I think that by nature satire has an edge. It’s not all warm and fuzzy. It is pointed opinion, bathed in irony and, if the reader is lucky, wit. It works to get the reader thinking. It is risk-taking, in that it does not necessarily win pats on the back and “Thanks for your support”.
A satirist is the opposite of a sycophant (a self-serving flatterer).
Another word of which you might consider the meaning: Bully. A bully is one who browbeats. Browbeating is indimidation by stern manner or arrogant speech.
Let’s put these words into use, shall we?
Let’s say I am walking down the street, and an attractive, well-dressed person comes up to me and asks me if I can spare a few bucks for her college education. I will think about it for a moment, and on a certain type of day, in a certain frame, of mind, I might reward her industriousness with a 10-dollar bill. On most days, I am more likely to simply smile and move on without dipping into my pocket. I might even consider said attractive, well-dressed person’s plea for money to have been a clever joke. On SOME days, especially if I am feeling light and creative, I might laugh turn to my walking companion and say, “Hey, that sounds like a good idea, maybe I should set up camp on one of these street corners and ask for money for Botox, the world would, after all be a better place, if it didn’t have to endure my thinking lines above my eyebrows.”
That, my friends, is satire. It is the use of irony to point up a folly.
If it is in earshot of the attractive, well-dressed, education-seeking person, then there is a sharper edge to it. Still, it is satire. In fact, as I think about it, I realize that there is a chance that I might even turn to the the attractive, well-dressed, education-seeking person and tell her my idea, maybe to get a laugh, maybe to get a dialogue going, maybe just because the whole notion of the slippery slope of asking for money for onesself (which is NOT the definition of charity, which is defined as benevolent donation to benefit others) is interesting and filled with potential missteps. Pointing out a folly, you know, and all that. Satire.
So far, so good.
Now, let’s change it up a bit. Let’s add to that, a tall, scary person (I’m short, remember), who is waiting off to the side of the attractive, well-dressed, education-seeking person. When she hears my satire, she leaps out, grabs me by the throat and says, “What the fuck is wrong with you? Can’t you see that she needs to go to college and that she deserves it, and you, you small-minded litle shit are too stuck in your own little meaningless, petty bubble to see that. Give her the fucking money, you moronic, non-yogic little bitch, or else doom yourself to a life of never thinking outside the box and basically being a selfish little pig.”
By now, I am scared. And shocked. And quite a bit outraged. The only thing keeping this assualt from becoming a full-on mugging is that tall, scary person has not reached into my pocket and stolen my wallet. Instead, I see it as more of a a shakedown. Or maybe what Scientologists do – threaten you with eternal something or other if you don’t donate to their Celebrity Center.
So, if I were to come home from this failure of an interaction, and tell people about it, even write about it here, would that be wrong?
Do I need to define “Blog” at this point? Ah, JFGI.