Nelson Mandela and Satire

It seems to me that in today’s world,  people who understand satire are an endangered species.

The late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa understood the value of satire, even when he was the target of it.

Here is the definition of satire.

“Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon and as a tool to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.”

Certainly, satire can be misused, but it is more often misunderstood. I generally preface the fact that I am being sarcastic or using satire in order to avoid having my head bitten off.



The Kurds: A Persecuted People Caught in the Middle

The Kurdish people are caught in the middle of the tensions of the other countries surrounding Kurdistan. Their realm is surrounded by Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

As a minority group, the Kurds have suffered persecution. There have been several attempts at genocide, the most infamous being the chemical attacks of 1988 on the village of Halabja.


There is no excuse for these murdered little ones. If an action is taken which kills the innocent and helpless, there can be no glory in it. My heart cries for the children of Halabja. May they rest in peace.


Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.
Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.

O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we do sing
By, by, lully, lullay.

Herod, the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight,
All children young to slay.

Then, woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever mourn and sigh
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.

Funky Little Isms: Ageism

Two years ago, Jimmy Leeward flew a plane in an air show in Reno, Nevada. The plane crashed and Leeward was killed, as were nine spectators.

Leeward was 74 years old.

People were quick to blame Leeward’s age for the crash, saying that a man his age had no business flying a plane.

In the video, an experienced pilot notices a problem with the plane’s tail.

I am not a pilot or an aviation inspector. I can’t say what caused the crash.

What I will say is that it was not Leeward’s age.

People age at different rates. My own father died at 74 from a variety of health problems. He had vascular dementia among his other issues. Certainly there is no way that he should have been flying a plane.

My father’s age would not be the reason why he shouldn’t have been flying a plane. The vascular dementia would have.

I feel that it wouldn’t be wrong to test a pilot’s skills every few years, regardless of age, to make sure that they are still capable of flying.

While certain problems become more likely with age, there is no guarantee that every person will have the same set of problems at any given age.

A person’s reaction time does slow with age, but their overall knowledge and skills improve.

Let us not assume that because a person is advanced in years that they are doddering, decrepit, and senile.