When Satire Gets Sincere: The HyperRealism of SNL

My friend Andrea wrote this piece and it is fantastic.


Poststructural cultural theorist Jean Baudrillard argued in 1981 that the world is just simulacrum: those things that are meant to be representation (a word that he would have cringed at the use of) are, in fact, hyperreal.  He uses the example of Disneyland: it does not represent America; it is America.  Today’s simulacra have exceeded the hyperrealism anticipated by Baudrillard, due in part to contemporary America’s post-ironic sarcasm and satire.

In the 1990s, artists and writers, particularly postmodern genius David Foster Wallace, became tired of American culture’s obsession with the emptiness of irony; we had taken it too far. In 1993, Wallace told Larry McCaffery, “It’s not a perfect analogy, but the sense I get of my generation of writers and intellectuals or whatever is that it’s 3:00 A.M. and the couch has several burn-holes and somebody’s thrown up in the umbrella stand and we’re wishing the revel…

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