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guitargirl93's avatar

I need to write a social commentary about an issue or institution, any ideas?

Asked by guitargirl93 (400points) December 7th, 2010

For English class, I need to write social commentary satirizing an issue or institution. I can’t think of anything to write about.

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18 Answers

mrlaconic's avatar

This could be a fun one, I know I’d enjoy reading commentary on it.

WestRiverrat's avatar

What do you feel passionate about? It will be better if it is something you feel strongly about, either pro or con.

YARNLADY's avatar

The overcrowding in prisons and what to do about it.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

First world problems – like “when the barista puts too much chocolate in your mocha despite logical instructions otherwise, so that you then have to pour some out and ask your friend for a little of her latte to balance it out, but by then you’re over the whole thing and completely disenchanted so that the mocha moment is lost” or “Doing internet things requires hands. Eating ice cream requires hands. CAN’T DO BOTH”.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Satirize Red States vs. Blue States becoming all Purple States.

Write how electricity is making us dependent on fossil fuels, and how we should all run on treadmills to generate the meager amounts of electricity we should be able to live on.

Write about how ‘writing’ isn’t really writing any more, when it’s all typing and ‘txtng’.

Write about how sex isn’t sex any more when it’s all soft-core porn in advertising, ‘sexting’ and gratuitous nudity and masturbation.

If you’re feeling exceptionally brave, write about how teaching isn’t teaching any more, but training to take standardized tests with acceptable results so that ‘educators’ can keep their jobs and get raises.

There. We’ve now given you and the whole class topics to write about. If you search through enough of the quips here, you’ll even find the results of those essays.

spykenij's avatar

How about all the recent gay suicides and how to better deal with kids who are bullied for being different. Shouldn’t schools be a safe place for everyone? It’s a hot topic now.

Kraigmo's avatar

An easy institution to satirize would be the FCC.

Any sort of f*ckng on airwave TV is illegal, but premeditated murder, torture, and rape are just fine, by the FCC. Sure, they have limits on the amount of blood and death per minute, but the nevertheless, that stuff’s allowed.

And that’s how it’s been for years.

You can tie that into the fact the government likes to ban all sorts of f*cking, whether be it prostitutes, or pornos. Meanwhile, that very same moral government has no qualms about inventing a term for the acceptable killing of innocents: “collateral damage”.

Janet Jackson’s tits are an “obscenity”.
But the death of 12 Iraqi children due to mistaken identity and bad leads… that’s just “collateral damage”.

The satire over this issue can go on and on, pretty easily.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Kraigmo hear, hear!

To add to that, as long as you don’t overuse the word “tits” (or use colloquial terms for f*cking), you can describe the killings and tortures pretty graphically, too – and maybe even get the whole thing done as a skit on Saturday Night Live.

deni's avatar

Write about how people use too many plastic bags!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, you buy one tiny thing and they give you a big. You buy a gyro and they give you a bag. Wouldn’t it be just as easy to carry the gyro? Or put it in your backpack? So much waste!!!!!!!

flutherother's avatar

You could look at the marketing of pharmaceuticals in the United States. I was a bit shocked at television advertising for medicines when I lived in the USA. It is banned in every other country in the world apart from New Zealand.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother it is fairly recently we started allowing commercials on tv for pharma if I remember correctly. As much as I am disgusted by the amount of money pharma spends on wooing doctors, and shiny marketing material, I don’t mind the direct marketing to patients at all through ads in periodicals and tv. Gives the average guy a chance to know what is available to him. I guess with the internet now, he has that kind of access at his fingertips, if he has a computer, but I still am fine with it.

flutherother's avatar

@JLeslie The advertising is there to sell drugs, especially new and untried drugs which I think is immoral. Only doctors have the knowledge and the experience to properly prescribe drugs. It seems ironic that a country that has declared war on drugs should allow big drug companies to push their merchandise to people in their own living rooms.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother Prescription drugs still need to be prescribed by a doctor (let’s leave out of the discussion abusing drugs for now) and doctors prescribe “untried” new drugs all of the time because they get goodies from the reps, or simply tend to not worry about medications. Sure there are some conservative, great doctors, but there are a bunch of semi-incompetent ones also. Doctors tend to prescribe what they are accustomed to prescribing, and might be overlooking a drug that might be helpful to a patient. If the patient becomes aware of an alternative, I think that is ok.

flutherother's avatar

@JLeslie It isn’t just making people aware of new drugs. Drug companies promote their products very aggressively to doctors and to the public because of the enormous financial benefits. They hope that vulnerable people will press their doctors to prescribe drugs that have been promoted on television and I am sure they do but it is surely the doctor’s job to suggest medication to the patient not the other way round.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree the main goal is making money. Unfortunately.

I see nothing wrong with a patient asking about a drug. My dad years ago was prescribed two drugs by the same doctor, commonly prescribed, but are black box warnings when prescribed together, same pharmaceutical company. The reps know to counsel doctors not to prescribe them together. That doctor either was never visited by a rep, had a sucky rep, obviously never read the warnings, and unfortunately the pharmacy didn’t catch. I did by luck. My dad jut went in for an endoscopy, told the doctor last time he had one he had very bad side effects, and asked not to be given the same drug, but a different one he had had years prior. The doctor ignored him, and gave him the drug my dad said he specifically did not want. Never got to the procedure because they had to bring him over to the hospital when his heart rate dropped to the 30’s. No wonder he felt like shit on that drug, his heart rate plummets, and it is a cited side effect of that drug. My mom also has a story like this, and I have two. I told a friend there is a drug available for her toenail fungus, her doctor never did (that drug is actually advertised) and here on fluther we have had doctors and lay people help fellow jellies when their own doctors have fallen short. Let’s just say I don’t think doctors are the end all be all in diagnosing and prescribing. I respect the profession, but have seen too many mishaps.

flutherother's avatar

@JLeslie Drugs are dangerous things and in my view shouldn’t be taken unless absolutely necessary. Doctors are only human and make judgement calls every day and can make mistakes when prescribing drugs. Any doctor worth his salt will listen to his patient and prescribe on the basis of his/her individual requirements. Your father’s doctor showed incompetence and worse than incompetence in not listening to his patient. I would always tend to accept my doctor’s advice on drugs but I would carry out my own research to find out the pros and cons, possible alternatives and the experiences of others who have used the drug. New drugs without a track history which are heavily promoted by drug companies I would be wary of.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother I completely agree with your most recent answer.

GracieT's avatar

@flutherother, I agree with your response and was one of the “don’t take anything” people until I had no choice: seizures. I have since been

prescribed 7 different
medicines daily for now, but
they have changed any times. They are for different reasons, one for seizures, one for bipolar disorder, one for hypothyrodism, and so one! I have one doctor who specifically monitors all of my medicines and watches for interactions. I have had many changes to my medications over the last 18 years and am grateful to have someone to watch over them for me. (I also make sure to watch for my own peace of mind!)

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