Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Political Humor in Social Media

This post will explore the ever-changing forms and reach that Political Humor has taken through the years.
Political Cartoons have had a large part in American humor throughout the years, however in the recent years of the Internet and Social media their popularity has taken off. What was once limited to print in a newspaper or magazine is now readily available online. Not only is it cheaper, and faster it is now reaching more viewers, inside and outside of the country.
Political Cartoons have been an entertaining part of American culture since our infancy. "Join or Die" is one of if not the most popular political cartoon our nation has to offer. In a time of certain war for uncertain freedom, the colonist created the iconic image. This image thrust the nation into a unified brotherhood lighting a fire and making clear our goals were achievable, with and only with a unified front. This image, though an early form of a political cartoon, is not humorous. It was created to get a simple message across. Political cartoons today are more frequent, less well known, and marketed towards what our nation's people want, and that is humor.

The progression of political cartoons has developed from a necessity to present information in a simple and quick way to images that are infinitely more complex. Modern political cartoons require more than just a base knowledge in current political issues, candidates, and party stances. The Images themselves tend to me humorous, allowing the average American to get a chuckle and move on with their day. To those who know more about the issues at hand on that particular day, the cartoons offer more interpretation to the on-looker. This image is clearly labeled as a "Political Cartoon" in case you didn't get that from the other labels they offered. Similar to the first "Join or Die" image this one is simple, and easy for the average American to read, get a chuckle and move on with their day. For those who have more information on Bush and any "problems" he may or may not have caused while in office, this cartoon has the potential to spark a lengthy debate.

This next image is definitely more complex then the first two, but also more humorous. Even when this cartoon is looked at 20, 30, 50 years from now the viewer will understand that we were having trouble with illegal immigration, and that president Obama tried to handle the issue with enough effort as a Band-Aid on an issue that well exceeded the usefulness of a Band-Aid.

The Video above is an example of the humorous videos being made in replacement of Political Cartoons.

Political Cartoons have gained in popularity, and accessibly. However, with the new technology come new opportunities to have a laugh, and spread a message about the current political climate. Jib Jab Right and Left Wing Nuts is a series of popular YouTube videos that offer the flavor of a Political Cartoon, but with a more popular media: video. 

Political Cartoons both print and video are poplar forms of political humor. However, with Social Media comes a new breed of Political Humor. There are several conservative and liberal groups that operate through Facebook to present humorous material as well as important information. As a result of this new form of communication rises a problem with the Government Monitoring Facebook. More than just Facebook as a Social Media outlet and YouTube there are standard websites, advertising via Social Media, this Political Joke is from one such standard website.

Political Humor today is really growing, branching out and developing as a direct result of the popular and easy access to Social Media. What was once a popular Political Cartoon is today a short video clip, with the same look and feel as a Political Cartoon with more opportunity to include more ideas and themes. Alternatively, in the form of an interactive Social Media site or website.

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