When Does Dry Humor Lose Effectiveness?

24May12
I like dry humor. Films like Pulp Fiction, The Whole Nine Yards, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Suicide Kings have provided countless hours of entertainment and laughter for me. I’m not the best at sarcasm with my voice, but I’d like to think I can get off a well written one-liner from time to time.
A recent situation involving some comments of mine on Twitter, have caused me to pause a bit and wonder if, as a whole, our society has fallen in love with sarcasm too much.
For those who aren’t on Twitter, conservatives have done an excellent job at hijacking hashtags, otherwise known as a mega discussion field. It’s basically a subject line. Conservatives mostly do hashtag hijacking as a way to either make fun of liberals or poke fun at some of their own candidates. Excellent examples of this are the #Julia or the #NewtIdeas. When done right, they can be extremely funny and a way pass the time or relieve some stress.
However, I had someone call me out for getting involved in the hashtag hijacking. Their comment was I was “borderline offensive” and that “it detracts from when you actually have something carefully thought out to say.”
I’m a little split on the issue. While I don’t see a problem with “having fun” at some of the ridiculous hashtags politicians have come up with, I do get the point. Ann Coulter’s effectiveness has dropped considerably in the last several years because she can’t stop being sarcastic. Two of my friends get beyond annoying because it seems like they can’t give a serious answer. It’s a topic which needs more than a bit of thought.
It isn’t hard to have a substantive conversation on Twitter. However, Twitter is one of the easiest places to shoot off one liners.
Do I think I was “borderline offensive?” Calling President Obama “Occupied by Hot Air” was probably going a little too far. It might still be tame by what others have said about both the President and conservative commentators, but it is certainly something to think about. Especially since I’d like to contribute more to the substantive discussion of politics and the course of this country than not.
I’m not saying I’ll stop with the hashtag hijacking or one-liners with friends. I won’t. But I may back down a bit.

Thankfully, it appears I have someone who’s willing to “call me out” when it’s seriously needed.



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