The Subversive Power of Satire
I’m listening to a Fresh Air interview of Stephen Colbert and it’s interesting to get a sense of the thought process underlying his work. He seems thoughtful and genial and astute, not especially manic or goofy, and not a culture warrior either. I think that is why he is able to do such excellent satire around such potentially explosive topics. He’s not trying to make a statement, he’s just trying to do good comedy. Paradoxically, it makes his work all the more effective because he can then give voice to important truths that would otherwise be rejected as just another salvo in the culture wars. Satire may be one of the most powerful forms of social critique out there, because it comes to us in a subversive way.