Sarcasm is a tricky thing. Sometimes it’s difficult to be so over-the-top people realize you aren’t serious. I’d like to show an example.
Earlier today, I saw a tweet which said:
I found this tweet disturbing. Presumably, if climate skeptics are real threats, we need real solutions to deal with them. That gives the image of some dictatorial, dystopian society where people with certain views are harrassed and oppressed. My normal response to such a disturbing idea is to make light of it with sarcastic remarks, such as:
My hope was anyone who hears we need to “eliminate” a group “with extreme prejudice” would realize how stupid an idea that is. To make the absurdity of the position more obvious, when asked what solution I’d recommend, I suggested:
This silly remark was a throwback to one of my earlier posts where I “proved,” using methods accepted by the climate science community, global warming advocates support genocide. The post was part of a demonstration (whose full writeup is here) that global warming advocates will endorse utterly idiotic methodologies if those methodologies produce results they like.
To make the absurdiy of my remark more obvious, I followed it up with three more tweets:
I thought it’d be obvious I was being facetious when I said I support the idea of killing every human on the planet. It wasn’t. Some people thought I was serious. To show them I wasn’t, I decided to be even more over-the-top, tweeting things like:
It didn’t help. People took these tweets as serious statements too. I considered trying to be even more absurd. I decided against it when I realized there was likely nothing I could say which would be absurd enough to make people realize I was being facetious.
Instead, I alerted people of the sarcasm. Afterward, one person tweeted:
After reading this, I decided “epic sarcasm” is where one is as sarcastic as can possibly be yet sounds indistinguishable from the people he or she is mocking. After giving this idea some thought, I decided:
There is no degree of absurdity great enough to be distinguishable from the actual idiocy of the world.