The Why and Wherefore of Satire in Sally and Billy in Babyland

The book I wrote last year, Sally and Billy in Babyland and Their Adventures With Kitty the Cat, is a satire. It is a political satire. It’s a fable, a thriller and a cautionary tale, but above all it is satire.

I intend for the book to be funny, but it is often a dark kind of humor. In the ethos of comedy, I try to punch up rather than punch down. (That can be a very subtle difference, and I hope it works as intended.) The story has some dark elements in it, but overall I’m very hopeful.

I have come to work in satire because I’ve spent nearly my entire life trying to be funny. In school I tried to be the class clown making the witty remarks and offering quips to get a laugh. At some point my humor tended toward the sarcastic. And for many years and that sarcasm was cutting, sardonic, and occasionally cruel.

But now I want to be more upbeat with my humor.

I have embraced satire as it is a way to draw attention to problems in the world. Most of my favorite stories that I have heard have had strong elements of satire. On the surface level I enjoy a good laugh. But a really good joke, especially one that points out in absurdity in the way we live, can help us change our ways.

So my goal is to draw attention to the absurdities we live with while also entertaining in bringing joy through humor.

It’s not easy, and sometimes I’ll settle for just a laugh, but I do work towards the hope that things will get better.

I hope you enjoy my book.