Tuesday, 28th April 2015

by Joshua Gaskell

In the Sunday Times Culture magazine – in an anti-BBC piece that’s also, incidentally, a review of W1A – A. A. Gill makes the extraordinary claim that ‘Satire is amoral and indiscriminate.’ And there was me thinking that satire intends to expose and criticise prevailing immorality.

Gill ends his assessment of W1A by quoting Jonathan Swift, to little apparent purpose. (The quote – ‘Satire is a sort of glass…’ – is the very first of fifty-five Swiftianisms in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, but I’m sure this is a coincidence.) Swift, a man keenly remembered for being, er, amoral and indiscriminate. Or was it highly moral and discriminating…

Will this do?