A change in outlook?

In his latest post, refering to the rebranding of terrorism as man-caused disasters Aristotle The Geek writes

On 9/11/01, some man-caused-disaster-causing-men caused a man-caused disaster

It took me a couple of seconds to parse that, but then I burst out laughing. An year back, I don’t think I would have found it so funny. I would have been more indignant that people in charge of security are busy inventing euphemisms to avoid offending the terrorists.

I am not quite sure what this change means or even whether it is positive or negative. Something to ponder over.

Satire and Cynicism

The editorial page of The Sunday Times has columns by Shobhaa De, Jug Suraiya and Bachi Karkaria, often by all three of them (out of a total of 6 columns). These columns are satirical at best and merely sarcastic at worst. What does so much satire (and sarcasm) on the editorial page (titled ‘All That Matters’) of a widely read newspaper reveal about today’s culture?

The purpose of satire is to ridicule, discredit or expose vices or folly by means of wit and/or sarcasm. Satire is unserious by nature. It deals with concrete details and not with abstract ideas; with effects and not their causes; with the incidental and not the essential. It appeals to emotional evaluation and not to reasoned argument. It has nothing positive to offer.

So much satire reveals that a lot is wrong in the world. There is no dearth of events that can be ridiculed. But more importantly it reveals the cynicism that has set in. It reveals a culture that recognizes that a lot is wrong, fails to identify the causes and believes that any attempts to identify them are futile.

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