Is (Gay) Satire Dead?

7.23.2014

By Out.com Editors

Ready to do anything for a laugh, Dandy Darkly explains why his 'Pussy Panic' is not misogynistic—it's just plain fun

Photo by Laura Pardo

The young woman seemed friendly enough, at first. She smiled. I smiled. I handed her a flier for my solo show playing near the burlesque venue where she’d just seen me perform. Her accusation was sudden and swift.

“You’re a misogynist!” she screamed at me. 

Hello. I’m Dandy Darkly. I’m New York City’s celebrated, desecrated, inseminated storyteller of hysterical, horrific tales of sex and death. That’s a mouthful I know. Please do swallow.

But she continued: “You celebrate the murder of women!”

The young lady, all up in my painted clown face, clearly did not enjoy the incredibly imaginative ghost story I’d just beautifully recited. The very same ghost story that left a circus tent of Scottish lads and lasses laughing their asses off. This was a year ago at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (where I'll be returning this year). I continued to smile and pass out fliers to departing patrons. Some stopped to have a photo taken with me in my ghoulish glory.

She now chose a less aggressive stance, hoping I would indict myself in all my woman-hating wonder.

“Well? Do you celebrate the murder of women?”

I leveled my gaze with her, “Yes. Of course!” My admission took her aback. “I celebrate the murder of women, men, children, pets! Anything for a laugh, my dear.”

This only pissed her off. More. But it’s the honest truth. My job is making people laugh by any means necessary. Sadly, these days, such transgressive slapstick is becoming more and more a target for an increasingly, rabidly politically-correct cadre of rubber necking No-Nos intent on wringing every drop of fun from our vibrant queer community.

Boys and ghouls, I’m an unapologetic classically vicious sissy in a world that no longer appreciates or even has an understanding of the highest of comedic arts.

Satire!
What is satire? I’m an expert, so allow me to cut and paste from Wikipedia. (That’s satire!) Satire is the graceful use of irony, exaggeration, humor and even ridicule to expose how fucking stupid people are. (I paraphrased the last bit.) Some woefully ugly words are associated with satire — mockery, scorn and derision. Satire is the meanest queen at the bar who leaves everyone in stitches (perhaps literally) yet still she makes the most tips as she’s insulting everyone to their faces as they hand her a dollar.

Satire is Bianca del Rio. Satire is the glorious heritage of our wittiest and most eloquent of queer culturists: David Sedaris, John Waters, H.H. Munro, and Oscar Wilde (among others). (Thank you again, Wikipedia. You’re really turning this essay out for me.) The wonderful wickedness of satire is that the response to it often reveals more stupidity than the original satirist ever could have hoped for.

Unfortunately, satire is long gone. Like a library bathroom glory hole, satire has been walled over, white washed, sold to developers and made into an American Apparel. The library is closed, ladies and gentlemen.

Satire is the art of hyperbole, pushing an exaggerated characterization beyond anything possible in actual polite society. We exist in a six second news cycle of flashing buzzwords and click bait celebrity moose knuckles. Anything is possible in today’s “polite society.” Once a sitting U.S. senator gushingly recalls his cherished childhood bestiality and a state congressional candidate flatly states he’s all in favor of the legal stoning of homosexuals (rocks, not weed, Mary!), I’m not so certain a satirist can push the envelope any further. A Florida society lady named Crystal Metheny allegedly fired a "missile" into a car. We’re done here, people. Drop the mic. Society has fully consumed satire.

Yet the irony is, as the world around us gets crazier, our LGBTQ community has gotten more and more politically correct, militantly minding our Ps and Qs? The rubbernecking No-Nos mentioned above are tsking and tutting harder than ever, calling out champions of our own community for perceived inappropriateness.

Ridiculous.

I find pride in our inappropriateness. I adore every bitter sissy I meet. I applaud a vitriolic dyke. I’m in awe of the brave LGBTQ children of all genders, numbers and colors. I approve of public displays of nudity and sex and think as a community we must embrace the satiric smut from which we crawled. Nowadays more than ever.

For the record, my tale in Edinburgh was less about my personal “misogyny” and more about how the beauty industry destroys women in pursuit of “perfection.” I think women (men, children, and pets, too) are utterly perfect as they are.

Even when I’m being accused of hating them.

Dandy Darkly is New York City’s renowned raconteur of homosexual horror. This August he returns to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with his solo show “Dandy Darkly’s Pussy Panic!” at the world famous CC Blooms. Find him on Facebook, on Twitter, or at DandyDarkly.com.

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