It’s time to try your hand at creating satire! Think wicked thoughts to make a ‘modest’ proposal to fix a vice in our society, much like Jonathan Swift did in his ‘proposal.’ While your problem should be a serious issue, your solution, obviously, should be satirical. Your objective is to draw attention to an important social issue while proposing a ludicrous solution. The contrast of the problem and solution should make the need for reform evident.
The key to success in creating good satire is to use your own style, sense of humor, and opinions to create an informed and humorous piece that also advocates a mock “solution” to the social issue in order to call attention to the issue. In response to a current concern or issue, write or produce your own “modest proposal” for publication or production. You may present your satire in a number of ways.
- The Onion, “Seven Deadly Sins at the Church Bake Sale”
- The Mugdown, “Local Church Now Offering Evening Service for Hungover Students”
- The Mugdown, “Sorority Girls Tired of Needy Families Taking the Good Date Party Costumes at Goodwill”
- The Babylon Bee, “Democrats Announce All 2020 Candidates Will Forego Armed Security”
- The Babylon Bee, “Harvard Now Offering Four-Year Degree in Feeling Oppressed”
Broadcast News Segment:
- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, “Back in Black: Trump’s Golfing Milestone”
- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, “Football is Dangerous”
- Last Week Tonight, “Charter Schools” (expletives censored)
- Last Week Tonight, “Stadiums” (expletives censored)
- Weird Al, “Word Crimes”
- Weird Al, “The North Korea Polka”
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, “Oh Canada” Revision
- SNL Cast, “This Is Not a Feminist Song”
- Saturday Night Live, “Pepsi Commercial”
- Saturday Night Live, “Anderson Cooper White House Turmoil”
- Saturday Night Live, “Black Jeopardy with Tom Hanks”
Children’s Book: Dr. Seuss, The Butter Battle
Essay: “A Modest Proposal”
And finally, here is a real-world example related to our discussion about using common sense with the satirical choices you make.