Another random nugget- this time from here.
I have always wondered about the compatibility of religiosity and sarcasm or about guys who increase their sarcasm as they buy into a yeshivish life.
“Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales, gave a speech at Yale in 2005 in which he unpacked the media values of our generation — the slow descent from our parents’ ‘dry, cocktail party wit of Johnny Carson’ to the ‘sarcasm and twisted humor’ of David Letterman, and the emergence of the bottom-feeder humor that is Beavis and Butt-head and South Park. In these shows, Vischer says, ‘we had found our voice. We were safe from the world, as long as everything was treated as a joke.’He continues: Some folks believe Vietnam was the source of America’s modern cynicism. Others point to Watergate. But for me and for many others in my generation, the real root, I think, is much closer to home and much more personal. When we were very young, our parents broke their promises. Their promises to each other, and their promises to us. And millions of American kids in a very short period of time learned that the world isn’t a safe place; that there isn’t anyone who won’t let you down; that their hearts were much too fragile to leave exposed. And sarcasm, as CS Lewis put it, ‘builds up around a man the finest armor-plating … that I know.’”
Sarcasm seems to me to be a mixed bag. It is an effective rhetorical tool in criticizing customs, habits, institutions, and authorities. It is funny. But it does create an emotional distance – a dehumanizing “armor-plating.” As Jethani argues, it distances us from our anger and our fear. As I read him, he believes we cannot break through to love without directly confronting our anger and our fear.