My parents often remind me that they disapprove of my sarcastic nature. I wasn’t always like this, but my best friend is and I stole it from her because I think she’s the coolest person I know. I understand how my newer dry nature could negatively impact my social life at 20, but it attracts equally sarcastic and sardonic individuals into my life. This makes for a much more entertaining social circle, so I’m not really upset about it. Plus I have this really pitchy, pleasant voice that tends to make things sound significantly less cutting. It’s a gift and a curse, but it has been complicit in what likely is the development of the worst part of my personality. I continue to use sarcasm in my day to day life because I love it. It has also led to my interest in satire, more specifically political satire, so I would be very interested to try to do some satirical work of my own.
Satire is defined as being “ in which human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, parody, caricature, or other methods, sometimes with an intent to inspire social reform. ” The appeal of satire stems from its wit, irony, and its ability to make fun of the obvious. I have a preference for political satire because I think it makes a lot of awful topics significantly more digestible. I think sarcasm/satire would be one a few formats fit for telling the story of my past roommate experiences. They are painfully humorous–at my own expense, not that of others–so I think this genre would allow me to make fun of the obvious and mock some weird conventions that the people I have lived with over the years have subscribed to. I would make use of the Horatian school of satire because it is lighthearted and that is exactly the type of story I would like to tell. In describing my former living situations, my intent is to make people laugh as opposed to a critique of my former roommates. I want it to be a more wholesome story.
My living situation worked out eventually, but it was a rough journey. Making fun of the journey that finally got me here would be enjoyable and a great way to reminisce as an upperclassmen.
I think one of the examples that come to mind when I think of this genre is The Onion: I used to find no interest in making light of issues that tend to be offensive or upsetting, but I have found some merit in it as a coping mechanism. Similarly, many of my favorite pieces from this genre actually come from other websites like Reductress, like this one:
My intent isn’t to ridicule my former roommate’s for their character, but to poke fun at some odd situations I’ve found myself in throughout the years. I’ve had 11 roommates so far, all of whom have had various quirks: I had a roommate who enjoyed waxing people for free, which meant that I often walked into my apartment only to see a naked stranger and various hairy wax strips on the floor or the roommate I had who was using my face mask to cure a rash on her butt. They were never bad people, just strange. I’d just like to make light of some fun memories that I have.
They always make for a good story at the dinner table so why not try it for academia.