Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sarcasm Isn't Always Cool

I'm going to admit it, I'm a huge dork. I play Magic The Gathering. Today I went to a "Geek Store" in Brooklyn to pick up some cards, and I ended up playing Magic with a few guys.
Wil wanted to kill me when I got home, because I spent three hours there and he was alone with the kids. Sorry babe!

Even though I only recently started playing Magic again (after a 15 year hiatus) I beat two out of the three guys I played with using my Black and White token deck. The first two guys were really nice.

The last guy was a total asshole.

Everything that came out of this guy's mouth was just mean. First, I introduced myself:
"Hi, I'm Sarah."
"Hi, Joe Smith." [For the sake of the anonymity we'll call him Joe]
"Oh, we're going by full names. Okay [laughing] I'm Sarah Fader."
"No, you're not as cool as me. Joe Smith is much cooler."
"I think Fader's a pretty awesome name actually."

I don't even know this guy, and already he's throwing sarcasm around.

I had my cards facing his cards so he could read what the creature cards said. Like this:

He took a look at my cards and said:
"I like that your cards are facing me, and what I mean by 'I like it' is that I don't like it at all."

"You're being mean today, huh Joe?" Said the owner of the store.
Suddenly out of nowhere, I don't know what came over me, I said:
"Yeah, he's kind of being a dick."
"Uh, I would call it being playful, but okay," Joe said with a shrug.

The rest of the game was awkward enough. I was embarrassed that I outright called him a dick. I don't know what came over me. I guess I was irritated. I came there to play Magic, to take a break from the kids, not to deal with his sarcastic nonsense. I didn't even know him.

I didn't beat him, which I'm bummed about because he was so annoying.

Don't get me wrong, I can be as sarcastic as the next person, but I try not be an asshole. It's a delicate balance.

What do you think? Are you sarcastic? Is there a time and place for sarcasm?


  1. Dude, I'm full of sarcasm. But most of it is pretty much self depreciating. Not to the point of putting myself down, just admitting that I'm OK with my stupidity.

  2. Me too! I am full of sarcasm and very self-deprecating. But I do not aim to make other people feel like garbage. I love to make fun of myself though!

  3. We've known each other for over a decade now, and I think you and I communicate in sarcasm more than we communicate in English. Sarcasm is generally a good thing.

    So, in defense of sarcasm, Joe Smith wasn't being sarcastic (to claim he was is an insult to the art and institution of sarcasm). He was being a loser.

    Rule number 1 of sarcasm is that it has to be rooted in humor. Yes, there might be some condescending tone sometimes affiliated with sarcasm, but the first intent is to express thought via humor. Joe didn't say anything funny or witty.

    Rule number 2, there has to be a reason for sarcasm (i.e. humor, prove a point, demonstrate a concept, etc.). Little Joey's reason seemed to be nothing other than drawing attention to himself - which tells me he had a terrible inferiority complex.

    So, he wasn't being sarcastic, he was just being a dick. You hit it spot on, but don't let someone's dickishness sully the concept of sarcasm which we so love and utilize without being mean.

    Secondly, I think you are so much cooler now that I know you play Magic :P (See! Humor + demonstrating the point that Magic is dorky!)

  4. HA HA HA! Word. Zahir, you are amazing. That was the best comment ever. And it's true. We do love the sarcastic banter. You're right. He was just an asshole and there was no wit involved.

    I've always thought that there should be a sarcasm font by the way.

  5. Sarcasm has it's place, but I don't tend to use it with people I've just met, because I don't want to come off as a total douche. I'm glad you called him out. He probably thought he was flirting and is wondering why he never gets any action! ;)

  6. So true! I think he was. People are clueless sometimes!


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