The Art of Satire

I like satire. It often cuts to the quick so much easier than any other form of criticism. In Britain, satire has always been valued. The cartoons of Punch magazine are fine examples of how a society could lambast inflated public figures with a merciless wit, puncturing their pomposity, and bringing down royalty to the level of the common people. Satire can be used to attack ideas just as effectively. Recently, I have found some excellent examples of this. They are related to the recent programme screened here in Britain on Channel 5 featuring Jodie Turner-Smith as Anne Boleyn and which featured in a previous blog post, Fact over Fiction Again.

All three cartoons make the same point, that the idea behind using colour-blind casting, as it is termed, in depictions of real people is absurd. None of the cartoons are subtle, but then satire works best when it is simple. Subtlety can hide honesty, satire drags it into the light. Pompous ideas are revealed it for what they are. In the case of depicting real people as they were most certainly not in order to satisfy questionable a social agenda then it is little more than intellectual masturbation.

“Most people find facts irritating. Facts interfere with their systems of denial.”
Walter Darby Bannard

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