Satire in Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff Is Just What the Doctor Ordered to Help Fix America

Satire in Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff Is Just What the Doctor Ordered to Help Fix America

Sean Penn uses the oldest form of political dissent to speak up to power


Where would literature be without satire? From George Orwell to Stephen Colbert, satire has carried us through every era of American history with cunning honesty.

I see satire is a form of social progress. As a college student, and attentive reader of the constant news cycle, I often rely on comedy as a way to digest and reflect on what it means to be an American today. The Colbert Report, SNL, Key and Peele, and Seth Meyers have safeguarded America's sense of humor by exposing truth through wit and subtle satire.

Satire is a tool to move stagnated conversations forward and disrupt the rhetoric commonly used to discuss sensitive topics. It steps outside the bounds of "political correctness" to reveal the absurdities that other forms of literature are too polite to discuss. That's clear in Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, Sean Penn's debut novel uses satire to take a good, hard look at the America of present.

The novel follows Bob, an average blue-collar American with a second life as a skilled assassin. Penn highlights the ironies and shortcomings of American society through the everyday trials and tribulations of Bob's not-so-average life.

Penn doesn't hold back with his commentary. It may be pointed and crass at times but his dialogue is necessary, especially considering the hefty topics he takes on and the caricature he paints of America's current political system. His work looks at issues with a wide lens and peels away the societal norms that protect them.

Social commentary is grounded in the ability to see and recognize the absurdity of one's cultural counterparts. That's absolutely necessary in today's society. We've spiraled into an ego-driven, shallow, social-justice-warrior version of what it means to fight for freedom and democratic ideals. Social media exacerbates this. It's a safe place to express outrage without action and feeds into a culture that encourages personal branding instead of personal development and substantive individual thought.

Never before has American culture relied so heavily on the power of the individual and cultivating that image to the extreme. "Branding is being! Branding is being! The algorithm for modern binary existentialism," Penn writes in Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. Yet never before has the individual in American been so cowardly and unwilling to step away from the noise. Bob Honey does just that. It consumes the noise, digests it, and spits it back at us in the rawest form. In many ways, Penn calls America out on the funny-business that's gone on under the table for far too long.

Sean Penn isn't shy. There's satire dripping from every passage of his work – biting criticisms for a system he knows all too well. Satire allows him to express this in a way that's engaging and different. It gets people's attention in a way that any other form of prose can't.

The problems of our society are rearing their ugly heads in everyday life. Violence, xenophobia, and inequality are rampant. Too many are willing to tweet about it and then forget. But 140 characters is not enough to express nor capture the outrage that we all should be feeling. Like any other form of expression, getting down to the nitty-gritty of what's wrong with our society requires creativity. In the case of Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, it seems satire is just what the doctor ordered – a cure in the form of an average Bob. "His ability wasn't brandable, but it was Bob. Bob Honey."

We are bound by ideals, values, and beliefs that are the bedrock of American culture. At some level, society relies and thrives on that uniformity. But there would be no progress if writers and thinkers were not bold enough to challenge those norms. It's those ideas, expressed creatively as humor and satire, that will ultimately shape the society we become.

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10 TV Shows To Watch On Netflix AFTER NBC Takes Back 'The Office' In 2021



Netflix has done it again. Created a mass panic. But this time the reason is not that "Friends" is being taken down or renewed for a giant price.

No, this time it is much worse.

Netflix has said in just TWO short years, it is likely NBC will be taking 'The Office' down. I know, it is unthinkable. What else are we suppose to rewatch a hundred times and quote endlessly? You cannot simply take Michael Scott off of Netflix. The best thing to ever happen was for Netflix to put "The Office", they made it popular again. And you @ me on that. But now they are removing it. I guess we will just have to watch other shows now.

Find other shows on Netflix to watch and to fill the void that NBC is creating for us.

1. NBC, Why are you the way that you are?

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All Internships Should Be Paid Internships

Not everyone can afford to work for free.


Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted recently about chatting with workers at a D.C. restaurant and finding out that many of them were also employed by Congress. They had taken up serving or bartending because the pay from their respective Congressional offices was not enough to support them alone.

This ignited a larger conversation about how much interns in all fields should be paid--which is to say, whether interns should be paid at all.

It's still fairly commonplace for interns to receive no monetary compensation for their work, even if they do receive other perks, like college credit. Some internships offer a travel stipend, or even an overall stipend--amounts that are more than nothing but are nevertheless not equal to what someone could earn making minimum wage for the same number of hours.

This is legal because interns are considered trainees who get as much or more benefit from the arrangement than their employers do. They are getting valuable experience in their industries, practicing how to be an employee in a given field, and gaining work history and references for their resumes and future applications.

Internships are undeniably worthwhile. They are often crucial for getting a foothold in tough industries; job candidates with internship experience have an advantage over those without.

But this should be an argument against unpaid internships, not for them.

Not everyone can afford to work for free. Some college students need a source of revenue to pay for their schooling, so given the choice between an unspecialized paying job (say, in retail or food service) and an amazing but unpaid opportunity in their field, they have to choose the former. And for slightly older adults making a career transition, it's not always feasible to go without a salary or benefits for months at a time while waiting for the resume boost of a successful internship.

Some people can work without pay. So they're the ones who get these unpaid opportunities, which means they're also the ones who get later paying jobs on the basis of their prior experience.

This system discriminates against all but the most privileged. The only people able to move forward unimpeded in many industries are people who are already financially secure.

Companies wonder what they can do to increase diversity among their employees, but this is a key element: low pay or no pay blocks many qualified, talented candidates from applying and, by extension, advancing.

If organizations care about attracting and retaining the best candidates, not just the most economically privileged, they should make an effort to pay their interns.

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