THE CAPACITY TO UNDERSTAND IRONY

People are stupid. Sometimes their collective stupidity makes me angry at things I would otherwise enjoy.

Have you seen this blog entitled "Stuff White People Like"? It should amuse me. It has things like "Arrested Development" and "Public Radio" on the list. I like racial humor. I can also understand things at a level beyond face value. It's what differentiates us from the apes. If I took it at face value, I'd get offended and say something like "These are just stereotypes! I'm white and I fucking loathe Arrested Development!"** But since I'm not retarded, I understand that it's A) a joke and B) satire.

OK. Now read the comments.

It's good to know that there are no cultural limits on having a small, linear mind. An awful lot of it shows a stunning lack of awareness that this is satire. It's mostly "Ha ha! Yeah, white people are stupid like that." Let me put it this way, if I created a website called "Stuff Black People Like" how long do you think it would take for the comments (and most of the daily readership, for that matter) to be clogged with racists, neo-Nazis, and backward rednecks yukking it up to the tune of "Right on! Them darkies sure is stupid, and they're always drinkin' grape soda!" And boy would that kill the fun in a hurry.

I suppose we should consider it a moral victory that people can understand what the words say, if not what they mean. In twenty more years we'll probably be using sock puppets to communicate in the public sphere.

**It's true. I really, really do. Most people learn not to bring it up around me.

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4 Responses to “THE CAPACITY TO UNDERSTAND IRONY”

  1. g Says:

    check out this one (and the comments):
    http://www.blackpeopleloveus.com/

    a few commenters actually struggle through the fog to "wait, maybe this is a joke"…

  2. Peggy Says:

    I agreed with someone else's comment about SWPL that it should probably actually be called "stuff yuppie progressive white people like," since, you know, I don't notice a lot of my students even knowing what public radio *is,* much less liking it.

    Other than that, I thought the actual blog was boring while the idea was funny. Ah well.

  3. Brandon Says:

    Thanks, Ed…I've wasted the last 2+ hours of my life scouring the posts and comments on that site! Seriously, I thought some of the stuff was funny; an interesting sociological analysis of a particular social class in our post-industrialist society. But yeah, the comments expressing amazement that, "omg, that fits me to a tee, he's on to something" are a bit ridiculous.

  4. Kreggg Says:

    Now I'm inspired to write a blog called " Mocking White Liberals in the Upper Middle to Lower Upperclass" but it might be more truthful to call it " I'm a Fucking Conservative Whose friends and Family are all Liberals, but I'm too much of a Fucking Pussy to Make any Conservative Friends".