Internet Satire

Date
2014-09-26
Authors
Kahawaii, Kailana
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Caron, James
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English
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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Internet satire percolates contemporary society, yet remains vastly unstudied despite the ease of communication that the Internet provides. Although the theoretical discussion surrounding satire is already complicated—given a reliance on outdated, classical forms and post-modernism’s current trend of non-absolutes—the Internet can be studied through a satirical lens. By using the Age of Enlightenment and post-modernism as models, I compare and contrast the methods utilized by Internet satirists and those on other mediums. The satirists of websites such as The Oatmeal, The Onion, and The Duffleblog encourage user participation at a level previously insurmountable by other means. For example, methods like linking to other webpages, known as hyperlinks, and crowdfunding, the practice of gathering funds using Internet resources, harness the power of audiences. However, Internet satirists still rely on rhetorical devices popularized by other mediums, such as the construction of a persona. The Internet is where ideas from the Age of Enlightenment and post-modernism converge and diverge, where author and audience craft satire. In turn, that satire is used to intimidate and self-preserve, yet can also initiate social change on and offline.
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iii, 57 pages
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