I wrote a lot of satires — to Johnson, to Nixon … But Knatz.com got censored before I’d shown more than the four now in the pKnatz satire menu as of this 2012 02 28. I still have a stack of them, but never kept a copy of one of the best: my letter to Nixon relating his Watergate persona to King Oedipus, the moment it’s manifest to all that the king himself is the murderer they’ve been hunting for. Oedipus took the hair pin from his wife’s corpse after she’s hanged herself, forced to realize that her husband is her son and the killer of her late husband, the previous king, Oedipus’s father, and stabs himself in the eyes: he’ll no longer have to look upon this foolish world and his wicked part in it.
I didn’t read the Oedipus trilogy till I was a freshman, aged eighteen or nineteen, but boy, was I wowed. I loved all three, especially Oedipus at Collonos. The self-deposed self-blinded king has wandered the country side, cared for by his grieving daughters. He finds a moments rest at a temple — where the gods, who’ve made such sport of him, decided he’s had enough, and take him directly to their bosom, like the Virgin Mary supposedly ascending to heaven while still a mortal.
I told Nixon that he had looked for the miscreant, now the whole world could see what everyone had always known, that it was him all along, the blatant motherfucker, and that he could do America proud if he’s poke his own eyes out, rise above the 20-20 blindness and self-serving hypocrisy of his peers, Hitler, Stalin … and demonstrate that even though it was too late, he was still capable of learning, and of at least one act of nobility.
My favorite part of my analogy, other than the targeted motherfucker joke, was where I pictured the blind and limping Nixon hitchhiking along Route 66, in Albuquerque NM, poking through the dumpster behind a Macdonald’s, attended by the weeping Nixon daughters, Tricia and whoever the hell the other one was.
Ah, but that was 1971 or so. I seldom kept carbon copies in those days, certainly had no Xerox machine, not even when I wrote to Ivan Illich, not even when I was answering questions sent me, the offerer of an internet to replace compulsory schooling, by state-run teachers colleges. (They bankrupted me with all the questions they asked! Did they keep my answers? God will have copies, at Judgment.) (Ironically, the teachers colleges always asked me if there was a charge for my services. I always answered pay what you can. They never paid me anything! They should have turned all of their resources over to me, as should the churches, the ordinary schools, the phone company …)
My joke of 1971 was duplicated by the protagonist of The Unbearable Lightness of Being (novel 1984, film 1988: more than a dozen years later!) He got clobbered by the Communists for his: after he became a doctor; I got clobbered before, during, and after I did a ton of work on my doctorate: by people who say they’re not Communists! (The people who murdered Jesus and who still cripple his disciplines are all Communists, Fascists, Nazis: it’s all the same difference: meddlers, robots, bosses.)
I’ll sort the following scribbles ASAP: pardon the duplication, I’ll reduce it, send me a secretary.
I’m proud of a letter I wrote to Nixon during the Watergate years that I unfortunately kept no carbon copy of. I describe it though in a note to my piece on Legitimacy.
I’ll get it: and read it in here.
Much of my writing has been satirical from the beginning. My first effort was simultaneously a child’s adventure and a satire of adventure stories. My science fiction implicitly satirizes normal science fiction at least in so far as it specifically targets subjects and points normally left out of science fiction.
For example, we all know stories where the aliens arrive in a flying saucer only to reveal immediately that they share our own vain view that we are the only life form that counts. They even buy our political system: it’s a human they address — “Take me to your leader,” is the first thing they say. In the movies it was always the Mall in Washington, DC, US of A, that the saucer lands on. In my By the Hair of the Comet, the humans never even know that the alien was present. Indeed, the alien never knew he had encountered another intelligence.
Beginning specifically emphasizes the invention of the container, an invention so great, so basic, that few of us are aware that it ever had to be invented. Thus, common awareness is again satirized. (I suppose that’s as good a reason as any that my work hasn’t been normally published.) Everything the pilot of that story says is a satire of common awareness (and the pilot isn’t even human). Even my thesis on Shakespeare’s sonnets may be seen as an implicit satire on the sorry state of the art of English studies. The paucity of comment I’ve received on Play for Voices could well have something to do with people not liking the suggestion that their Christianity has little to do with most of what Jesus said and seems to have stood for.
But in this section I gather merely a few examples of simple, short pieces self-“published” to individuals (such as presidents in the White House) or small groups (such as the US Army). (Alas, I cannot include one letter to the White House because I sent it without having made a copy, but I describe it briefly in a legitimacy.html#agon1 note. Perhaps one day it will turn up in Nixon’s library or in some FBI file.) The influence of Johnathan Swift and Mark Twain should be self-evident. The reader without a literate sense of irony will be unable to navigate properly.
to be developed: in relation to my current satires: such as my module on Cheating.
Euclid and Sing a Song of Sixpense is not the same kind of writing. Neither is Kant and Swift. With Kant, he’s supposed to mean what he says. With Swift — take A Modest Proposal, for example, you can bet that he means it; but not literally. Ditto Twain, ditto pk. And it’s hard to impossible for the satirist himself to know what he means literally.