When the world is as crazy as it is today, the lost art of satire rises as one of the few ways to expose the insanity.
Readers of this blog will remember some of my own attempts at the form with my various alter egos. I was asked some time ago why they have all died out. Where is Duane Mandible–the arch conservative traditionalist? What happened to dunderheaded journalist Todd Unctious? Where is Mantilla the Hon, the Vicar, Mrs Brady Catholic Old Lady or the delightful Caitlin o’Rourke?
The answer is, I don’t really know. Has my sense of humor dried up, shriveled and gone? Has my imagination withered with age?
I can’t really make myself conjure up these characters. They just sort of came to me.
I’ll pray about it.
In the meantime a rather effective piece of satire has come from the nimble fingers of a renegade sort of person from the Isle of Man in England. Jules Gomes blogs as Rebel Priest. Jules recently tickled the politically correct establishment Church of England with this post that fooled a lot of people. I must admit he had me in the first few paragraphs, then a bit further in I realized he was “taking the mickey” as they say in the damp lands.
The thing about satire is that, if it is well done, you can’t really lose. People who are fooled, then realize they were fooled and that helps bring some perspective and a little smidgen of humility their way, and any bit of humility–even just a smidgen is a gift of grace
If the target of your ridicule responds with indignation, then you’ve scored another point. In Jules’ case he actually got his knuckles wrapped by not less a personage than the Archbishop of Canterbury’s PR chief–a chap called John Bingham.
So if the target gets all huffy they’ve been had because, by their indignation they’ve proven publicly their own pomposity and the satire has popped their balloon.
The other responses which are delightful are the ones from self righteous pseudo-religious people. “You’re a priest. You’re supposed to be kind to everyone!” or “Don’t you think it would be much better to pray for other people rather than mock them?”
No, not really. If the fat emperor is naked have a good laugh at him and say so.
So I say “Satire away like billy-o!”