I read a great story on The Atlantic. It is here. This is a common occurrence. The Atlantic is great.
I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a poem that I wrote (yes, I know, I’m weird) on this same subject. Originally, I titled it “Against Satire,” but maybe I’ll change that to “Weakness if Backbone and Knee” because that line at the end is my favorite. I am finding that my favorite writing medium is rhymed couplets with large vocabulary, along with internal rhymes to add flavor. I really never learned enough about poetry to write differently.
It’s a mix of profundity, but in a medium that comes across humorous. Whenever I try to be T.S. Elliot, I look back and see I’m laying down a lot of Chuck Jones. I’ve decided to embrace it.
Also, there’s a curse word in there. Sorry, but I couldn’t find any other word that fit the definitional parameters while still rhyming with words that fit the definitional parameters of “wit” and “fit.” It works, but looks like I’ll never get an elementary school reading on my book tour.
It is here in full, below:
Beware of the men, who can laugh at others, without risking their own proffered thought,
Who stride the world with derisions and facts to show other’s work is for naught.
Skipping the labor of improving the world, they rather seek to criticize this,
Under title of “satire,” “irony,” and “humor,” they instead, proclaim others have missed.
Their banner is “Reason” with ambiguity enough to avoid a clear position’s face
Because if such a place were occupied space, their ideas might meet disgrace,
Instead they opt to surf the world, riding wave upon wave of shit,
They fling their shit and then blame, through wit, all faults on others less fit,
In such discussion, amidst the percussion, of their palms slapping their face,
Note the lack of alternative ways to improve our situation and place
Politics is an art, a difficult choice, of choosing between interested blocs,
But with no concern, except jovial burn, they’ll slander your choice with a mock
Or no, even better as a laugh-getter, if you happen to stutter or trip
Your incompetence as a human being becomes the hilarious quip.
If one would critique the empty pique, which satirical derision finds profound,
This only invites a wry little smile and the defense of “I’m only a clown.”
But less a clown, and more a disease that eats at society’s heart,
For people will shy from the difficult ends that unpopular positions start
If a person’s fault cannot be seen with the attempts for good that they do,
Why would I bother to become joke fodder by trying something tough and new?
I would like to say that history belongs to those brave enough to chase dreams,
But history has no sides, you see, so the future is uncertain, it seems.
If the next generation finds its pleasure in criticism of others’ conviction
We will live in ruins, for everything established, will fall from nitpicking suspicion
If one tears down, one must build up and replenish with an alternative so sound
That the empty space, which derision creates, will never grow or abound
For the fear of others is a dangerous thing, it rules with an rod and a whip
Keeping all from improvement, for anything different, invites the satirical quip
Individual courage is step one to improve, but its importance it certainly will share
With step two, you, for this clearly won’t matter if it’s met a group that won’t care.
Beware these men with craniums large who can shoot-off at others with ease.
Such cranial size masks another surprise: Weakness of backbone and knees.