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July 7 , 2011           

Is satire good for you?

Yesterday I asked ""Is religion good for you?"", so today's question should be 'appropriate' - as indeed the bureaucratic/pomo term tends to be in similar contexts, that neatly derelativizes all by relativizing all: appropriate to whom? For what reasons?

I think it is ('appropriate'), but then I think most anything that makes people think ought to be good for them. Yesterday I found an interesting series that was on BBC 4:

I recall David Frost from Dutch TV, when I still watched it sometimes, in the 1960ies, as the only one then incidentally appearing on TV in Holland who seemed intelligent.

And no, I am not making fun: In those days, all one could get on Dutch TV was Dutch TV, and that tended to be as witless, insipid, and apparently decently conformistic as Dutch Calvinism could make it.

Then again, it soon changed, some, mostly because of people like David Frost, Peter Cook, Spike Milligan, the Monty Pythons - as I mostly found out considerably later, as I also found out just yesterday that the Dutch satirical program "Zo is 't toevallig ook nog eens een keer", was mostly pinched from "That Was The Week That Was", without credit, of course.

Anyway.... David Frost became Sir David, eventually, and not long ago made a six part series on satire for BBC 4, linked above, that I found interesting and funny.

It's linked above, and it had one shortcoming: Part 6 seems to be missing. Then again, a good part of it was also put on line by someone else, and it is interesting, for it contains Frost with Jon Stewart and Bill Maher:

This is all quite good stuff, and it should clarify why satire is good for you, and for a non-authoritarian society.

In the context of non-authoritarian society, here is the actor Richard Dreyfuss - yes: "Jaws" - on it, quite well put, if not satirically, but from the point of view of an educated citizen:

That's serious stuff, so to keep you amused here is a nice bit of satire

In case you haven't watched too much TV to have effectively stopped reading satires, here are two on my site by Jonathan Swift (<- with helpful links):

And here is more satire by Mandeville and by Hazlitt - but yes, I do admit I live in times were most university educated persons of good will find the following too much - too difficult, too demanding, or indeed too immoral - to cope with, rationally:

Have fun!

(*) I meanwhile found Dreyfuss got classified on Youtube as "Hollywood Leftie Elite" - how envious can people get? - but do like to remark that in this video, at least, and in the other one, what Dreyfuss is articulating are mostly .... conservative values as they once were espoused by sane and educated and intelligent people (as contrasted with Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh), such as Edmund Burke.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1.  Anthony Komaroff Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
3.  Hillary Johnson The Why
4.  Consensus of M.D.s Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5.   Eleanor Stein Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)
6.  William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7.  Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8.  Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:

7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

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