Why are you so serious?
This wanders past my way a couple of times, and though I could be silly with a penchant for lame juvenile jokes, admittedly certain sorts of talk just renders me silent and uncomfortable. How do I react favourably (to them) if I don't agree with it?
Is it me? I wonder, the old habit of anxiousness peeks its head out.
Or am I acting within reason?
It boils down to my search for truth, or at least, wanting to adhere to its principles... which not only includes the searching, but in that you don't encourage more untruths. It does come with a price, especially with people. While exaggerations and oversimplification of issues, persons, religion and gender are easy to digest, it all boils down to your intentions. If it is to feel entertained or that it fuels your own self-righteousness, these caricatures would only further ignorance.
Caricature, as defined in good ol' Wikipedia goes as such - "... a rendered image showing the features of its subject in a simplified or exaggerated way. In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others."
Within my understanding, caricatures could be brilliant in the sense that the creator of it are good observers, and that one could captures an essence so succinctly that people who see or read that are blown away. But the uncertainty and distaste comes in when it only serves to entertain, even if it is untrue. And it could be swallowed; hook, line and sinker.
The thing about caricatures is that it welds a power of entertainment - the holy grail of modern society. An ephemeral pleasure to be enjoyed till the next arrives. It's a circus, really, without getting to the bottom of things. While I try to understand that it is not a conscious output activity sometimes, that we (I do it too) resort to caricatures in casual talks, in things I feel strongly about, it's tough to not appear uptight about it... or serious. For even in casual talks, when the entertainment value leaves, the impressions do remain.
I am still trying to temper my reactions, because sometimes it's just flippant talks - not many would be keen to be asked if what they say is true or an easily accepted bias, or to embark onto a curiosity voyage if it telling of how we are brought up, why we believe so, what is being propagated in the media, how media literacy is needed to counter that the shit that they pumped into our heads, and on it goes. It's an exaggeration here, but you get the message.
It could be personally fascinating. I reckon, most people find this scary and try to run away, orz.
What if you knew that in the effect of blowing up a positive or negative part of a person, you could effectively erase the other parts from consideration? That's my bone with this. It could also shut down genuine discussions on its root causes, and the interplay of things that knit together a more wholesome picture. I still love how things often don't exist in isolation to one another, even if it confuses the hell out of me sometimes.
An example off the top of my head - Hitler is painted as a devil incarnate who single-handedly slaughtered millions of Jews. If that is simply accepted as the whole truth, we neglect to check out the cultural, economic and historical crescendo that lead up to that piece in history. He wasn't the only one saying what he did. And who carried out his orders, whether willingly or unwilling? It could include a loving couple, devoted to their children, who kisses their partners as they leave for their respective jobs, where one goes to gas some Jews and another to teach about the Aryan race to kinder-gardeners. Ordinary people, like you and me, are capable of committing horrible acts. What if you didn't swallow the stereotypes, and is conscious of what is going on?
I could imagine a friend's response to this: "... you need to get laid :P."
Hmmm. What does *that* say? And do? :P
Hmmm. What does *that* say? And do? :P
I'll play along anyway.