticism judging the target with irony; it never harms the target's conduct, ideology and position of power; it never undermines the perception of his morality and cultural dimension [10].

Critics tend to see irony, parody, and satire as diminishing meaning (by belittling the subject), but as Harold Bloom reminds us, the great ironists such as Shakespeare tended to expand meaning (13)fix this citation. Satire is provocative, not dismissive - a crucial point that critics typically ignore when assessing its role in public discourse [11].

Test argues that play and laughter constitute and define all satiric undertakings and distinguish it from other forms of aesthetic expression with which it is sometimes confused with "humor, comedy, social criticism, parody, burlesque, farce and travesty"(13)fix this citation.

Again, there has been some controversy over whether laughter is a necessary component or distinguishing feature of satire. Laughter is ultimately something satire may or may not produce within the audience. It is not something that resides in the artistic expression itself. Satire does not need to be funny. [12]

Satire relies on rhetorical devices like enthymemes, understated logic, where the audience must draw its own conclusions [13].The meaning of enthymemes has to do with an unanswered statement which is made by a person, which allows someone to find the conclusion of the statement on their own by being able to understand the statement [14]. In this way, satire dismantles an opponent without explicit argumentation for a particular position. Since the audience must finish assembling the argument, satire may at times be more effective than explicit or more traditional rhetoric. Drawing attention to some absurdity or inconsistency may also arouse sympathy for an alternate view, thereby forging inroads with an otherwise disagreeable audience.

Satire is a contemporary of events with the newest satirical internet. The cinema contains political documentaries which consist of a combination of satire and polemic. The media text is a mainstream of political coverage. The 3 prevalent forms: satiric documentary, parodic news show, ironic, and media savvy activism.

In public debate, satire often acts as a critical component to any argument. Often used as a tool to help the public or intended audience develop a powerful political consciousness, satire helps to create a forum of true public opinion from which debate can thrive. A skillful use of satire can engage the audience in a more constructive way by appealing to its imagination as well as engaging the intellect [15]Satire has the ability to enthrall an audience and the media only helps to exploit satirists desires. The audience does not get the opportunity to agree or disagree, but in viewing satire from various media sources, it is clear that public debate can be sparked. In taking a passive approach, satirists are able to call to action, if not to anger a particular set of individuals.

Satire is looked to, for its ability to unmask and to deconstruct, pointing us toward the flaws and the posturings of official policy [16].The image of physically unveiling something or someone is one that recurs again and again in discussions of satire[17]. Also, satire has been feared and banned because it is seen as a powerful force (Feinberg)[18]fix this citation. I would even argue that contemporary, mediatized political satire is being mobilized in a fairly populist register, as seemingly average Joes attempt to take down the mighty [19]. Satire is effective in its goal to provide social commentary now more than ever because it grabs the attention of its audience. In recent years, a divide has been built between media outlets and the viewers for which they compete. Effective satire, like that of Jon Stewart [20] and Stephen Colbert [21], is very critical of media networks who report with the goal of shock value in mind, rather than balanced news. Constructively criticizing widely untrusted news sources builds an implied trust that the satirist is credible; it also encourages the audience to become more informed so they can understand the humor used in the satire.

According to Hutcheon [22] a more idealistic view holds that satire and irony have "the potential to offer a challenge to the hierarchy of the very 'sites' of discourse." Also, Lillian and Edward Bloom go on to explain, that satire ultimately has little political effect because it does not in itself initiate change and, in fact, rarely encourages it [23].

Satire can play a big role in public debate. There are bloggers that post ideas anonymously on the internet, and there are people that challenge those in power [24]. Also, certain tools lend themselves more fully to digital satire to give back to society. The internet is a good tool based on the fact that anyone can use it [25].

A drawback in political debate is the possibility that audiences view satire as an end in itself rather than as an impetus to act on the message. For this reason, most theorists argue satire is politically impotent, they viewing traditional and more seriously framed debate as the driving force in shaping opinion. Based on Sigmund Freud’s proposal that humor sublimates aggression, theorists argue that satire numbs an audience resulting in their inaction; thus, satire has no useful place in political discourse [26]. Of course, not all theorists agree with this position. In addition, a 2009 study shows a wide difference of opinion among a diverse audience when each was asked what the same satirist had really been advocating, showing that satire is not always equally effective [27]. But satire does play a role, if only to draw attention to an issue. Proponents view it as an important tool leveraged in the modern political debate. As one puts it, "Instead of holding out for monumental change, I am more interested in incremental shifts in influencing public debate and in creating or mobilizing political communities" [28]. Whether or not true creation or mobilization occurs, satire is a tool to reach otherwise disengaged segments of society who have become skeptical of the status quo. 3.

Certain communication techniques lend themselves more to satire than others. For example, irony is the leading literary device which often drives satirical arguments. To assist their arguments even further, satirists often employ the use of exaggeration, innuendo, and paranomasia. Extended similies and metaphors often help to allow an audeience to see a comparison of what is being scorned.

Having the identity as being "anonymous" is seen for people who want to keep their information that they post private, or they could be scared about the backlash of any comments that might be made.But for you to create an identity online you might create a blog, or twitter, or have facebook to have yoourself know for the digital world.

For satire to be effective, it must be sincere at the core, it must allow others to build an understanding between the idea of satire and its viewpoint.Day argues that ironic authenticity is to satire what credibility is to traditional argumentation. Just because satire is comedic does not mean it is not at the same time serious; and since satire is becoming increasingly popular, she asserts, "for many, irony is becoming a new marker of sincerity."[29]

Digital Satire allows collaboration through social networks, with the result being potentially better than a smaller team. This vastly more unlimited vehicle takes advantage of more creative talents at work on a project, and at the same time overthrows the need for an institutionalized structure traditionally required for such collaboration, as Clay Shirky points out."[30] Digital satire created in this way becomes the product of a group effort that potentially maximizes its value in the social marketplace of ideas. The value of Digital Satire will allow certain product in the digital world to made an impact to the world.

Satire puts more action rather than factual information to the news. The news is used to give factual information and NOT persuade anyone with the information given while digital satire uses the news and rhetoric techniques to influence and persuade its audience of a factual information being , blatantly put, "stupid[31]." The goal of the daily news is to give you what has been informed to a certain indiviual from other indiviual who ahs collected all this data. Where as digital satire takes what has been reported and puts a new twist to things and makes you see it in different ways rather then so narrow minded.

When satire derives from news which is originally or secondarily hosted online, they involve far fewer impersonations, sketches based around politician's personal foibles, and entirely made-up news items. Instead, they rely heavily on deconstructions of real news events, as well as interviews or ambushes of actual public figures, blending the mimetic and the real. They tread a much finer line between news and entertainmen, satire and political argument. This has thrust these programs into serious public debate and creating much cultural anxiety. [32]

Digital satire uses social media to express opinions and information in a satirical way. It uses more action to express information rather than just facts as the news would do which can potentially bring more attention to the topic at hand, bringing more audience to its news.

Satire has not just perpective to it, rather it has many different ones, but the goal of satire is to get your point or messgae across, and do it in a sarcastic, and humorous way.

Communities of Satire

Identity vs. Privacy

Danah Boyd looks at the changing faces of “Networked Privacy,” asserting that U.S. privacy laws of the 1970s are not applicable in 2010 and furthermore that there is no current agreement on “what privacy is, or what it means to actually protect it in the first place.” She points to a mother who created a public webpage of her family’s genealogy that included maiden names, the most common internet security question, as an example of the conflict between the desire for social connectedness and privacy.[33]

Some argue that the internet’s public nature must be preserved if it is to act as a medium to enact popular goals. Jillian York talks about how internet connectivity is a major force for public activism, agreeing with blogger Andrew Trench’s estimate that if the 2011 struggles in “Egypt and Tunisia are valid case studies, it looks like internet penetration of around 20%” is the threshold for effective mobilization of ground-level activism.[34]

When we interact in a physical environment our conversations are private by default until we go out of our way to make it very public [35]. Also, online privacy is public by default and private through effort [36]. So by letting your informaiton be known by other indiviuals that is when you have allowed your private information to become public.

Privacy isn't about restricting access to information, it's about having that moment of control and agency [37]. Agency should not be taken away, because then people can't achieve privacy. Whatever people feel that needs to be priavte and kept to themselves is that shjould be private and confinded to them.

Danah Boyd asked, “How do you protect privacy?” [38] Public internet is one of the main catalysts in the advancement of the technological era. The internet is the foundation of so many new age markets that its existences are vital. But in saying that nothing on the internet is 100% secure. There are so many potential hazardous users that even those things intended for privacy can be accessed. The right training in the wrong hands could decode any encryption. The YouTube video made the connection that privacy has this individual centric nature and stated, “sharing to be seen but trying to protect themselves to not be seen by certain people” relating to the regulation of the individuals of children. I would make the argument there is no such thing as private internet, the term is a paradox in itself which is globally interconnected can’t be private.

Privacy is the act of controlling what you do or say to others rather than the restriction of information from others. We control how private we want to be by not putting those images you wanted to put up on Facebook [39]. The internet has become to public and needs to find some sense of privacy. Users of the internet decide to make whatever they place on the internet public for anyone to see [40]. Privacy today, and privacy 10 years ago has changed in the sense that you can go online and figure out how to hack into someones computer and find their information thanks to the help of the internet.

Many people take the argument that "if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear," which is a common argument in favor of a lack of privacy when it comes to matters of security. However, debate surrounding less devistating or incriminating evidence is much more heated. Privacy encompasses many ideas and it is therefore rather a combination of acts rather than one. The nothing to hide argument however is based on an underlying premise that assumes that what one wants to hide is bad, which is not always the case. In any ineraction it is impossible to keep things completely private, especially once global media is encorporated. [41]

Meanwhile, digital access is the internet, the computer, and mobile access [42].

Next, there are millions of individuals making their own videos for web distribution [43]. These are created at every level of production quality, from shaky camera-phone footage to sophisticated animation [44]. Any indiviual these days can post a video of anything whether their intention is to help or harm you.Being able to block, or track indiviuals who post violent or harmful videos will help people who have been harmed by the hateful video post.

Also, sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet are used to create a data portrait of one's aggregated online identity [45].

Meanwhile, our digital identities are entities that need to be managed, so what appears online tends to be a highly sanitized version of us [46]. Danah Boyle talks about the issue of digital identity [47]; she says: “in any given situation, an individual presents a face, which is the social presentation of one facet of their identity."

Moreover, a digital identity is created through the use of various social media outlets, the most popular being Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. One can also create a digital identity linked to their name if they comment or subscribe to a forum. According to an article by Naumi Haque, a great deal of contrast often exists between our real personalities and our digital identities. Since this is almost always the case, is our so-called digital identity really an identity, or is it more of a digital fingerprint of our true identity? Haque thinks that for now at least the fingerprint metaphor is probably more accurate; but as technology increases, he sees a day when even things we don't know about ourselves will be obvious to our digital selves.[48]

The reason being we're constantly being monitored; our online social presence is constantly being reviewed by supervisors and hiring managers along with the rest of the general public. Therefore, people are advised to not share the same information online that they would in an intimate setting with friends and family.If people know, and feel that they are being monitored that prevents them from trying to do any wrond doing which could harm any indiviuals.

Your digital identity is created online by what you do, or say, online for others to see. So by putting yourself out there for the world to see is like opening the door for people to acess everthing about you. Johari Window created a 2x2 matrix to explain what information is known about you to you and/or others. The Arena describes the information that you and others know about each other while the Unknown describes the information that you and others do not know about you on the internet. There is also the facade, which describes the information that you know but do not what to share with others, while the Blind Spot explains information that you don't know about your own digital identity which others know [49].

Online identity is a rhetorical term itself because to be online means to be recognized by and connected to a server. Hence, for in order to be recognized one is also synonymously identified. Once one ventures on the internet on immediately gains as online identity. Now what create the difference in the types of identities are its usage purposes. The internet is by design, a communication interface where one is giving or exchanging information. The giving and receiving of information can also be considered rhetorical because no answer is required.

Every individual who uses the internet has an online identity. Whether that said individual uses the internet to post on social networking sites, search topics of interest, or to read the news; all of the information that they associate with contributes to their identity. Sometimes, individuals use means within their reach to create a false identity, i.e. setting up a fake account. More often however, individuals er on the side of caution and tend to form their identity in the best light possible. They do this by overestimating their achievements and underestimating their failures. The perception of themselves that is shared with others online is fragmented, meaning that it is missing sometimes often critical components of who a person is or what they believe. Even before social networking took over the internet, indivdiuals presented only materials that they knew about themselves and were willing to share with the general public. In that respect, not much has changed. Except that now indivdiuals should be more aware of the material that they contribute to online, since it is more difficult to erase. [50]


According to Warner, "a public is a social space created by the reflexive circulation of discourse"(90). "No single text can create a public. Nor can a single voice, a single genre, even a single medium. All are insufficient to create the kind of reflexivity that we call a public, since a public is understood to be an ongoing space of encounter for discourse" [51]. In other words, a public is a space where people can come together for discourse. In the case of satire, writers come together to produce something that is subversive but still humorous. Philosopher Benjamin Barber had a different view when defining the public. Barber saw the public as a people coming together because of their shared discourse, not to create/collaborate [52].

Publics tend to mobolize others to action because writing, speaking, blogging requires indvidiuals to engage in a much larger network. The idea of a public tends to put pressure on a writer, by suggesting that his argument must be framed for a particular audience who have similar or dissimmilar viewpoints; this is dependent upon the goal of the written work. Social constraints also act to play a role in determining the dynamic between the public. Exploring mutuality may create a sense of "we" but also has the danger to create an "us" against "them mentality". [53]

According to Fraser a singular public sphere can never adequately represent all factions within a stratified society, meaning that it has always been essential for subaltern groups to form their own counterpublic spheres [54]. She stresses that these smaller publics are not inevitably about separatism; rather, they function as "bases and training grounds for agitational activities directed toward wider publics" [55].

Counterpublics exist to combat another public. Day uses Michael Warner's definition: [counterpublics are] "those publics constituted through a conflictual relation to the dominant, . . . [and] somehow subordinate to the prevailing culture."[56] An interesting and important qualification, however, is that counterpublics need not necessarily consist of "otherwise marginalized individuals," since the issue, and not the person, is subordinate to the larger public.[57]

A "public" is a group a people that share similar ideas and form a group to convey their ideas to the world. Counterpublics are publics formed to disband or argue against a certain public formed on an idea that the counterpublic does not agree with. Because of the scenario in which a counterpublic is formed, counterpublics cannot be of existence if its adverse public does not exist[58].

The meaning behind "The Public" is to be part of a group that is most comfortable speaking directly and for whom the ideal realtionship among is one of efficiency. Another model for a public focuses on the more traditional medium of writing, as Phyllis Ryder says in her article: "As David Bartholomae and Joseph Harris have long argued that academics are inherently intertextual creatures, so Warner argues that the publics, too, are constituted by the circulation of texts."[59]

With rhetorical commnity it is seen as any group involved in using language to persuade or convince. Such as lawmakers, politcians, stockbrokers, etc. they could be thought as separate communities within society that skilled in using rhetoric[60].

rhetorical communities are not a single unified whole but a mix of numerous limited or local communities and of individuals who typically participate in not one but several of these communities.</ref> fix this citation

A rhetorical community builds the creation of public interest, common goods, and active citizens [61].

A public is a group of people that perform in a similar way. It is a group of people that have similar ideas or goals [62].

According to Simon Clark, the best way to create a community is to bond people together by means of a special event or a shared interest (i.e. movie night in your local neighborhood). The importance of creating a community is to not be discouraged by a lack of commitment on the part of others. Stepping out of your comfort zone will allow you to meet people who share the same ideas and goals as you. The point of a community is to bring together people with a common knowledge in which they can share and express their interests among those who they are well acquainted with. [63]

Moreover, "every community needs a focus" [64]. This can be an online peer group [65]. Also, an insert needs to be set up, and everyone in the neighborhood needs to sign up [66].

Richard Millington states that in order to create a good community online you need four steps. The First is to find a metric to measure the success of the community. The second step is to Identify who your first members will be, while doing so you should establish what issues will be discussed and what source of technology will be used and how. After that identifying what type of online community it is and what the big appeal is will be essential to making the community work. Last but not least after all these steps are covered the final step is to launch the community and to devise strategies in order to keep growing. [67]. Being able to follow these steps, while grow a positive and uplifting community will benefit your community in many ways.

Meanwhile, the enabling technologies are based on the internet [68].

Finally, the web has changed communities."Google enriches itself by enriching thousands of bloggers through AdSense" [69]. "eBay solved the prisoner's dilemma" [70]. "Wikipedia has used thousands of volunteers to create a free encyclopedia with a million and a half articles in two hundred languages" [71].

The web has allowed the communication between the people inside the communities to live a safer life in the sense that it allows those people to keep contact with one another if there might an issue or problem in their community. Such as twitter, facebook, and etc allows parents and kids stay involved with what might be going on in their very own back yards. Having twitter and facebook allows communities to be formed in a online perpective. Having eye and ears in the streets, and communicating online allows people to keep their homes safe.

Howard Rheingold emphasizes the world of collaboration, collaborative life. Simon Clark states, "every community needs a focus" [72]. Both Rheingold and Clarks information connect; the world of collaboration means a group of people are involved in something. Clark covered that a movie night would be an eventful night for a community of people (pick a night and make sure everyone knows about it). This illustrates the power of collaboration made possible through digital media. Rheingold talked about (in 2005) a coming world of “collaboration, participatory media, and collective action,” and certainly Wikipedia has achieved his model on a global level. He observed that every computer is a printing press, a broadcast booth, and a marketplace. The infrastructure is there, he argued, thus he urged communities to “get the cooperation project started.”[73]

An overview/recap of all the videos:all what videos? Howard Rheingold talks about “Wikipedia and how it affects the natural instinct of the human people” [74]. . Wikipedia is not there to compete but for people to come together to work on a common project. Craig Newmark says relates a community with transparency and accountability, people need to be able to see what/why your doing it and be accountable for it. Simon Clark states “you need to come together, with a common and shared experience comes a healthy community” [75]. The idea that it is possible to create a community even though there is still a lack of transparency or collaboration but at the same time we could still bring those together and build a community.

Clark's vision shows collaboration and partnership not limited to the digital sphere, as he demonstrates by his organizing of weekly, casual cookouts in his small neighborhood. He reminds us that traditional reality should not be overlooked in lieu of modern cyberspace. As the world moves further and further toward digital communities, it is helpful to remember that we ourselves are physical beings living in physical space, that communities need not be digital to be relevant.[76]

When it comes to personal identity, is there really a real you? This idea of personal identity is closely tied to communities; your actions of personal identity will affect the community. The connection between community and satire can be knowing the audience and as well as the responses. Can satire provide transparency, accountability, or a shared experience? Publics are by a common text, not just a word document or book but an experience. Collaboration, shared experience, transparency or accountability is ways we can try to create communities.

Communities form through four ideas; collaboration, shared experience, transparency, and accountability. People need to have a shared representation of what their community stands for while everyone included in the community needs to know what is going on in their community and account for what the community is doing as a whole [77].

Community specific irony can function in an elitest manner. This creates a form of competency and knowledge that goes hand in hand with economic competency. While online communities have learned much from education and exposure they also acknoweldge that in becoming so, online communities trade a form of distinction for a more public and general coomunity. Developments in technology have made it easier to pick up and take apart media around us, individuals have a new forum upon which hey can enter into public discussion, free from mainstream media. These new technologies link average citizens, professionals, and activists to exchange in discourse that may have not been available in any other form. [78]


"The remix becomes an act of social creativity."[79] "It potentially changes the way we relate to each other."[80] "All of our normal social interactions become an invitation to collective expression."[81] It's our real social lives that are transformed into art.[82]

The remix refers to individuals who use shared culture as a kind of language to communicate something to an audience. [83] Also, the social remix is used to mediate people's relationships with each other.[84] Lawrence Lessig shows how Republicans have been more open to creative sharing than Democrats, owing he argues to Republicans' shared ideology that separates out the creative potential of the individual from the collective corporatist structure, thus having more of a respect for creators' rights to remix a copyrighted endeavor for the collective good.[85]

A remix can be used in satire to more accurately "mock" an idea or subject that the satire is trying to explain. A remix is modified versions of an earlier idea[86]. The term remix is used when a creator uses what the past creators has provided to create new, innovative ideas[87]. The satire in remixing always seemed to be funny a good example is the clip of our former president George W.Bush[88].

Coorination costs are the financial difficulties in arranging group output. if you want to coordinate the work of people you create an institution which brings resources together and coordinate the activity of the groups. Cooperation needs to be put into the infastructure without regard to institutional models. There are a large number of people on the internet, but not everyone has what you need to create an infastructure. You need to draw them in to create a way to make an institution to meet a certain goal. This creates a need for management and structure (economic, physical, legal), as well as breaking down exlcusionary matters. Essentially, in creating cooperation into infastructure to create institutions, closed groups and companies will give way to looser networks where small contributors have big roles and fluid cooperation replaces rigid planning. [89]

According to Howard Rheingold, we live a collaborative life. For Example: Wikipedia is a natural instinct of people working as a group. Wikipedia is not there to compete but people coming together to work on a common project. The print press came along within decades and millions of people became literate, new forms of collective actions emerged within the spheres of knowledge, religion, politics, and wealth.

Publics and counterpublics, mentioned above, are fast becoming institutions in and of themselves. Seth Godwin argues that the old ideas of tribalism have reemerged during the digital era, resulting in more diversity of thought and action than what was assumed would be the case with our modern hyper-connectivity. Now, fringe individuals who were before powerless to advance their ideas, can join with like minds through a variety of social networking options thus leveraging their effectiveness in the marketplace of ideas. [90]


A rhetorical situation can act as as a natural context of persons, events, objects, and relations which strongly invites utterance. This therefore occurs naturally in the rhetorical situation, and is in many instances necessary to the completion of situational activity. This helps to define rhetorical character of which the three requirements of audience, constraints, and exigence are necessarily important for rhetorical discourse. [91]

The audience has the ability to set the discourse, to focus on cues from the writer. Therefore, the audience has assumed power in that it is regarded as having attitudes, beliefs, and expectations that are known to the writer. Even though writers feel that they can never truly know their audience but can invoke emotion from them, or create an image for themlittle guidence when it comes to his readers.Not knowing your audience is a common struggle for writers, but being able to create the same image that you see when ou write make it easier.However, this model seems to put more emphasis on the writer than on the discourse or the dynamic between the writer and audience that acts to facilitate a rhetorical situation. The appropriate rhetorical situation has a balance of creativity from the writer and the creativity of the reader. By understanding the needs of an audience, and whether that audience is addressed (assumed) or invoked (imagined), a communicator has a better chance of reaching that audience.[92]

An audience is (universal/particular -- those capable of being influenced and those capable of influencing) [93] Lloyd F. Bitzer defines rhetorical situation as "a natural context of persons, events, objects, relations, and an exigence which strongly invites utterance."[94] Thus defined, since such a confluence of parts is naturally changing, an effective speaker should recognize and adapt to these changes in order to effectively reach that audience.

An audience is the group of people that a rhetorical writer and/or speaker is trying to persuade into the beliefs of what that rhetoric writer wants to the audience to realize[95] Even though the writer has no control over who reads what pieces of literature, the writer atleast tries to lead certain readers to his or her works.

"There are three constituents of any rhetorical situation: the first is the exigence; the second and third are elements of the complex, namely the audience to be constrained in decision and action, and the constraints which influence the rhetor and can be brought to bear upon the audience."[96] Discourse is Situated: 1) For audience, possibly pairing with content course 2) against hypothetical or physical audience and instead focuses on "cues" that writers use.[97] But Ede and Lunsford state that this oversimplifies the complexities of audience in the rhetorical situation. [98]

There is an indefinite amount of information for the rhetor to choose from in a situation. [99] Meaning that the rhetor can select the information he or she feels is relevant to the argument they are making in their satire. This view is opposite of Lloyd F. Bitzer's, who defines a rhetorical situation as "natural and objective." [100] However, if rhetorical situations were objective, then there would not be much room for discourse let alone satire. Richard E. Vatz makes the same argument against Bitzer in the following article. [101]

Fears about privacy come with new technology. We have new tools that enable us to do so much. If all we do is pay attention to is privacy, we loose publicness. You can get great benefit from sharing. Others may similarly benefit from what you have to contribute. Often it can be seen as selfish to hold back. In addressing policy, it is critical to understand your risks and goals when assessing how much information to share with the public. [102]

We may look more deeply into our audience in building our message. As Vatz makes the point, How the rhetor interprets events plays a huge part in creating meaning, and doesn’t create a set rhetorical response to an exigence; thus, Vatz feels he is putting more responsibility on the rhetor: “the rhetor is responsible for what he [sic] chooses to make salient” (168).

Class Debate: Satire is serious. It informs people who are apathetic by entertainment. Satirical news can be more entertaining than the regular news. Satire is arguably better than the regular news because it is straight forward with no intentions of hurting feelings and not being afraid of peoples’ reactions. These commentators make it so that one can understand the issue at hand. The introduction of satire is so attention grabbing it gets you into the news. Satire still gets the current event point across while showing flaws in people/groups. This news brings in a different audience, young ones who do not watch the news. Satire is still funny but at the same time plays a serious role.

Tribes and Attention

"Publicness" is about organizing movements or clubs. [103]

If all we do is pay attention to privacy, then we may lose the opportunities and benefits of publicness. [104]

As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview.[105]

Satire and Tradition

Video and digital technologies make it relatively easy and inexpensive for the staff of The Daily Show, to obtain and edit the day's newsclips.[106] And, as John Caldwell points out, "By 2000, widespread use of digital servers (allowing random and multiple access to image and sound) made the task of finding and incorporating archived file footage far less daunting." [107]

Online satire have a more developed incorporation of the real into the mimetic. The form has moved and increasingly blurred the line between news and entertainment, satirizing real news footage as it unfolds and ambushing and interviewing real political leaders. This has only led to the popularity of video and digital satire. [108]

Crowdsourced Satire

A remix is made when two elements are joined to form a new, different element with a different meaning. Lawrence Lessig talks about taking songs and remixing them to make something different [109].

Fair use is the right, in some circumstances, to quote copyrighted material without asking permission or paying for it. Fair use enables the creation of new culture, and keeps current copyright holders from being private censors [110].

Open Source

The public domain is the commons of information where nothing is owned and all is permitted [111].

The acronym "API" stands for Application Programming Interface [112]. Satire is an open source application.

Essentially, an open API is something that can be modified[113]. Satire uses other ideas and "modifies" them, so the API for satire would be the "program" that satire is using to create its own idea of the same program. Open source satire relies on the creative works of others in remixing the work to convert it to satire. An example would be when a satirist takes a real news story and converts it to satire. This act of modifying an original source is legally predicated on the original source being open source, or, in other words, not protected by copyright.[114]

Because of the open source model which has encouraged the creativity in software since it allows others to modify its function with a potential for unlimited improvement. Mozilla Firefox internet browser is an example of open source software, and the marketplace ultimately determines if the product is successful. Open API, on the other hand, is only open in the sense that others can view the source programming: Twitter and Facebook work like this, where the source code is used to coordinate with other websites and applications. An important distinction between Open Source and Open API is that the former allows users to modify the source code itself.[115] Because of "open source" which allows one to make changes it is sometimes seen as more easier to deal with and handle the API where you can only see but there can not be any changes made.

The Creative Commons is kind of like open source and having an API.

Remixing recreates, using digital technologies, existing content into something new that is then added to our culture.[116] The remixed creation relies on existing content being available to the remixers. Fair Use statutes govern this process, thereby either encouraging or stifling this creative process. Many believe existing copyright law does not adequately address the best model for an increasingly digitalized 21st century and that change is needed in the form of new law. Others, like Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, believe existing copyright and fair use law have been misinterpreted and misappropriated to serve only large commercial interests. Their book Reclaiming Fair Use argues that "fair use" is often misunderstood; they challenge the "widely held notion that current copyright law has become unworkable and obsolete in the era of digital technologies," thereby hoping to "reshape the debate in both scholarly circles and the creative community." [117]

You cannot transmit what you know under a certain set of circumstances. The effect includes open source software, critical in web based communications. Most intellect is produced in this form to capture a component of the net. Software has done this in a way that is very visible because it is measurable. NASA did an experiment where they took images of Mars, and instead of having multiple Ph.d.s working all the time, they put images on the web. Now many people use it to map, which is indestinguishable from those made by individuals with a P.h.d.[118]

A remix is a creation of an idea that bases its own idea from a source from past ideas. Remixing can be dangerous if the creator of the remix does not follow the copyright laws that are put in place to protect an individuals idea from being copied[119].

Remix culture is a term used to describe a society which allows and encourages derivative works. Remix is defined as combining or editing existing materials to produce a new product. A Remix Culture would be, by default, permissive of efforts to improve upon, change, integrate, or otherwise remix the work of copyright holders. [120]

A remix is made when two elements are joined to form a new, different element with a different meaning. In a new media context, a remix is the combination of two different pieces of media to form a new piece of media. For example, a voiceover and Hollywood movie can be remixed together to form a new video. Remix works best when the source materials are totally different from each other, like Romantic Comedies vs. Biblical Dramas, or when they comment on or critique the other. [121]


A meme is "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture." [122]. The word "meme" is derived from the greek word "mimeme" which means "something imitated" and was coined for its modern definition by British biologist Richard Dawkins in 1976 for his idea on evolutionary processes for explaining how ideas and culture spread as a natural process of communicating [123]. The theory of evolution applied to memes as noted by Dawkins says that memes either evolve and adapt with their shared meaning or they die out and become extinct. We can see this in our modern use of memes as they come and go.

A meme typically raises questions of justice and fairness and is built by remixing an existing idea. In visual form, the existing idea often represents a public while the meme represents a counterpublic. Memes sometimes, however, function only to relay humor as in the case of “Success Kid,” [124] who argues anything or nothing depending on the user added content superimposed onto his fabric. Humor-only memes are little more than a condensed joke, but social-activist memes can be powerful agents of change. Additionally, a broader movement like Occupy Wall Street [125] can also be considered a meme when this visual fabric idea is extrapolated to represent specific ideas superimposed upon broader ones. OWS demonstrations vary widely on the specific minor goal, vehicle, or agency, but the underlying fabric (the meme fabric) is the broader idea that 99% of citizens should have more influence than the 1% who currently control American government. As long as the specific goal is in concert with the broader one, the OWS movement has unity in direction. In this way, OWS can be compared to general “Success Kid” who is set by users into a variety of specific contexts. By contrast, the visual framework of “Success Kid” is more discrete in this application and generally represents what most consider being a meme.

Occupy Wall Street was, essentially, a type of meme. Memes are expressions used to portray an idea or belief to prove a point. In the Occupy Wall Street, people were expressing their ideas to help prove a point to what they were demanding [126]. Even though sometimes the point that you are trying to get across is not seen, meme leave powerful statements.

The Arab Spring brought down cruel dictatorships and brought in freedom, democracy and change from existing political and economic systems [127].

Susan Blackmore argues that humanity has spawned a new kind of meme. She says the new form of meme is spread by the technology that we've created [128].

What makes a meme is not specifically the picture or idea that is repeatedly used, but the variety of ways that the same picture or idea is manipulated to express ideas of the certain creator[129] The way that meme is expressed by different people is unique, and can different in the way that meme can never be seen as dull but rather spontaneous.

Phil T. Rich argues that "memes are media viruses that spread throughout the population. Urban legends, fleeting fashions, and idiotic ad slogans that work their way into everyday conversations are memes [130]. Moreover, memes can be used as a culture of resistance" [131]

Meme have allowed people to express themselves, and their viewpoint in ways that usually they could not. With meme people with have that tool to express their thoughts and ideas to the world.

Susan Blackmore describes how mimetics (the working of memes) operates like a virus or a progression of an idea after the Darwinian evolutionary model, where design comes forth out of chaos. "Going viral" happens when an idea spreads like a virus, mutating as it goes. Certain viruses are clearly more contagious than others, and the marketplace of ideas dictates a particular idea's status in the digital world. The digital public decides what goes viral by their decision whether to forward an idea, meme, or viral concept. She coins the term teme as being a technologically themed meme. [132]

An interesting concept called countermeme was illustrated by Mike Godwin who postulated that the longer an internet discussion continues, the probability that someone mentions Hitler or Nazi, etc., moves closer to 1. Subsequent citing of "Godwin's Law" to combat this argumentative tactic has found its way into a surprising number of discussion threads on various topics, effectively becoming a countermeme.[133]

Satire is used to go against power and oppression. ??

Satire is verbal aggression of some aspect being exposed to ridicule. ??


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  17. Day, Amber. Satire and Dissent p.12
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  26. Day, Amber. Satire and Dissent (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2011), pp. 11-13.
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