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I'm having a hard time making sense of the third sentence in this quote by Mike Judge (the film producer/writer/director):

It seems like there's a lot of people who just do not understand satire. They think it's weird. There's people who just don't understand you portray something or just explore a character, it means you're condoning it, saying this is the way to live. It's just so simple-minded.

The only thing I can think of is that he meant to say that when you portray something it doesn't mean you condone it, but that would sound like the exact opposite of the sentence, so I am confused.

  • Please include a link, if available, to what you're quoting. – green_ideas Jan 19 '17 at 16:02
  • Available at dumb.com/quotes/satire-quotes/4 and a dozen other places on the web. Just Google it if it matters to you. – Mark Hubbard Jan 19 '17 at 16:35
  • If any part of your question was, 'does this make sense to you', I'd say it was very clear to me for reasons in some good answers below, including the clarification by StoneyB that it should be read knowing it was a spoken statement. Parenthetical comment - I couldn't agree more with Mr. Judge on his observation. – Tom22 Jan 19 '17 at 19:14
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Mike Judge said:

"It seems like there's a lot of people who just do not understand satire. They think it's weird. There's people who just don't understand you portray something or just explore a character, it means you're condoning it, saying this is the way to live. It's just so simple-minded."

And you noted:

"The only thing I can think of is that he meant to say that when you portray something it doesn't mean you condone it."

You are correct in your assessment: he's trying to say that viewers mistakenly believe his satires condone the behaviors they depict, which is not his intention. He just said it very poorly.

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    How do you know? – green_ideas Jan 19 '17 at 16:04
  • Accurate reading comprehension often relies on the ability to make reasonable inferences. In United States federal case law, for instance, "Reasonable inferences mean 'conclusions which are regarded as logical by reasonable people in the light of their experience in life.' [Lannon v. Hogan, 719 F.2d 518, 521 (1st Cir. Mass. 1983)]." (definitions.uslegal.com/r/reasonable-inference) – Mark Hubbard Jan 20 '17 at 1:39
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This is obviously either a ‘live’ quote, or a written statement in a very casual register which did not call for formal precision.

Such utterances often read very strangely because they’re missing the prosodic cues and gestures which make them intelligible. To some extent, however, this can be overcome with judicious punctuation; this quote, for instance, could be repointed like this:

It seems like there’s a lot of people who just do not understand satire. They think it’s weird. There’s people who just don't understand: you portray something or just explore a character, it means “You’re condoning it, saying this is the way to live.” It’s just so simple-minded.

The piece You’re condoning it, saying this is the way to live is obviously intended to echo the simple-minded response of people who don’t understand, to represent what your portrayal means to them—it’s obvious, that is, in speech, but easy to overlook in a perfunctory transcript.

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As far as I got it, he means that if you portray or explore a character, it does not necessarily mean an outright support (or even rejection) of the way the character lives.

Representation does not equal endorsement or condemnation.

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