Satire was once free of the shackles of legal or political ideology. Once the deity was not the juggernaut in theocratic zeal (Gutenberg, and the philosophy of Descartes), once, we thought, the possibilities were limitless, until standards, or even high standards, were arbitrated by legislators and bureaucrats, or the easy out of visual representation. There was a sense that then, by necessity, the imagination would be both limited and restrained. Nonetheless, the freedom of the arts has been re-ignited through the specter of censorship. We have control over the Internet, and the possibilities of distributing information seem endless. But, ironically, we need to control ourselves, and our freedoms abruptly come with severe restrictions, invisible and innate forces of control, that are unspoken and insidious, and sold in the name of freedom. The perception of freedom is juxtaposed with the reality of freedom. The message is both incomplete and incomplete. The implication is up to you.
Satire has not been figured out. The process can be fun, because you get a lot of feedback as you make progress, and you can watch things evolve. But, all too often, it feels as if you’re being dragged into it. Satire lends itself to a subtle and often devious manipulation. It must be very, very, subtle, and devious, and perhaps not until you reach the final product. Once you’ve been manipulated by a skilled satirist who knows what they’re doing, you may still become aware of your plight. You may feel liberated, as if you’ve been thrown and pulled to the side, and finally, it’s over. This may not always be true. Satire can be a process of violence and pain, but it can’t ever be an escape. It will always be an initiation, though in most cases, the initiation is a negative one. Urge for comfort can be a dangerous choice. The exit is painful. But, in an escape from the problem, there is no problem. That does not mean that you are better off because you now have freedom, but that you chose to embrace the freedom. This is the true goal of satire. Freedom has cost you something else, and this is the antidote, so that you can be free. d2c66b5586