Comedy is a powerful contemporary source of influence and information. In the still-evolving digital era, the opportunity to consume and share comedy has never been as available. And yet, despite its vast cultural imprint, comedy is a little-understood vehicle for serious public engagement in urgent social justice issues – even though humor offers frames of hope and optimism that can encourage participation in social problems. Moreover, in the midst of a merger of entertainment and news in the contemporary information ecology, and a decline in perceptions of trust in government and traditional media institutions, comedy may be a unique force for change in pressing social justice challenges. Comedians who say something serious about the world while they make us laugh are capable of mobilizing the masses, focusing a critical lens on injustices, and injecting hope and optimism into seemingly hopeless problems. By combining communication and social justice frameworks with contemporary comedy examples, authors Caty Borum Chattoo and Lauren Feldman show us how comedy can help to serve as a vehicle of change. Through rich case studies, audience research, and interviews with comedians and social justice leaders and strategists, A Comedian and an Activist Walk Into a Bar: The Serious Role of Comedy in Social Justice explains how comedy – both in the entertainment marketplace and as cultural strategy – can engage audiences with issues such as global poverty, climate change, immigration, and sexual assault, and how activists work with comedy to reach and empower publics in the networked, participatory digital media age.
a comedian and an activist walk into a bar
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Only a few years after the 2013 Sundance Film Festival premiere of Blackfish - an independent documentary that indicted the treatment of captive orcas - visits to SeaWorld declined, major corporate sponsors pulled support, and performing acts canceled appearances. Unfolding against a steady drumbeat of public criticism, the "Blackfish Effect" culminated in a stunning 2016 corporate policy change announcement from SeaWorld - an end to its profitable captive orca shows. Social-issue documentaries like Blackfish are art for civic imagination and social critique. Today's documentaries interrogate topics like sexual assault in the military (The Invisible War), racial injustice (13th), government surveillance (Citizenfour), and more. These artistic nonfiction films have changed national conversations, influenced media agendas, and mobilized communities and policymakers - accessed by expanding audiences in a transforming media marketplace. In Story Movements: How Documentaries Empower People and Inspire Social Change, Caty Borum Chattoo explores how documentaries disrupt dominant cultural narratives through complex, creative, often investigative storytelling. Featuring original interviews with award-winning documentary filmmakers and field leaders, the book reveals the influence and motivations behind the vibrant, eye-opening stories of the contemporary documentary age.
Introduction: Who Brings the Funny? Data, Experiments & Proof Mirroring the Political Climate: Satire in History Art and Profession Being Funny & Being Right, Being Left & Being Right Conclusions.
The former Saturday Night Live comedienne recounts her midlife career slump, long-distance relationship, and unplanned motherhood, which culminated in uproarious childcare activities and the bewilderment of friends and family members.
This book examines why there are so few conservative political satirists today and explores the consequences of this imbalance.
A revolutionary new argument from eminent Yale Law professor Daniel Markovits attacking the false promise of meritocracy It is an axiom of American life that advantage should be earned through ability and effort. Even as the country divides itself at every turn, the meritocratic ideal – that social and economic rewards should follow achievement rather than breeding – reigns supreme. Both Democrats and Republicans insistently repeat meritocratic notions. Meritocracy cuts to the heart of who we are. It sustains the American dream. But what if, both up and down the social ladder, meritocracy is a sham? Today, meritocracy has become exactly what it was conceived to resist: a mechanism for the concentration and dynastic transmission of wealth and privilege across generations. Upward mobility has become a fantasy, and the embattled middle classes are now more likely to sink into the working poor than to rise into the professional elite. At the same time, meritocracy now ensnares even those who manage to claw their way to the top, requiring rich adults to work with crushing intensity, exploiting their expensive educations in order to extract a return. All this is not the result of deviations or retreats from meritocracy but rather stems directly from meritocracy’s successes. This is the radical argument that Daniel Markovits prosecutes with rare force. Markovits is well placed to expose the sham of meritocracy. Having spent his life at elite universities, he knows from the inside the corrosive system we are trapped within. Markovits also knows that, if we understand that meritocratic inequality produces near-universal harm, we can cure it. When The Meritocracy Trap reveals the inner workings of the meritocratic machine, it also illuminates the first steps outward, towards a new world that might once again afford dignity and prosperity to the American people.
Is it worth swimming in shark-infested waters to surf a 50-foot, career-record wave? Is it riskier to make an action movie or a horror movie? Should sex workers forfeit 50 percent of their income for added security or take a chance and keep the extra money? Most people wouldn't expect an economist to have an answer to these questions--or to other questions of daily life, such as who to date or how early to leave for the airport. But those people haven't met Allison Schrager, an economist and award-winning journalist who has spent her career examining how people manage risk in their lives and careers. Whether we realize it or not, we all take risks large and small every day. Even the most cautious among us cannot opt out--the question is always which risks to take, not whether to take them at all. What most of us don't know is how to measure those risks and maximize the chances of getting what we want out of life. In An Economist Walks into a Brothel, Schrager equips readers with five principles for dealing with risk, principles used by some of the world's most interesting risk takers. For instance, she interviews a professional poker player about how to stay rational when the stakes are high, a paparazzo in Manhattan about how to spot different kinds of risk, horse breeders in Kentucky about how to diversify risk and minimize losses, and a war general who led troops in Iraq about how to prepare for what we don't see coming. When you start to look at risky decisions through Schrager's new framework, you can increase the upside to any situation and better mitigate the downside.
Championing Science shows scientists how to persuasively communicate complex scientific ideas to decision makers in government, industry, and education. This comprehensive guide provides real-world strategies to help scientists develop the essential communication, influence, and relationship-building skills needed to motivate nonexperts to understand and support their science. Instruction, interviews, and examples demonstrate how inspiring decision makers to act requires scientists to extract the essence of their work, craft clear messages, simplify visuals, bridge paradigm gaps, and tell compelling narratives. The authors bring these principles to life in the accounts of science champions such as Robert Millikan, Vannevar Bush, scientists at Caltech and MIT, and others. With Championing Science, scientists will learn how to use these vital skills to make an impact.
When you think of a map of the United States, what do you see? Now think of the Seattle that begot Jimi Hendrix. The Dallas that shaped Erykah Badu. The Holly Springs, Mississippi, that compelled Ida B. Wells to activism against lynching. The Birmingham where Martin Luther King, Jr., penned his most famous missive. Now how do you see the United States? Chocolate Cities offers a new cartography of the United States—a “Black Map” that more accurately reflects the lived experiences and the future of Black life in America. Drawing on cultural sources such as film, music, fiction, and plays, and on traditional resources like Census data, oral histories, ethnographies, and health and wealth data, the book offers a new perspective for analyzing, mapping, and understanding the ebbs and flows of the Black American experience—all in the cities, towns, neighborhoods, and communities that Black Americans have created and defended. Black maps are consequentially different from our current geographical understanding of race and place in America. And as the United States moves toward a majority minority society, Chocolate Cities provides a broad and necessary assessment of how racial and ethnic minorities make and change America’s social, economic, and political landscape.
THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "This is your happy hour with Amy Schumer... It's Bossypants meets Trainwreck meets your long weekend." —TheSkimm “Amy’s got your back. She’s in your corner. She’s an honesty bomb. And she’s coming for you.” —Actress Tilda Swinton and Trainwreck co-star The Emmy Award-winning and Tony-nominated comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed films Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays. Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friend—an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. Whether she’s experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor’s secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably—but only because it’s over.