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environmental humor final

environmental humor final - 1 Writing 140 Environmental...

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1 Writing 140 10/9/07 Environmental Humor: Is Being Green Just A Trend? Whenever Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert make an appearance at a public event, you know they are there for comedic relief. It is obviously their goal to get laughs, they are comedians after all, but there is substance behind their endless jokes and humorous banter. Let us set the scene: It’s the 2007 Emmys. This award show may seem like any old award show, but no, that would be an incorrect assumption. These Emmys are special. They are the Green Emmys. Now, how might an award show be green? Among some of the many green efforts are a red carpet that is recycled and powered by solar panels, carpet in the auditorium that is made of recycled bottles, a green room that is constructed out of recycled football stadium bleachers, and event staff’s tuxedos dry- cleaned in environmentally friendly solutions, and not wrapped in plastic with tickets printed on recycled paper upon delivery. Stewart and Colbert are presenters at the Emmys, and proceed to poke fun at the idea of the Green Emmys. Through their wit and satire, Stewart and Colbert reveal that no matter how “green” an award show can claim to be, it can never be an environmentally friendly event, and being green seems to be more of a publicity stunt than the actual goal of the Emmys. Satire, being the main form of humor used by Stewart and Colbert in their Emmy presentation, is defined as “a literary manner which blends a critical attitude with humor and with for the purpose of improving human institutions or humanity” by C. Hugh Holfman. The satire used in their presentation is obviously not “literary,” but it is satire just the same. The critical attitude they present is one that points out the flaws of popular
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2 culture in its efforts to be green. They soften this attitude by making their criticism humorous, and the goal of their criticism is to help society realize that their miniscule environmental efforts just are not making the biggest difference. Putting all these parts together creates satire. The first environmental attack Stewart and Colbert make is directly on popular culture. They both walk on stage, but Colbert enters armed with a leaf-blower, acting as if he is blowing leaves around on stage. Stewart asks Colbert what he is doing, and Colbert explains (though it seems obvious enough to the audience). Stewart responds by saying that the leaf-blower is gas-powered, which is not in the spirit of the Green Emmys.
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