When you over satirise you lose your message

With the American election tomorrow, tensions are understandably high around the… world. And after watching a last ditch effort to get voters to vote,

I was just having a think…

A video lead by Rachel Bloom and a conglomerate of other celebrities singing a song to mobilise people to vote and be that swing that America might need sends several messages to its viewers, and after watching it myself I’ve come away feeling a bit let down and slightly annoyed at the efforts of the performers. Here’s the video for your reference:

This isn’t something new. There’s always a new “Go vote/Go Register/Go Do Something” video every election period and more often than not it’s a group of celebrities that get together to share their concerns with the world and try and get people involved and active in making a change – being apart of the change. My tiff with this is that this way of Call-To-Action is tired. I made a comment saying that it’s meta and circa YouTube 2008 theme of parody is something that has made its way through mainstream media and has become a staple for a lot of online content. That said, does it still make it a reliable and effective way to stir support?

To reiterate, this video as made to mobilise people to vote, and specifically, not to vote for a third party, even though, “that’s your right,” and to SPECIFICALLY NOT TO VOTE FOR TRUMP. I’m not versed in American politics but if voting for a third-party is about as effective as voting for say… The Greens in Australia, I see their point, but here’s where I think the video starts to lose substance.

The video is too obscure to clearly convey the message it wants. It’s arguably more Anti-trump content than it is a call-to-action. You don’t need to tell me that this is satire, because I understand that it is, but when talking about the clarity of the message I think it’s best to get your point across rather than having some 21-year-old be angry because you haven’t done a good enough job.

What makes this video meta is its self-narration of it being a “We are the world” type video, which if you don’t know what that means, I’ll link it here as well:


I think the Funny or Die video teeters too closely to the edge of being effective and being too silly where it stops being believable. I walked away thinking the Funny Or Die video had certainly died in regards to its delivery mainly because of its grandiose nature, and from a personal point of view, as someone who thinks quite highly of online content that is designed to target and compel, I didn’t feel like this video achieved what it set out to do.

To wrap it up, voting is a civil duty. It’s not only our right to vote but also our responsibility to do so. The buck stops with us. Do I believe one vote changes everything? I don’t, but I do believe in a belief system where if enough people are willing to make a change, they can. The media exists to give us a framework of what we should believe. We should contest that. Always be questioning it. Whether it be a satirical video online or a politician’s campaign, we play a part in how the world is run and governed. So take that chance. Make your vote.

Watch Funny Or Die outside of election season.


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