Robocop reminded us of what satire is. The director Paul Verhoeven showed us the dangers of letting ideas go too far. Reganomics was supposed to allow the free market to flourish and to squash the rise in big government. The idea was interesting and paved with good intentions, but as the movie displayed, it could become dangerous very quickly. There have been a few satirical works that have come to criticize ideas that could lead to our demise. I will go over a good few and try to relate them to the issues they each pertain to.
The news is a little over the top and people know it. As John Stewart said on CNN's "Crossfire" "This is not news, it is theater!" Robocop did make fun of the news and how it had just become another useless form of media. The Onion is a great source of satire. They are poking fun at social norms and really focus on the problems that mainstream society is overlooking. Hayley Sebourn has a good example in her blog. Other great sources of satire if you are a news junkie is "The Daily Show" and the "Colbert Report." They are comedic geniuses. I do think that John Stewart knows his stuff. He has been on a kick here lately telling other news stations to cut the theatrics and just give us the unbiased news. His greatest moment is on "Crossfire" when he was begging "Stop! You are hurting America!"
Another great satire is from Paul Verhoeven is Starship Troopers. This movie is great and reminds me a lot of the book 1984 in that it shows the dangers of blind nationalism. The movie is a little less clear for some than Robocop but I think if they examine it the satire is there. One of the most comedic scenes is a movie that is quite similar to our WW2 films where the narrator is saying "Everyone is doing their part!" and the kids are killing cockroaches. The movie's message is hidden under a B action film just like Robocop. Starship Troopers calls into question the logic of a constant warring nation.
"Family Guy "is one of my favorite shows in the entire planet. The show is filled with satire and many vast exaggerations. The TV show has characters portraying different walks of life so that it can cover multiple issues. I think a good example would be the episode when Peter's dad is forced to retire. The episode does battle with issues of ageism, religious fundamentalism and the generational gap. I would encourage it as a good intro into "Family Guy."
We can never take ourselves too seriously. I think the events that occurred after 9/11 have shown us that. The best example is the Patriot Act. Almost everyone was in favor of it, but during that time we went too far and now there are many comedy shows saying that. A good movie would be Team America. I think that satirical films remind us that we must look past the good intentions and see the consequences of our actions.