Pop Culture as Social Commentary
Like other social justice related issues, British Petrol's irresponsibility that has led to continued devastation to the environment has become something that people know is bad, but might be feeling tired of talking about. This comes up with all issues of race, class and gender, so I was glad to see Aziz Ansari use humor to bring BP back into the consciousness of those feeling weary of the topic. I named this post 'teaching as play'(paideia/paidia) after a presentation on Plato and Critical Pedagogy that I gave at this year's New Directions conference; in the presentation, I advocated the strategy of humor to engage with issues geared towards critical consciousness. Like a classroom of bored students, the MTV audience was more willing to listen to Ansari sing about BP than it would've be had he gone with a Michael Moore-eque tirade.