Regularly enough, satire sites such as Waterford Whispers put up an article that leads to somewhat of a backlash. For example, a recent piece on the cervical check was met with a host of angry reactions. One commenter said that the article was ‘not funny’ and i’d wholeheartedly agree with them there. However, I don’t believe it was ever the intention of the author for it to be humorous. It was a quite brilliant critique of the governments reaction to the Cervical Check Scandal. The article exposed their attempt to shove the scandal under the carpet in a way that no cold hearted analysis or news report could do.
Satire isn’t solely about being funny. Sure, there’s plenty of lighted hearted articles out there that essentially take the piss and give us a chuckle on our commute home from work. However, it is also an important means of analyzing a situation. It can be a powerful tool for exposing situations for what they really are. Scrolling through your News feed on Twitter can be a depressing experience. You’ll see a variety of news stories all described differently by different publications and different people. Sometimes , satire is the best means of truly understanding a situation. It can be the bridge between people of different political beliefs and be the brutal mechanism through which the true reality is displayed.
This idea that there are boundaries that should not be crossed ignores the power of satire and defeats it’s purpose. Most of us consider ourselves to be decent people who have values and morals but even the most principled among us become numbed to the reams of emotionless news reports. Satire helps breach this wall of detachment and helps us to understand the experiences of the children in Gaza or the homeless on the streets of Dublin.
We live in a quite frightening era where a narcissistic racist is the president of the United States, the far right are slowly rising throughout Europe and the UK are about to elect a blundering idiot as Prime Minister. Often, the only way of not feeling utterly depressed by the situation is by seeing the humour in it. If the world is about to end in a brutal nuclear war between absolutely everyone, an ice age brought on by climate change or perhaps the earth just saying ‘get stuffed’ for all it’s had to put up with then we may as well go out laughing.
Satire has always been used to express a certain viewpoint, from the political cartoons of World War 2 satirizing Hitler and Stalin to the numerous Trump and Brexit related ones we see today. It has been used to make us laugh and to think and it has often given us a clearer outlook. It’s absolutely vital that we don’t let our sensitivities restrict its power and influence.