On the preservation of ‘satire’.

Now that I’m an international brand, I know it’s only a matter of time before all my dirty secrets become public knowledge and anticipating this trend I have decided to fess up to being an Alanis Morissette fan. ‘Jagged Little Pill’,on full blast, provided the sound track to many a drunken binge in my early twenties and yes, of course I knew how ironic it was that she didn’t understand the word ‘irony’, but I continued to play her tunes including ‘Isn’t it ironic?’ anyway.

Truth is, I never gave Alanis Morissette’s grammatical short comings too much thought, until recently. Now, in a world where no-body knows what ‘irony’ is, I wonder if this Canadian Diva wasn’t some kind of language pioneer, the linguistic equivalent of Che Guevara revolutionising words, enabling them to break free of the limitations imposed by meaning. If I’m right then she’s been very successful with the word ‘irony’ and not so successful with other words such as ‘chair’ and ‘superfluous’ which still retain the same meaning as they did before Ms Morissette’s bold attempt to subvert definitions.

She shouldn’t lose heart though. In the wake of the virtual redundancy of the word ‘irony’ other nouns seem to be slowly following suit. Take ‘satire’ for example, a word closely associated with ‘irony’ and indeed back in the days when ‘irony’ meant something, it might feature heavily in a satirical piece of writing.  As recently as yesterday ‘satire’ showed signs of going down the same path when it was used entirely out of context by a bloke who calls himself Roosh V. For those of you lucky enough not to have heard of him, here is my synopsis.

Roosh V is a professional misogynist. I’m guessing it’s his Mother’s fault. She was probably a whore or failing that she may well have been frigid. He’s never read Genesis and therefore reckons it’s revolutionary to agitate for the legalisation of rape. He’s got himself a global following of disenchanted men who also assumably have never had access to a King James bible and think he’s selling something new. A lot of people don’t want to buy his wares. Some have even suggested there’s enough organic misogyny in the world and we don’t need to be clogging up our brains with his processed type. All of this has left the once proud misogynist defensive and this is where his incorrect use of the word ‘satire’ comes into play.

Having correctly calculated the level of public and political outrage his provocative drivel would incite (seriously who ever heard of him before this week and now he’s so notorious that he is the subject of strangers blogs) he has now decided to back track on his most infamous blog ‘How to stop rape’ where he suggests this could be achieved by decriminalising rape on private property. The article, he says was very obviously ‘satire’ only it’s even more obvious to me that Roosh V is trying to morissette the word ‘satire’ and given how quickly and without warning ‘ironic’ went from being a word that people understood and used in context to being a non word, I think we should keep a sharp eye on ‘satire’. Roosh V, you have been warned!

 

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