06 November 2009

The Uses of Sarcasm

6 November 2009

Sarcasm is the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

Some would describe it as an inappropriate method in serious dialog. Our world today is a place that has been pushed to a precipice: continue with the economic and social systems that have evolved from feudal times until now, or creatively tweak our institutions and habits to ensure our wealth and comfort into the future. These changes would be significant, but not draconian. The marshalling issue of the day is climate change; a big problem, simple, but ubiquitous in its causes. Slowing the changes in progress will require immediate action from all of us, and the will to demand legislation accordingly.

Blue-Footed Booby on Galapagos Islands

But, we are still watching reality television. The disconnect is so significant as to be irrational, and thus logical discourse becomes impossible. Solutions to global warming can’t be discussed with someone who has been so misinformed as to deny its existence. When half of our elected representatives refuse to attend the Senate environment committee hearing on global warming, and refer to climate change as “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” disbelief is the only response. Sarcasm often follows.

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