The first step to recovery

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

I suffer an affliction, an addiction really. Like any addiction is wont to do, it has caused no small amount of trouble for me from time to time in my career and in my relationships with others, friends, family members, co-workers.

I’m a sarcasm addict. There, I said it.

I really am a kind, gentle, sensitive person. I just enjoy sarcastic humor. OK, I’m not sensitive, but I can be kind and gentle, at times, really. When I’m being sarcastic, there really is nothing malicious (at least not much) about it. It’s just what I find funny. I realize, too, that it doesn’t always translate well to print. You have to know going in that something is always going to be sarcastic.

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Someone wrote here the other day that he or she would like to know what happened to me in my youth to cause me to hate people who are wealthy, successful, talented, powerful, tall or pretty or something to that effect. It was a good question and got me to thinking.

I grew up in the 1970s. My first exposure to quality humor as a kid was Mad Magazine. As a teenager I graduated to The National Lampoon. This was when it was staffed by comic geniuses like P.J. O’Rourke, Tony Hendra and Doug Kenney. I remember spending hours at a time in my room reading and literally cracking up. It was hilarious and it was sarcastic as hell.

Like a social cocaine user getting his first hit of crack (I assume, of course), after that, nothing else ever measured up. Lucy trying to keep up with doughnuts coming off a conveyor or Moe poking Curley in the eye just didn’t cut it anymore for me.

As far as harboring some irrational hatred of the aforementioned class of folks, nothing could be further from the truth. I have nothing against rich people, admire those who through hard work and their wits have succeeded and aspire to be one myself some day. However, a sarcastaholic has to make fun of somebody. I try to confine it to myself as much as I possibly can, or members of my family, but when I run out of material there I try to direct it toward those who are wealthy and powerful. I figure they can take it and I would like to think most people are good enough sports to be able to laugh at themselves, and if they aren’t, well they should really learn to be. Going through life all serious, uptight and full of yourself … well, I don’t know. Good luck with that.

And what am I supposed to do, make fun of poor and weak people? Not cool, dude.

The reason I started this site a year and a half ago, I suppose, was so that I could indulge this addiction, something I couldn’t do in our straight paper.

Like an alcoholic, I’m hoping that facing up to and admitting my problem might be a first step to recovery. I’m not saying I’m giving up sarcasm forever, some people are such pompous buffoons they deserve everything they get, but I’m going to do my best to be less sarcastic moving forward and try to confine it to weekend sarcasm and the occasional social sarcastic remark. I don’t want to offend or hurt anybody, just make them smile.

My goal for this site is to have a place where reasonable people can rationally discuss issues facing this city and I don’t want to drive otherwise intelligent people who likely have something valuable to add to the discussion away just because their tastes in humor tend more toward Lucille Ball and Bob Saget than South Park and the Colbert Report.

That feels better.