Tag Archives: oral cancer

Sarcasm And Social Acceptability

Sarcasm and socially unacceptable behavior has nearly ruined my life in all normal ways. It has also made it incredibly amusing and funny on a deeper and much more important level.

As every human action boils down to trade, I have to admit that overall my strategy was not at all a rip-off. In fact, it was a wonderful deal, a reasonable trade-off.  I have behaved in such a manner for various reasons which are rather complicated. I would say it is often because of my honesty, good-will, benevolence, deep love for humanity-and of course, my naïve, gullible nature!

It is often said that “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit”. We also hear “A sarcastic person has a superiority complex that can be cured only by the honesty of humility.” I have always wondered whether there could be notions which are so far from the truth. How someone of normal intelligence can seriously hold any of these moralistic, “church sermon” like rationalizations is completely beyond me! Rational inquiries of moral philosophers were confined to politically correct, “mushy” virtues like unconditional love, kindness, compassion and benevolence. Even moral philosophers who took pride in their political incorrectness had confined their rigorous analysis to more worthy virtues like integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride and of course, selfishness. Very few have anything good to say on one of the most feared, despised, sickening, malevolent, humiliating form of doublespeak which makes people flee and shun the light of the day: sarcasm. When even apostles of selfishness like Nathaniel Branden say “Aside from cases of violent coercion, as when someone points a gun at you, you are responsible for your reactions. No one “makes” you become sarcastic”, we should know that the fate of sarcasm is bleak indeed. A bit of iconoclasm is therefore in order.

We might say that sarcasm is a “conversational scapegoat”, and unfairly so. The socially beneficial effects of sarcasm need to be defended hard. Sarcasm goes against the inflicting person, but it helps the truth reach him faster, in ways which are not too obvious. A man faces a painful dilemma when he faces deeply insulting sarcasm. He is compelled to prove his backbone by a tight slap-or he can listen silently, smiling like an imbecile thinking he is being smart & tactful. The sad fact is that it proves that he has neither intelligence nor a backbone, as the one who hurled the insult might know too well that it is true and didn’t expect a slap, precisely for that reason! I remember an instance when I hurled an insult which hits where it hurts the most-family, and the victim listened silently, not out of fear of a more public humiliation, but because he knew it was just another general, categorical statement intended at no one in particular- and because only truth hurts-and because he was a man of immense self esteem. Well crafted sarcasm puts such a person in the position of a mink that walks blindly into a scented trap. If it hurts so much, it can only be because it is true and such sarcasm deserves the highest praise, not condemnation. Given certain narrow assumptions, truth as such should never hurt the innocent. Like happiness, “Truth” should be considered an Aristotelian “chief good”, pursued for its own sake. As scathing sarcasm is often truth, it should be ranked higher. Continue reading

Life, Death And All That!

It is my dream to make a living out of writing and I had intended to do so till I pack my bags to hell. But, there are moments when it is hard for one to read or write. One such moment is when one knows he is supposed to be packing his bags to hell. It couldn’t get any tougher than this!

Two months back, I was having some pain in my tongue as of a lesion, and doctors said that it is highly probable that it is oral cancer. When I searched on the internet, I had all the symptoms, except that I had pain. I did not know why I was being singled out for this. I never smoked, used any tobacco product, tasted alcohol, had sex or even exposed myself to sun excessively. Even my young age made it highly unlikely. I do not deserve this, my mind said. Continue reading

A Twisted Conversation

Me: The movie was based on Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie”.

She: Really?

Me: You did not know that? It is hard to know whether you are being sarcastic or not, because you studied Literature in college. I did not like “The Glass Menagerie” even while reading. I do not like such plays. People want to feel superior to the crippled Laura Wingfield. I do not understand such people. But, still, it is an Ayn Rand-ian concept which I do not buy completely. She liked the play “Cyrano De Bergerac”.

She: I studied Communicative English—-not literature. I do not think that they lead such miserable lives. I knew a guy who could not walk well. But, he was confident and secure. I never felt sorry for him, or thought him to be any lesser than me. In fact, for a long time it never occurred to me that he is a disabled person. See, this song has a nice rhythm to it. You listen, and discard. Doesn’t stay with you! Continue reading