Subtle danger.

The world welcomes us, and we should do no less. Embracing things the way they are is the only way for an alive person to behave. Detached sarcasm, while it can be hilarious when used as a tool for humor, is a dangerous precedent to set as an actual mindset. It tells the person using it that this thing he is commenting on is separate from him, that it is less important and wholly within his understanding.

As a mindset, it is limited, and if there’s one thing we cannot afford in this day and age, it is a limited and limiting mindset. A mind that is not awake to possibility, to new experience and varied common experience will fail in everything that it sets out upon to affect in the world. Make no mistake, every impulse, every thought, every emotional outburst we have is an imperative to act upon the world, to change it to fit our own, personal version of reality. Failure to act upon these imperatives by ignoring them or considering them already accomplished is a misunderstanding and a failure to live. Sarcasm dissects reality on its basest level, refusing to connect with it, embrace it , endure it or even acknowledge its value. This is exactly where the humor comes from: the fundamental disconnect that is obviously absurd. It’s ridiculous to think that we can go without being affected or affecting; and why would you want to?

Sarcasm, then, is a fundamental admission of a inability or disinclination to embrace the world around. It’s no coincidence that it’s the official language of the internet and nerddom. People who feel particularly powerless are much more likely to use sarcasm, as if to subtly assert that they’re above the issue, they live in a world where it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t reach them. It’s an astoundingly arrogant point of view, when it is used as one.

There are a few interesting properties of sarcasm, though: that it works in proper levels and that it’s extremely attractive as an interpersonal relating device.

By levels, I mean that there are orders of sarcasm. The first level being saying the opposite of what one means: “No, obviously I wouldn’t like fries with that.”

The second level is, interestingly, saying what the expected response is but meaning the opposite. Obviously, this has to be done very very distinctly and has a lot to do with voice tone, and is probably what most people who say that they don’t know how to use sarcasm or are sarcasm deficient try to do.

The third level is basically, then, being sarcastic about the first level, making fun of people who would use it, and so on.

As an relating device, it can be great. It can set up great friendships, build instant bonds, build or break rapport very quickly and make an entire room light up. It can be self-deprecating or aggressively overbearing, depending on the context. It’s hilarious. As a tool, it’s awesome, as a joke it’s great. As a mindset; keep looking until your eyes open.

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