Articles on Satire

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When does parody spill into insensitive cultural appropriation? While Chris LIlley is probably OK to appropriate the upper North Shore culture of Ja’mie (pictured), he’s on dodgier ground with Jonah from Tonga. Princess Pictures, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Home Box Office (HBO)

Permission to laugh? Humour without risk of danger and offence would be an emaciated thing

In our pursuit of a world that is safely and entirely OK, must humour be cleansed of its original sin of cultural appropriation and insensitivity? It depends whether we are 'laughing up' or 'laughing down'.
John Clarke, who died suddenly at the weekend, called out absurd politicking and dishonest language wherever he found it. ABC Pr handout/AAP

Farewell John Clarke: in an absurd world, we have never needed you more

John Clarke gave voice to a brilliant Antipodean acerbity that has always seemed a little old-fashioned in its moral and tonal dignity. His was a magnificent achievement of focused, pitch-perfect satire.
Twain was an opinionated, prolific commentator on the personalities and political issues of his day. Terry Ballard/flickr

What would Mark Twain think of Donald Trump?

He probably would have been amused by – and maybe even befriended – Trump the entertainer. Trump the president? Not so much.
Protesters wearing masks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump march in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dominick Reuter/Reuters

Are U.S. politics beyond a joke?

From Alfonso the Wise's bawdy songs of slander to Ronald Reagan's sunny smile, politics and humor have gone hand-in-hand for centuries. But no one seems to be laughing anymore.
Now finishing its fourth season, Rake is one of Australia’s most interesting TV dramas. ABC

Bloody good TV: how Rake changed Australian television

The ABC’s Rake is about to air its final episode. This smart, postmodern show ushered in a new kind of Australian satire: with less caricature than Front Line, more politics than Kath and Kim, and a fluid connection to high and low culture.
The cover of the ‘Weekly Standard’, February 2016.

There should be no monkeying about with hate speech

Two recent controversial cartoons depicting people as apes have raised an important question: what are the legal and philosophical distinctions between harm and offence?

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