Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Satire in U.S.!

 On page 12 of U.S.! Bachelder writes a review of Sinclair’s latest novel, Pharmaceutical! The reviewer states: “One might have hoped that a few months of cemetery rest would have reinvigorated Sinclair’s literary project, but this is sadly not the case.” He calls the novel the “simplistic Socialist screed this country has not seen since, well, Upton Sinclair.” Bachelder uses the review of Sinclair’s novel to parody the idea that Sinclair keeps producing the same works over and over. The topics change as the times change, but the stories are exactly the same (just as bad as they always were). I think I could apply this idea to my tactical media project in the sense that even as rules change and we see tragedies regarding horse show medications, trainers are still overmedicating their horses. For example, suppose a trainer has had several horses die at horse shows (though thankfully this is fiction) and we see her giving another horse the same drugs. I could have her say something like, “Oh, I thought it would be different this time.”

On page 170, Bachelder types a whole page of exclamation points. Then, in an interview, someone notifies Sinclair that he used 1539 exclamation points in Oil! and he responds saying “evidently, I didn’t use enough.” Bachelder clearly satirizes Sinclair’s writing style and his overuse of exclamation points. However, the exclamation points have become a defining characteristic of Sinclair. Though it may be a little bit ridiculous, they are one of the characteristics that make his novels unique. Bachelder takes advantage of a characteristic that everyone associates with Sinclair. In this way, other people will recognize the satire and relate to the humor. I could use the same idea of satirizing something that the entire horse show world associates with. For example, I’m sure that everyone can think of a barn they think always sedates their horses when they’re fresh (whether that’s true or not). I could create a parody where I make fun of that and viewers will associate it with someone specific.

On page 192, Bachelder prints an information card filled out after someone purchases a Sinclair novel from Red Shovel Press. They say they would not recommend Sinclair novels to a friend because they “like their friends.” The card asks, “Do you have any suggestions for Red Shovel Press?” and the person writes, “Die, please!!” I thought the idea of the information card was particularly humorous, especially since people can often write pretty funny comments on these. I’m not sure how I could use this in my own tactical media project. I don’t think drug companies send out information cards, but it might be funny if a rider or trainer sent one back saying “Didn’t get my horse quiet enough” for a bottle of Dormosedan or something else that completely knocks them out.

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