Is Satire Obsolete?

Comedy seems to be on the wrong side of what is acceptable just now, but what about satire? How difficult would it be to do that work? How could you imagine anything more unlikely than what is happening?

When things are too bizarre in real life, satire would be a pale comparison.

I have always enjoyed P.J. O’Rourke. He has a way of seeing things from a different perspective. It makes you think and that is worth something special. Some of it is so far off the normal playing field you can see the field better once you notice his idea.

I have a problem accepting late term abortions. I understand in some jurisdictions you can have a pregnancy terminated after delivery. We used ot call that infanticide, but no more. O’Rourke sees it as an edge problem. At what point is post birth abortion allowed.

“Incidentally, there’s a balanced position that all of America’s presidential candidates could take on the controversial abortion issue. If they want votes they shouldn’t campaign to make abortion illegal or legal. They should campaign to make it retroactive. If a kid reaches 25 and he or she is still jobless, feckless, and sitting around Starbucks acting like a — no offense — European, then whack.”

I suspect that position would not enjoy unanimous support, but the extreme of late term abortion is hard to understand too.

The Democratic elites hates the poor. The poor seem not to notice that fact. PJ’s view is not the standard way to think about it.He sees that it has to do with foreigners.

“Why do elites hate the poor? It’s xenophobia. They don’t know any poor people – except their off-the-books Brazilian nanny and illegal immigrant cleaning lady from Upper Revolta who don’t speak English.”

It’s not easy to appreciate people not like yourself.

Do we still value individuality? Does personal responsibility come up in conversation much any more. That is likely why golf is not as popular as it once was. You can learn a lot about personal responsibility by playing golf.

“One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it’s remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver’s license.”

If we are not personally responsible for our behaviour, who will be?

Socialism is advancing. We know it doesn’t work, but that seems not to matter. O’Rourke points out the motivation.

“Marxism has tremendous appeal in the Third World for exactly the same reason it had tremendous appeal to me in college. It gives you something to believe in when what surrounds you seems unbelievable. It gives you someone to blame besides yourself. It’s theoretically tidy. And, best of all, it’s fully imaginary so it can never be disproved.”

I would not have thought of calling it an imaginary system and that’s why I appreciate his mind.

Is it possible for politicians to be practical? O’Rourke’s view is no.

“The minute somebody joins a committee… they immediately suffer from committee brain. They become wildly over-enthusiastic, over-optimistic, over-pessimistic. Committees turn people into idiots, and politics is a committee.”

The takeaway

When people agree with you, you never change. When someone shows you a new way to think about things you see every day, you should pay attention and even if you smile, give it some thought.

Pay attention and look for people who can make the foolish obvious.

I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email

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