Can satire keep up?
In today’s National Post Rex Murphy quotes Malcolm Muggeridge, like Chesterton a prophetic voice about the modern age, that “We live in an age in which it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes, probably by someone well known.”
Murphy goes on to describe artist Tracey Emin marrying a rock in France last summer, and a group of philosophy students in California marrying the ocean a few days ago. Not as satire but as what passes for sober reality. Murphy concludes the piece “As Wordsworth said of Milton, of Muggeridge we can also pray: Malcolm thou shoulds’t be living at this hour. Or, may be not.” What, indeed, would Muggeridge make of Emin, a Royal Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts who Wikipedia calls “a paragon for women artists in today's art world” who “does not overtly appear as a feminist artist” because she says “she is a feminist, but not a feminist artist” and “discusses sexism from the viewpoint of the being a female victim” and was a Turner Prize nominee for the predictably filthy, in both senses, “My Bed”? Or the notion, discussed by Murphy, of obtaining consent from the ocean for sex?
Well, I’m no Muggeridge. But I’m not letting satire go down without a fight. Because I’ve heard of getting your rocks off, but this is ridiculous. And if you get the ocean pregnant, does it need a sea section?
See. We can still laugh. Through our tears. Salty tears. Like the ocean. Say, I think I’ll marry my face. If it says yes.