--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, Peter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> --- authfriend <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> > I'd never thought about it before, but it seems to
> > me
> > as I read your question that "satirical" and
> > "passive-
> > aggressive" are virtually synonymous.  There are
> > other
> > forms of passive-aggressive behavior, of course, but
> > I'm not sure there's any such thing as satire that
> > isn't passive-aggressive, by its very nature.
> I agree with you. Satire, by its very nature "leans"
> in the direction of passive-aggressive behavior. 

Perhaps. But I think a case can be made that satire is a positve force
for insight, clarificaion of cognative quirks, and force for postive
change. Its not about attacking an individual (or group), but an
attempt to: 

1) reflect or replay events from a "new angle" with enough adge and
amping up the contrast knob, so that all can laugh. Even the object of

2) amp up the contrast, so that satire can help isolate the factors at
play. Make them more tangible, recognizable and actionable.

3) be a constructive means to vent legitimate anger and rage.

4) unearth ironies and paradoxes

Thus, IMO, satire focusses on issues and "perceptions" and less on
attacking a person. In contrast, sarcasm, while pretty funny at times,
ultimately is aimed at putting another person down. It tries to
distinguish the sarcasmer from the sarcasmee, creating boundaries.


> But
> when it crosses into sarcasm then it truly has become
> passive-aggressive.

Yes. Agreed. Though I am less clear that sarcasm and satire are simply
ranges n a continuum. I think they may actually be separate spaces.
Not intersecting.
> > On the other hand, that wouldn't mean indulging in
> > satire was necessarily a sign of some kind of
> > psychopathology or personality disorder.
> Agreed. It's not neccessarily pathological. Good
> satire is hilarious and an effective way of
> confronting interpersonal/social problems in a certain
> context.

Can you define when it is pathological and is not effective? If you
say when it becomes sarcasm, I agree. But as above, I am coming to the
position that sarcasm and satire dont overlap or intersect. When they
 are clearly understood, they are separate spaces.

> I think satire arises when there's a certain loss of
> one's voice. 

Perhaps thais one instance. But its hardly true that this is
characteristic of all satrists. Did Swift lose his real voice and had
to stoop to satire to make his points? No. I think he rose to the
level of satire to make points that would be difficult or impossible
to do in linear discourse.

I saw Sarah Silverman last night and she touched areas that I think
would be impossible to do in linear, analytic fashion.

Saying "satire arises when there's a certain loss of
one's voice", IMO, is like saying Bob Dylan stooped to music and
lyrics because he could not make it as an academic -- he "lost" or
could not cultivate an acadmeic voice. And de Kooning sunk to art to
express humself, becasue he lost his voice. And Neruda and Tagore
stooped to poetry because the lost their real voice. 

> One is not being heard by another so you
> begin to satirize the very thing that prevents you
> from being heard. 

Disagree. See above. Satire is a legitimate form of exprssion, not
inferior to linear discourse, art, poetry, fil, or music. Its just
anothr channel.

> You don't take certain aspects of
> the other person/institution seriously and you mock
> these aspects.

You don't understand satire IMO. Its not about taking or not taking a
person/institution seriously. It may be about not bowing to sacred
cows. its more about stating from a blank slate, a field without
cognative distortions, cultural and gender biases, and personal stuff
that lets one better see ironies and paradoxes that are amusing,
insightful, or gut-wrenchingly funny.

Satire does not mock in the sense of sarcasm. It focuses ultimately on
"issues" and understanding, not demeaning others (though this is a
subtle point -- some stereotypes may be demaned -- not individuals --
so that ALL can laugh at the amped out stereotypes.)

> Legitimized governments never engage in
> satire, they are deadly serious

Not sure I can agree about "never". Maybe,"sometimes". The Kennedy
wit, sort of satiristic, certainly self-depricating in demaning and
declawing pomposity. Trudeau seemed to have some wit. As did Jerry
Brown. And Reagan. Chirac perhaps -- hard to tell being too far away.
Tony Blair certainly does. And who could not howl after yeltsin had a
few vodkas. Welensa seemed pretty witty at times.

Regardless. gov't leaders (who else speaks for governments) can be
quite witty, satirical, self-effacing. 

> ....and their
> seriousness is open to satire. Sacasm though, is truly
> passive-aggressive and indicates that, for what ever
> reason, all civility is called-off and now we'll
> attempt to impugn another to remove any vestige of
> legitimacy they might have. 

And, IMO, sarcasm is a distinct space from satire. Can you identify a
specific overlap? After clearly defining each, in your own view.

> > > Again, looking at the comment that started this
> > exchange, whats not funny about someone proclaiming that Brahman
is seing and writing through them, who then proceeds to tell every one
off, "to go walk the long plank or suck eggs". Mad TV or SNL, even
in their better  moments, could not equal that. Sometimes satire is
just THERE in life. Somethings are just funny. If you don't see
the humor, you might consider "loosening up" a bit.
> > 

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