Satire and the “love/hate” relationship.
I also feel it would be fun, if nothing else, to discuss some named examples and debate the sympathies of the satirist.
What do I mean by the “love/hate” relationship of satire. Well, I would assert that the satirist loves to hate his subject.
OPEN TO DEBATE.
Just to clear up what is satire is it when you kind of ridicule a subject by imitating it?
Is satire possible any more? Satire depends on common moral values, shared by everyone, including the victims. In a world where celebrity and money are sthe chief common values, what morality is there? If celebroty cook and celebrity crook, celebrity drug-addict and celebrity drug-dealer, celebrity killer, celebrity whore, celebrity paedophile (it'll come soon), celebrity author, celebrity celebrity are all equally famous for being famous how can anyone effectively deride them?
Leher suggests that satire is inapt for providing political change in the modern world. But is that why satire exists. Or is it for fun? Or to undercover flaws?
Your earlier point about "loving to hate" is not- I think- wholly true either. Tom Sharpe's most effective satires are his two South African books, and no-one could say that he has any love for the policemen in there, whereas hs later books are oversentimental about England, even when they contain mockery. People feel flattered as well as satirical. Certainly, enjoyment can help: would Orwell's newspeak and doublethink be anything like as well done if he hadn't enjoyed inventing them and mocking contemporary political thought and rhetoric? Certainly, if Pope wanted Sporus to stay alive it was only to feel Pope's contempt and hatred.
Incidentally, have you read Rochester? One of the most savage satirists in English and a great poet too.