Seven Warning Signs of Satire | Letters | Chicago Reader

Seven Warning Signs of Satire 

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To the editors:

Regarding Michael Miner's satire of acceptable forms of racism in the United States [Hot Type, May 15]:

I can only figure out two explanations for the "we demand an apology" reaction to Miner's satire.

The first is that a lot of the people who are up in arms about it must be damned dull-witted. The article was a clear and excellent satire of the real "cultural elite" in this country, who encourage the bashing of the Japanese, and Japanese Americans, when it suits their economic needs. That same cultural elite feigns surprise at the anti-Asian sentiments it encourages elsewhere in society.

The phrases "antlike invasion of the American economy," "wily Oriental," etc, are taken straight from past and present conservative propaganda, with the excruciatingly obvious intent of exposing the hypocritical attitudes of that wealthy cultural elite.

The second explanation for the outpouring of anger about Miner's article is a lot more sad. After more than a decade of real and relentless robbery of America by the Reagan-Bush elite, some progressive people seem to have lost any trace of a sense of humor. In that respect, Reagan and Co. have been successful in putting their opponents at each other's throats.

I don't always agree with what Mr. Miner writes. However, this satire was completely on target. It exposed for me, more clearly than anything I'd ever read, how elite racism is masked by hypocrisy. As for everyone who missed the glaring, overt, blatant, wide-open, obvious, arm-waving, jumping-up-and-down sarcasm, satire, and irony of Miner's article--maybe you ought to figure out exactly when you lost your sense of humor, and who took it.

Jon Pattee

W. Balmoral


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