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Author Topic: Satire: a linchpin of civilization
Sharon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4090

posted 21 June 2005 11:28 AM      Profile for Sharon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
While the more literal-minded might see the Nazi salute solely as a malicious and misinformed commentary on the Pope's personal history, many others understand it for the edgy observation it really is.

Janice Kennedy


From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 21 June 2005 01:19 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's a good column! And they let her into the Ottawa Citizen? My impression was that that paper doesn't allow anything approaching intellectual creativity or critical intelligence.

Maybe I'll even buy one.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
swallow
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2659

posted 21 June 2005 01:32 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, good column.

So is that cartoon there permanently, or what? Will Constable ever draw a new one?


From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1299

posted 21 June 2005 01:34 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by swallow:
Will Constable ever draw a new one?

Who could blame him if he didn't. Wouldn't it be sweetly ironic if the kerfuffle about the cartoon kept it up on the site for longer.


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
remind
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6289

posted 21 June 2005 01:40 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Very good article. Glad to see it was in the OC and that others thought it brilliant too.

This was great:

quote:
Knickers were twisted into proper knots and the dudgeon ran high.



From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sharon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4090

posted 21 June 2005 01:45 PM      Profile for Sharon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So is that cartoon there permanently, or what?

I decided to leave Mike's cartoon up for another day, so people reading Janice's column -- who might not have seen the cartoon -- could have a look.


From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 21 June 2005 01:49 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, why don't I complicate things a little.

Since Kennedy herself runs through the history of some of the great Western satires, nobody is going to accuse me of elitism or name-dropping for saying this, eh? (FLW)

I am, of course, always happy to hear again of Horace and Alexander and Jonathan and Mordecai and the boys (and there are some grils too, eh?). I am also happy to see rabble.ca defended in the Citizen, as of course it should be everywhere. And of course I thought the attack of the CCRL was absurd, and Bulka's statement is threatening enough that it must be answered.

But to me, there is a considerable -- and legitimate, and understandable -- distance between a snort of sarcasm and the satire of Horace et al. To me, placing Constable in the latter tradition was just a touch much. He does a good snort. Ok. We can use those. But, ah -- Horace???


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8238

posted 21 June 2005 01:51 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hate crime? No. Satire, "edgy observation"? I'm not so sure about that either.

The cartoon features the Pope shambling up to a statue of the Virgin, glancing around surreptitiously, and saying "Heil Mary" before shuffling off again. I like to think I appreciate satire, but I don't think this has enough content to qualify.

It seems to me the main thing referenced in the cartoon IS the Pope's "personal history" as a teenaged member of the Hitler Youth, which we on the left like to conflate with his activities and statements in more recent decades. The message is that the Pope is still effectively a covert or not-so-covert Nazi. One can disagree or agree with this, but the problem is that the cartoon doesn't say enough to support this argument. To "get" it, you essentially already have to agree that Ratzinger's statements about church doctrine, immigration to Europe, and other matters qualify him as a modern-day fascist. People who aren't already convinced of this will either just see it as a bad pun or as a bald statement that because the Pope was in Hitler Youth he's a Nazi.


From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 21 June 2005 02:04 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The double entendre in the "Heil Mary" that might be confused with "Hail Mary" (a common Catholic prayer) by an adolescent member of the Hitler Youth seems perfectly appropriate for a Pontiff who has since distinguished himself by such things as an ideological inquisition against Liberation Theologists and an unrelenting determination to slow the wheel of history in relation to the reproductive and general rights of women. Good on, Mikey, and keep up the good work.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4140

posted 21 June 2005 02:30 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You know, it has just occurred to me that it might have been cleverer of Mike Constable to put the face of the adolescent Ratzinger on the cartoon. But how many of us would have noticed that? We all know how character and ideological viewpoints are formed at an early age and that such things are very difficult to change.

Former Cardinal Ratzinger's pattern of behaviour since his boyhood makes him an entirely legitimate target for Mike's clever satire. Where is the boy Joseph inside the man Ratzinger? Apparently, Constable's critics would not want this question to be raised at all, even in satire. A very palpable hit, Mikey.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
curly
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Babbler # 9674

posted 21 June 2005 03:00 PM      Profile for curly        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From all the condemnations heaped on Rabble over this, it re-enforces my belief that intolerance is directly proportional to religous fervour. How's that old saying go,"beware of the holier than thou's"
From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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Babbler # 2659

posted 21 June 2005 03:05 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
But to me, there is a considerable -- and legitimate, and understandable -- distance between a snort of sarcasm and the satire of Horace et al. To me, placing Constable in the latter tradition was just a touch much. He does a good snort. Ok. We can use those. But, ah -- Horace???

Well, let's put it this way. Constable does bad satire. Juvenile satire, on the level of "the Pope is a poopoo head hahaha." But it's still satire, surely?


From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 21 June 2005 03:14 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ya, I think we need to be able to say "Stuff it up your vestments" to the raging Catholics, and also say "Uh, where's the funny" to the cartoon.
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 21 June 2005 03:27 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
swallow, mainly I take Mr M's position, and it's probably not worth getting all academic about this.

I mean, there is a pun in Constable's cartoon, which is a structure of a kind, I guess.

But to me, the cartoon is closer to the kind of sarcasm a lot of us write to babble every day. Even in a period of high satire like the C18, there were a lot of pamphleteers writing whose names Janice Kennedy has not dropped in this article but who were very funny. Few remember them, though, and that has something to do with structure. To me, satire is very highly structured. Sarcasm is kind of a rim shot.


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Hephaestion
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posted 21 June 2005 03:34 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by swallow:
Well, let's put it this way. Constable does bad satire. Juvenile satire, on the level of "the Pope is a poopoo head hahaha." But it's still satire, surely?

... er... "juvenile" vs Juvenal, eh?


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swallow
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2659

posted 21 June 2005 04:57 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hah.

OK skdadl, i guess you're right then. Sarcasm it is.


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The Squire
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Babbler # 9677

posted 21 June 2005 08:48 PM      Profile for The Squire        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Peter Griffin, the great Family Guy once said, "While I disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it". I can't believe how many people are so outraged by this stupid little cartoon. The article is right, satire (freedom of speech and the press in general) is the lynchpin of western civilization and it should be (and has been) defended. But why is such a powerful and important social convention being used to defend something so trite? It’s just a cartoon, an inaccurate and un-insightful cartoon. The cartoon takes a very cheap shot at an organization that is easier to satirically hit than Michael Jackson. News Flash: Everyone knows the church, like any large organization, has made mistakes! And it’s so easy to for people to highlight those mistakes and call it insight.

‘Family Guy’ is funny and insightful, ‘The Simpson’s’ are incredibly funny and insightful, ‘Beavis and Butthead’ was funny and insightful. Without commenting too heavily on the content of the cartoon, all I can say is it was not funny and certainly not insightful. It lacked any real intelligence to be either. However, at the same time, it also lacked any real substance to be offensive. It was typical left wing bigotry. To the people who were offended by it, let it go. The Catholic Church has much more important things to worry about than this dumb little cartoon. Its ignorance is matched only by its irrelevance. If this guy wants to make these cartoons, he has every right to do so, all power to him. Countless solders in countless wars fought and died so he could enjoy that right. Let him enjoy it.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4795

posted 21 June 2005 08:58 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wow... is there anyone still remaining at Freak Dominion to mind the cesspool? (I know better than to ask if there's anyone left at Freak Dominion...) Connie really seems to have unleashed the flying monkeys lately.

Wonder if it has anything to do with feeling touchy over how the Reformatories have been stinking up Parliament Hill lately?


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
John K
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3407

posted 21 June 2005 09:17 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From Janice Kennedy's column:

quote:
But no. Constable was instead pilloried. Said Bulka, “There is no room for this type of satire in this civilized world.”

Sadly, he may be right. More and more, we're making less and less room in our world for the astringent joys of satire. In a culture that has discovered how to manipulate what it cynically disparages as political correctness (that is, criticize it when it threatens to silence you, but trot it out when you need to muzzle someone else), we have new tools for condemning the outspoken.


Hear, hear, Janice Kennedy. And not only satire, but also it's even more edgy relative, parody.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 22 June 2005 08:25 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gee, The Squire: For someone complaining about a piece of writing overdoing it (as I did m'self), you sure overdid it.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Squire
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9677

posted 27 June 2005 01:45 PM      Profile for The Squire        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dear skdadl,
Point well taken...

From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
BLZbub
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9737

posted 28 June 2005 01:53 PM      Profile for BLZbub     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't find the cartoon offensive, funny or original.

"Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own."

-Jonathan Swift


From: Hell | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 28 June 2005 02:48 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My first thought while reading the article is the same one that skdadl has written here. I would defend both Constable's cartoon and the sentiment behind it, but to compare his work with that of Swift? Richler?

Come ON.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
BLZbub
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Babbler # 9737

posted 28 June 2005 05:14 PM      Profile for BLZbub     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It is a critique FROM, not a comparison TO.
From: Hell | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
livvy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5437

posted 01 July 2005 01:05 PM      Profile for livvy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Satire is perhaps only as effective as the audience's response.

In the case of the wonderful Heil Mary cartoon, only those of us who knew about the absolutism, fanatacism and superstition surrounding Ratzinger reacted with understanding and appreciation along with a big hoot. I'm sure that many of the Cardinals who worked with Ratzinger reacted this way.

Those mired in the depths of ignorance who really needed to get the message on Ratz, didn't get the unstated message of the cartoonist because they didn't know it for whatever reason. All they got was a comparison of Ratz with a Nazi. They probably didn't even get the double entendre.

I have found that satire goes over the heads of far right wingers. Shucks, even simple metaphor seems to be beyond most of them.

Should one call "instant satire" as in the response to satire in a cartoon, "sarcasm"?

Here are two modern satirical sites you may like:

Landover Baptist Church

Welcome to the White House


From: Southern Ontario | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged

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