Friday, January 20, 2017

Quote of the Day (Alexander Pope, on Satire, ‘Weapon… for Truth's Defence’)

So impudent, I own myself no knave;           
So odd, my country’s ruin makes me grave.  
Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to see
Men, not afraid of God, afraid of me;           
Safe from the Bar, the Pulpit, and the Throne,          
Yet touch’d and shamed by Ridicule alone.
O sacred weapon! left for Truth's defence.  
Sole Dread of Folly, Vice, and Insolence!” —English poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744), Epilogue to the Satires: Dialogue II (1738)

Starting today, and continuing for the next four—possibly eight—years, the United States will need every bit of the kind of savage wit displayed by Alexander Pope. Satire will not only be necessary to puncture pretension, but also to help those who trying to retain their sanity and equilibrium amid a political environment gone stark, raving mad.

We have already seen how our newly inaugurated President (God, how I hate even to type those words!) goes off the deep end over even the slightest ridicule. (Let it be noted that earlier Presidents endured a thousand times worse.) Comics must continue to do so, come what may, to expose just how reeking Trump is of the "Folly, Vice and Insolence" brilliantly denounced by Pope--not to mention the new President's cruelty and humorlessness.

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