The great Roman satirist Juvenal once said that the “monstrous city” of Rome makes it “hard not to write satire” and “fill a whole notebook” with scenes of corruption, vice, and sheer stupidity. I think of Juvenal more and more these days, as our own moral, political, social, and intellectual degradation reaches levels of absurdity not found in even the best satires.
Indeed, our culture and politics are so bizarre and surreal that the scenes we witness every day make satire redundant.
One example that would shock even a satirist like Juvenal or Jonathon Swift is the “transgender” phenomenon. Swift, in his early 18th century brilliant satire Gulliver’s Travels, describes the Academy of Projectors who carry out various preposterous experiments such as extracting sunlight from cucumbers, turning excrement back into food, and building houses from the roof down.
But our attempts to change biological males into females or biological females into males no doubt would have struck Swift as beyond satiric. Perhaps more incredible would be the credentialed medical doctors who ignore their oath to “first do no harm,” and participate in the poisoning and irreversible mutilation of healthy, if troubled, young people and even pre-teens, including toddlers as young as two.
But that’s just the start of the absurdities. Who at the beginning of the 21st century could have imagined the military services––organizations whose members provide the serious and important service of fighting, killing, and dying for their county––wasting time and money subjecting their members to training in the protocols of made-up pronouns? Or, as Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville wrote in the Wall Street Journal, selecting a “non-binary” lieutenant to read a poem to the whole crew of an aircraft carrier during an “LGBTQ spoken-word night”?
And despite the warning provided by the massive drop in sales of Bud Light, after making a poncy transexual in campy drag its unofficial spokesman, the Navy “tapped another self-described nonbinary sailor to become the Navy’s first ‘Digital Ambassador,’” Tuberville writes. He adds, the “concern is that our new national obsession with sexuality, race and gender is focused on self rather than on purpose, ability or service”–– especially at a time when the Navy, like the other services, is facing record shortfalls in recruitment.
Crying out for satire as well is the establishment’s support for biological males competing against biological females in sports. The incredible part is that universities and organizations like the NCAA support and enable this gross violation of women’s rights and the Title IX laws that provided female athletes the opportunity and support to compete. Now blatantly male ringers are allowed to bully women, invade their locker rooms, and then bask in stolen accolades.
There are many other public policies that are so astonishingly and dangerously stupid that one could think they are the products of a satirist. For instance, Anthropogenic Catastrophic Global Warming, the idea that increases in atmospheric CO2 caused by humans will destroy the planet before the next century. Like the theater, this claim requires a willing suspension of disbelief in order to accept the incomplete and rigged “science” allegedly proving its claims.
Worse, the policies that supposedly will stop this apocalypse are wildly expensive. “Net-zero” carbon use and emissions by 2050 would cost trillions of dollars, ruining the global economy. Currently 80% of the world’s energy comes from fossil fuels, and the technology needed to fully electrify our energy source is unlikely to be developed by the end of the century, let alone in 17 years.
Yet that scientific reality, and often reality in general, is being ignored in blue states run by powerful environmental lobbies and “renewable energy” companies that are waxing fat while feeding at the government subsidies trough. New York just banned gas-powered stoves, the first step in eliminating abundant, cheap natural gas. This is the same state that passed a law requiring 70% of new power plants emit zero emissions by 2030.
Similarly California, the mothership of feckless “green” folly, banned the sale of gas-powered automobiles after 2035. What makes these policies reek of satire is that replacing fossil fuels with wind, solar, and other renewables requires a vast and expensive increase in transmission lines and batteries big and reliable enough to store energy for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow––in a state that can’t keep the lights on during a forest fire.
Indeed, just acquiring elements such as lithium and cobalt necessary for battery production is a big problem, given that the mining and processing of these elements takes huge amounts of energy provided by fossil fuels. And this industry is dominated by communist China, a geopolitical rival we shouldn’t be dependent on.
Setting impossible policy goals like eliminating the cheap energy that created the powerful and rich modern West in the first place is something more typical of satire, rather than common sense or the “science” that proponents continually insist they are “following.”
Finally, even if the West managed to fully electrify our economy and replace fossil fuels with “renewable” energy, the predicted cataclysmic warming would not be stopped. China, India, and Russia––the world’s first, third, and fourth largest emitters of CO2––are continuing to burn coal to generate energy, while distracting the West by paying lip-service to its climate virtue-signaling and efforts to reduce emissions by switching to “green” energy. All we would achieve would be weakening, if not destroying, our economies, and leaving them and our national security dangerously vulnerable to our enemies.
These ludicrous policies like “transgenderism” and “zero net carbon” are unintentionally satiric.
But the Biden administration seems willfully satiric given its grotesque incompetence, feckless and corrupt policies, and our preposterous and ridiculous president who makes Chance the Gardner from Being There look like Abraham Lincoln.
Even before his obvious cognitive decline, Joe Biden was a satiric parody of a politician. Never the sharpest knife in the drawer, Biden was an opportunist, grifter, fabulist, liar, plagiarist, serial gaffer, and inappropriate sniffer of women and girls. Biden’s weaknesses, moreover, were obvious during his tenure as vice-president.
His trademark unfocused garrulity, for example, was an irritant to Barack Obama. After his first press conference in 2009, Obama said of a Biden comment, “I don’t remember exactly what Joe was referring to—not surprisingly.” FBI Director James Comey, discussing Biden’s lack of focus, commented that when Biden asked to speak, “Obama would politely agree, but something in his expression suggested he knew full well that for the next five or 10 minutes we would all be heading in Direction Z.”
National security advisor Ben Rhodes wrote that “in the Situation Room, Biden could be something of an unguided missile.” Communication director Jen Psaki said, “You could certainly see technocratic eye-rolling at times” when Biden spoke. Politico continues, “Young White House aides frequently mocked Biden’s gaffes and lack of discipline in comparison to the almost clerical Obama. They would chortle at how Biden, like an elderly uncle at Thanksgiving, would launch into extended monologues that everyone had heard before. . . . many senior aides, sometimes tacitly encouraged by the president’s behavior, dismissed Biden as eccentric and a practitioner of an old, outmoded style of politics.”
Most famously, Obama said of Biden, “Never underestimate Joe Biden’s ability to fuck things up.” But Obama’s most devastating estimation of Biden was his decision to support Hillary Clinton in 2016. After two-and-a-half years of Biden’s incompetence as president, both the observation and the support for Clinton have proven prescient.
Finally, perhaps the most fertile field for satire is son Hunter Biden and his “laptop from hell.” You don’t have to be a Juvenal or Jonathan Swift to satirize that saga, given how satiric it already is. A ne’er-do-well, unaccomplished coke-head and whoremonger whose only achievement has been internationally monetizing his father’s name, dropped off his laptop at the repair shop, then forget about it even though it is crammed with evidence of his crimes and louche adventures.
What makes this scandal even more suitable for political satire is the role of the FBI in keeping the laptop out of sight, the spaniel media running interference for the Biden campaign, and the corrupt national security and state department hands ginning up right before the election a spurious letter, adorned with their signatures and titles, putting all their experience and authority behind yet another “Russia” hoax.
The writers of Veep must be kicking themselves for their restraint.
But in the end, satire is about calling attention to the bad ideas and policies that put a nation and its people at risk. And make no mistake, we are in danger of losing our unalienable rights and our global preeminence.
Una Salus says
Ken Cuccinelli who served in the Trump administration recently detailed some of the folly we can’t afford on Conservative Review. Daniel Horrowitz likens the intrigue to Game of Thrones but it’s not exactly GOT. it’s more Celebrity Apprentice.
i Jeff Bargholz says
That was hilarious! I love Gottfried.His version of “The Aristocrats” was by far the funniest, and the most filthy.
And Trump fired him! That was funny too.
Algorithmic Analyst says
The dumbest is making all military vehicles electric by 2030. Imagine Rommel charging through the deserts of North Africa in his electric tanks. Oops, got to stop and recharge the batteries. Not to mention the extra weight of the batteries slowing the tanks down.
Una Salus says
That’s one way to prevent getting dragged into “endless wars”.
Anyway, bipartisan consensus has coalesced around this being the way of the future so the issue only paraded around for election purposes. Dems are getting everything the want long term and Republicans are getting some great talking points.
Algorithmic Analyst says
Yeah, that’s the bright side of it. We can’t afford to get into any real wars, with the clowns we have at the top.
I suggest that the tanks should be powered by mice. The more tanks and the more wars we have, the more mouse excrement could be harvested to replace the fertilizers that are being banned in agriculture.
i Jeff Bargholz says
And the non existent Nazi infrastructure to support electric tanks. What a fucking joke.
Like here in America for a fantasy fleet of electric cars. And oh, yeah. most electricity is generated by burning coal.
Leftists are fantasists. Dumb ones, at that.
Mark Sochor says
It’s to laugh. I just wish it was funny.
Banastre Tarleton says
Yep, America and the West are heading towards a well earned Darwin Award ; it will probably come after the provoke the Russians into Nuking us
If not that then the West will simply be invaded by the Third World and in doing so will become the Third World
The Biden policy of invading the US with illegal immigrants is camouflage so a nuclear enemy will not recognize the US.
i Jeff Bargholz says
Parts of America already are the Third World.
THX 1138 says
“Don’t bother to examine a folly-ask yourself only what it accomplishes.” — Ayn Rand
“It has NOTHING to do with “transgenders.” These poor lost, often suicidal souls are merely board pieces in a power game played by totalitarians.
The actual purpose of the insanity of our era? To destroy our cognition. If we become unable even to acknowledge the existence of something as self-evident as the difference between a boy and a girl — well then, they’ve got us.
But they know full well they cannot actually destroy our cognition. We can only do that to ourselves. Human cognition, over the centuries, gave us the space ship, the jet airplane, and the microchip. Human cognition also gave us the gulag, the concentration camps and the Middle Ages.
They’re appealing to the worst within us; not the best. As we saw with Galileo, the Salem witch trials and (most recently) with COVID hysteria, appealing to the worst within us often works.
The goal is not to get us to believe there’s no such thing as male or female. That’s absurd. The goal is to get us to PRETEND that we believe it. Pretending is all they want. Pretending proves we’re afraid of them. Once they see we’re afraid — well, the rest will be easy.” – Michael J. Hurd
I think we have just tapped another of your many personality issues……you are incapable of sarcasm. You respond to satire with a classroom lecture.
Ugly Sid says
There is no THX in the biological sense.
He exists as a collection of quotations upon 5 X 8 cards
I always felt that way. Or he is a ones and zeros drone in a computer.
At best I have always felt this guy is a shut-in.
We are living in a world that is upside down for sure. The elites feel they are the ones who are qualified to control everything, and disregard the rights and freedoms of others. Rules for thee but not for me. How do you like the New World Order?
THX 1138 says
Doesn’t it remind you of the Dark Ages? When the Church and the priesthood ruled over the serfs? And heretics and blasphemers were tortured, burned at the stake, or excommunicated if they did not recant?
What is it precisely that makes men use physical force to make others believe what can not be believed otherwise, what contradicts reason and reality?
“For many centuries after the establishment of Christianity, mankind became more barbarous, ignorant, and miserable than before, instead of assisting the human mind in its progress to improvement, that system completely retarded it; a gloomy superstition, which sprung out of these gospels, cramped its energies, and fettered its exertions; instead of guiding society to freedom, peace, and happiness, there was founded on the authority of these writings a system of the most horrible and debasing oppression.” – Ethan Allen
No, Thx. It doesn’t remind me of the Dark Ages. I’ve never seen anyone so desirous of living in a Dark Age. After all you keep saying it’s coming because of religion.
You remind me of the Dark Age we would be in if we took your advice and became Objectivist robots
Algorithmic Analyst says
It would be interesting to discuss his view of the Dark Ages, but he is just trolling.
He always calls them the Christian Dark Ages. No such thing. It was historically the Middle Ages. He doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge the growth of universities, the advent of the printing press at the conjunction of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the growth of the early companies and guilds.
I think he is more than just a troll. His incessant insulting of Christians and Jews, I believe, is designed to get atheists to start attacking Christians as the trans freak did last month. as long as he doesn’t really have to get his delicate hands dirty by taking part in it.
You clearly know nothing about the Middle Ages. I told you long ago to learn some history and even recommended a book to start you on the way, but since the book was not written by Ms. Rosenbaum or her disciples, you did not bother to read it. You have a decent enough mind but it is unformed and needs nourishment. Read and learn, and see what comes of it. Start with the Emmett Scott book that I told you about some years ago. Otherwise stop beclowning yourself by babbling about things you know nothing about.
Topsy-turvy world, for sure.
If only Joe Bite-Me were president. How’s that for a satirical assertion?
Algorithmic Analyst says
lol, good one 🙂
Mark Dunn says
Moscow the Victory Day parade, Mr Putin’s speech the gist of which was, ‘We are not the ones mutilating little childrens sex organs, we’re the good guys.’
What little optimism I have left is that this obsession with children’s sexuality will be the downfall of the Pedophile (aka Democrat) party.
Who can argue with that?
Satire Bruce? I prefer to call it enemy action.
Well, satire IS a form of comedy and we’ve certainly become a joke.
The Marxist left, the ignorant sheep who follow, and the psychopathic narcissists who make up the deep state are completely responsible for this disintegration of our once great country.
“Hey, think the time is right for a palace revolution
But where I live the game to play is compromise solution”
Street Fighting Man
“compromise solution”, is the downfall of the U.S.A.
More often than not, when I read the headlines these days, I think “You can’t make this stuff up”. So much of it is beyond absurdism, black comedy and dystopian fiction. They’ll have to invent a new term to describe it – bidenocratism?
Larry Anderson says
And we have a Supreme Court judge who cannot define a woman! It is unfortunate that the follow up question for her would have been to ask her if she considers herself, man or woman?
She could not have answered the question without some even more bizarre answer and thus valid grounds for rejection, as if there weren’t grounds enough!
dennis e miller says
Excellent article Mr Thornton
“Indeed, our culture and politics are so bizarre and surreal that the scenes we witness every day make satire redundant.”
Until we Sink their Ships…then they will know…and wake up to reality
JOHN C ROHDE says
FJB is a dope. And so is Milley and Austin. And the service Secretaries. From them, woke is enough to ruin us.
Russia cannot win in Ukraine. We have NOT won anywhere since 1945.
Lets go back to thowing rocks and spears.
e- powered combat vehicles? Should I laugh or cry?
All of them represent an American military embarrassment. FJB.
I like the political satire of Greg Gutfeld. A leftist friend prevers Stephen Colbert. But Colbert is a rather stupid, obtuse person and a waste of time to watch. My friend is like an ostrich with his head in the sand. He posted an homage to the great contributions of Joe Biden on his home page. But never anything about the crooked influence peddling and tax evasions of the Biden crime family. He probably would dismiss any reference to that as propaganda and conspiracy theory. The advantage of leftism is that it appeals to true believers who have no time for analysis and historical depth.