a serious note on sarcasm.

being the queen of sarcasm (sarcasm), i have noticed that lots of people use it poorly (not sarcasm), especially in blogs.  well, maybe not especially blogs, perhaps just as much in real life, but considering that 90% of my exposure to the outside world includes blogs (not sarcasm), we'll just start there.  because i'm an expert (sarcasm).

anyway.  please take these simple rules to heart if ever you should decide to be sarcastic.  pass them along to your wanting-to-be-sarcastic-but-really-just-coming-off-looking-like-a-jerk friends.

1. the best sarcasm is passive-aggressive. 

1a. do not point your sarcasm at anyone directly.  saying things like, 'just window-shopped at christopher and banks.  moms really do know best'  is general, vague, golden.  saying things like, 'my mom is the awesomest dresser ever, believe me, so i will raid her closet and sport her jumpers like a boss' is mean.  don't drag specific people into your sarcasm.  everyone knows you're trying to use your funny to cover up your mean.

1b.  unless you know someone really well, and know they're cool with it, don't ever make your audience your punchline.  being all, 'your hair looks the. best. today,' or, 'you're soooo cool' is douchey.  if you can't be funny without throwing someone else under the bus, you can't be funny.

1c. you can break this rule when it comes to celebrities.  be as direct as you want.  maybe it's not ethical, but it's true.

2.  use your sarcasm to make yourself look stupider, not better.  being all, 'my neighbor watches me over the fence because i'm a major babe' only works if you pair it with a picture of you in your pit-stained gardening outfit.  if you actually believe you're a hottie, on any level whatsoever, don't talk about it, even sarcastically.  don't worry; it's not like people won't find out if you don't tell them yourself.  your neighbor will probably let them know.  so rest easy and shut your beautiful pie hole.

exception to this:  if you actually believe you're a loser, sarcasm is not for you either.  people get uncomfortable entering in to your own actual self-degradation.  make yourself look silly, not pathetic.

3. if you blog, be especially careful with sarcasm.  blogging is inherently 'my life is so awesome i'm positive you'll want to read about it.  listen to meeeeeeeeee.'  anything that gets you remotely close to sounding like you actually believe that is grating and an almost-instant moodkiller.  play all the barry white you want after that, but i'm not getting into heart-shaped blog bed with you.  wait...what just happened with that metaphor?  yucky.  what i meant to say is, the quickest way to turn people off is to use humor to act like you think you're a big deal.

4. sarcasm is a good tool to make fun of:

4a. yourself. 
4b. generalizations that everyone can relate to:  holidays, cultural customs, ho-bags.
4c. celebrities.

um, that's really about it.  simple, right?  to sum up, if you're trying to prove anything to anyone about how great you are, or how dumb someone else is, sarcasm is not for you.  it's not that there's no humor in the world for people like you...maybe just start small and neutral, perhaps with a good knock-knock joke or racial jab.  nope, just the knock-knock joke.  rock that knock like a boss.

*i do apologize if i've broken any of these rules.

1 comment :

todd said...

sarcasm = the distance produced between two people (who have SARS)