Humor comes in many forms: satire, parody, irony, dry, farce, screwball, stand up, among others. I love most kinds of humor because I find a lot of situations and jokes funny. That being said, there's one type of humor that irritates me sometimes. It's not the crude remark about someone's appearance or even occasional potty humor. No, the obnoxious branch of humor is much more common and innocent - perhaps the reasons why I find it annoying - and it can be summed up with a resounding three syllable word: sarcasm.
Don't panic; as the title suggests, my problem with sarcasm is indeed "tiny." Furthermore, sarcasm as a concept doesn't bother me but the people who use it do.
There's a philosophical principle called moral relativism. This idea claims that morals are not universal but rather relative to separate cultures. What one culture deems moral, another culture may view as immoral. I'd like to create the term "sarcastic relativism." The nature of sarcasm is that a remark is only sarcastic to the speaker making the sarcastic comment. It's pretty difficult to argue that a joke or gag isn't parodic, satirical, or slapstick. For instance, getting hit in the balls is not only the most overused example of slapstick but also undoubtedly only slapstick humor. Sarcasm is that rare kind of humor that is very subjective, whether we want to admit it or not.
I'm super sensitive when it comes to jokes. Did everyone catch that little self-serving joke? It was sarcasm. But for those who don't know me well, you probably weren't sure if I was kidding or not, which is exactly my point. Sarcasm only works if it's something general that all human beings can relate to or the people around you are in on the inside joke. Context of audience members matters. Now, in all seriousness, you have to try pretty hard to piss me off with humor.
The following is an example of a conversation I might have with a friend:
Me: Ah, so you're a vegetarian. Did you decide to become one because you find slaughterhouses to be cruel institutions?
Friend (sarcastically): No, I love how the animals are being slaughtered.
You see how that was only obvious to my friend and not me? I don't know why my friend is a vegetarian; it could be for a number of reasons. They could be an advocate for animal rights. They could be aiming to reduce cruelty in the world. They could be trying to slow down global warming. They could even just not like the taste of meat.
This is, of course, just an example. I have no grudge against vegetarians and actually admire their choice. But there are numerous circumstances that could lead to sarcasm that is only sarcastic, and ultimately funny, to the person making the sarcastic comment. This kind of sarcasm is frequent and it only makes the joker look like a jerk.
I still like sarcasm and I can be sarcastic myself every once in a while. But let's try to use sarcasm in more blatantly obvious situations. It's a huge problem to fix.