walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Don't Make Jokes

I'm about a quarter through Jon Ronson's latest book, and it is enjoyable. I recommend it, as I do pretty much everything by him, because even when I don't agree with him, I learn a lot about how he thinks about the world and how I think about the world, and the combination gives me a little angle on how still other people might think about the world. For me, this is a Big Deal and super valuable.

When I read the excerpt about Sacco that caused me to pre-order the book, something really stood out, and it stood out again this second time through.

"To me, it was so insane a comment for an American to make I thought there was no way that anyone could possibly think it was a literal statement."

There are awful people who say awful things and then when you say, "That was completely unacceptable," they say something along the lines of what can't you take a joke. I see no indication that Sacco is that kind of person.

I think Sacco is a lot more like my cousin B., who I adore, but who I absolutely dread going certain places with, because he, like other people who we both are related to, seems to be congenitally unable to NOT make jokes when going through security lines. Despite the signs clearly saying don't make jokes. Despite everyone with them saying clearly, in advance, don't make jokes.

Probably a wiring problem, but one really, really, really worth compensating for if at all possible. My solution, for the most part, is Don't Make Jokes. Don't Be Sarcastic. Don't Use Indirect Speech. As bad as literal minded bluntness is, when I try to deliver a message under a different other message, I cock it up 9 times out of 8.

ETA: When I read this in excerpt form, I got hung up on another quote, "I was making fun of that bubble." Which is sort of the security line part of this situation. Don't Attack the Bourgie project that is our bubble of safety and happiness. You can lobby to get more people in, or rearrange the furniture, but attacking the bubble is Not A Good Idea.
Tags: not-a-book-review

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