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A Decade of Dark HumorHow Comedy, Irony, and Satire Shaped Post-9/11 America$
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Ted Gournelos and Viveca Greene

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781617030062

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617030062.001.0001

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date: 22 July 2018



Popular Culture and Post-9/11 Politics

(p.x) (p.xi) Introduction
A Decade of Dark Humor

Ted Gournelos

Viveca Greene

University Press of Mississippi

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, gave rise to a reinvigorated opposition movement to dominant media, industry, political, and economic interests in America. 9/11 and its aftermath shaped humor, irony, and satire that in turn also helped frame responses to the events, resulting in a real, tangible shift in social and political discourse in the country. Given the ability of such events to impact audiences, humor, satire, and irony, the cultural responses provide a means through which to understand post-9/11 politics. This book explores the instability of political discourse after 9/11 and the use of humor to deal with the events and jingoistic responses to them. Focusing on humor expressed in a variety of forms, from late-night television comedy programs to Internet-based jokes circulated through e-mail, the chapter considers how people (as individuals and groups) came to terms with the terrorist attacks and ensuing hawkish rhetoric. It also discusses the state of republicanism and the intensification of the “culture wars” in popular culture in light of the war in Iraq, along with the uncertainty of popular culture uses of irony, humor, and satire to provide alternative interpretations of 9/11.

Keywords:   humor, 9/11, irony, satire, politics, comedy programs, republicanism, culture wars, popular culture, America

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