An Attempt To Open Up To Satire

So this other day I was watching an episode of Monty Python and a particular quote by John Cleese stuck with me. It goes something like this,” If I can get you to laugh with me, you like me better, which makes you more open to my ideas. And if I can persuade you to laugh at a particular point I make, by laughing at it you acknowledge its truth.”

Satire opens up peoples mind to points and facts that they might have otherwise rejected outright. By bringing emotional humor into the picture, we shed light onto issues that otherwise remain shrouded. Therein lays the tremendous value of satire and sarcasm. It is a fun way to criticize the societal norms and slowly point out that obstinate and inept rules need to be changed. The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and even immature shows like South Park or Family Guy exemplify this perfectly. These shows have addressed some of the most sensitive topics with a hilarious take and come out victorious by generating awareness amongst its audience. From gay rights to the right to bear arms, from moot issues of politics to the omnipresent question of what came first: the chicken or the egg, all these subjects have been dealt with accurately. Back home, the faking news and Mr. Cyrus Broacha have been trying to fire-start, inform and challenge stringent ideas of politics and daily happenings in our country. Moreover, if you follow them regularly, you will be blown away by the sheer simplicity with which they present some of their views. And I personally believe that satire is a necessary ingredient to shape up the ideologies of the society. It is not always that violence or for that matter, non-violence can help oppose a prevalent idea. Sometimes, an opinion of the funny man can make you pause to reflect and reconsider. It is in these self-introspection phases that you will see the brilliance of such a fragile system.

It seems to me that we are increasingly becoming a bi-polar society with such extreme views that anything and everything seems to hit the bull’s eye. Any opinion put forward is ridiculed and every other day seems to throw up some deep-seated anger that morphs into rebellion. Out of all these zones, political imprudence reaches out to the maximum number of audience. And as long as the political systems fail to deliver, mockery will never stop. Why not, I say. If we can laugh out the follies, as Aristotle put it so eloquently, then why ban them out of existence. The mere fact that satire exists points to a free society. And in a revolutionized era where the basic human rights include freedom of speech, it is hypocritical of us to even expect that humorous takes on every topic are not required. You do not like it, do not watch or preach about it. Its as simple as that.

There was a quote I found on the internet that perfectly described the current scenario of the world, “The eruption of war after futile war, the abandonment of constitutional norms, the bungling of espionage agencies, the damage inflicted on the environment, and the Orwellian, murderous world of strutting dictators.” Living a calculated life that we do, what is the harm in bringing a satirical angle to it all. Ignorance breeds intolerance. But because it is aimed at popular theories and dogmas, these comical incursions are bound to be discouraged by a select few. The problem arises when these select few appear to be stronger than a faction of satirical people. Though the new society has shown promising response and this category is slowly blossoming, there is still a long way to go. And like all great stories ever told and all the inspiring speeches delivered, this is just another tool to inspire and educate the masses.


Chandana Rao

Idler, bibliophile, side-spectator, day dreamer and an engineering student trying to find something she is good at. An average girl with high hopes and even bigger ambitions. 






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