Disparaging humor

One day, I stopped listening to the WTF podcast and to Walking the Room. I stopped reading the famous blogs of Brian Leiter, Jerry Coyne, and Larry Moran. I stopped hanging out with my friends Dave, Miranda, and so many other people. I realized one day that the most precious thing to me is my state of mind. And no matter what these people add in terms of humor, knowledge, or company, their negativity just wore me down day after day. It’s so hard to keep your spirits up, why is it so easy for some asshole to break them?

Yesterday, I was chatting to a new British graduate student who described how only the British understand irony. I have a routine about irony, so I started going into it. The punchline is something like, “so anything can be ironic if you just go around expecting the opposite of everything you see… ironically.” It’s not the best joke, but I love telling it. Instead, this guy just kept interrupting, making snide comments. “You’re not thinking of Jerry Lewis,” he said. “Cute,” I responded. Thankfully that’ll be the last conversation I must ever have with him.

What bothered me is how close his humor was to my own. The difference is I want people to be in on the joke with me. It really bothers me when people don’t appreciate my humor (and for some reason I’ve recently surrounded myself with those kinds of people). But it’s so easy to break things and criticize things. We can all do it. Stop it. Be nice.

Now that I’m done being negative, here’s something nice.


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