Sunday, May 16, 2010
Satire: A New Spiritual Gift
I am officially naming satire as an authentic spiritual gift. Satire is closely related to paradox on one end and is often slips into cynicism when people get angry. Yes, satire is poking fun at something without the edge of anger or personal attacks.
Making fun of people when they are not laughing always borders on ugliness so cynicism is out of order. But cynicism can be beautiful and educational. Wikipedia says:
In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are censured by ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent of improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its purpose is often not so much humor for its own sake as an attack on something strongly disapproved by the satirist, using the weapon of wit.
Some of my posts here are intended to be satirical and allow readers to laugh at the foibles and craziness of our age.
The Bible has satire in it. Remember when Elijah was fighting against the Priests of Baal? They were unsuccessfully calling on their phony, powerless gods to come and set their pyre on fire? Elijah laughed so hard he could hardly stand it. Then he mocked them with great satirical questions like, "Where are your gods? Did they have to go to the toilet?"
Sometimes the best way to bring down an opponents position is to make fun of it. Modern comics devastated George W. Bush and his administration. However, so far, Mr. Obama has the comics on his side in the war of satire.
The Left Wing of American politics seems to do political comedy/satire better than Conservatives. Ronald Reagan was very funny and quite satirical but not many can fill his shoes. Governor Sarah Palin could rival President Reagan if she works hard but so far she is too up tight to consistently bring down the house with her humor.
The perfect target for satire is a person or group that is uptight, pompous, rich, strong or arrogant but inept. This is one reason that people make fun of the Federal Government. I try my best to come up with satirical insights and I even post some of them. Tell me what you think about satire.