When satire is sin-binned

During the nomadic years, as I call them, I was here and in Australia, with stints in France and Sicily, a long sojourn in Russia and various other places.

While in Oz during the coup d’etat of ’75, we went to all the protests but the over-earnestness of Marxist students was just too much at times and so, when there was one particular protest in the centre square of town, we went along in costume. I looked a bit like Rik Mayall in full urban guerrilla garb, with a wire stay from my boat coiled from my belt and a placard which might have read, can’t recall, ‘Free policemen from their handcuffs’.

They quickly took that and it was stainless steel too, silly me. Anyway, they weren’t quite sure, Plod, what we were about but as we stood right against the police lines, they had to deal with it. One asked and I said, ‘For protection.’ From what? From them – and at that point, over came some real Trot or Stalinist and started getting aggressive about us undermining a very serious cause.

He would have started the punches but Plod, as I say, were right beside us.

Satire has such a long and noble history in this nation and in others too – immediately one thinks of Swift and Thackeray, G&S but don’t forget Defoe:

The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters; Or, Proposals for the Establishment of the Church is a pamphlet by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1702. Defoe was prompted to write the pamphlet by the increased hostility towards Dissenters in the wake of the accession of Queen Anne to the throne.

It is written in the same style as the Tory publications that attacked Dissenters, and was assumed by some people to be a genuine vindication of their view. The pamphlet raised embarrassing questions about the handling of the issue by the Tory ministry, and led to Defoe’s arrest for seditious libel. His imprisonment, during which he fell into bankruptcy, was to have a lasting influence on his subsequent writings. In the years after his release, Defoe published several pamphlets that attempted to explain its purpose and his own views.

Modern day satirists include the controversial Banksy and though I’m not onside with his politics and you might not be onside with his methods, the need for him to be able to get satire out there is paramount.  I don’t like Hirst but his pregnant teenager did make a statement – it’s just that it was too unpleasant, went for schlock shock instead of cleverness.

And online we have the wonderful Titania, with Andrew Doyle, and Lisa Graves’s Godfrey who fooled even the elect. But the gals are in trouble for this:

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2019/09/16/fascist-twitter-suspends-social-justice-hero-titania-mcgrath/

Dellers comments:

Both Jarvis Dupont and Titania McGrath are, of course, parody accounts designed to send up the stupidity, petulance, hypocrisy, small-mindedness, and cry-bullying of SJWs everywhere.

Their point is the modern, woke left is so earnest and stupid that it is quite incapable of understanding nuance, logic, or humour—and that the Wokerati therefore inhabit a kind of parallel universe divorced entirely from the norms and traditions of Western Civilisation.

There’s nothing totalitarians loathe more than people who refuse to take them seriously.

Sometimes it’s done by the other side of politics by the few who have no sense of humour bypass, e.g. the Storm Area 51 campaign.  What makes it less funny is it uses public resources and for what – to make a joke?

Should satire really be snuffed out, that’s the day we’re in deep do-dos. Say some readers:

A misjudgement of Titanic proportions. Leonardo de Caprio didn’t give his life in the icy waters of the North Atlantic to protect this sort of thing.

Some people insist that he’s still alive, that they’ve actually seen him, although he’s getting a bit long in the tooth. A sort of Hitler figure in that respect.

When setting up a blog, it was one of the questions – go straight or go parody and it was thought straight was better – one gets a better class of reader, better class of host – but sometimes it breaks out like a dose of clap.

All good satire has an edge and it takes a straight reader to put the real message:

She is a mental wreck. The schools are destroying a generation of young people.

Yep. Titania has something to say about that, via Irene Elizabeth Brown:

The recent accusation made by moronic preachy ‘woke’ Prince Harry against white people that we are all racist even if we never say or do anything racist because we are unconsciously biased comes straight out of the concluding chapter of Titania’s book WOKE A Guide to Social Justice . I quote:

” You must remember that bigotry is not always immediately apparent . We need to challenge the lazy assumption that people aren’t racist just because they never say or do racist things .Unconscious bias is real “

1 comment for “When satire is sin-binned

  1. Philip Ebersole
    September 19, 2019 at 17:56

    I worked for 40 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, and one of the things I learned was to never engage in irony or satire.

    First, there will always be a certain number of people who, no matter what, will take you literally.

    Second, in the modern world, it is very hard to produce satire that won’t be overtaken by reality.

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