Getting Message Across by Using Comedy
Some people express things in many ways, some ways may be serious while some can be associated with a bit or a lot of humor. Humor is something that a lot of people value in today’s generation, whether it’s through social media, or what we watch on T.V. It can be an escape to some people to fall back on when life seems to get too serious. Humor is probably a well known subject used by authors today. It can be used to grab audiences attention if wanting to challenge or emphasize specific ideas going on in society. Authors also tend to use humor to get a specific message to their audiences. In both articles “How to Be the Black Employee.” by Baratunde Thurston and also “Perspectives on Performance as Radical Disability Activism” by Alan Shain, both authors go into the serious topics such as, disabilities and race roles that play a big part in today’s society. They both turn something that is usually viewed as a serious topic to others, into a form of humor in a way that people can understand.
Thurston goes on goes into the awkwardness black people may face in their work spaces, while Shain brings light on what people with disabilities face on a typical basis. They both use comedy for rhetorical purposes and connects/educate their audiences on what they go through on an everyday basic/bringing the issues to light.
In Thurston’s article, “How to Be the Black Employee,” his targeted audiences where more towards black/white people. He introduces the atmosphere for a black person working in a pronominal white environment. Thurston mentions, “So you got the job job in an office; you’re one of the few minorities and possibly the only black person.” (320). He emphasizes the role that race still plays in the US today. His article is written as a guide on how black audiences should deal with a not so diverse workplace. The article also goes into detail about the kind of environment that can be awkward for some people, “I’m sorry for the awkwardness you have endured or will endure in its environment.” Thurstand is using this form of technique as a way to relate to his African American audiences.
These are things that he has been through and he’s using it in a comedy form to try and guide others that can relate to him. He also tackles a serious topic by using humor in a way his audiences can understand what he and others others go through and also what others may be able to relate to and experiences some may have already went through. Thurstand comedy interest is more of a reality storytelling. In the sense of taking situations from everyday life such as the workplace and acting out common sense behavior that we as people do on a daily basis but fail to realize it.
Thurstands comedy also appeals to white audiences in way way too by showing them how they can come off to African Americans. He doesn’t do it in a serious matter. He does it in a way that white people can also relate to and also laugh at. “So when you’re in the elevator and a coworker asks, “Hey, Tiffany, Jim and I were wondering, are you disappointed with Obama?” you have some choices to make.”(323) Thuststand makes fun of this issues by not making fun of white people directly, but stating how African Americans deal and react to these issues. He’s form of comedy can be incorporated in people’s daily lives. His form of comedy is humorous we are not laughing at the actions Afican American go through, we are laughing at ourselves. In our minds we think about what would happen if we were put in a similar situation. This causes the audience the audiences to think and reflect.
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