Kish and I were driving home yesterday, so we missed the TV news coverage of the awful shootings in Virginia. We therefore didn’t see the footage of the killer gunning down two innocent people, for reasons no one will be able to explain. 308 more words
Fascinating post on the complexity and ambivalence of satirising prejudices and bigotry. It does often seem to me that all satire about bigotry often (or possibly always) take the risk of reinforcing prejudices. This is one reason why I believe every satire writer, paid or unpaid, new or old, would benefit from reflecting on what our limits are. Not in the sense of an externally imposed norm (i.e. "heteronomous" norm), but on an individual level, in our own individual social contexts. I often feel that satire is "amoral" not in the sense of being "morally neutral" (sic), but in the sense of being radically ambivalent, rather than positive or negative. One key question is: Under what circumstances might the ambivalence end up boiling out, and becoming explicitly vicious and pernicious? But this is, of course, a contextual matter. I wonder if anyone has written some rough speculations (or indeed empirical studies) on the latter question. Certainly, satire is always a form of "symbolic violence." And, to borrow the other two terms of the trichotomy in Slavoj Zizek's "Violence," it can either be subjective violence (spontaneous, insurresctionary, bottom-up) or objective violence (ordered, authoritative, regulated, top-down ). Needless to say, the three terms of this trichotomy are not always necessarily discrete and mutually exclusive possibilities.