Satire is the art form of the oppressed, the social protest of the powerless, the voice of rebellion. When sarcasm & ridicule are used by the social elite, it is nothing more than an attempt to have a laugh at the expense of the oppressed.
Mark Twain is a writer who tried to have it both ways. In “Huckleberry Finn” he wrote a white savior novel demeaning Blacks that always makes white people feel proud but has never fooled Black school children who despise it.
No one knows the charade of having a laugh at our expense better than women–starting with the mother-in-law jokes. Even rebuttals to our objections are stock-in-trade: “Can’t you take a joke?” “Lighten up!”
Satire needs to be rescued from the damage Charlie Hebdo is inflicting. Ridiculing & demeaning others is not the point. Giving voice, emboldening the powerless, & social protest is what it’s all about. Otherwise it’s just oppression in a joke. Horse manure served as gourmet food.
(Reposted from May 1, 2015)