Hello. I'm the Clandestine Samurai. You may have seen me in such films as the OscarⓇ Award winning masterpiece "The Curious Sword of Benjamin Samurai", the slapstick comedy "Dude, Where's my Blade?" or the action-packed thriller "Brokeback Mountain 2: Breakin' Backs with a Vengeance, Bitch!". Studies have shown that, in today's society, a very large amount of witty and graphic jokes go clean over the heads of a large portion of the young and old. Great pieces of irony, sarcasm and satire are delivered with great rhythm and tone, but unfortunately do not touch the funny bone of most of this population and symbolically go speeding to a crash landing right on the cutting floor. However, studio execs have paid me $3000 and a Ziploc bag of Nicaraguan Brown1 to appear in this instructional blog post and tell you a little bit about joke structure and mentality. So please, sit back, be enlightened, and aid our mission to reduce the abortions of fresh snarky joke babies.
No, but seriously. It's a bit of a let down, disappointment and question of general intelligence when I hear someone or myself be sarcastic in everyday life and it gets lost on whatever audience is present. I'm not saying they have to laugh, but there is a sharp absence of evidence that shows that the person or people understood that a joke was just told. At the same time, or, on the other side of the coin, there are people who express things that are absurd or insanely stupid by default, but take themselves very seriously. My guess is that people who are exposed to the latter situation train themselves to be sensitive to people's various personalities, and so mistake sarcasm for someone being serious. But both situations are funny. Confused? Bored? Genocidal? Let me give you an example:
Picture a woman sitting somewhere: a park bench, a bus stop, the throne of 18th century Japan. Now picture a man approaching said woman and saying "Girl, you look so good that I want to start a magazine just to put your face on every issue, and then be my only subscriber!" or "Girl, you must be a potent seed, because you make the tree grow in my forest reaaaaaal quick." or, "Girl, you could be the violent video game that makes me shoot up my high school anyday!" Now, this man could be quite serious or he could be playing around. We don't know his intent. But we do know that in both cases, it is perfectly ok to laugh.
When things are this exaggerated, you must automatically turn off the serious switch. You have to have the I.Q. of a glass of Jim Jones' Kool-Aid2 to think a serious conversation can start like this. I mean, a serious convo can start from anything, but you cannot consider yourself attempting to start one with those lines. The man can be very serious when saying these things, but then you'd have to find comical the fact that he thinks living beings other than badly written aliens from any given Star Trek episode actually talk like this to each other prior to engaging each other socially.
So, I guess the point here is, when exaggeration is present, it can be considered funny. As a few skillfully literary artists3 have illustrated, sometimes comedy even appears in the tragic and devastating. But then the comedy is in the fact that someone else thinks they are logical in their own exaggeration. So, take this bit of wisdom with you for start of your next day or even now. Look at the people around you. Examine the ironies and paradoxes, the strange and bizarre, the so-empty-it's-absurd, and remember, you have permission to laugh.
Surgeon General's Warning: This is unless, of course, someone is telling you they are going to kill themselves or are about to do a suicide bombing or something, then you help or seek help. Double unless they're telling you they're about to do this because they ran out of staples or pens or they lost an important "Halo 3" tournament, then you can definitely laugh. But make sure it's short and you seek help right afterwards.
1) A type of marijuana I totally just made up. Feel free to replace with: Panama Red, White Widow, Lumpy Bullet, Cyclopian Green or Nashville Dirt.
2) Jim Jones - the leader of the "People's Temple", an organization in the 1950's in Guyana (South America) infamously known for performing a mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. Over 900 members killed themselves.
3) I want to say Shakespeare, but no particular work comes to mind. Chuck Palahniuk is certainly a master of this, though.