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Chuck Palahniuk but no Alexander Pope?[edit]

I'm not getting into opinions here, but in a list of satires we put Fight Club, The Onion, The Daily Show etc., yet not Alexander Pope and his Rape of the Lock (which I've only just added)? Just as we've had to make a distinction between what is satire and what is parody, an equally important distinction is between satire and mere invective. Satire is a certain thing, and it isn't certain things. Satirizing isn't parodying, lampooning, attacking (for the hell of it), or whining. Satire, however presented, attacks something deemed unethical or at least foolish and offers a better solution, in this way proper satire offers no fantasies of that which cannot exist, only that which can and should exist.

Also, that Fight Club is satirical isn't even mentioned in the Fight Club article, nor is satire a link at the bottom though transgressional fiction is. It seems that Fight Club is either satirical or transgressional fiction, depending on whether we take it literally or allegorically, but not both.Maprovonsha172 00:38, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Where the hell is Voltaire? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:47, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Voltaire was the first name I was looking for in the Age of Enlightenment section, and couldn't find it either. He is mentioned just once in the article, for shame. Titus III (talk) 01:29, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

Recent "Satirical" Works of Literature[edit]

White Noise isn't a satire of Consumerism, it is more of a comment on that and the other things mentioned in the article. I would hesitate to put any work of the last 50 years up on this page.

Here, here. But you should become a member here if you wish to share, first of all. But I agree with you. There is no mention of how Fight Club is satirical in it's article, and as I have shown above there are contradictory accounts of it presented on this site regarding whether it is satirical or not.--Maprovonsha172 01:31, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"Satire is Gay Sex-way of writing "I love you..."

What on earth is that supposed to mean? Is this comment simple vandalism??

Is 'Natural Born Killers' an example of satire? Although Oliver Stone claims this on the Director's Cut DVD, I would suggest it's a parody with satirical elements or techniques. Grace43 23:17, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps so... But that's for the viewer's to decide. 'Tho he might mean it like that. But we might take it seriously...Whatever. But how can a comment be 'Vandalism'? Last I checked, Vandalism was somehow destroying or tearing down something already constructed. 'Tho comments? They're just added views and opinions on it afterwards. And a fuzzy comparison, aswell... "Gay-Sex way of writing "I love you" - Is Satire? Yeah, well, if it's on other of your own sex. I think "Monosex" (Masturbation) would be a better word... It is against your own behalf, with the purpose to make other's who really think so look stupid. But 'kay, enough slap-stick humour from me, bah-meh! It's supposed to mean nothing.-OleMurder 23:31, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

List of satirical literature[edit]

cobra libra, or anyone else, are you interested in beginning a List of satirical literature, similar to the List of dystopian literature that can found on wiki? i imagine it would be set up similar to that on the dystopia page - that is, as a link to a separate page. i understand that there will be overlaps with works on the dystopia list, and you can't really separate satire from parody etc., but that's kinda my point. if a list is available, those who really want to find out, can read the works and surrounding criticism, and make a judgement of their own.

Personally, I think it's a bad idea. List articles tend to become an unmoderated dumping ground, where people add the last thing they read. If it is done, I would apply strong criteria: I suggest that links (a) be only to Wikipedia articles (b) that it be only to articles which specifically and strongly define the work as satirical. Following this rule would mean there was no separate requirement for verifying sources. Notinasnaid 07:47, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Would the Simpsons be considered Satire of Modern society, or does satire have to be purely political? Behind the veil

Take a read of the first paragraph of The Simpsons... and the first paragraph of this article: satire does not have to be political. Notinasnaid 20:38, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
i should open my eyes :P Behind the veil

shouldnt there be a mention of the Simpsons? Behind the veil

Personally, I don't think so. I think only literature (etc.) whose primary purpose is satire should be included. If one includes everything with satirical elements most modern comedy would be in there. Notinasnaid 13:11, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Definition (July06)[edit]

It would be helpful to me if the article started with a real definition.--Mercutio Livingston 02:28, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, I would suggest that the definition proposed at the beggining is correct, but inaccurate. Sattire, as a genre, is written primarily for the sake of persuasion, not mere commentary. I would like to see the definition changed, and any elements removed which do not fall under this category. Of course, whether or not something "intends" to convince can be ambiguous, so I think it should come down to focus. If somethign is "commenting" on society [i] rapid fire[/i] it is, at best, a comedy, not a satire. skeptictank —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skeptictank (talkcontribs) 05:56, 20 February 2007

If you like, you can contribute sources to the dsicussion on this topic at the bottom of the page.--FlammingoParliament 12:12, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Theatrical Satire[edit]

Satire isn't limited to the television. Some people do appreciate stage satire, especially in the United Kingdom, where theatre isn't secretly censored for critical political content like in the United States. There ought to be a paragraph about stage satire, including its history, dating back to the Vision of the Golden Rump, a satire on the Hanoverian King George II, which at the time, was subject to enormous political satire. Television isn't the be-all and end-all. Theatre isn't yet dead on its feet, folks!

I didn't think the article said much about TV; most of it is about literary satire. But if you can add a sourced section on stage satire (which surely goes back all the way to the greeks, and continues up to the modern day with people like Fo), that would be a good thing. It's probably as well to focus first on works whose primary intention is satire, as satirical elements litter classical drama as much as they do modern TV. Notinasnaid 11:03, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Spitting Image[edit]

Last week I added Yes Minister and Spitting Image to the list of notable contemporary satire. Somebody has deleted the latter. Rather than start a revert war, I'll just ask what the problem is? Spitting Image was hugely successful in the UK and influenced a generation of satirists. I would have said it was marginally more influential even than Yes Minister, and certainly more so than No Quarter (which doesn't even have its own article). (Note that I am only able to compare notability in the UK, and I am assuming that the deleter is from the UK for the same reason.) Magnate 10:59, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

I removed them, I think, though I suspect I meant to remove Yes Minister. There is a problem: this article isn't a catalogue, but it constantly attracts "the last book I read" type additions as well as self-promotion of minor satirical websites. So it needs aggressive pruning. On this basis I remove anything that is not defined in its Wikipedia article as being predominantly and most importantly satire. (So, e.g. I remove the Simpsons, which has satirical elements). What elements are listed here should be based (in my opinion) on their importance as satire, not their popularity and cultural importance otherwise. So I propose dropping Yes Minister. Thanks for pointing out No Quarter. It will be gone shortly. I should point out that I am not speaking for a consensus, just trying to improve an article. Notinasnaid 11:33, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

I added both Yes Minister and Spitting Image because I feel that they are both extremely important examples of satire in popular culture, which is the title of the section. Neither is recent - both had their heyday almost 20 years ago - but both have left an enduring legacy in satire. Both were primarily satire, not just comedy with satirical elements. Both have wikipedia articles which support this. They are both more specifically satirical than other enduring comedy originating from the UK (eg. Monty Python). I think they should be the two most important UK entries in the list, along with Private Eye. Please do not delete either of them until we establish some sort of consensus on this. Magnate 14:25, 22 August 2006 (UTC) P.S. The only other UK entry in the list is Chris Morr/is - he's undoubtedly an influential satirist but it kind of depends how big the list ought to be. I don't think his contribution or influence is greater than the three UK satires mentioned above. Magnate 14:29, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

What counts as satire (and comedy) is at least partly in the eye of the beholder. shouldn't the fact that Jonathan Swift was reviled as a monster for his "Modest proposal" serve as a warning to us that satire is a uniquely tricky literary genre?Brenda maverick 17:23, 27 October 2006 (UTC) So go easy on the deletions unless you have something to ADD, no?

Guys remember that we need to cite sources, otherwise we risk to add just junk material.--BMF81 17:38, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Eye of the beyolder, indeed. The editors of wikipedia, however, must not be that beholder. If information cannot be sourced, it must be removed. At the moment, the Shakespeare stuff, eloquent as it is, seems to me to be in that category. Notinasnaid 17:48, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Your'e right: let's go back to the medieval model of what counts as "knowledge". Let's pay more attention to what the authorites tell us than to our own close observations, and lets not use basic logic.

Sorry, this is not negotiable, whether I agree with you or not (and I have seen enough of my "immortal prose" deleted because I couldn't source it). Now is the time to deal with this, to save you frustration in the future. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia whose job is to present the information in verifiable sources. Please see Wikipedia:No original research. I hope there will be a way to preserve this stuff if and only if it doesn't represent an original insight, because the article certainly needed better writing and more information. Notinasnaid 18:54, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Bear with me --- I'm just not sure how calling attention to Hamlet's own logic (which is consistently discounted) counts as "original research." I love Aristophanes too, but why do you want to call him a satirist and not a comedian? We should try to keep the genres seperate.

Contemporary Satire[edit]

I hate Bill O'Reilly as much as the next guy, but I'm going to go and change all the Reilly bashing under contemporary to just "controversial". Also, Colbert is f'cking hilarious and smart, but that section isn't very neutral.

The part about Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem on the Colbert Report seems questionable to me. I saw the segment, doesn't the fact that they weren't offended by his stereotypical 50's man behavior show that they were in on the joke? I know some out of touch congresspeople have been caught off guard by Colbert, but I can't even fathom that two intelligent women like themselves don't know about Colbert. amRadioHed 04:45, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

A couple of points[edit]

Hello, the article has it that "an essential, defining feature of satire is a strong vein of irony or sarcasm," but then a little later on, states that "it is strictly a misuse of the word to describe as 'satire' works without an ironic undercurrent of mock-approval."

I was wondering a) if the latter doesn't somehow invalidate the former (the definition implies to me that satire does not have to contain irony), and b) what the technical term would be for a (written) piece, satirical in tone (or even purporting to be a satire), rich in sarcasm, but with no irony at all? Thanks!Extenebris 11:02, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

By definition, satire has either irony or sarcasm (often both). In fact is is probably pedantic to worry too much about the difference between irony and sarcasm in this context. Sarcasm is a crude form of irony, and one kind of irony, at least, can be seen as a subtle form of sarcasm.

Changing "without an ironic undercurrent of mock-approval." to "without an ironic (or sarcastic) undercurrent of mock-approval" might be a little clearer. -- Ok, thanks! Extenebris 12:31, 9 November 2006 (UTC) Satire is studied in college. Some people think that satire is the only form of pop culture worth taking seriously. Satire can be brave, but it's often unoriginal because it relies heavily on predictable stereotypes that we've all seen before. Sometimes satire gets things right and sometimes it gets things wrong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Magnigornia (talkcontribs) 21:45, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Doonesbury Act?[edit]

Still can't find a legitimate citation, but I believe that that incident took place in Georgia, not Florida. Perhaps it should be removed until the information is more conclusive.

Was it copied directly from [1] (pg 3) or vice versa, I can't tell? --Yono 03:25, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

So far I have found no evidence that the LAW targeted minorities (though it may have been enforced selectively). It targeted workers in certain businesses, as may be found in a contemporary source ( These included nightclubs and bars, hotel staff, janitors, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:26, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

David Horsey / Finnreklama[2] Poster accreditation[edit]

An anonymous contributor (IP who uploaded a contribution to the David Horsey page and Image Talk:Reagan-digitised-poster_PNG.png has asserted that the Finnreklama Oy printed version of this poster used as the basis for this digitised version, was plagiarised from a David Horsey black and white original, BUT HAS NOT PROVIDED ANY EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF HIS/HER ACCUSATIONS. Finnreklama Oy's printed version is entitled to be regarded as their copyright unless and until the accuser can substantiate the accusations. INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY has to be regarded as NOT-NEGOTIABLE. The digitiser is not involved directly in this dispute and is entitled to accept at face value Finnreklama Oy's poster as legitimate unless it is proven not to be so. It is not the digitiser's responsiblity to verify the copyright status of Finnreklama Oy's poster, or investigate the possibility of it being someone else's copyright. Or to police the copyright rules. The digitiser made no claim to possession of copyright conferred or not conferred by the considerable efforts needed to digitise the material for distribution to a wider audience. At this stage, no evidence has been presented, only unsubstantiated assertions, despite several attempts to inquire of the accuser for evidence. It is because of the accuser's failure to produce any evidence for the accusations made, that the poster caption on the Satire page has been reverted to its original form. If the copyright can be verified as belonging to David Horsey, there can be no objection to Horsey being accredited. But at present, these unsubstatiated assertions do not meet Wikipedia's requirement for verifiability. Anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations, by their very nature, are little different from an anonymous letter, and also, by their very nature, are discourteous and offensive to other contributors, who MUST BE ASSUMED TO BE ACTING IN GOOD FAITH. That this anonymous accusation has been circulated on the internet is not an excuse. The same high standards in public life are required here, as everywhere else. Also see:

Possibly, we could let the users see the picture here [3] and here [4] (incl. Horsey's signature), leaving the debate to them, also having sufficiently pointed out they are fine pictures indeed. --FlammingoParliament 17:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Why Isn't The Simpsons Included?[edit]

The Simpsons, in its prime (the first 9 seasons), was a brilliant, sophisticated satire of American culture and greater philosophical ideas, e.g, "Scenes From a Class Struggle in Springfield". I have repeatedly attempted to include it under the list of "Notable Satire and Satirists in Modern Popular Culture", but it keeps getting removed. It is maddening that one of the greatest satires of the 20th century, one that will go down in history next to Voltaire or Hogarth, is being excluded. The Simpsons was a profound, subversive show that was the gold standard in equal opportunity skewering. I doubt anybody commenting in this forum has gone a year without using a Simpson's reference, a tribute to its permeation and influence on our culural fabric. The Simpsons will stand as one of the greatest literary and artistic acheivements of the 20th century. I plead with you, include this heroic show in your list of modern satire! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Thank you for finally coming here, which is the right way to resolve disputes. Each time I have removed it, I have explained why in the edit summary. I have removed it because it is not primarily satire. If you were to include every significant TV program with satirical elements you'd have just about everything. And the list is way too long already (anyone volunteer to prune about half of it)? Anyway, that's my opinion. More views? Notinasnaid 10:20, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

both sides give good arguments, but when it comes down to the basics people think of The Simpsons as a satire. Regardless of what episode is about. I think it should stay. - 03:31, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Rearrangement of headings[edit]

Please - whoever is doing this stop it! The "classic examples" are meant as clarification of the definition - not as part of the "history". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Done it, reading the development should clarify things (chronology is expected in an article, isnt it?); additionally, a paragraph on terminology should explain related terms and the differences. To pick out a chapter "examples" would raise an unnecessary (fruitless and endless) discussion on whose the worthiest satirist to be in that category. Swift? Some American? The Roman inventor? (Also, please click "sign your name" anyway)--FlammingoParliament 12:10, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Middle Ages[edit]

It may be argued that Chaucers Canterbury Tales was in fact a fabulous piece of satire. I noticed that the page says that there were "hardly any examples" during the middle ages, but I just thought I would put this idea out there for further thought. Thanks!

Persia (done)[edit]

This is an encyclopedia not a newspaper or a textbook written only for western people. If it is not to include satire of other languages, we have to change the title of the article to "English satire" or "Western satire". The article in its current form is POV. Sangak 12:03, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Your addition suggested that the first appearance in history was in Persia, which would be great, but as it followed, the satirists was from the 14th century CE. Please note your addition is still included, all writers except those where their own page didn't quote them as satirists. Also, they would have to write something that is a satire and called such by the source i mentioned. Satire is indeed not English-speaking (neither am I!), but there is no source to say that it's not Roman (Roman!) And this is not about "Western"!!! --FlammingoParliament 12:10, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

PS: Sorry for thinking you were trying reverting. This seems just fine. Still, the question above remains--FlammingoParliament 12:15, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

It's mainly about history, which makes sense trying to point out the development. That's exactly my point: I don't see another influence to satire from other regions, like Asia; still, avoiding POV, It's good PPersian satire is mentioned, we should keep that, but this wiki is in English language, so that the main focus should not be on any other (Persian, Russian, Bantu, French, whatever) unless there was a huge influence on the former. That's why it should be very, very short (like it now is)--FlammingoParliament 12:26, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
That's not correct, this is just the english language wikipedia, and this does not mean that the content must be english-centric. English/western culture must have the same weight as other cultures (as long as there are mainstream scholar sources available, in any language).--BMF81 13:54, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Structure of the Article[edit]

With the adding of an overwhelming Persian paragraph that did have a lot of praize for its authors (also adding wrong chronological order), the question is what this article wants. It's in English, so the biggest part of the readers will be reading English satire. My suggestion would be outsourcing to a List of satirists and satires - which will be endless, like a true encyclopaedia ;-) Also, the satire came from the Romans, and any addition that says otherwise will be removed unless there is a thorough discussion here first (based on widely available mainstream academic literature). The current sources are given, Cuddon Dictionary, and my knowledge which is backed also by Brockhaus and the Britannica 2004 (no quotations from those!).

  • What to do with the list of satires? (to List of satirists, but no satire without its author)
  • What to do with other regions? Satires outside western culture? (Also for the Persian guy: via Hellenism the Persians got the Greek culture as well, incl. satire, and they were neighbors of the Romans, inventors of satirism).

--FlammingoParliament 11:57, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the article is far from being a good article. Besides I did not put my edit in a chronological order with the rest of the article. The point that these guys are indeed satirists is not questionable. If it is not in their page, it means those articles are not well written. I have already provided review articles on the issue in this page: Persian satire. Sangak 12:18, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
The List of satirists is becoming too long, and there seem to be some agenda behind it. First of all, the first ~25 satirists are from two millenia, opposed to ~25 from the 20th century. That must not be, at least the list should be restricted as "until 1900" (date of composition). And a lot of them are only "famous", not "notable", meaning they influenced and helped shape the

satire. Of course any known satire might be claimed to have made a difference on something, but that would have to be non-pop culture (belongs to section below) and, if necessary, a different encyclopaedia or critical source to say that one is chiefly known to be satirist. Also: all should be quoted with their literarily known satire (to see why they are listed, eg. no shows, which are pop).--FlammingoParliament 09:39, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Lists are always a problem: they become a magnet for "hit and run" additions, and sometimes dedicated placement by fans. The whole idea is a problem: how can it be sourced? What reliable source can be said to include one thing and not another. I did not propose this before because there wasn't enough of the main body, but I now propose deleting both lists, as unsourced and unverifiable. Notinasnaid 10:53, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
That would be nice (the way they develop now they are hardly any use, well at least they are sort of chronological...), but I fear the article will be used instead and some sentence wrapped around it, which is even harder to keep track of and delete if inappropriate. I suggest List of satire authors, hoping to exclude singers (Eminem-fans) and institutions (magazines), and the like, also forcing to give a link to the satire (not that a fantasy author with humor like Pratchett stay there). Then they can knock themselves out.--FlammingoParliament 14:50, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Ah, but that reflects the point of view that authors are somehow more important than other (perhaps more commercially successful) forms of satire are not. And why is Pratchett less worthy of consideration than Pope? These are important questions to consider in defining a balanced article. Notinasnaid 18:04, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Ouhhhh... ;-) As for Pratchett, he is not criticizing anything when Macbest and his witches do funny things in fantasy Discworld. But then, bringing examples for every single author will be tiring and really not worth it. But that way of discussion is even harder with hundreds of daily satirists/comedians from TV. Isn't there any set of limits to avoid that? Say, dead+what's his satire+five per century? Or what would you propose--FlammingoParliament 09:11, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Jon Stewart[edit]

Could Jon Stewart be considered a notable satirist? He was pretty much Colbert's forerunner and is the main anchor of The Daily Show, which is in Colbert's credits.

See the previous discussion; I think it is much more important to trim or perhaps remove the whole section... Notinasnaid 09:58, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I'll add him to List of satirists since I think he's at the very least notable.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Do you have any comment on the (very relevant) proposal in the next section? Notinasnaid 22:59, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I think that there is too much american satire compared to British satire. Theirs about a paragraph on the UK and half a page on the US, most of which consists of Colbert and his funny but not exactly ground braking satire. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:54, 15 June 2010 (UTC).

Proposal to remove sections (done)[edit]

I propose removing the sections "Chronological list of notable satirists" and "Additional notable satires in modern popular culture" because

1. They are a magnet for drive by additions and the lists, especially the first, are already unwieldy (and would be many times the size if they had not been arbitrarily pruned).

2. They encourage editing in the form of lists rather than the addition of proper encyclopedic material.

3. It is virtually impossible to find a good definition of "notable" in this case which both keeps the size of the list manageable and is verifiable.

Comments, please. Notinasnaid 10:14, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps it should just be greatly reduced to historical satirists such as Swift and Horace and changed to a "See Also" section. The section could include List of satirists as a link. The list seems excessively long and hard to read, so only the most well-known names should be left, along with a few publications and perhaps a TV show such as The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, since they have become very prominent nowadays. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:23, 22 December 2006 (UTC).

Definition proposals[edit]

Online Webster says: 1 : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn 2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly

For the point of clarity, "Trenchent" could be substituted with it's near synomyms "smart and articulate". (Less smart or less articulate pieces could fall under attempted satire, but not satire.)

The current definition on the Wikipedia page is a fair discription, but it could be more precise as Satire has exact definitions in both art and law. I DO like including the derivitives of the word, as the derivitives convey the positive playfulness underlieing even serious political Satire. I would say that "positive social change" is more characteristic than "criticism".

The current Satire article states:

Satire (lat. medley, dish of colourful fruits) is a technique used in drama and the performing arts, fiction, journalism, and occasionally in poetry and the graphic arts.

>That's a complete sentence, but not a complete definition, which it could be. It continues...

Although satire is usually witty, and often very funny, the primary purpose of satire is not primarily humour but criticism of an event, an individual or a group in a witty manner.

> Criticism has both positive and negative connotations, while Satire always has SOME positive underlieing moral message.

I agree that the previous write-up was excellent. Since the definition of "Satire" in the legal realm has been hashed over repetitively, the definition deserves more research.

If I did something wrong in how I posted this, please help. My email is I'm new to posting. Barryleelandis 19:43, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

posting and definitions are great! We might want to mix and the OED. They shouldnt be contradictory. --FlammingoParliament 12:08, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

As far as I know satire is not a technique, it is a genre that use the techniques of irony/rhetoric/comic.--BMF81 14:17, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

I think I agree... :-) --FlammingoHey 00:29, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I recall a definition from high school, slightly un-PC today, "Poking fun at Man's institutions for the purpose of improving them." Concise, doesn't get into details of Horatian vs Juvenalian, and includes intention to separate it from parody of relatively unimportant issues. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:30, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

I love satire. Ideally, someone should satirise the contributors to this page too, but it seems no one could be bothered. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:08, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Non sequitur? (problem solved)[edit]

Under the "Ancient Rome" heading is this confusing bit: "Unlike an 16th century confusion states, the term satire ..."

I have no idea what that sentence means, because I have no idea what that quoted bit means.

Does anyone get the drift well enough to make it sensible for a simpleton like me? :)

timbo 21:05, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I've tried, but i'm not sure. I hope it makes more sense now, but i am still not too happy with it. Do you get the idea now and could polish it? FlammingoParliament 21:32, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! Much clearer now (to me). I hope I've just made a small improvement there, too. timbo 02:58, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

1599 ban[edit]

Hi. I've added a reference to the 1599 ban and corrected spelling of Abbott to Abbot (it was linking to the wrong person). Hope that's o.k. You say all verse satire was banned. As far as I can tell it wasn't restricted to verse, but to all satires and epigrams. Also I've changed history plays to histories and plays, since the pivotal history that started the whole thing was a prose one. The 1599 decree says: "That noe Englishe historyes be printed" and then "That noe playes be printed" - except by special permission.--Tanyushka 05:04, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks! --FlammingoHey 09:52, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Family Guy[edit]

Is The Family Guy really a good example of satire? The crux of the show's humor lies in pop-culture parody, not social satire. Considering the examples of great satire that aren't mentioned in this article, doesn't the inclusion of The Family Guy just blur the lines between satire and parody and make the article less concise as a result?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20 June 2007

Agree (now), and changed that with some sources. --FlammingoHey 09:27, 3 July 2007 (UTC)


The Britannica definition really needs to go; it is woefully inadequate for a term as complex as satire. It doesn't do justice to the etymology of the term (I put a link to a scholarly article which clarified it, but someone took it down for no apparent reason). The relationship between satura and satyr needs to be developed more fully, because it is hardly as neat as the antiquated Britannica definition portrays it.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Eros888 (talkcontribs) 22:00, 2 July 2007

Re-added it in context, how do you like it now? --FlammingoHey 09:48, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Precision: satire, parody and caricature[edit]

My changed today come from the "excellent" German article "satire", Satire and terms parody andcaricature themselves. To clarify the Simpsons etc debate, including Colbert, I added the sentence about a common mix-up and improper generalization of the term, and wikipedia might just explain that phenomenon. They are "often called" satires, but "satirizing" doesn't make something a satire, but often is then a caricature or parody, depending on the manner or, as in parody, form. If this is unclear, please point out the specific sentence so we can work on it. Also, satyr is now linked to in the first line, to satisfy those who did not know its spelling when they looked for it.--FlammingoHey 10:24, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Flamingo - read the article from the top, please. Parody (for example) is (or is not) "satire" depending on whether it is an attack on something the writer wished to see "amended". Soundofmusicals (talk) 05:57, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

W.S. Gilbert[edit]

Is obviously a great satirist, and one we were previous lacking. Some of the G&S operettas are however much more directly satirical than others. And none of the operettas is really unrelentingly satirical (they would perhaps have been less popular than they are if they had been). Any examples of Gilbertian wit added here really need to relate to the point pretty directly - hence although it was NOT I who deleted the funny illustration from the Mikado I can see why it got cut, to be honest. It's VERY witty, in Gilbert's best style, but, especially in isolation, NOT a good example of satire as such. Soundofmusicals (talk) 06:15, 20 November 2007 (UTC)[edit]

This site is neither notable nor famous, it has been removed and re-added twice. Someone has tacked it on to increase traffic to a mediocre website. A better example of an online satire website would be

I have added The Onion to this article Silent.reprobate (talk) 20:08, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

French? Chinese? ??[edit]

Satire or Satire in the English language? Alright, there are a few others mentioned, but too much of it is a list of minor English speaking figures. South Park before Voltaire? (talk) 19:59, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I suspect most editors here know less than they should about Voltaire (and Molliere for that matter), and less than nothing about Chinese satirists. Is this because satire in many cultures is of the anonymous and ephemeral variety and little studied? Or are we just repeating Quintilian's mistake that satire is "totally ours"? The remedy lies in adding a (well referenced) section or two rather than in negative criticism, however!--Soundofmusicals (talk) 20:48, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

The first sentence[edit]

I changed the first sentence, which was:

"Satire is strictly a literary genre, but it is also found in the graphic and performing arts."

I see two problems with that. First, as noted (albeit in the wrong place), it doesn't make sense—it's contradictory. I take strictly to mean only, solely or exclusively, as in "Our relationship is strictly business, nothing else". So if satire is strictly literary, it can't be anything else. Perhaps the writer meant "Satire is, strictly speaking, a literary genre..."

But second, the old version doesn't give the definition of satire till the second sentence of the article; the first sentence is about a secondary issue: where satire occurs. I think the essential definition should be contained in the first sentence.

I used "artistic form" instead of "literary genre" because that's what appears in the Britannica article that's referenced. If someone wants to change back to "genre", be my guest. But please don't simply revert my change back to the previous illogical sentence, and please put the definition in the first sentence. --Davemck (talk) 15:44, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

In English (the language) we very frequently say things like "Strictly, you just shouldn't go out drinking, but I suppose we'll allow it now and then". "Strict" in this sense means something like "pedantic". The "sense" came about because people wanted to cut out virtually everything about contemporary satire by saying "all this is nonsense, because satire is a LITERARY genre". Many reference books in fact give satire this "strict" (or "pedantic") definition - something like "Satire is a literary genre". (Full stop, in effect, end of definition!) Even Aristophanes goes out the window (as satire), because satire isn't a dramatic genre, it's LITERARY. which is nonsense of course. "Form" - Genre" etc. are very contentious and ambiguous terms. Once we had "Satire is a literary technique" which was close enough actually. Honestly, your concerns, as expressed, are contradictory, since it os obvious that you understand perfectly well what is meant. And a "literary (form, genre, technique, whatever)" remains WHAT satire is. So it DOES rightly have to come right at the beginning, so we know before we start just what we are talking about. It IS a literary (form, genre, arm, leg whatever). So yes, I AM reverting, more or less!! --Soundofmusicals (talk) 19:58, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Revisiting this a few minutes later - sorry for being a bit bumptious. This is one case where we can't "define" what we are talking about in one sentence. In fact we have two further "definition" sections ("Term", and "Satire and humour") after the main one! I think the "literary form" (or genre etc.) DOES need to be the first one though - the "definition" you want to come first is a description of what satire looks and feels like, and its purpose - an important part of our definition, but perhaps no more specifically defining than where it occurs. In any case that qualification of the "literary" bit (it is a qualification, not a "contradiction") IS needed to stop the "if it is literary where is the literary merit in the Simpsons? brigade). Anyway - do feel free to edit/revert/discuss further! Provided always that the aim remains to improve the article, and not just to make empty "points".--Soundofmusicals (talk) 20:15, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

humor and humour[edit]

As I am sure you know, soundofmusicals, I am very grateful for your watching this article which saves me much trouble, i hardly have to come to this one any more. Still, it is common in wikipedia to choose either American or British English and keep it. The article was BE for years, and only in one paragraph there were now four AE spelling. That's why i reverted. No harm intended. It is not custom to "reform" an article and change ALL spellings from one to the other, that's why the category is still Category:Humor, but its main article is humour. That's what the community agreed on many years ago.--FlammingoHey 17:01, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I would prefer "Humour" myself really (I am not American) - but I am much more concerned here that we be consistent, at least within an article. There are several other American spellings there, at least I thought so - so I unreverted a reversion of my own that changed some (but not all) instances of "Humor" to "Humour". I do wish wiki would just make up its mind and go for one spelling or the other - American spelling irritates me mildly at worst, but this hopping from one spelling to the other I find quite intolerable!!--Soundofmusicals (talk) 23:45, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Ok, glad we share that opinion. Then I'd say we try to make it BE-consistent in all other words as well. Sadly it's a bit more work for us than for a BE native speaker.--FlammingoHey 07:17, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I've been scanning the page for all versions of and hope the issue is solved, if you find any more AE spellings to get rid of, go ahead!--FlammingoHey 07:41, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

The Satires of Juvenal[edit]

If we are including a link to "satyr" at the beginning of the article, shouldn't we include a link to the Satires of Juvenal, as well? I typed in "satires" in hopes of finding Juvenal's collection, but it ended up here. Since the Satires of Juvenal is actually spelled in references to this type of writing (unlike "satyr") shouldn't we add it at the beginning of the article? And curiously, where would I look if I wanted to add this in myself (call me a slacker, but I've never quite gotten to looking through the guides myself)? Copying and pasting won't get me everywhere. --MwNNrules (talk) 02:05, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

It's all already there! I assume you read the article, at least the Roman era bit, and know about the two spellings and their relation. For that reason, the link to satyr helps people (and now it's a bit clearer why it's there). Since Juvenal was Roman, you find his name in the Roman section, and the link to his satires.--FlammingoHey 09:30, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
My bad in this case. I was trying to go directly to the Satires of Juvenal, and hadn't thought about going to the Roman era section of this article. Ah well. Thanks. --MwNNrules (talk) 14:02, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

"1001 nights"[edit]

I have trimmed this a bit - some tales in the collection are indeed variants of each other - as a fairly random collection of tales "from all over" with little overall editing and conordination this is exactly what you'd expect. And even if some variants do consciously parody other tales (highly doubtful anyway) then this parody is NOT necessarilly satire. Read the section where we discuss this - satire often uses parody - but IN ITSELF is something quite distinct!!--Soundofmusicals (talk) 00:58, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Ghjkl.JPG[edit]

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  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
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This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --19:31, 4 January 2009 (UTC)


One of the better WP articles I've read. Great job. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:43, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Satire under fire[edit]

The introductory paragraph to this has been under attack lately. I placed the following explanation and "plea for retention" on the editor's userpage.

The introductory paragraph to this section has a simple meaning which you seem to have totally missed.

1. Satire is essentially indirect, and often ironic (see introduction to article as a whole - which HAS references - these do not need to be repeated here).

2. This makes it obscure, so that it usually escapes censorship. (If the cap fits wear it, in other words). This is also treated (and referenced) elsewhere in the article.

3. On the other hand satirists are by no means immune to attack and censorship. (Numerous specific examples given in rest of section).

It is simplistic (and very far from universally true) to state that satire is "against power". Almost anything can be the subject of satire. Nor are the powerful the only people who attack satire (although the attacks of the powerful are obviously much more dangerous).

Nobody is claiming (at least in this paragraph) that satirists censor themselves to avoid criticism (although of course they sometimes have to!) - at least that is not the meaning conveyed here. What we are saying is that satire is essentially veiled - that is what distinguishes satire from plain abuse!! Again - read the introduction to the article, and try to come to grips with what it actually means, if you can.

--Soundofmusicals (talk) 13:04, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

needs a better picture[edit]

its from 1867 and is illegible at the size uploaded to wikipedia commons —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:35, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

early medieval Irish satire[edit]

Someone who's interested might want to look into the role of the satirist in the literary culture of early medieval Ireland, where satire (probably as a traditional Indo-European form of curse poetry) was regarded as extremely potent. It would be a good link from antiquity. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:53, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't have my hands on the book at the moment, but Bloomfield and Dunn discussed satires in their book if you care to track it down.
Morton W. Bloomfield and Charles W. Dunn. 1989. The Role of the Poet in Early Societies. Boydell & Brewer, Cambridge. 166pp.
FBM (talk) 15:16, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Definition paragraph[edit]

Look, this may very well be open to improvement. It's been tweaked/attacked/refined by several editors over the life of the article, and it would be surprising if it were perfect! On the other hand, I really can't see how discussing what it DOES before we have covered what it IS could ever make it "clearer".

An improved definition would need to have these elements - and I think for clarity's sake if nothing else they should be more or less in this order.

  • 1. What it is. (Originally, a literary form - by extension any art form with similar characteristics).
  • 2. What does it do? (It comments on some aspect of human life).
  • 3. How does it manage this? (It uses wit, especially ironical wit, as a weapon).
  • 4. what makes it unique? (Some or all of the following? Ideally backed up with a (cited) quote. It combines humour and anger - its irony is militant - it aims to "mend manners" by ridiculing human foibles)

Since this is primarily a literary article, it is even more essential that it be in correct English, and that the prose be clear and reasonably well written. I honestly don't think it's THAT bad at the moment!?

--Soundofmusicals (talk) 09:46, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Show me one third party source that defines satire as a "literary form" as the most important aspect.

Even in 1911, definining sarire as as a "kind" of composition was an obsolete use. "Satire (n.) - An obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author's enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness. In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic. Moreover, although Americans are 'endowed by their Creator' with abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a sour-spirited knave, and his every victim's outcry for codefendants evokes a national assent." [Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary," 1911]

Random house: "1.the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc. 2.a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule. 3.a literary genre comprising such compositions. "

American heritage: "1. a.A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit.

b.The branch of literature constituting such works. See Synonyms at caricature.

2.Irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit used to attack or expose folly, vice, or stupidity"

Websters" 1) a poem or work holding up human vices, follies etc. to ridicule or scorn. 2)Trenchant wit, irony or sarcasm, used for the purpose of exposing and discrediting vice or folly."

The current lead sentence talking only about the form is grossly inadequate and inappropriate. MM (talk) 03:47, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Almost all of the reputable ones (see Britannica in particular) do. Even the Random House and (especially) the American Heritage dictionaries you quote are extremely close to our definition here. In any case, and as I'm sure you are very well aware, even a good dictionary is more concerned with the use of language as such than presenting encyclopedic information and is therefore NOT something we would normally use as a source.
Read up on Ambrose Bierce. He is in fact mentioned later in this very article as a notable satirist. His description of satire as "obsolete" is of course in itself satirical irony.
This article is a long one. I cannot follow why you consider that it should (or could?) be condensed to a single sentence - although I agree that if it were to be so condensed, that sentence would need to be rather longer than it is.
It makes sense to talk about what something IS before you discuss what it DOES. This does not mean that what it does is necessarily less important, just that it is clearer in that order. In any case it very often takes more than one sentence (or even one paragraph) to complete an adequate lead for an encyclopedia article. Is the whole lead "grossly inadequate and inappropriate"? --Soundofmusicals (talk) 05:18, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia:LEAD#First_sentence: "The article should begin with a declarative sentence, answering two questions for the nonspecialist reader: "What (or who) is the subject?" and "Why is this subject notable?"" MM207.69.139.135 (talk) 00:13, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
That is what I am saying - glad you now agree.--Soundofmusicals (talk) 10:46, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Satire and Parody revisited[edit]

It apparently needs to be said again - but satire and parody, while not the same thing (or even the same KIND of thing) very often occur together. To say - "this is parody, therefore it can't be satire" is like saying "this is a fish, therefore it can't live in the sea". In fact, much, if not most, parody does have satirical intent, and parody (along with irony) is one of the principal methods of satire. READ THE LEAD. The question is - does a particular parody have satiric intent, or is it purely humorous? In rather simplistic terms, satire is meant to make you laugh, and then think. If "Unencyclopedia" is in fact an attack on the "free-editing" feature of Wikipedia (and this is arguable) then it is satire - aimed perhaps at getting us to re-think the way Wikipedia works and thus getting a more reliable free encyclopedia. Not that I personally agree that this is the case, or that Wikipedia needs changing anyway, but this has no bearing on the case. If on the other hand it is a pure joke, and no attack on Wikipedia or its methods is intended... I'd say this is contentious enough for a "see also" anyway. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 22:41, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Chaser's war on everything[edit]

Someone seems to feel that these people really are sadistic monsters of the very deepest dye who really do hate terminally ill children enough to base a sketch on what greedy little losers they really are! NO ONE - especially very lefty, liberal satirists think like that - they're being satiric, right? I'm sure the "Chasers" said something like "Hey! this is satire" but sadly no one in authority knew what they were talking about. Read this article carefully and then YOU will, which will put you one up on such ignorami (and, incidentally, stop spoiling the article). --Soundofmusicals (talk) 00:11, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

("Ignorami"? "Ignoramus"? Did you know "ignoramus" means "we don't know" in Latin? In other words, "we are ignorant"? Quite a funny usage people have thought up and use). - M0rphzone (talk) 04:26, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
That's interesting Soundofmusicals. This is my first time on Wikipedia and, after you gave me the heads up as to the "done thing", I've made my way to this page in order to find myself being called an ignoramus. My interpretation of "Chaser" - and I did see the skit - was exactly as I have rewritten on the "Satire" page. For reasons clearer to you than to me, you seem to want to recast the skit. The skit, in my opinion and that of many others, was a satirical comment on greed. The target was the terminally-ill children and their families. This is what caused the absolute furore that saw "Chaser" taken off air for a while. I guess you think those "in authority" are "ignorami" too. Satire is a treacherous medium and can easily cross the boundaries of good taste. "Chaser" did that. Trying to redirect the target retrospectively is simply lame. 'Own up or put up' would be a good mantra to apply. Not everyone who differs from oneself is ignorant, Soundofmusicals. Now that I've been so closely schooled in correct form here by you, you'd best advise me where to go next - for dispute resolution since you have censorship power, it would seem.
Brenda — Preceding unsigned comment added by BrendaFearon (talkcontribs) 06:36, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
The specific "ignorami" I was talking about were Kevin Rudd and the management of the ABC - although on reflection they probably DID understand the real point but were worried about public perception and had better things to do than to undertake a public education campaign over one TV sketch! I did ask you not to take my remarks personally, but my apologies anyway for saying something that could have been taken as directed at you. I understand (I think) your take on the sketch - but a lot of people I know saw it too - and all of them took it the way I did. It was such a "classic" - with VERY strong echoes of a number of famous satirical pieces (too strong really, to the point of plagarism). Read the article on A modest proposal (better still, read the original piece) to get a better idea of what we are talking about here. The message as you took it really boils down to the idea that recipients of charity (especially children with a few weeks to live) are nastly grasping people and it is better not to waste money on them. I think you will agree that the chaser generally had quite a strong LEFT-leaning bias, and this is really a most unlikely attitude for them to have taken. "Greed" is not a word that anyone I know would apply to children in this situation, even in a "poor-taste" satirical sketch. Incidentally, EVERYONE can "censor" EVERYONE on this site - but yes, we do fix stuff by discussing it like this rather than reverting back and forward. I think an administrator or other person brought in to arbitrate (who almost certainly would NOT have seen the sketch) would probably just cut the whole thing as unhelpfully controversial - I think this would be a shame, as to me it is such an obvious (if rather derivative) example of a valid point in the article. Anyway, over to you - and thanks for coming to the right place to discuss this - where others can see what we're on about and chime in, if they want to! --Soundofmusicals (talk) 08:25, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Look, I've been thinking about this one, trying very hard to come to a compromise on this one without reducing the paragraph to gobbletygook. How would you feel about something like this:

The Australian satirical television comedy show The Chaser's War on Everything has suffered repeated attacks based on various perceived interpretations of the "target" of its attacks. To take one notorious example, the "Make a Realistic Wish Foundation" sketch (June 2009) was widely interpreted as an attack on the Make a Wish Foundation, or even the terminally ill children helped by that organisation. Prime Minister of the time Kevin Rudd stated that The Chaser team "should hang their heads in shame". He went on to say that "I didn't see that but it's been described to me....But having a go at kids with a terminal illness is really beyond the pale, absolutely beyond the pale." Television station management suspended the show for two weeks and reduced the third season to eight episodes. On the other hand the sketch very closely followed the logic of A Modest Proposal - and could equally well be taken as attacking the point of view directly expressed (in classic satirical fashion), and thus being directed at mean-spirited people who regard charities such as the foundation as a waste of money.

This at least makes a coherent point, although it is not quite the point I personally would have made - and recognises that we don't all see things the same way. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 10:32, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Dario Fo[edit]

The paragraph on Fo, while very interesting, had the air of a fairly literal translation from the Italian - (rendering it unclear, and what is worse, subject to copyright infringement) I have tried to recast the paragraph so that Fo's ideas are expressed in clear idiomatic English. Comments of any Italian speakers who feel I have distorted what Fo is trying to say are obviously very welcome! --Soundofmusicals (talk) 01:18, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Additions re. Aristophenes etc.[edit]

Unfortunately this addition, which may well have some value, is expressed in such very poor English that it is not even clear what is meant. Also please note that we generally only put in a link to the first use of a term - not every time it occurs. I am also bewildered as to what connection it has with the section heading - does it need its own section, or is there somewhere else you could put it. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 11:44, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

satirical prophecy[edit]

very good example of satire, yet very distasteful Sidelight12 (talk) 03:32, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

It's a perfect example of gallows humor. And it's on the side of the victims, against the right to bear arms. Good taste has never been a legitimate criteria to judge satire.--Sum (talk) 15:36, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Prophetic Satire[edit]

Seems to me that "Prophetic Satire" would be a more accurate title for satire that turns out to precede actual events than "Satirical Prophecy," which would seem to mean prophecies that have satirical elements. Thoughts? Memetics (talk) 15:36, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

"Comment by tag"[edit]

There seems to have been a tendency for some editors to pile in all kinds of tag on passages they either do not understand, or do understand but disapprove or disagree with. Paragraphs with basically a single thought, that have a cite that clearly refers to the whole paragraph, do not need a "citation" tag after every sentence - matter that clearly states a well cited fact in different words (a common thing in an article like this, where we make a point several times in different words to ensure understanding of what is, after all, a difficult subject) do not need a "citation" every time. Perhaps the odd sentence might need to be deleted as repetitive - but this is an entirely different matter! I feel this article has been attacked at times by people who disapprove of satire itself - feeling perhaps that it is a kind of humour we would be better off without. Or perhaps they are iritated that the dictionary/academic definition of satire is so different from the much looser idea they are used to. This is all very well - and one is always welcome to make constructive changes, and to raise questions on this talk page. The constant insertion of ever denser requests for citations is however not the way. Hope the people concerned can come to understand this, and either desist, or (even better) change their tack, and respond to their problems with the article in a more constructive way. The object should be to make the article better, not to push a personal wheelbarrow. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 10:50, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

There is no such thing as a "Comment by tag" wikipedia mispractice. Citation needed tags need to be addressed with a reference and page number, quite simply. Tags are part of the development process of an article. They are not necessarily a request for the removal of a statement, or even a disagreement with a statement. A statement with a detailed inline citation, which reflects in wording and content, is more solid and is much more valuable.
The misconception that adding cn tags is an "attack" on an article, is what actually obstructs its improvement. Soundofmusicals, if you don't want to take the trouble to look for a reference (something I haven't see you doing once for this article), leave the tag alone until someone else does, even if years later.--Sum (talk) 15:22, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
We are not talking about the same thing here. Constructive tagging of the type you describe is (as you rightly point out) fundamental to the process of improving articles and wikipedia itself. It is for the very reason that cn tags are such a powerful tool for improving articles that they should be used strictly for this purpose. If only tags were NEVER inserted as "requests for the removal of a statement, or even a disagreement with a statement". Alas, they sometimes are (or seem to be). In some cases the resulting tag is simply useless and meaningless, in other instances it would have been much better to have been bold and to have removed (or rephrased?) the offending statement as OR or NPOV (with a proper explanation in talk) - or better still, for the tagger to have found the appropriate reference him/herself!!!
A citation at the end of a sentence or paragraph should be taken as referring to the whole sentence or paragraph. This is common sense. One can (and should) question "references" that don't say everything they are credited with - but again - this may be a matter for removing (or replacing or relocating) the inappropriate (or inappropriately located) reference and raising the question in talk, rather than inserting an "attack tag" into an already referenced sentence or paragraph. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 01:16, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
The idea of an "attack tag" is only in your head. You can't remove a citation needed tag without adding an inline citation.--Sum (talk) 10:52, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Assuming every cn tag is equally appropriate you are of course quite right. On a similar assumption every edit is good faith and factual, so that no edit should ever be undone. In fact it follows that every article is already perfect - so that "you can't" edit an article (even to add a cn tag!)
While tags are added, not by an omniscient deity, but by ordinary editors, it will alas remain the case that, while most of them ARE at least inserted in good faith, they are very far from being universally wise or appropriate. Far from being "only in my head" all this (wish it was!!)
My unfortunate habit of coining terms like "attack tag" may be obscuring what is, I think, a basically very simple proposition - that is "please apply 'citation needed' tags with discretion, and after considering possible alternative courses such as the deletion of doubtful facts, rephrasing of POV remarks, or even asking (on the talk page) for explanations of points not understood". I would be surprised if you really disagree with the idea behind this. The best and most powerful tool can be blunted by inappropriate application. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 17:11, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I have cut the Gordian knot and deleted most of the unresolved "citation needed" tags from the period of the above controversy nearly two years ago. Peppering an article with indiscriminate "attack tags" is highly antisocial, if not a form of vandalism. The article IS now much better referenced than it was, which is pleasing, to say the least, but this debris adds nothing and should have been cleaned up at least a year ago. -Soundofmusicals (talk) 03:11, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Held up to ridicule?[edit]

Satire is traditionally a subtle form. I don't think that the definition is correct - "held up to ridicule" implies something more vicious. Of course modern satire is often vicious, but that is not what it used to be. (talk) 03:36, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Really? Actually read the whole article (not to mention a few of the examples cited). There are at least two distinct varieties of satire - one of which is relatively playful - the other quite serious, and not even intended to raise a chuckle. Historical satire can be very "vicious" indeed. -- Some people seem to think that Machiavelli's "The Prince" is a real book about the necessarily evils of leadership while others seem to interpret it more as satire. Soundofmusicals (talk) 09:34, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Satirists' intent[edit]

A recent well-intentioned edit cut this from our "definition" sentence:

ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement.

with the edit commentary comment:

Wikipedia shouldn't have a stance on what's good.

An encyclopedia should indeed be objective. It is however perfectly objective to report that satirical writing is general the very opposite of encyclopedic writing, in that satirists are almost always writing from a very strong personal point of view, and (especially in its more caustic forms) the satirist hopes to modify his readers' opinions and behaviours for the better. From his point of view, naturally - but then we are not making judgements about this sort of thing, are we? In fact satire can be conservative and even "right wing", although in practice (NOT in an article, of course) we might remark that this is less common than the other way about. -Soundofmusicals (talk) 00:25, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Don't (please) insert a new heading for a comment on an existing topic, especially if the heading begs the question.
"Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon and as a tool to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society."
This is saying that something ought to be the intent. This is not attributed to anyone else named or unnamed as far as I can tell. HalfHat 15:07, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Essentially our "definition" here is not original, but a paraphrase of what is essentially the classic definition. So if it really is "saying something ought to be the intent" it is certainly not saying it "with Wikipedia's voice" in the sense you imply. Remember that this is the lead (or "lede" is you like), and is essentially an introductory summary of what is in this case quite a long article. We don't expect a full explication of every word or phrase, complete with definitions, the first (and presumably every other) time they occur in the article. The assumption is that you are going to read the whole thing, including the matter below the "contents" list. In this case scroll down to the section heading (or find it in that contents list) "Early modern western satire" and the following section ("Age of Enlightenment") where the idea of the "ammendment" of vices is described as an important feature of Satire, and what distinguishes it from straight abuse. Isaac Casaubon and John Dryden are mentioned in this context. The referencing at this point could well be improved, but you might start by having a look at:
There are several other places (again not always fully referenced) where the idea that real satire has a serious twist is mentioned - including later in the lead, for heaven's sake.
What about addressing the arguments at the top of this thread? --Soundofmusicals (talk) 07:24, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Ok I didn't notice this this. HalfHat 11:19, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

My problem is with the phrase "ideally with the intent". These is nowhere it says this is the belief of many etc. I suggest the possible replacement of "ideally" with "often", as that makes no statement on which is preferable. HalfHat 17:34, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Several classical descriptions of what satire actually is raise the question of intent by stating that the higher (or ideal) form of satire does imply serious intent by the author. To quote Dryden:
All those, whom Horace in his Satires, and Persius and Juvenal have mention'd in theirs, with a Brand of infamy, are wholly such. 'Tis an Action of Virtue to make Examples of vicious Men. They may and ought to be upbraided with their Crimes and Follies: Both for their own amendment, if they are not yet incorrigible; and for the Terrour of others, to hinder them from falling into those Enormities, which they see are so severely punish'd, in the Persons of others: The first Reason was only an Excuse for Revenge: But this second is absolutely of a Poet's Office to perform: But how few Lampooners are there now living, who are capable of this Duty! When they come in my way, 'tis impossible sometimes to avoid reading them. But, good God, how remote they are in common Justice, from the choice of such Persons as are the proper Subject of Satire!
We are not concerned at all here with any debatable idea of how many people have thought about satire in this way over the centuries - Dryden himself wrote the work from which this extract is taken largely to counter the view that satire is just witty abuse, a mere "excuse for revenge", whereas in its ideal form it ought to be for the "amendment of vice". He was far from alone - academic writing was in his day perhaps even more in the way of "citing sources" than it is now, and he refers to and quotes from many other writers, both of his own time and from ancient Rome.
It may well be that the text of the article expresses this imperfectly (remember, this is just an introductory summary of the article that follows) but it is NOT us "imagining a vain thing" - rather, we are describing what is, when all is said and done, one of the classic forms of literature, drawing on the "best and wisest" of what has been written on the subject - not just last week (although we touch on that too) but over the many centuries during which satire has been described and discussed (not to mention practised). This is an ancient form, and people have grappled with its difficulties, as well as enjoyed its wit, long long before you (or even I) were thought of. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 00:37, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't see how any of this changes that Wikipedia shouldn't say what ought to be. HalfHat 20:31, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Point is that it doesn't. Is it the word "ideal" has you hung up? But that is simply an acknowledgement that satire doesn't always fulfill all the criteria that Dryden, and myriad other serious commentators over the centuries, have particularly valued. We are under no obligation to "balance" this by inventing an alternative view that (say) the "higher purpose" of satire is sanctimonious nonsense - that really would be WP:OR! But on the other hand, to be realistic, satire is in practice (historically as well as in contemporary terms) by no means always high minded - this is all "ideally" implies in this context. If you can think of a word other than "ideal" that conveys more or less the same meaning and doesn't have the connotations it seems to have for you then by all means run it past us - but I think it is just fine as it is. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 01:04, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I think it would be better to say something simple like "often". Or just say it is considered preferable. I'm not saying we need to mention any alternative views, just not state opinion as if fact. HalfHat 09:06, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Oh dear - if we said "often" there would be another set of objections from someone or other - it is not "opinion" in the "un-Wikipedian" sense of the word (i.e. an editor's personal synthesis) - I thought we established that long ago. It would be quite impossible to write anything at all on any literary subject if we denied ourselves any consideration of the "opinions" of critics and scholars, and there is not the slightest hint of anything of the kind in any of the "Wiki-Policy" articles. DO try reading them.--Soundofmusicals (talk) 20:20, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

How about adding the charlie hebdo shooting to the opposition to satire section?[edit]

Just a short paragraph. HalfHat 16:41, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

We probably will, sooner or later. It will not be an easy paragraph to write, though. At the moment we are all very much in sympathy with charlie hedbo - but how many of us have actually read any of it? Was it a noble satirical attack on oppressive fundamentalism or a nasty little race-hate sheet? Or something in between those extremes? Without having read any of their articles I really don't know, and neither do you. Of course whatever it was the murders were a senseless and shocking crime - but that is not an issue here at all. Perhaps in a while, when the emotional aspects have calmed a bit, and some thoughtful people have considered the implications... --Soundofmusicals (talk) 20:35, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

I think that sociologists take satire seriously even though they don't always initially mention humor as part of a society's culture, but sometimes satire gets things wrong.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Magnigornia (talkcontribs) 21:43, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

What you (or I) think isn't the point at all - this is an encyclopedia and we try to avoid being partisan or opinion driven, preferring to follow the general consensus of "reliable sources" on any given subject. It is indeed very true (and we have mentioned this) that the "messages" of satirists are not always consistent (e.g. while they tend to be a little to the left of centre rather than the other way there is no rule about this, and satire can be "conservative" or "liberal" - it attacks what the satirist himself sees as in need of ammending. You can have satire on both sides of a political, ethical, or religious question. Our own opinions about satire's "wrongness" in a particular instance is definitely not the point - we just can't become partisan. -Soundofmusicals (talk) 04:55, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

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Swift, Horace and Juvenal[edit]

As Swift is held up as an example of a satirical writer who could use both the Horatian and Juvenalian approaches, should he be listed as a Horatian too? Which work would best exemplify this? Gulliver and Laputa? Andy Dingley (talk) 10:52, 8 July 2016 (UTC)