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by Dave Cameron - December 8, 2011
Winter Meetings Reaction Chat
Why does Cameron chat like he’s some petulant 10th grader who has been assigned community service?
Why does toothsome leave comments like a petulant 10th grade girl who has no sense of humor and doesn’t appreciate sarcasm?
I think Cameron might have Asperger’s or something. Maybe virtual Asperger’s. A basic inability to read social situations.
I can appreciate sarcasm. I also have enough social intelligence to gauge the correct situations for sarcasm. For instance, if someone was lost and asked me for directions, I wouldn’t give a sarcastic answer. Why? Because it wouldn’t be humorous, it’d be odd and rude and self-indulgent. Likewise, if I managed a web site that presented itself as a professional resource concerning a specific topic, and then hosted a chat wherein I have presented myself as an expert or insider, I probably wouldn’t respond to a legitimate, simple question (‘favorite signing of the off-season’) with pointless sarcasm.
The point of a sarcastic answer, in the face of a question, is to highlight the insipidness of that question. You answer sarcastically because the question is so stupid you can’t answer it sincerely. That’s where the *humor* of sarcasm derives from. Otherwise, it’s just being a jerk.
It’d be like running a stocks website and hosting a chat. A reader asks, “Hey Dave, what stocks do you like for 2012?” Dave: “Netflix.” Reader: “Netflix? Are you being sarcastic?” Dave: “Yes.”
But the thing is: the person asked the kind of question the chat has advertised itself as the proper forum for. If they had asked a question like, “Hey Dave, my wife is cheating on me. What should I do?” And Dave answered: “Buy Netflix.” Then at least there would be a point in the sarcasm, pointing out the dimness of the question.
This is where the stat-nerd-in-their-mom’s-basement prejudice comes from, advocates like Dave Cameron and (before his religious conversion to the gospel of scouting) Keith Law’s inability to effectively navigate even the most mundanely simple social interactions without exuding a pointless and directionless hostility.
It’s like a fourteen year old who doesn’t yet understand how to immerse him or herself in the social fabric, so they rely on a generalized veneer of sarcastic hostility to protect themselves.
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