Monday, February 04, 2008


SATIRE, n. An obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author's enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness. In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic. Moreover, although Americans are "endowed by their Creator" with abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a soul-spirited knave, and his ever victim's outcry for codefendants evokes a national assent.

Hail Satire! be thy praises ever sung
In the dead language of a mummy's tongue,
For thou thyself art dead, and damned as well —
Thy spirit (usefully employed) in Hell.
Had it been such as consecrates the Bible
Thou hadst not perished by the law of libel.
—Barney Stims

2008 Update:  A mocked man's incomplete revenge and whiskey's favorite chaser.


TLP said...

Satire: Sacred form of humor and expression. No truth intended.

Surely last night's game was satire.

TLP said...

Am I first for today, or last for yesterday?

Tom & Icy said...

A dog's response to strong cologne.

Jamie Dawn said...

Satire: Making fun in a funny way. I guess it would be like saying "He's a genius" when talking about someone who clearly is not. Take my son's friend, for instance. He said that his family would be hosting missionaries from the "Philistines." I kid you not!! I will probably blog about this kid some day because... He's a genius!

Ariel the Thief said...

Satire, the adult version of when we used to destroy each other's sand castle in the sandpit.

Anonymous said...

TLP, last night's game was just deserts. Now maybe the NFL will prove it's not just a satire (if not a farce) by shutting the cheaters down completely next season. Before Congress does it for them.

SATIRE, n. The material making up the Emperor's new clothes.

Anonymous said...

SATIRE n. sarcasm & irony conveyed by the wheels of a true story

(OC says that's tiresome)

G said...

TLP & OC: from the NY side of the bench, it was sheer poetry. :)

Satire: best served fresh and not warmed over.

Anonymous said...

Satire is not the same as sarcasm, which is much uglier and less clever. It proves Bierce's point that some of us confuse them. It's hard to remember what satire is like because sentiment won't let it up for air.

Minka said...

satire,n. yesterday through today's magnifying glass

The Old Mule said...

doug, your update has left me type-less. Fine job.

But I will quote a Roman poet (Juvenal): "In times like these it is difficult not to write satire."

Anonymous said...

People who don't know what satire means need only go to Maine and ask for directions to that place you are standing in front of; chances are, the locals will send you down to OC's old place.

Satire, served cold and with a snicker.

OC: Patriots rock. Just wait until next yee ah. ...

mireille said...


Doug's riposte re a post (about a very sweet movie The Lady In The Water) titled Hope, Idealism, Sacrifice, Redemption: Actually, when I saw the title I thought it might be about the Patriots and I was wondering where the redemption would come from. Zockso, though! *note that Doug uses zockso when he is trying to mitigate something he just said*

mireille said...
Doug, God has given us the Patriots and the Red Sox to teach us patience and humility. What is redemption if not delayed triumph?

So is one of these satire? And one sarcasm? Can you tell me which is which? Also what's up with the cow symbology woven through Doug's work? I've been wondering.


Doug The Una said...

TLP, your definition is right. Last night's game was drunken city league all-stars beating the best of the NFL. Amen.

Haha, Icy. Or Strong cologne on a dog.

Jamie Dawn, is that the one that thought Taylor's height might could give him cancer like what kilt Abraham Lincoln?

Ariel, those were good days, but I don't appreciate your spitting on my minaret.

Amoeba, you are truly a man of principle or else one still mad about something that happened growing up. Or both, really. Fantastic definition, though. Wish I'd thought of it.

Quilly, satire is the defense against tiresomeness.

G, I was a Giants fan for four hours or so yesterday. It may not happen again, though.

That's the right metaphor, Weirsdo. I'm breathing again.

Actonbell, it's better than poetry, romance and philosophy all in. I agree.

Minka, when I read Bierce or Wilde I think it's today's world through yesterday's glass. Or at the bottom of this morning's.

Mule, I should put a bust of Iuvenal behind my computer for inspiration. Maybe with a lemon in his mouth. If I ever learn Latin it will be to read Juvenal.

Sauerkraut, are you people going to be intolerable next year, too? If losing won't help there's no hope.

Mireille, I've known more cows than women. You are the satirist and I the humble sarcast. I say, Zockso, a la Tom, by the way, in lieu of xoxo so I won't consider that I emasculated myself on my keyboard.

Ariel the Thief said...

There's a word like that in Hungarian (zokszó), it means complaint. Maybe the sorrow of a man's heart trying to look sweet and feel salt. :-)

G said...

Ariel, I thought that I heard that before! What a perfect response.

Unknown said...

Satire = my life's blood.