This book applies semiotic theory to sports, with a focus on the semiotic nature of football and baseball. It also deals with a semiotic analysis of televised wresting by Roland Barthes, as found in his book, Mythologies. It offers a primer on semiotics for those not familiar with the science and then uses concepts from semiotics to examine Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, baseball, football and the most important football game in America, the Super Bowl. Sports are so interesting to semioticians because of the importance of signs, in the playing of games, and in the interpretation of games by audiences of their televised broadcasts. It is suggested that televised baseball games are turned into psychodramas by the editors of the televised versions of the games. In this book, there are many quotations of interest from scholars and writers that examine important aspects of the games as semiotic texts. There are also many photos and drawings to give the book more visual interest.
The 45th American president, Donald J. Trump, had a considerable impact on the comedic mood in America during his presidential tenure, drastically altering its style and historical flow. His presidency turned comedy into political weaponry, dividing it, like the country, into two camps—a Trump-supportive comedy emerged and a powerful anti-Trump comedy. Significantly, Trump himself adopted his own form of dark, caustic, comedy with consummate skill at his myriad rallies. No other president had ever come close to performing a clownish act in the same way. This book looks at Trump’s effect on American comedy, juxtaposing comedic traditions in America to the antics of Trump himself. Examining how comedy had evolved during his presidency might be able to shed some light on how and why American society has split into political tribes, and perhaps why there is no longer any common frame of reference for enjoying comedy. Trump himself was a consummate entertainer, who used his own style of destructive dark humor to lambast opponents, giving a comedic voice to hatred. He was a blend of commedia dell’arte personage, Archie Bunker redux, and P. T. Barnum hustler, who understood the power of humor to sway minds. This made him largely impervious to the comedic weapons being used against him. He fought comedy with comedy, leaving America in shambles. This book aims to deconstruct how Trump affected the American psyche by altering how comedy came to perceived and practiced.