Monday, September 19, 2016

Better People

- I want to go back to what you said last time:
Satire works by adjusting the relative power of roles in the imagination of the audience, makes the audience feel more in control, more comfortable living in a world with what they've satirized so they end up doing nothing.*
Our political freedom has greatly increased in the last century, but has that made us into better people?
- Do we lead better lives as individuals?
- Yes.
- I doubt it.
- Isn't that strange? A year ago ** you were talking about the atrophy of good: like our muscles the minute we stop exercising them start being weakened, when we stop being good we start being bad. Apparently the opposite is not true: When we stop being bad we don't start being good. Satire reminds us not to be bad, but that reminder doesn't help us become good, in fact it can make us worse. Why do you think that is? Is it that we never lose the ability to be bad, so when good declines we immediately become more bad? But we do lose the ability to be good, so when bad lessons we simply are less bad, but no more good?
- Something like that must be right.
- But why? Why do we forget how to be good, but not how to be bad? Are we bad by instinct which never leaves us and good only by education?
- Wouldn't the difficulty of recovering good be accounted for if we have it in us to be both good and bad, but our education is unrelenting towards the bad?
- Then the reminder to be good would be the exception, which when it ends leaves us chained to the bad influence of our social education.
* Puppy & Puppets
** The Atrophy Of Good