Every once in a while, a widely read, ostensibly “respectable” newspaper publishes a satirical op-ed (or sometimes even a piece written by a regular columnist) that triggers an earth-shattering backlash. Soon, public editors are issuing apologies and writing columns about the editorial staff’s “thought process”, the hyper-sensitive twitter mob demands that writers be fired/editors be fired or that everybody cancel their subscriptions immediately risk supporting the cause of racism/bigotry/white supremacy etc. (something like this happened last week at the NYT, though the spat was over a print-edition-only headline).
Well, the latest example, surprisingly enough, comes from the UK, where local writers’ mastery of the art of satire has been widely regarded for centuries.
At a time when tensions are already running high (thanks to that whole Brexit debacle), journalist Rod Liddle published a column in the Sunday Times where he argued that it might be time for the UK to start another war. But this time, not with one of its European neighbors (that would presumably be far too easy).
Instead, Liddle writes, the UK should consider a more challenging adversary like China as its target for aggression. Two nuclear powers going head to head? How bad could it possibly get?
And in case you were wondering, Liddle isn’t attempting to satirically arguing for the type of modern, high-tech war like the strategies the US employed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Liddle is advocating for a more old-school, total war.
His reasoning? As a society, Britons have become too soft thanks to so many decades free of major wars.