Redirect: An Opinion on Sarcasm


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Hopefully, anyone reading this will understand that my reason for putting this thread here is because I didn't want to hijack another thread and keep the other thread continuously smooth 😖 I linked this thread to the other one as a redirect (kinda like a GOSUB for all you fellow early '80s BASIC programming geeks 😁) so those interested can read this 🧐 without being inconvenienced by a change of subject or my lengthy write-up, because I'm gonna be a little anecdotal here... 🙄🤭

Anyway, without dropping names 🥳: thank you for being patient with my thoughts on sarcasm on the other thread. As I'd stated before, there's no rule here against sarcasm but there are differing opinions, effects, interpretations and results, I'm sure you know. In my younger years, I used sarcasm; I wasn't much good at it but it didn't stop me from using it. And so, life went on.

In 2003, I entered the ranks of the disabled and found myself out of a career 🩼, out of the ability to do one due to the severity, living on the state dole while my attorney prepped my case 💼. In the summer of 2004, still waiting for my day in Social Security court (appeal) after two rejections 🚫🚫, the state changed the game a little: all people receiving state benefits while awaiting Social Security to kick in were now required to take an eight-session anger management course 😳. I wondered why :think:, because I was neither violent nor angry, had no criminal history whatsoever 🚓; my buddy Larry weighed in on it after I told him and his insight was "well, it couldn't hurt to go through the motions, you could take something away from it". Larry was always a sage, never a wise-guy (he was killed in a Jeep accident 2 years later :cry:). And so...I went. Just as well, they'd cut my benefits if I didn't play along. 💸

The seminar took place in the basement of a church in town; there would be 8 weekly sessions, each session 2 hours. This was in the summer 🥵 so most days were stuffy but not oppressively so. We weren't stewing in our own juices, let's put it that way. 🥳 There were nine of us, instructor included. And so it began, so it went. After the second seminar, we all managed to connect amicably, settle in. Things smoothed out. ⛵

Week Four was a unique week in its own right: the instructor, an intelligent, composed-yet-earthy middle-aged lady in sensible shoes got up to the dry-erase board, uncorked the marker, wrote "Week Four: Sarcasm" 👩‍🏫. Then, she capped the marker, calmly remained standing at the portable podium on our table and announced "Okay, books out? Good, because this week, we're studying sarcasm." 🤔

As the day was thankfully not a stuffy one 😁, what struck me was how, in my 37-year-old mind, sarcasm & anger-management could be even remotely linked. 🤔 My mind was actively chewing on the possibilities when my mouth reflexively queried "Sarcasm?" My reflexiveness surprised me. 😳

And kindly, the instructor replied "Yes. You do know what sarcasm is, don't you?" 😏

I wasn't thinking at all about The Mighty Ducks at that moment; in fact, I hadn't even seen it yet. But me and my big mouth, out it came: a fake snide look and a condescending "Nooo-ooo-ooo!" 🤪

What happened next stunned me: the instructor and the others started laughing, hard. 🤣 I was expecting a different response but after a few internally-tense seconds, my worry dissolved and I began laughing, too. Just as hard. That little laugh cost us five minutes of seminar time, but the instructor and the others, after catching their breath from the laugh spasms, agreed we needed that. Whatever tension still existed at Week Four was now gone and a very beneficial atmosphere now settled upon the group. 🥳

But the point is: Week Four was where I learned the most. 💡 As I said, I was not violent, cruel or petty then but what I took away from that seminar stuck with me. I chewed on it, ruminated on it over & over, compared it to my past, my then-crumbling marriage, the frustrations of my new disability...even this "omnipresent shadow-stranger" in my life which, in 2018, was introduced to me as autism. 🧩 It was a direct, proportionate gauge to my bitterness, anger. I had frustrations, many. Now I had to push through them. The chewing & regurgitating of what I learned that week was still flowing around my brain in the quiet hours of Diaper Camp up in Alberta. o_O And once I got back home.

Over the weeks and into fall, I discovered I was using sarcasm far less...and becoming more and more patient. 🥳 It'd occurred to me that every time I used sarcasm, it was for the purpose of self-relief...which never came. 😠 It also tended to make others' moods a tiny bit darker whenever I blurted it out. 😲 My sarcasm wasn't injurious, not lashing was directed at myself. Making myself feel like a failure. And those who cared about me were getting tired of it, and looking back upon it all, I now understood why. Everyone has their own inner voice to cope with, struggle with, reason against. I wasn't the only person on Planet Earth...only in my own planet. And shutting many out of my own planet. I wasn't making any others' days any brighter. 😔

In my case (everyone's mileage may--and will--vary), it was the breakthrough to let others into my own little planet, maybe see into others' worlds. My own particular nasty sarcasm habit just dissolved, went away. 🥳 Vanished. I only wish quitting smoking was that easy! 🚭

It takes much more to frustrate me now. Aging has done a good chunk of that work but even despite taking custody of a pregnant daughter who had no aims in life then, becoming a grandfather again & again, coping with the grandkids as they aged, became more active--and louder 😖--despite my disability (severe fibro, impaired walking)...I get angry at times but I don't lash out with hurtful words...nor do I hit or throw things. Not that I ever did...but the point is I have an admirable sense of self-control now that I never had before. 🤗 I could've used that much more between kindergarten and the seminars. It would've helped me well as introduced me to that "omnipresent shadow-stranger" earlier and given me an earlier chance to settle in with and cope. 🤝

----- ***** -----​

So that's my testimony. Please, don't take it as advice, a personal rant or a hint; it's just me venting, self-reflecting, sharing, baring myself (uh, the diaper stays on! 🤭). Please, take it as a part of my biography. There's two things I won't change here because I can't: a person's mind...and/or their diapers. Sorry, I changed well over 10,000 diapers 🤢 on my kids, grandkids and others' kids in my lifetime. I'll change my own, thank you! 🤭 Hope this helps others understand a part of me.
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OK, no sarcasm & no sweety got it
Damn @BobbiSueEllen. Your depth and ability to articulate always give me something to think about. 🙏
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BobbiSueEllen said:
I linked this thread to the other one as a redirect (kinda like a GOSUB for all you fellow early '80s BASIC programming geeks 😁)

Problem is, as I stumbled into your thread via a GOTO from the "New Posts" page, now I'll get a empty stack exception when I try to RETURN from your subroutine.
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Thank you for sharing.

I guess I never thought about sarcasm as a negative thing. I use it for comedic effect. I think being subtly patronising is much worse tbh. But I guess it's culturally dependent.
I guess it can generate laughs...but as far as for my own benefit, I sure don't feel edified once the moment's gone. I just feel cheap & bitter. So...I stopped. And, over time, my perspective felt as if it improved. So I kept goin' without it.

What galls me is how all these contributing writers are now saying sarcasm is a sign of higher IQ intelligence. Well, if a person wanted to be, literally, a "smart ass", that may have some truth. But IQ is more than just about social interaction...there's other things to be with one's intelligence as well. If someone offered me the "gift" of sarcasm and a 30 IQ-points bonus they claim it gave, I'd turn it down cold. Devil's in the details...

What also bothers me is so-called "insult comedy". Americans seem to eat it up but I don't find it funny at all. Don Rickles, Katt Williams, Chris Rock...nope. What stuns me is how Rock can get public sympathy for knocking Jada Pinkett-Smith after Will Smith whacked him. That Rock had that coming. You never, ever go after a guy's wife. Ever. For any reason, from any angle. Just goes to show how far Hollywood's gone into life-support.

But as Jacques the Crusty Razor once so Frenchly said, "Enough! We shave! Up-and-down your faaace, we shave!" 🫢🤭🥳
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Related to sarcasm: irony is a way to make someone feel helpless. Either they take the words literally, then they are a stupid hillbilly, or they understand the irony, but can't answer it directly, because irony is indirect. Irony is a moat.
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