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May 20, 2015


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I am so bad at satire that I'm not even going to try it. I take heart in knowing that even a writer as great as Steinbeck decided he was bad at it, too. What he created, Grapes of Wrath, was so much better. Profound.

You, Phil, have learned the art well. I continue to have tremendous respect for you and your craft. The only person who comes close is Stephen Colbert. And, of the two, I do believe you are better, because Colbert can only wear one satirical mask, while you have worn multiple masks, each one artfully done.

Thank you, sir, for the service you continue to perform.

Phil Cubeta

Thank you for the kind words, Debbie, and or the link that set this post in motion. Almost everyone takes it that satire is like irony or sarcasm directed in a superior sort of way at others. Some works like that, Juvenal, Martial. But it is unbalanced because it does not put itself under the same knife it uses on others. Laughing at is not laughing with. The best satirist demonstrates the cure by operating on himself. Why should he not heal himself first? "What makes me so perfect that I should take others to task so readily?" Asking such a question seems to have precipitated Steinbeck's shift of genre. He repented of satire as irony directed at others. Colbert, Stewart, and others - it gets hard to stay in character, the same role, it becomes an old habit, like Ricky Nelson singing his songs at garden parties. I am trying to find a way to write myself as a character, within current web conventions of writing under you own name. It is much harder than using masks with bylines. The advantage, I guess, is that it confuses people more.

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