Salvo 12.04.2023 7 minutes

Satire Is Dead

A participate poses for a photo during the LGBTQ parade in

It’s hard to keep up.

“It’s hard to keep from writing satire.” – Juvenal

I love satire, good satire. Satire is a specialized form of comedy (come to think of it, it is hard to say when a humorous tale transforms into a satire). Like all comedy, satire can elicit a grin or a belly laugh, but it can also be humorlesswhich seems like a contradiction. But think of Gulliver’s Travels, Skin and Bones, and Juvenal’s Satires in the former, and in the latter case 1984, Brave New World, and We. One of the few things that Freud got right was that aggression, whether overtly or not, is the basis of humor, and the instrument of humor is often exaggeration or incompatibility.

I have written several satirical short stories, which were either humorous, or hair raising, or elicited anger, many of them based on today’s bizarre goings-on. So, my next question may seem odd: Is satire dead?

Why do I ask this? Because every time I hear or read the news I feel I am living in an episode of The Twilight Zone. If satire is an extension, an exaggeration, of some absurdity, how can you possibly exaggerate the following everyday news, events, and statements?

In Auckland, thanks to media mendacity fomenting hatred against her, a woman who advocates for the safety of women was attacked by transgenders and other activists and her event, Let Women Speak, was shut down. No feminists defending her, or the event, could be found, and none said anything about it afterwards.

A fledgling movement has risen for “ethical cannibalism.” Needless to say, there is a rationality for it.

Vimeo websites permanently suspended the David Horowitz Freedom Center from their site because they posted a video talking about…censorship.

Some Africans have decided that eating the body parts of human albinos render benefits to the consumer.

In order to “save the planet,” Net Zero, a company pushing a no-carbon lifestyle through sustainable and reusable products, came out with reusable toilet cloth, as opposed to toilet paper.

As is well known by now, liberals insist that men can have periods and become pregnant.

Men are allowed to participate in women’s sports simply by the men declaring themselves to be women, thereby winning and so, robbing the women of the glory, fame, money, and scholarships, while injuring women in the process (ironically proving that anything a woman can do a man can do better).

As is well known by now, liberals refuse to call women “women,” preferring terms such as “a birthing person,” a “menstruating person,” “individuals with a cervix,” “menstruators,” and “egg producers” (just like chickens). Most mainstream feminists have said and done nothing, indirectly proving that helping women was really not their end goal after all.

When the American Booksellers Association sent books to sellers, it included a book critical of the transgender cult. Some objected to this “violence,” and the ABA apologized for “this terrible incident and the pain we caused them.”

In order to “save the planet,” a movement began in Western countries to get people to start eating crickets. They even made cricket chips, as in potato chips.

To stop global warming, there is a parallel movement to exterminate cows since they eat plants and fart methane, which is a greenhouse gas (so do vegans, but no one has suggested exterminating them).

The City Hall of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin sent out an email explaining that in order to be “inclusive,” the Christmas colors of red and green, as well as religious decorations, will be unwelcomed.

Publisher Little, Brown canceled a new book, Welcome to the Woke Trials.

The Oregon State Board of Education voted unanimously to eliminate the very basic requirements of math, reading, or writing in order to graduate, for the sake of “equity,” the glorification of the lowest common denominator.

According to liberals, mathematics is racist. So is the word picnic. The Beatles song, “Help!” is racist. So is the Statue of Liberty. Yoga is racist also. Home security cameras are racist. The game cricket is racist. Fireworks are racist. Waking up early is racist. Frankenstein is racist. Organized pantries are racist. And sexist. Horse riding is racist. And it goes on and on and on.

Susan McClary wrote that the theme of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is about rape and sexual frustration. She received a MacArthur genius grant, and the American Musicology Society’s highest honors, the Otto Kinkeldey Prize.

Former NSA and CIA chief Michael Hayden said that patriotic, Christian Americans were no different from Hamas terrorists who killed and butchered innocent civilians.

Parents who objected at school board meetings against liberals brainwashing their children to submit to sexual mutilation were labeled as domestic terrorists by the FBI.

An alliance of white liberals and black racists has saturated the country with blatantly open anti-white racism, expressed through truly ignorant and psychotic statements and policies as well as violence. Companies that have been infiltrated to the top by these individuals urge their employees and customers to be less white and to end “whiteness.” In the process, they have rewritten and falsified history, a standard Communist maneuver. The white auto-racists are essentially Judas goats who are trying to convince other whites how enlightened and humanitarian white people could be if they would only agree to cut their own throats. Who would have thought that famous historical figures such as Cleopatra and Beethoven would have been portrayed as black, or that Stonehenge was built by blacks?

A company has come out with tampons for men. Which begs the question: where do you insert them?

These are a tiny sample of the bizarro world that we live in, something that will come as no surprise to anyone besides leftists who seem to flourish in it. It was tempting to keep going with examples for at least 50 pages more, but you get the gist. In any normal time, most of these statements and actions would have been diagnosed as being obviously the product of demented minds.

Giovanni Guareschi wrote regarding his satire of politics in small Italian towns that he was going to include a scene when, during a Communist rally, the speaker sees a plane overhead dropping leaflets from the opposition, whereupon he grabs a machine gun and aims it at the plane but doesn’t shoot. He eliminated the scene because he thought it was too fantastic. A few years later, he learned that it actually happened, except that the Communist fired and the plane was shot down. I myself was thinking of an idea for a satirical story, but thought it too much, too unbelievable to the point the story would be ridiculed, and then…wouldn’t you know it…the over the top bizarre story became reality: a Harvard children’s hospital staff declared that children in the womb know they are transgender.

The point is, when writers pen satire, they may occasionally restrain themselves because they think they may be overdoing it and so it is not good satire. That feeling is impossible these days when patently insane people are making policy and voicing breathtaking stupidities. The satire writes itself—to an extreme degree. I admit that I have taken some of these comments, or events, and ran with them, writing a few satirical short stories (is that cheating?). The Babylon Bee has seen its “predicted” outrageous satires come true numerous times (the Bee was actually accused of being “fake news” by the media—what real-life satire!).

Which brings me to the original question: Is satire dead or flourishing?

Because how can you write satire when you are living in a satire? Indeed, how can you write satire when the satire writes itself? It’s outpacing you.

And that is why I think that satire may be dead.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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