Posts Tagged: satire

Jun 15

Society of Evil Witches: Regarding Free Range Children

A recently intercepted statement in the newsletter that is normally Secretly Distributed by THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF EVIL WITCHES tells us us that Evil Witches have misinterpreted a recent news item about “Free Range Children”:

‘…and I’d really like to know how it got out that we allow many marked children to run free range before we pick them up for harvest when they’re nice and plump about seven or eight years old…I for one am too old–six hundred and fourteen years for Satan’s Sake!–to change my diet significantly now. Additionally, if this kind of thing is widely reported we’ll have to bring children into fattening barns, as we did in the old days. It is so much more economically workable to allow parents–especially in America–to unwittingly fatten the children for us. Vanished-child police reports will be examined more closely, if this goes on…We’ll have to move our dens, and in the end we’ll all be strapped for cash, paying for the barns and the food. We need to find whoever has been speaking indiscreetly about Free Range Children, and subject the loudmouth to punishment.’

It’s only fair that we inform the ISOEW that the report refers to children who are raised with more independence; it does not refer to the food source of evil witches.

Feb 15

Is Satire the Hope of Mankind?

Stanley Kubrick, commenting on Dr Strangelove: “A satirist is someone who has a very skeptical view of human nature, but who still has the optimism to make some sort of a joke out of it. However brutal that joke might be.”

— Somehow, it never occurred to me, before coming across that remark, that satire is implicitly optimistic. But it is. It includes, inherently, the suggestion that we can see ourselves through the lens of satire, we can recognize our foibles and absurdities, and, perhaps, thanks to this insightful mirroring, we might have some hope of liberation from them.

Another obvious example is the heavy-handed scene in The Magic Christian when a group of upscale people are swimming through sewage to get at money tossed in with floating feces…money they don’t need. The satire is grotesquely unsubtle but we recognize truth in it. There’s hope in the most brutal satire.

We don’t see ourselves as we are. That blind spot is paralyzing. Satire optimistically offers the mirror, the insight, of mockery…

Mar 12


is the new novel by John Shirley, from Prime Books. A “Lord of the Flies” for the 21st century.

PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY REVIEW: “In this slim, grim, and powerful novel, Shirley lets his imagination loose on the frightening possibilities of a massive natural disaster striking a small American town. A tidal wave transforms Freedom, Calif., from seaside idyll into a broken and perilously unstable landscape. Survivors include some natural helpers like Drew Haver and his son, Russ, as well as psychopaths Dickie Rockwell, a gang leader and drug dealer, and Lon Ferrara, the town’s ultralibertarian mayor, who privatized emergency services and now refuses help from FEMA. Treating women like commodities and wielding a plethora of weapons, these men fight for survival and ownership of the ruins. Shirley’s vision is vivid and horrifying…”

As ebook or trade paperback.