Thursday, May 13, 2010

an abridged treatise on sarcasm

i sometimes drive aimee crazy. sometimes this happens because she is oversensitive and sometimes it happens because i get a kick out of... as her father would say... cooking her sausages or frosting her cookies. juvenile? sure; but we always look back at the cause of such consternation and laugh. in fact, some of these moments have provided the entire family with fond memories, the likes of which we'll cherish for years. for example, it's unlikely the boys will ever forget the time their mother threw a bag of chocolate chips at their dad and said bag exploded sending shards of chocolate chip shrapnel flying throughout the kitchen while the rest of us went ducking for cover (good thing aim's aim was off or else i might still be picking chocolate chips out my skull).

at the end of the day, these little episodes can usually be attributed to the fickle art of sarcasm. i have been called the "king of sarcasm", although, as noted in a previous post, i would prefer the "supreme chancelor of sarcasm" if i had my druthers. either way both labels might be an understatement, even if they were somehow combined. because of the extreme state of my sarcastic personality, aim often threatens to send me to a sarcasm detox camp which threat might be effective if such a place existed... little does she know, it doesn't. thus, her threats ring hollow and the surging sarcasm cells continue to grow within me, getting stronger every day.

you see, sarcasm is like that poisonous sushi dish that only the elitist of elite japanese chefs can prepare. and when someone partakes of this rare and dangerous delicacy, one of two things will happen:

1. you will have an exquisite meal, fit for the gods; or

2. you will die

so it is with sarcasm. you either deliver a comment that leaves everyone tickled pink and a much better person for having heard it or leaves everyone offended with egg on the commentor's face. i have been on both sides of this equation as i have tasted the glory of a successful delivery in the perfect moment, but i have also absorbed the agonizing shame of inserting my foot firmly in my mouth. i prefer the former.

still, each embarrassing moment leaves me thinking my sarcastic days are behind me, but just when the withdrawal symptoms are starting to subside my dear mom says something that just dangles there like bait in front of me, begging for a response and, all of a sudden, the little red devil of sarcasm appears out of nowhere on my shoulder whispering ever-so witty comments in my attentive left ear until i fold: hook, line and sinker. game over. il finito. right back on the wagon.

thing is, i don't think sarcasm is all bad. it can be, but if used properly sarcasm can be a source of wholesome and delightful humor. in my estimation, there are two basic forms of sarcasm from which all other forms of sarcasm flow. they are:

1. the kind meant to demean people, ideas, or situations

2. the kind meant to over or understate a situation in an attempt to extrapolate humor out of an otherwise unfunny situation

i won't lie to you, zombies, as i have participated in both forms. but, here on the blog, i operate almost exclusively in the latter form of sarcasm because i want to make you all to be rotflao'ing (i think that's the acronym). problem is, sarcasm doesn't typically elicit that type of a reaction... it's usually just results in a subtle chuckle or benign smirk, but the kind that keeps a smile on your face all day and might even bring you back for more. i never mean to demean people... other than spineless politicians (redundant, i know), but i realize that sometimes it might come across that way.

as such, my modest proposal to you, zombies: don't take anything i say at face value especially since the other tool i use as much as, if not more, than sarcasm on this blog is satire, i.e., i like to affectionately point out the fallacies of myself and others by presenting them in such a way that makes them painfully obvious to the reader but uncannily oblivious to the author. bottom line: the only time you should take my words seriously is when i mean for them to be such... you'll figure it out sooner or later. even my mom's starting to catch on after 35 years of listening to me. thus, there's hope for everyone.

4 comments:

emcghee said...

I think maybe your should wear a crown (yes, all the time) that says, "The Supreme Chancelor of Sarcasm." You might even be able to use it as a shield in the event that Aim throws anything else at you . . . I'm just saying.

I haven't been in the "blogging world" for a long time, I need to read some old posts!

the cooper five said...

emcghee,

nice to hear from you again. i was worried something dreadful had happened to you... even though i see you all the time.

i took a little time away from blogging, as well; but, i do recommend you at least read the previous post on "tlc". it's a good one.

as for the crown, that's not a bad idea. maybe you should mention it to mrs. blogmaster as a potential father's day present since she is always so eager to celebrate my ability to be sarcastic.

Jason said...

Mr. Blogmaster (SCoS) - I had the opportunity yesterday of fulfilling some mandatory online CLE. The topic of consumption yesterday was "nonverbal communication." This was presented with the intent of better communicating to a jury. The point of such intent was completely lost on me. However, it was not moot because I have managed a connection to my other favorite passs time: reading the Cooper Five blog.

I would like to point out to my fellow zombies that one of the intriguing keys to determining whether the SCoS is engaging in sarcasm, is an observation of his nonverbal communication. And I must also point out that nonverbal communication cannot be expressed nor observed when the written word is the sole means of communication presented.

In other words, I am saying that when I read the SCoS's blog posts, I have to close my eyes and ask myself. Is the SCoS engaging in sarcasm, or is he being frank and serious? And since his name is not Frank; and since he is almost never serious; I almost always conclude that the SCoS is being sarcastic.

And it often brings me back for more.

the cooper five said...

jason,

quite possibly the best comment ever on this blog. how very astute of you to add important observation to my lacking treatise. my hope is that every zombie read and study jason's words so as to better understand the disfunctional mind that is mine.

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iinitiate the blog