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  WEEK IN CRAIG: THE SCIENCE OF SARCASM.  
   
   
 

First, a definition. From The New Oxford American Dictionary:

Sarcasm: n. the use of irony to mock or convey contempt: his voice, hardened by sarcasm, could not hide his resentment.

Second, a confession. My two favorite things about Missed Connections are all of the purely sarcastic posts and the craigslist chaos they inspire. Of course, I take far more pleasure (sadistic pleasure, admittedly) in the amount of remorseless missed-sarcasm that floats around on this board than in the sarcasm itself. I know it's wrong, but there's nothing better than when someone posts something sarcastic, and every high-strung hothead jackass subsequently chimes in with their missed-the-point two cents.

Third, an appeal. Back me up here -- nothing beats taking pleasure in other people's obtuseness. Who's with me?

If you're not with me yet, I have created a case study in the lifeline of the sarcastic post on craigslist. Follow along.

First, The Sarcastic Post:

MC with good chick magnet books

So some of my friends and I were talking about the scene/market her in brooklyn and one of us mentioned that he had picked out a few choice books that he was sure would get girls to talk to him. I laughed it off and told him he was being stupid... but after seeing some of these posts (and talking to a diff. friend who seems to be the king of he sensitive-intellectual book reader zen pickup) I think I should get me some o' that... any suggestions? I may even read it!

as the great homer says: in case you couldn't tell...

For anyone who's not playing the same game as the rest of us, the great Homer in the above post is referring to something called <EM>sarcasm</EM>. Now, I'm not necessarily saying that this post was necessarily interesting. Or funny. Or that it even had a point. All I'm saying is that it was clearly sarcastic.

So, one of my favorite categories of craigslist posts are the ones in which the poster gets all riled up over another post that was quite evidently meant as a joke in the first place. I affectionately group these posts into the What Is This Thing You Call Sense Of Humor? category. Now, I will gladly concede that I'm a total bitch. But seriously, there's nothing better than when someone posts a sarcastic post, and is deluged, as a result, with an excess of W.I.T.T.Y.C.S.O.H? posts. If you wouldn't mind, turn your attention here, please, for an illustration of said phenomenon:

RE: MC with good chick magnet books

I recommend: "I'm a Shallow, Purist Moron", by Mr. William B. Hipster - really introspective I'm sure.

What is sad is the fact that if you were reading an "intellectual, Zen" book as you called it (whatever the fuck that means)in order to pick up girl, most wouldn't catch on to this fact becuase I'm sure in order to fall for this ploy they would have to be as small minded as yourself. So in a way I suppose you would deserve each other.

It still makes me sad...

Buck up, camper -- it was just a joke.

Another of my favorite craigslist phenomena is the sub-genre of sarcastic posts that I call the Responding With Sarcasm To A Prior Sarcastic Post post. Regard:

The Only Chick Magnet Books...

If you really want to impress the ladies you need to go with pop-up books. You remember the books from your youth were you would pull a tab and pictures would come to life. These books tell a woman, "Hey, I like the finer things in my reading material such as clowns whose hands wave and dogs whose tongues wag." Now, if you are reading these on the train (who are we kidding, you don't get these books to read you get them for the fun pictures!!!) you should complete the look with a bicycle helmet and mittens. Also, don't be ashamed to laugh out loud and point if you find something particularly funny (like a cat swatting at a ball of twine or a ghost popping out of bay doors.) I guarantee you will be getting all of the attention from the ladies you desire.

Last but not least, all sarcastic craigslist posts garner a minimum of one I'm An Utterly Sincere Individual, Despite The Sarcasm Of Your Post posts. Voila:

Re: MC with good chick magnet books

I think it's pointless to pretend you like something when you don't because the potential object of your affection will probably figure out you prefer Garfield comics over Dostoyevsky and Chekov (not the dude from Star Trek, by the way).

But, a former friend and pseudo-sensitive guy tried to impress me with Love in the Time of Cholera once. I have also seen a few subway conversations start over Harry Potter books or Salman Rushdie novels. I would avoid the "choose your own adventure" genre, however.

And there you have it. Take note next time, every single sarcastic post will be followed up with at least one What Is This Thing You Call Sense of Humor? post, one Responding With Sarcasm To A Prior Sarcastic Post post, and no less than one I'm An Utterly Sincere Individual, Despite The Sarcasm Of Your Post posts. This case study was conducted in a highly scientific fashion, and folks, you can't argue with science.

Now, with that said, despite the fact that I love all of the sarcasm and missed-sarcasm floating around on craigslist, I've got to say, Chick Magnet Books are not an entirely bad idea. Seriously, check out this post…

Woman Reading Virginia Wolfe Uptown #1, Friday Aug. 8 - m4w - 30

I saw you on the Uptown #1 train on the night of Friday, Aug. 6. I got on at 28th Street. I think you departed at 110th St. or thereabouts. You were standing and reading Virginia Wolfe. You were wearing black sports clothes and partially showing a tattoo near your bikini line. I have a shaved head and was sitting down (reading and trying not to stare at you). You are beautiful.

Doesn't the fact that she was reading Virginia Woolf make this chick sound, like, ten times more hot? And I swear, really, I'm not just being sarcastic.

 

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Amy Blair is eager to be called horrible names on Craig's List. Bring it.