I'm sure you all remember the silly old saying 'The pen is mightier than the sword'. Perhaps when swords were the weapons in current use, there was some point in this proverb. Anyway, in our time, the least of our problems is swords.
But the power and influence of the creative arts is not to be belittled. I only say that the art and literature of sentiment and emotion, however beautiful in itself, however striking in its depiction of actuality, has to go. It cheats us into a sense of involvement with life and society, but in reality it is a segregated activity. In its place I adovate for the arts of satire and of ridicule. And I see no other living art form for the future.
Ridicule is the only honourable weapon we have left.
We have come to a moment in history when we are surrounded on all sides and oppressed by the absurd. And I think that even the simplest, the least sophisticated and uneducated mind is aware of thise fact. I should think there is hardly an illiterate peasant in the world who doesn't know it. The art of ridicule is an art that everyone can share in some degree, given the world that we have.
Muriel Spark, from her essay 'The Desegregation of Art' (1970)