The Death of Satire

Satire cannot live in a world that is already an exaggeration. This world is already lampooning itself by its very existence, provides a daily example of egregious stupidity and unbelievable irony.

For example, at the end of January, travel from China was restricted in an effort to help stop the spread of The Bob into the USA. Back then, this was considered to be an overreaction, and yet today, people are screaming that this administration underreacted. Huh? Can’t have it both ways. Though I could be mistaken.

Then, when the riots came, people started screaming that the president wasn’t doing anything to stop them, ignoring the fact that this is still The United STATES of America, and states have some autonomy, less than what was planned by the founders, more than what the big government folks want. As of now, unless the governors invite federal intervention (or unless a state of emergency is declared as well as a few other exceptions), a president cannot simply send troops to invade a state.

Those aren’t especially good examples. A better example was laid out in an article I read today about Minneapolis defunding their police department. Now the council members don’t understand why crime is rising and why the police aren’t doing anything. Really? What did they think was going to happen? Did they think the presence of the police caused crime and removing them would immediately remove incidences of crime? Logic 101 — lawlessness equals lawlessness.

How can you possibly lampoon any of this? You can’t. Reality has killed satire. Done for. Dead. There’s no need for satire when the whole world reads like a satiric novel.

If all the ridiculousness was of a civil or political nature, that would be one thing, but it’s not. The past couple of days, we’ve had cloudless days here in Colorado, but the skies aren’t clear. We’re gasping in the smoky west coast air. It’s not as bad here, a thousand miles away, as it is there, but it’s enough to make breathing difficult and to obscure the beautiful blue September sky.

I remember when I went to California to look after my dad, I mentioned to some people there that when I had lived on the western slope of Colorado, I could always tell when there were forest fires in California because I could smell them. People thought I was absurd, and absolutely refused to give any credence to my explanation of air currents. But here we Coloradans are, suffocating in western coast smoke.

One final example of a world gone beyond satire — here it is almost winter, and my spring bulbs decided to pop up. Perhaps they thought that snowstorm we had was winter, and the warm days presage spring. Who knows. All I know is that there that jaunty bit of greenery sits.

And I know that satire has been out-satired by reality.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

7 Responses to “The Death of Satire”

  1. Joe Says:

    I live in Minneapolis as you probably gathered. You’re not wrong. Our city “clowncil” is a collection of incompetents who couldn’t organize a birthday party. The only thing my council person knows how run is her mouth, so running a city ward is beyond her. On the council itself we have a bunch of “activists” who got voted in somehow, among them a college dropout who is the son of the state AG. It’s a Mess with a capital M. We’re stuck with these boobs until November 2021. Evidently the sensible people abstained from voting last time around… A few weeks ago, the city was sending property tax pay-up notices to the property owners of the building that lie in ruin, piles of rubble etc and wouldn’t let them have demolition crews come in the remove the rubble until prop tax was paid. WTF? A whole lot of residents squawked about that, including me, and the city suddenly reversed itself and let the owners proceed with removal. Yet there are STILL piles of rubble and boarded up buildings galore, and winter is coming. I dunno… if I knew where to go I would get the hell outta here.

  2. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    I’m not writing much satire mainly for the reasons you said. But also, with things so polarized, nobody can take a joke if it’s aimed against their philosophy.

  3. Sam Sattler Says:

    Perfect example for you: the Babylon Bee website. The Bee is a 100% fake news, satirical website that I find very funny most days. It skewers both political parties, but perhaps does pick on the left more than on the right. It amazes me how many people read the articles and pass them on as real news. Facebook used to be filled with people screaming about the articles because they believed them. Satire is not easy these days.

  4. Kathy Says:

    I know, I know! All so very true!

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