Popular Culture and Post-9/11 Politics
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.
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