Activism Teach In; Using Satire, Parody And Humor As An Activist Tool, Learn To Play And Have Fun With The Monsters, Laughter Is The Best Medicine For Healing
Satire and humor can be a double edged sword. On the one hand, satire or humor can be used to destroy people and/or cut them down in a demeaning way that is nothing more than projection of unconscious inner hatreds, fears and prejudices.
SATIRE IN COMEDY SHOWS
1867 edition of Punch
, a ground-breaking British
magazine of popular humour, including a great deal of satire of the contemporary, social, and political scene.
Satire is a genre
, and sometimes graphic
and performing arts
, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement.
Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism
, using wit
to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.
A feature of satire is strong irony
—”in satire, irony is militant”
juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre
are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. This “militant” irony or sarcasm often professes to approve of (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist wishes to attack.
Satire is nowadays found in many artistic forms of expression, including literature, plays, commentary, television shows, and media such as lyrics.
Etymology and roots
The word satire comes from the Latin
word satur and the subsequent phrase lanx satura
. Saturmeant “full” but the juxtaposition with lanx shifted the meaning to “miscellany or medley”: the expression lanx satura literally means “a full dish of various kinds of fruits.”
The word satura as used by Quintilian
, however, was used to denote only Roman verse satire
, a strict genre that imposed hexameter
form, a narrower genre than what would be later intended as satire.
Quintilian famously said that satura, that is a satire in hexameter verses, was a literary genre of wholly Roman origin (satura tota nostra est). He was aware of and commented on Greek satire, but at the time did not label it as such, although today the origin of satire is considered to be Aristophanes’ Old Comedy
. The first critic to use satire in the modern broader sense was Apuleius
To Quintilian, the satire was a strict literary form, but the term soon escaped from the original narrow definition. Robert Elliott writes:
As soon as a noun enters the domain of metaphor, as one modern scholar has pointed out, it clamours for extension; and satura (which had had no verbal, adverbial, or adjectival forms) was immediately broadened by appropriation from the Greek word for “satyr” (satyros) and its derivatives. The odd result is that the English “satire” comes from the Latin satura; but “satirize”, “satiric”, etc., are of Greek origin. By about the 4th century AD the writer of satires came to be known as satyricus; St. Jerome, for example, was called by one of his enemies ‘a satirist in prose’ (‘satyricus scriptor in prosa’). Subsequent orthographic modifications obscured the Latin origin of the word satire: satura becomes satyra, and in England, by the 16th century, it was written ‘satyre.’
The word satire derives from satura, and its origin was not influenced by the Greek mythological
figure of the satyr
In the 17th century, philologist Isaac Casaubon
was the first to dispute the etymology of satire from satyr, contrary to the belief up to that time.
Satire and humor
is not an essential component of satire;
in fact there are types of satire that are not meant to be “funny” at all. Conversely, not all humour, even on such topics as politics, religion or art is necessarily “satirical”, even when it uses the satirical tools of irony, parody, and burlesque
Even light-hearted satire has a serious “after-taste”: the organizers of the Ig Nobel Prize
describe this as “first make people laugh, and then make them think”.
Social and psychological functions
Satire and irony
in some cases have been regarded as the most effective source to understand a society, the oldest form of social study
They provide the keenest insights into a group’scollective psyche
, reveal its deepest values and tastes, and the society’s structures of power.
Some authors have regarded satire as superior to non-comic and non-artistic disciplines like history or anthropology
In a prominent example from Ancient Greece
, philosopher Plato
, when asked by a friend for a book to understand Athenian society, referred him to the plays of Aristophanes
Historically, satire has satisfied the popular need
the leading figures in politics, economy, religion and other prominent realms of power
Satire confronts public discourse
and the collective imaginary
, playing as a public opinion counterweight to power (be it political, economic, religious, symbolic, or otherwise), by challenging leaders and authorities. For instance, it forces administrations to clarify, amend or establish their policies. Satire’s job is to expose problems and contradictions, and it’s not obligated to solve them. Karl Kraus
set in the history of satire a prominent example of a satirist role as confronting public discourse.
Classifications of satire
Satire is a diverse genre which is complex to classify and define, with a wide range of satiric “modes”.
Horatian, Juvenalian, Menippean
“Le satire e l’epistole di Q. Orazio Flacco”, printed in 1814.
Satirical literature can commonly be categorized as either Horatian, Juvenalian, or Menippean
Horatian satire, named for the Roman satirist Horace
(65–8 BCE), playfully criticizes some social vice through gentle, mild, and light-hearted humour. Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) wrote Satires to gently ridicule the dominant opinions and “philosophical beliefs of ancient Rome and Greece” (Rankin).
Rather than writing in harsh or accusing tones, he addressed issues with humor and clever mockery. Horatian satire follows this same pattern of “gently [ridiculing] the absurdities and follies of human beings” (Drury).
It directs wit, exaggeration, and self-deprecating humour toward what it identifies as folly, rather than evil. Horatian satire’s sympathetic tone is common in modern society.
A Horatian satirist’s goal is to heal the situation with smiles, rather than by anger. A Horatian satirist makes fun of general human folly rather than engaging in specific or personal attacks. Shamekia Thomas suggests, “In a work using Horatian satire, readers often laugh at the characters in the story who are the subject of mockery as well as themselves and society for behaving in those ways.” Alexander Pope has been established as an author whose satire “heals with morals what it hurts with wit” (Green).
Alexander Pope—and Horatian satire—attempt to teach.
Juvenalian satire, named after the Roman satirist Juvenal
(late 1st century – early 2nd century AD), is more contemptuous and abrasive than the Horatian. Juvenal disagreed with the opinions of the public figures and institutions of the Republic and actively attacked them through his literature. “He utilized the satirical tools of exaggeration and parody to make his targets appear monstrous and incompetent” (Podzemny).
Juvenal satire follows this same pattern of abrasively ridiculing societal structures.
Juvenalian satire addresses social evil through scorn, outrage, and savage ridicule. This form is often pessimistic, characterized by irony, sarcasm, moral indignation and personal invective, with less emphasis on humor. Strongly polarized political satire is often Juvenalian. See also:Satires of Juvenal
A Juvenal satirist’s goal is to provoke some sort of change because he sees his opponent as evil or harmful. A Juvenal satirist mocks “societal structure, power, and civilization” (Thomas).
He will do this by exaggerating the words or position of his opponent in order to jeopardize his opponent’s reputation and/or power. Jonathan Swift has been established as an author who “borrowed heavily from Juvenal’s techniques in [his critique] of contemporary English society” (Podzemny).
Jonathan Swift—and Juvenalian satire—attempt to punish.
, The Sot-Weed Factor; or, A Voyage to Maryland,—a satire, in which is described the laws, government, courts, and constitutions of the country, and also the buildings, feasts, frolics, entertainments, and drunken humors of the inhabitants in that part of America.
Satire versus teasing
In the history of theatre
there has always been a conflict between engagement and disengagement on politics
and relevant issue, between satire and grotesque
on one side, andjest
on the other. Max Eastman
defined the spectrum
of satire in terms of “degrees of biting”, as ranging from satire proper at the hot-end, and “kidding” at the violet-end; Eastman adopted the term kidding to denote what is just satirical in form, but is not really firing at the target.
satirical playwright Dario Fo
pointed out the difference between satire and teasing (sfottò).
Teasing is the reactionary
side of the comic
; it limits itself to a shallow parody
of physical appearance. The side-effect of teasing is that it humanizes and draws sympathy for the powerful individual towards which it is directed.
Satire instead uses the comic to go against power and its oppressions, has a subversive
character, and a moral
dimension which draws judgement against its targets.
Fo formulated an operational
criteria to tell real satire from sfottò, saying that real satire arouses an outraged and violent reaction, and that the more they try to stop you, the better is the job you are doing.
Fo contends that, historically, people in positions of power have welcomed and encouraged good-humoured buffoonery, while modern day people in positions of power have tried to censor, ostracize and repress satire.
Teasing (sfottò) is an ancient form of simple buffoonery
, a form of comedy without satire’s subversive edge. Teasing includes light and affectionate parody, good-humoured mockery, simple one-dimensional poking fun, and benign spoofs. Teasing typically consists of animpersonation
of someone monkeying around with his exterior attributes, tics
, physical blemishes, voice and mannerisms, quirks, way of dressing and walking, and/or the phrases he typically repeats.
By contrast, teasing never touches on the core issue, never makes a serious criticism judging the target with irony
; it never harms the target’s conduct, ideology
and position of power; it never undermines the perception of his morality and cultural dimension.
Sfottòdirected towards a powerful individual makes him appear more human and draws sympathy towards him. Hermann Göring
and jokes against himself, with the aim of humanizing his image.
Classifications by topics
has a long literary association with satire,
as it is a classical mode of thegrotesque
, the grotesque body
and the satiric grotesque. Shit
plays a fundamental role in satire because it symbolizes death
, the turd being “the ultimate dead object”.
The satirical comparison of individuals or institutions with human excrement
, exposes their “inherent inertness, corruption and dead-likeness”.
BLACK HUMOR, GALLOWS HUMOR
Another classification by topics is the distinction between political satire, religious satire and satire of manners.
Political satire is sometimes called topical satire, satire of manners is sometimes called satire of everyday life, and religious satire is sometimes called philosophical satire.
Comedy of manners
, sometimes also called satire of manners, criticizes mode of life of common people; political satire aims at behavior, manners of politicians, and vices of political systems. Historically, comedy of manners, which first appeared in British theater in 1620, has uncritically accepted the social code of the upper classes.
Comedy in general accepts the rules of the social game, while satire subverts them.
Classifications by medium
It appears also in graphic arts, music, sculpture, dance, cartoon strips
, and graffiti
. Examples areDada
sculptures, Pop Art
works, music of Gilbert and Sullivan
and Erik Satie
and rock music
In modern media culture
, stand-up comedy
is an enclave in which satire can be introduced into mass media
, challenging mainstream
discourse. Comedy roasts
, mock festivals, and stand-up comedians in nightclubs and concerts are the modern forms of ancient satiric rituals.
The Satirical papyrus at the British museum
Satirical Ostraca showing a Cat guarding geese c1120 BC, Egypt.
Figured Ostracon Showing a Cat Waiting on a Mouse, Egypt
One of the earliest examples of what we might call satire, The Satire of the Trades
is in Egyptian writing from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. The text’s apparent readers are students, tired of studying. It argues that their lot as scribes is useful, and their lot far superior to that of the ordinary man. Scholars such as Helck
think that the context was meant to be serious.
The Papyrus Anastasi I
(late 2nd millennium BC) contains a satirical letter which first praises the virtues of its recipient, but then mocks the reader’s meagre knowledge and achievements.
He is also notable for the persecution he underwent.
Aristophanes’ plays turned upon images of filth and disease.
His bawdy style was adopted by Greek dramatist-comedianMenander
. His early play Drunkenness contains an attack on the politician Callimedon
The oldest form of satire still in use is the Menippean satire
by Menippus of Gadara
. His own writings are lost. Examples from his admirers and imitators mix seriousness and mockery in dialogues and present parodies before a background of diatribe
. As in the case of Aristophanes plays, menippean satire turned upon images of filth and disease.
The first Roman to discuss satire critically was Quintilian
, who invented the term to describe the writings of Lucilius
. The two most prominent and influential ancient Roman satirists are Horace
, who wrote during the early days of the Roman Empire
. Other important satirists in ancient Latin
Satire in their work is much wider than in the modern sense of the word, including fantastic and highly coloured humorous writing with little or no real mocking intent. When Horace criticized Augustus
, he used veiled
ironic terms. In contrast, Pliny
reports that the 6th century BC poet Hipponax
wrote satirae that were so cruel that the offended hanged themselves.
Medieval Islamic world
Medieval Arabic poetry
included the satiric genre hija. Satire was introduced into Arabic prose literature
by the Afro-Arab
in the 9th century. While dealing with serious topics in what are now known as anthropology
, he introduced a satirical approach, “based on the premise that, however serious the subject under review, it could be made more interesting and thus achieve greater effect, if only one leavened the lump of solemnity by the insertion of a few amusing anecdotes or by the throwing out of some witty or paradoxical observations.
He was well aware that, in treating of new themes in his prose works, he would have to employ a vocabulary of a nature more familiar in hija, satirical poetry.”
For example, in one of his zoological
works, he satirized the preference for longer human penis size
, writing: “If the length of the penis were a sign of honor, then the mule
would belong to the (honorable tribe of) Quraysh
“. Another satirical story based on this preference was an Arabian Nights
tale called “Ali with the Large Member”.
In the 10th century, the writer Tha’alibi
recorded satirical poetry written by the Arabic poets As-Salami and Abu Dulaf, with As-Salami praising Abu Dulaf’s wide breadth of knowledge
and then mocking his ability in all these subjects, and with Abu Dulaf responding back and satirizing As-Salami in return.
An example of Arabic political satire included another 10th-century poet Jarir satirizing Farazdaq as “a transgressor of the Sharia
” and later Arabic poets in turn using the term “Farazdaq-like” as a form of political satire.
They viewed comedy as simply the “art of reprehension”, and made no reference to light and cheerful events, or troubled beginnings and happy endings, associated with classical Greek comedy. After theLatin translations of the 12th century
, the term “comedy” thus gained a new semantic meaning inMedieval literature
introduced satire in Persian literature
during the 14th century. His work is noted for its satire and obscene verses, often political or bawdy, and often cited in debates involvinghomosexual
practices. He wrote the Resaleh-ye Delgosha, as well as Akhlaq al-Ashraf (“Ethics of the Aristocracy”) and the famous humorous fable Masnavi Mush-O-Gorbeh (Mouse and Cat), which was a political satire. His non-satirical serious classical verses have also been regarded as very well written, in league with the other great works of Persian literature
. Between 1905 and 1911, Bibi Khatoon Astarabadi
and other Iranian writers wrote notable satires.
The disrespectful manner was considered “Unchristian” and ignored but for the moral satire, which mocked misbehaviour in Christian terms. Examples are Livre des Manières
by Étienne de Fougères
) (~1178), and some of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
. The epos
was mocked, and even the feudal society, but there was hardly a general interest in the genre.
Early modern western satire
Direct social commentary
via satire returned with a vengeance in the 16th century, when farcical texts such as the works of François Rabelais
tackled more serious issues (and incurred the wrath of the crown as a result).
(i.e. 16th-century English) writers thought of satire as related to the notoriously rude, coarse and sharp satyr play. Elizabethan “satire” (typically in pamphlet form) therefore contains more straightforward abuse than subtle irony.
The French Huguenot Isaac Casaubon
pointed out in 1605 that satire in the Roman fashion was something altogether more civilised. Casaubon discovered and published Quintilian’s writing and presented the original meaning of the term (satira, not satyr), and the sense of wittiness (reflecting the “dishfull of fruits”) became more important again. 17th-century English satire once again aimed at the “amendment of vices” (Dryden
In the 1590s a new wave of verse satire broke with the publication of Hall
‘s Virgidemiarum, six books of verse satires targeting everything from literary fads to corrupt noblemen. AlthoughDonne
had already circulated satires in manuscript, Hall’s was the first real attempt in English at verse satire on the Juvenalian model.
] The success of his work combined with a national mood of disillusion in the last years of Elizabeth’s reign triggered an avalanche of satire – much of it less conscious of classical models than Hall’s — until the fashion was brought to an abrupt stop by censorship.[a]
Age of Enlightenment
‘A Welch wedding’ Satirical Cartoon c.1780
The Age of Enlightenment
, an intellectual movement in the 17th and 18th century advocating rationality, produced a great revival of satire in Britain. This was fuelled by the rise of partisan politics, with the formalisation of the Tory
parties — and also, in 1714, by the formation of the Scriblerus Club
, which included Alexander Pope
, Jonathan Swift
, John Gay
, John Arbuthnot
, Robert Harley
, Thomas Parnell
, and Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke
This club included several of the notable satirists of early 18th century Britain. They focused their attention on Martinus Scriblerus, “an invented learned fool… whose work they attributed all that was tedious, narrow-minded, and pedantic in contemporary scholarship”.
In their hands astute and biting satire of institutions and individuals became a popular weapon. The turn to the 18th century was characterized by a switch from Horatian, soft, pseudo-satire, to biting “juvenal” satire.
was one of the greatest of Anglo-Irish satirists, and one of the first to practise modern journalistic satire. For instance, In his A Modest Proposal
Swift suggests that Irish peasants be encouraged to sell their own children as food for the rich, as a solution to the “problem” of poverty. His purpose is of course to attack indifference to the plight of the desperately poor. In his book Gulliver’s Travels
he writes about the flaws in human society in general and English society in particular.
The pictorial satire of William Hogarth
is a precursor to the development of political cartoons
in 18th century England.
The medium developed under the direction of its greatest exponent,James Gillray
With his satirical works calling the king (George III), prime ministers and generals (especially Napoleon) to account, Gillray’s wit and keen sense of the ridiculous made him the pre-eminent cartoonist
of the era.
(1665-1732), author of “The Sot-Weed Factor” (1708), was among the first American colonialists to write literary satire. Benjamin Franklin
(1706-1790) and others followed, using satire to shape an emerging nation’s culture through its sense of the ridiculous.
Satire in Victorian England[edit
Several satiric papers competed for the public’s attention in the Victorian era
(1837-1901) and Edwardian
period, such as Punch
(1841) and Fun
Perhaps the most enduring examples of Victorian satire, however, are to be found in the Savoy Operas
of Gilbert and Sullivan
. In fact, in The Yeomen of the Guard
, a jester is given lines that paint a very neat picture of the method and purpose of the satirist, and might almost be taken as a statement of Gilbert’s own intent:”I can set a braggart quailing with a quip,The upstart I can wither with a whim;He may wear a merry laugh upon his lip,But his laughter has an echo that is grim!”
Novelists such as Charles Dickens
often used passages of satiric writing in their treatment of social issues.
In the same period, in the United States, Mark Twain
(1835-1910) was a great American
satirist: his novel Huckleberry Finn
(1884) is set in the antebellum
South, where the moral values Twain wishes to promote are completely turned on their heads. His hero, Huck, is a rather simple but goodhearted lad who is ashamed of the “sinful temptation” that leads him to help a runawayslave
. In fact his conscience, warped by the distorted moral world he has grown up in, often bothers him most when he is at his best. Ironically, he is prepared to do good, believing it to be wrong.
20th century satire
is considered the first major European satirist since Jonathan Swift
In 20th century literature, satire was used by authors such as Aldous Huxley
(1930s) and George Orwell
(1940s), which under the inspiration of Zamyatin
‘s Russian 1921 novel We
, made serious and even frightening commentaries on the dangers of the sweeping social changes taking place throughout Europe. Many social critics of this same time in the United States, such as Dorothy Parker
and H. L. Mencken
, used satire as their main weapon, and Mencken in particular is noted for having said that “one horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms
” in the persuasion of the public to accept a criticism.
Benzino Napaloni and Adenoid Hynkel
in The Great Dictator (1940). Chaplin later declared that he would have not made the film if he had known about the concentration camps
STAND UP COMEDY CHALLENGES TABOOS AND CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
In the United States 1950s, satire was introduced into American stand-up comedy
most prominently by Lenny Bruce
and Mort Sahl
As they challenged the taboos
and conventional wisdom
of the time, were ostracized by the mass media establishment as sick comedians
. In the same period, Paul Krassner
‘s magazine The Realist
began publication, to become immensely popular during the 1960s and early 1970s among people in the counterculture
; it had articles and cartoons that were savage, biting satires of politicians such as Lyndon Johnson
and Richard Nixon
, the Vietnam War
, the Cold War
and the War on Drugs
Prominent satiric stand-up comedian George Carlin acknowledged the influence The Realist had in his 1970s conversion to a satiric comedian.
Warning; ADULT HUMOR, ADULT LANGUAGE
The Best Of George Carlin Exposing The Bullshit in American Government, Media, Business, Religion, Politics, War, Hollywood, Movies, etc.. via Satire
‘s most famous work, Catch-22
(1961), satirizes bureaucracy and the military, and is frequently cited as one of the greatest literary works of the twentieth century.
The film Dr. Strangelove
from 1964 was a popular satire on the Cold War
Contemporary popular usage of the term “satire” is often very imprecise. While satire often uses caricature
, by no means are all uses of these or other humorous devices, satiric. Refer to the careful definition of satire that heads this article.
satirically impersonated an opinionated and self-righteous television commentator on his Comedy Central
program in the United States.
’s television program, The Colbert Report
(2005-2014), is instructive in the methods of contemporary American satire. Colbert’s character
is an opinionated and self-righteous commentator who, in his TV interviews, interrupts people, points and wags his finger at them, and “unwittingly” uses a number of logical fallacies. In doing so, he demonstrates the principle of modern American political satire: the ridicule of the actions of politicians and other public figures by taking all their statements and purported beliefs to their furthest (supposedly) logical conclusion, thus revealing their perceived hypocrisy or absurdity.
The American sketch comedy television show Saturday Night Live
is also known for its satirical impressions and parodies of prominent persons and politicians, among some of the most notable, their parodies of U.S. political figures Hillary Clinton
and of Sarah Palin
In the United Kingdom, a popular modern satirist is Sir Terry Pratchett
, author of the internationally best-selling Discworld
book series. One of the most well-known and controversial British satirists is Sir Chris Morris
, co-writer and director of Four Lions
In Canada, satire has become an important part of the comedy scene. Stephen Leacock
was one of the best known early Canadian satirists, and in the early 20th century, he achieved fame by targeting the attitudes of small town life. In more recent years, Canada has had several prominent satirical television series and radio shows.
Cartoonists often use satire as well as straight humour. Al Capp
‘s satirical comic strip Li’l Abner
was censored in September 1947. The controversy, as reported in Time, centred on Capp’s portrayal of the US Senate. Said Edward Leech of Scripps-Howard, “We don’t think it is good editing or sound citizenship to picture the Senate as an assemblage of freaks and crooks… boobs and undesirables.”  Walt Kelly
was likewise censored in 1952 over his overt satire of Senator Joe McCarthy
, caricatured in his comic strip as “Simple J. Malarky”.
, whose comic strip Doonesbury
focuses on satire of the political system, and provides a trademark cynical view on national events. Trudeau exemplifies humour mixed with criticism. For example, the character Mark Slackmeyer
lamented that because he was not legally married to his partner, he was deprived of the “exquisite agony” of experiencing a nasty and painful divorce like heterosexuals. This, of course, satirized the claim that gay unions would denigrate the sanctity of heterosexual marriage.
Like some literary predecessors, many recent television satires contain strong elements of parody and caricature
; for instance, the popular animated series The Simpsonsand South Park both parody modern family and social life by taking their assumptions to the extreme; both have led to the creation of similar series.
As well as the purely humorous effect of this sort of thing, they often strongly criticise various phenomena in politics, economic life, religion and many other aspects of society, and thus qualify as satirical. Due to their animated nature, these shows can easily use images of public figures and generally have greater freedom to do so than conventional shows using live actors.
is also a very popular form of contemporary satire, appearing in as wide an array of formats as the news media itself: print (e.g. The Onion
, Canada News Network
, Private Eye
), “Not Your Homepage,
” radio (e.g. On the Hour
), television (e.g. The Day Today
, The Daily Show
, Brass Eye
) and the web (e.g. Mindry.in
, The Fruit Dish
, Scunt News
, Faking News
, El Koshary Today
, The Giant Napkin,
and The Onion’s website).
In an interview with Wikinews, Sean Mills, President of The Onion, said angry letters about their news parody always carried the same message. “It’s whatever affects that person”, said Mills. “So it’s like, ‘I love it when you make a joke about murder or rape, but if you talk about cancer, well my brother has cancer and that’s not funny to me.’ Or someone else can say, ‘Cancer’shilarious, but don’t talk about rape because my cousin got raped.’ Those are rather extreme examples, but if it affects somebody personally, they tend to be more sensitive about it.
, a comedian from Shanghai
, is the most popular satirist in China. His humour has interests middle-class people and has sold out shows ever since his rise to fame.
Literary satire is usually written out of earlier satiric works, reprising
previous conventions, commonplaces, stance, situations and tones of voice. Exaggeration
is one of the most common satirical techniques.
For its nature and social role, satire has enjoyed in many societies a special freedom license to mock prominent individuals and institutions.
satire is protected by the constitution.
Since satire belongs to the realm of art and artistic expression, it benefits from broader lawfulness limits than mere freedom of information of journalistic kind. In some countries a specific “right to satire” is recognized and its limits go beyond the “right to report” of journalism and even the “right to criticize.” Satire benefits not only of the protection to freedom of speech, but also to that to culture, and that to scientific and artistic production.
Censorship and criticism of satire
Descriptions of satire’s biting effect on its target include ‘venomous’, ‘cutting’, ‘stinging’,
vitriol. Because satire often combines anger and humor, as well as the fact that it addresses and calls into question many controversial issues, it can be profoundly disturbing.
Because it is essentially ironic or sarcastic, satire is often misunderstood. A typical misunderstanding is to confuse the satirist with his persona
Common uncomprehending responses to satire include revulsion (accusations of poor taste
, or that “it’s just not funny” for instance), to the idea that the satirist actually does support the ideas, policies, or people he is attacking. For instance, at the time of its publication, many people misunderstood Swift’s purpose in A Modest Proposal
, assuming it to be a serious recommendation of economically motivated cannibalism.
Targeting the victim
Some critics of Mark Twain
see Huckleberry Finn
and offensive, missing the point that its author clearly intended it to be satire (racism being in fact only one of a number of Mark Twain’s known concerns attacked in Huckleberry Finn).
This same misconception was suffered by the main character of the 1960s British television comedy satire Till Death Us Do Part
The Australian satirical television comedy show The Chaser’s War on Everything
has suffered repeated attacks based on various perceived interpretations of the “target” of its attacks. The “Make a Realistic Wish Foundation” sketch (June 2009), which attacked in classical satiric fashion the heartlessness of people who are reluctant to donate to charities
, was widely interpreted as an attack on the Make a Wish Foundation
, or even the terminally ill children helped by that organisation.
of the time Kevin Rudd
stated that The Chaser team “should hang their heads in shame”. He went on to say that “I didn’t see that but it’s been described to me. …But having a go at kids with a terminal illness is really beyond the pale, absolutely beyond the pale.”
Television station management suspended the show for two weeks and reduced the third season to eight episodes.
The romantic prejudice against satire is the belief spread by the romantic movement
that satire is something unworthy of serious attention; this prejudice has held considerable influence to this day.
Such prejudice extends to humor and everything that arouses laughter, which are often underestimated as frivolous and unworthy of serious study.
For instance, humor is generally neglected as a topic of anthropological research and teaching.
History of opposition toward notable satires
Because satire criticises in an ironic, essentially indirect way, it frequently escapes censorship
in a way more direct criticism might not. Periodically, however, it runs into serious opposition, and people in power who perceive themselves as attacked attempt to censor it or prosecute its practitioners. In a classic example,Aristophanes
was persecuted by the demagogue Cleon
1599 book ban
The motives for the ban are obscure, particularly since some of the books banned had been licensed by the same authorities less than a year earlier. Various scholars have argued that the target was obscenity, libel, or sedition. It seems likely that lingering anxiety about the Martin Marprelate
controversy, in which the bishops themselves had employed satirists, played a role; both Thomas Nashe
and Gabriel Harvey
, two of the key figures in that controversy, suffered a complete ban on all their works. In the event, though, the ban was little enforced, even by the licensing authority itself.
21st century polemics
In 2008, popular South African cartoonist and satirist Jonathan Shapiro
(who is published under the pen name Zapiro) came under fire for depicting then-president of the ANC Jacob Zuma
in the act of undressing in preparation for the implied rape of ‘Lady Justice’ which is held down by Zuma loyalists.
The cartoon was drawn in response to Zuma’s efforts to duck corruption charges, and the controversy was heightened by the fact that Zuma was himself acquitted of rape
in May 2006.
In February 2009, the South African Broadcasting Corporation
, viewed by some opposition parties as the mouthpiece of the governing ANC,
shelved a satirical TV show created by Shapiro,
and in May 2009 the broadcaster pulled a documentary about political satire (featuring Shapiro among others) for the second time, hours before scheduled broadcast. Apartheid South Africa
also had a long history of censorship.
On December 29, 2009, Samsung sued Mike Breen
, and the Korea Times
for $1 million, claiming criminal defamation over a satirical column published on Christmas Day, 2009.
On April 29, 2015, the UK Independence Party
(UKIP) requested Kent Police
investigate the BBC
, claiming that comments made about Party leader Nigel Farage
by a panelist on the comedy show Have I Got News For You
might hinder his chances of success in the general election (which would take place a week later), and claimed the BBC breached the Representation of the People Act.
Kent Police rebuffed the request to open an investigation, and the BBC released a statement, “Britain has a proud tradition of satire, and everyone knows that the contributors on Have I Got News for You regularly make jokes at the expense of politicians of all parties.”
Satire is occasionally prophetic: the jokes precede actual events.
Among the eminent examples are:
The 1784 presaging of modern daylight saving time
, later actually proposed in 1907. While an American envoy to France, Benjamin Franklin
anonymously published a letter in 1784 suggesting that Parisians
economise on candles by arising earlier to use morning sunlight.
The second episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus
, which debuted in 1969, featured a skit
entitled “The Mouse Problem
” (meant to satirize contemporary media exposés on homosexuality), which depicted a cultural phenomenon eerily similar to modern furry fandom
(which did not become widespread until the 1980s, over a decade after the skit was first aired)
The comedy film Americathon
, released in 1979 and set in the United States of 1998, predicted a number of trends and events that would eventually unfold in the near future, including an American debt crisis, Chinese capitalism
, the fall of the Soviet Union
aimed at the civilian population, a presidential sex scandal, and the popularity of reality shows
In January 2001, a satirical news article in The Onion
, entitled “Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity Is Finally Over”
had newly elected President George Bush vowing to “develop new and expensive weapons technologies” and to “engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.” Furthermore, he would “bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession.” This prophesies the Iraq War
and to the Bush tax cuts
In 1975, the first episode of Saturday Night Live
included an ad for a triple blade razor called the Triple-Trac; in 2001, Gillette
introduced the Mach3. In 2004, The Onion
and Gillette’s marketing of ever-increasingly multi-blade razors with a mock article proclaiming Gillette will now introduce a five-blade razor.
In 2006, Gillette released the Gillette Fusion
, a five-blade razor.
BILL MAHER; SATIRE AS COMEDIANS
Bill Maher Classic Stand-up Comedy 2003 SO FUNNY
SATIRE AS DIVINE COMEDY
Try Not To Laugh At The Dalai Lama’s Answer To A Question From The Audience
Often considered one of the most influential and inspirational people in the world, the Dalai Lama is one of the most well-known spiritual leaders. Born Lhamo Thondup in 1935, in Taktser, China, he has been the Dalai Lama since the young age of 15, declared the 14th reincarnation of the Dalai Lama by religious officials at age 2. When he assumed the title, he was renamed Tenzin Gyatso and took political power of Tibet briefly before China invaded. Among his many other great works, he advocates for an autonomously governed Tibet.
With such an air of destiny to his story, you would think that the Dalai Lama is a very serious and spiritual man. While this is true, he is also known to be incredibly personable and a fantastic public speaker. He captivates audiences all around the world, and he’s not afraid to crack a joke every now and then, like he does in the video above. Try not to giggle at his silly response to an audience member’s question.
The Dalai Lama, humorous, oh snap”
There is another story about the Dalai Lama, which is even deeper.
One day, Dalai Lama was listening to a monk who had just come out of Tibet and was telling him in awful detail, about all of the torturing, killing raping and inhumanity that the people and monks were suffering at the hands of the Chinese occupiers in Tibet. As he was telling this in graphic detail, Dalai Lama was laughing.
But he was not laughing AT the monk, nor was he laughing out of nervousness or repressed sadness/anger. Dalai Lama was laughing from a very DEEP place of pure conscioussness, where God resides. In other words, every human is God, infinite and pure Oneness, joy, peace, love and light. But since humans have forgotten this, and are stuck in the illusion that they can suffer, torture and kill each other, it is actually quite funny to see humans acting this way, when they are forgetting their divine heritage or destiny.
No one can be killed, nothing can be taken away, and there is no way to ‘lose’ anything, but in our true essence, we are immortal beings, made in the image of God, and that is our true home and destiny. Everything else that humanity wastes time on, is just to get the contrast, the opposite and to learn the lesson of what we are not.
Dalai Lama was laughing at the divine comedy of humans thinking and acting in a way that is so tiny, so fragmented, like a TV show where actors are acting on a stage, and pretending to be someone else. Humanity can keep on practicing and pretending to be something that they are not, but in the end, the comedy show must go on and everyone will get the joke and LAUGH, LAUGH, LAUGH, at how silly we have all been acting for soooooo long.
List of satirists and satires – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_satirists_and_satires
WikipediaList of satirists and satires … Also included is a list of modern satires. ….. Astérix (French comic strip, satirizing both the Roman Empire era as well as 20th …. their goal ofusing some social satire you wouldn’t expect out of a platforming game.
Early satirical authors – Medieval, Early Modern and …
List of satirical television news programs – Wikipedia, the …
Top 10 Satirists – Toptenz.net
Jul 13, 2010 – Satire was certainly a Roman trademark, but as a genre it also hearkens back … on ten writers – some famous, some not so famous – who enjoyed using satire. …. Like any good comedian, Aristophanes skillfully poked fun at …
10 Best Political Comedians Of All Time – Mic
Jul 24, 2013 – Blow off some steam with these political comedians. … For the millennial generation, political satire has been a prominent component of pop … Their comedy hour also featured many of the most famous musicians of the time …
Top 10 Angry Comedians – Listverse
Aug 25, 2007 – The follow list is of ten comedians who used anger as their main source of humor. … Every episode was satirical, combining the dark humor of the Jam …. like Richard Pryor and even Lenny Bruce had been using for years.
Top Ten Political Comedians in America
comedians.about.com › About Entertainment › Comedians › Top 10 Lists
Check out this list of the 10 best political stand-ups, from Bill Maher to Dennis … Colbert got his start), Colbert is part of the best hour of political satire on TV.
The Top 20 Jewish Comedians of All-Time | Mental Floss
Mental FlossAug 24, 2009 – I once asked Jon Lovitz, one of many comedians left off the list, why the… Born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, America’s foremost political satirist is also a …. and online ads using an image of Allen dressed as a Hasidic Jew in his …
Best Satire TV Shows List – Ranker
A GREEN ROAD PROJECT AND DR GOODHEART USE HUMOR AND SATIRE AS AN ACTIVIST TOOL
Who Is Dr. Goodheart And Why Everyone Needs To Find Their Inner Hero
About A Green Road Project
A seed can be planted much more easily with humor than with argument and emotional triggered reactions.
LAUGHTER AND HEALING; LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE
Is laughter still the best medicine? He searched though alternative medicine and traditional medicine. Comedian Dave Fitzgerald was diagnosed with cancer, bladder cancer and later prostate cancer. This award-winning documentary, Healing, Hope & Humor is 1/3 practical advice from a patients perspective, 1/3 humor, and 1/3 inspiration.
If you are looking for an inspirational gift, this may be perfect.
Got motivation? Whether you have huge dreams, or a goal for next week, we all need motivational tips and quotes to keep us moving towards them!
Ancient Stories, Success, Motivation, Activism, Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, Interfaith, Consciousness, Near Death, Miracles, Healing, Auras, Reincarnation
(The Bliss of Cancer) Evita Ramparte Refused Surgery, Chemo, Radiation & Healed Herself
Please help AGRP get this news out… thanks for your generous and very appreciated support! What you support grows and expands. What you withhold support from shrinks, shrivels and disappears. Even .50 cents per month is a great help. What is teaching the science of sustainable health worth?
Activism Teach In; Using Satire, Parody And Humor As An Activist Tool, Learn To Play And Have Fun With The Monsters, Laughter Is The Best Medicine For Healing
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