Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Flippancy on the Internet

I've come to realize when reading people talk about serious topics from sex to politics that there are a lot of remarks that seem to want to be humorous but which I would deem flippant.

I'm not against humour or making a joke, but a true joke needs a clever man to pull off. The difference is written in CS Lewis's The Screwtape Letters but I shall only stop to extract his take on flippancy:
Among flippant people the Joke is always assumed to have been made. No one actually makes it; but every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it. If prolonged, the habit of Flippancy builds up around a man the finest armour-plating against the Enemy that I know, and it is quite free from the dangers inherent in the other sources of laughter. It is a thousand miles away from joy it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practice it
Case in point, when discussing about a serious topic, they assume that the speaker is senile, stupid, dumb or have a hidden agenda behind it, or discuss the history and competency of the speaker/artist/creator and make a flippant remark about it without considering the seriousness of it.

Being serious is another kind of suffering. Because we need to be responsible. We need to be responsible for all that we say and do. And to take up responsibility in what we say and do is a burden. We then have to be aware of what we say, what we choose to do at this very moment in time. And when we start looking at it, we then have to make difficult choices. We have to forsake the pleasure of a callous remark, or a snide comment and defer to the Law of Love.

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