Date Political Humor The fact that politics dominate nearly, if not all, spheres of human lives cannot be disputed. Politics tend to positively or negatively impact on the lives of people of a particular society…
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While satire and humor are usually meant to be funny, their greater goal is to offer constructive criticisms through performing arts, graphic, and satirical writing and speech among other ways. This paper will analyze the article from the US-based satirical news website “The Onion”, titled “Mexico Killed in Drug Deal.” It will analyze the piece using four different approaches to studying humor: superiority theory, incongruity theory, relief theory, and benign violation theory. It will then discuss the best approach that explain the different jokes in the article, and finally comment on whether the article is funny and if it is effective as political humor. Contemporary philosophers have developed main theories of humor. The first one is the Superiority Theory which holds that the humor that we find in life and comedy is majorly based on ridicule, where the object of amusement is regarded as inferior and we regard ourselves as superior. This theory explains that the object of laughter is ridiculous and that the ridiculous is others’ self-ignorance when they have a belief that they have wisdom (Morreall 36). This is reflected in the article where Mexicans are regarded as inferior as they are all killed during a shoot-out between rival drug cartels. The U.S Drug Enforcement Administration is perceived as being superior as they are the one in control following the “death of Mexico” (The Onion). Humor, according to this theory, is as a result of feeling of pleasure at seeing others suffer a misfortune after being deluded by their own wisdom (Bardon 2). In this article, humor arises from the misfortune suffered in Mexico where all people who were present in Mexico at the time of the shoot-out died (The Onion). Superiority theory regarding philosophy of humor further argue that laughter arises from seeing those who hold power in society being ruled by emotion and desire and therefore are tempted to abuse power and make bad decisions (Bardon 2). This aspect is well depicted in the article where Felipe Calderon, the Mexican President is gunned down by passing drug dealers as he declares the state of emergency at the podium. This theory also holds that a passion of humor arises from sudden glory as a result of sudden eminency conception of certain persons; in other words, humor is basically found in that which seems inferior to people, and that which makes them to have the assurance of relative superiority (Bardon 3). The U.S. drug dealers have a sudden conception of eminence as demonstrated at press time where they assure the American public that they would ensure that the vast supplies of marijuana that Mexican cartels left behind reach the intended consumers (The Onion). The critics of Superiority Theory argue that there are many experiences that might make people feel superior but are not amusing. Therefore, some philosophers have developed a different and radical account of the comic, which states that humor is primarily found in an intellectual recognition of a ridiculous incongruity between experiences and ideas that are conflicting (Cohen 44). This account of humor falls under the incongruity theory which states that the cause of humor is the bringing together of contrary ideas, images and some resemblance in the grand idea (Bardon 7). In the article, this is demonstrated by the death of all the Mexican citizens within a very short period of time (The
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