Quotations about   satire

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RIPPER: I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) American film director, screenwriter, producer
Dr. Strangelove (1964) [with T. Southern, Peter George, based on Red Alert by Peter George]
Added on 31-Jul-18 | Last updated 31-Jul-18
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That sort of thing wears thin — for when one’s cynicism becomes perfect and absolute, there’s no longer anything amusing in the stupidity and hypocrisy of the herd. It is all to be expected — what else could human nature produce? — so irony annuls itself by means of its own victories!

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) American fabulist [Howard Phillips Lovecraft]
Letter to August W. Derleth (Jan 1928)

Regarding Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary.
Added on 11-Apr-17 | Last updated 11-Apr-17
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It is part of the price of leadership of this great and free nation to be the target of clever satirists. You have given the gift of laughter to our people. May we never grow so somber or self-important that we fail to appreciate the humor in our lives.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) American poltician, educator, US President (1963-69)
Letter to the Smothers Brothers (Nov 1968)

Replying to a letter from them apologizing for making him the target of so much of their humor. More info here and here.
Added on 22-Feb-17 | Last updated 22-Feb-17
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Things are much more complicated. Feminism versus pornography, for example. There are a lot of feminists who think it is bad, but others think it’s good. I have become, you might call it mature, I would call it senile, and I can see both sides. But you can’t write a satirical song with “but on the other hand” in it, or “however.” It’s got to be one-sided.

Tom Lehrer (b. 1928) American mathematician, satirist, songwriter
Interview, Sydney Morning Herald (2003)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Apr-16 | Last updated 7-Apr-16
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Yet malice never was his aim;
He lashed the vice but spared the name.
No individual could resent,
Where thousands equally were meant.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) English writer and churchman
“Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift,” l. 459 (1731)
Added on 10-Sep-15 | Last updated 10-Sep-15
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For telling a good and incisive religious joke, you should be praised. For telling a bad one, you should be ridiculed and reviled. The idea that you could be prosecuted for the telling of either is quite fantastic.

Rowan Atkinson (b. 1955) English actor, comedian, and screenwriter
Letter to The Times of London (Oct 2001)
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Regarding proposed legislation outlaw "incitement to religious hatred."
Added on 8-May-15 | Last updated 8-May-15
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How important are free speech and satire? Important enough that people will murder others to silence the kind of speech they don’t like.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
Twitter (7 Jan 2014)
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Regarding the mass murder at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.
Added on 13-Jan-15 | Last updated 13-Jan-15
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Monty Python’s usual schoolboy humour is here let loose on a period of history appropriately familiar to every schoolboy in the West, and a faith which could be shaken by such good-humoured ribaldry would be a very precarious faith indeed.

Other Authors and Sources
The British Board Of Film Censors, Report on Life of Brian (1979)
Added on 12-May-11 | Last updated 4-Sep-16
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Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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