In his 2004 book, Status Anxiety

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In his 2004 book, Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton argues that the chief aim of humorists

is not merely to entertain but “to convey with impunity messages that might be dangerous or impossible to state directly.” Think about the implications of de Botton’s view of the role of humorists (cartoonists, stand-up comics, satirical writers, hosts of television programs, etc.). Then write an essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies de Botton’s claim.





George Carlin

Bo Burnham

Jon Stewart

Dennis Miller

Richard Pryor

Mitch Hedberg

Akmed the Terrorist


Jeff Dunham

Lewis Black

The Lonely Island

Jack Black

Robot Chicken

Larry the Cable Guy



The Three Stooges

Abbott and Costello


Chevy Chase

Family Guy

Dave Chappelle

Jeff Foxworthy


South Park

Ellen de Generes

Stephen Colbert

Bill Cosby

Dane Cook

The first Buy Nothing Day—a day on which people are urged to purchase no goods—was organized in Canada in 1992 as a way to increase awareness of excessive consumerism. Consider the implications of a day on which no goods are purchased. Then write an essay in which you develop a position on the establishment of an annual Buy Nothing Day.

¾ Method

  1. Brainstorm three good ideas to argue on this topic.

Hurts small businessess-6

Adds awarness to possibilities lower consumerism

Saves money—5

Takes control away from big businesses—3

Affects the stock market-2

Requires everyone to plan ahead to be prepared--3

Requires consumers to see what they need on a day to day

Shows consumers are dependent on products/market-5

Challenges people to have self control they can apply to other areas

Emergencies create the need to buy

Lowers dependency on money

  1. Toss away all three of the first ideas that come into your head. Now come up with a fourth idea that is original and innovative.

You would have to eat mom’s terrible cooking.

Lower air pollution.

Nobody would work.

Car wrecks be better because no one would leave.

Enforce people to make what they need—crafting day

More robberies because less consumers to get in the way

Makes crippled people like Evan not have to go to the store

Helps the environment—reuse and recycle

Encourages independence from the market

Leads to a higher birthrate

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