Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Old Generation

If you've read this blog with any regularity it appears as though I have a form of mental Progeria. My mind is constantly looking forward in an attempt to explain and understand aging. Thankfully, I balance out my forward thinking mind by being completely irresponsible and immature with my life. I suspect the only reason I am obsessed with understanding how my actions today will affect my future is so that I do not live typically and end up with a generic, repetitive, boring, dull, pedestrian, common life. Well, there's that and the whole being deathly afraid of death thing which kind of motivates my urgency toward understanding the here and now.

On with the point already...Recently I realized the era that I was born into just got old. I'm sure that some of you  have already encountered and surpassed the age that I am talking about while others won't know what I'm talking about (in their minds and hearts) for at least a decade. As a little bit of a back story allow me to say the following:

I was born in the 80's, 1981 to be exact. As a child I grew up listening to Rap music or as parents refer to it Crap music. Every kid my age for a time listened to Rap because is was new and so so fresh. During that time  however I don't think anyone in my age group thought that Rap had staying power or that it would evolve and become a huge part of shaping our culture 20 years later. In the same way I remember the Internet, it was this brand new thing. It had email and pictures and message boards and voice chat, the only problem was that it was really slow and you had to disconnect your home phone to use it. For those of you who don't know a home phone was a cell phone that was permanently attached to your house via a cord. The Net could have evolved into something cool or it could have went the way of the pogo stick, Delorean  and laser discs. The point is that I think the majority of us who grew up through the 90's as well as many adults didn't fully realize the impact that the Internet would have on our lives until it was ubiquitous.

In this same way, I don't think that the children and adults of yesteryear were aware of how the things that were introduced in their lives would grow to influence the future culture. When you're in it you don't really see that far beyond it. Certainly radio and then television were cool new things but I doubt that people sat around the television and generally thought "Geez, this is going to change the entire way we operate and interact as a species." Certainly there is a level of projection  but if you watch movies that supposedly take place in the future you will note that outside of flying cars "their future" is not vastly different than the current time they were living. 

I realize now that I have reached the age of the Old generation. When I was a kid I remember watching infomercials about music from the 50's. I remember going to 50's inspired diners, I remember going to car shows with cars made in the 50's. I remember how cool, interesting and nostalgic it felt even though I was born 30 years after the 50's. To me it was a far off distant era that I could never quite grasp but I could appreciate nonetheless.

So now I'm at that age and looking back on it prematurely it seems kinda funny and kinda strange. I'm trying to imagine a collection of old people 20 years from now sitting in a parking lot with their import tuner cars. All of their engines have been converted to electric/solar power. One of their teenage kids has a throwback hairstyle called "The Rachel" another kid has bleach blonde hair, another one with frosted tips.  A few car stereos are strategically placed. One is playing Ace of Bass, another Prodigy, another Tupac and Biggie and so on.  

In this parking lot, this vacant lot a collection of fogies and their kids are remembering a time when people used to hang out together. Long before the apathy and the anxiety of the human experience kicked in. Somewhere in the background there is a faded broken sign that says: Appl__ees a homage to the chain restaurant craze that existed before the great bubble burst. On the drive home my son or daughter hears a Creed song on the radio and turns it up exclaiming "I like this song." I take a glance to my left and right, roll up my window to hide my shame and embarrassment and we both happily listen to Creed blast through the chorus of My Own Prison. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

All Appallogies

You can't misspell the word appallogies without the word appall and there is good reason for it. I highly doubt (notice I left a slight window for error here) that any apology ever made in the history of personkind has been sincere. 

First, allow me to clarify. An apology isn't the programmed and direct response you would have when accidentally bumping into a stranger on the street. An apology doesn't occur when you math skills momentarily escape you at a drive thorough window and you short the burger serving technician a quarter. A "real" apology only occurs after you have willfully chosen to say something or participate in an act that you later come to regret. These apologies however are not sincere because we never truly feel regretful of the act. We feel bad that we got caught yes. We feel bad because the person or person(s) we hurt make us feel guilty yes. However, there is no one thing that while we are in the act of doing it do we think of how sorry we will be for doing it. 

How often do we carefully craft a peanut butter and jam sandwich just to throw it in the trash? Was there not a conscious choice to make and eat the sandwich? How often do we speed somewhere in the hope that a cop will pull us over and give us the opportunity to try and apologize our way out of a ticket? Rarely.

If anything, apologies are more often used as devices to escape arguments, scrutiny, lectures or anything else that a truly sorry person would embrace if they actually felt that they had wronged someone. Below I have compiled a list of a few tactical ways of apologizing in order to do anything but reveal remorse. 

The Man Apology: I'm sorry because you are mad.

The Over Apologizer: They apologize about everything almost once per sentence/4 times a paragraph. The over apologizer blurs the lines between reality and apology until you can no longer discern one from the other. The OA apologizes with the same quickness and conviction regardless if they are apologizing about using the last cup of milk or if they killed your parents. The aim of the over apologizer is to make everything seem meaningless.

The Hostile Apologizer/The Thinly veiled Hostile Apologizer: The hostile apologizer apologizes in a threatening way. They may combine the words "I'm sorry" with "What was I supposed to do?" The tactical purpose of this apology is to threaten the other person into accepting their apology through intimidation. The Hostile apologizer is often seen hanging around the Italian community. 

The Thinly Veiled Hostile Apologizer: more common among the female community and often found at retail stores. They are marked by their crazy eyes with an otherwise stoic face. Often they will be heard using the expression: "Well, I'm sorry that you feel that way." Loosely translated it means "Get the F&%K out of my store.

The Avoiding Judgement Apologizer: "I'm sorry but the meatloaf might be bad tonight. I ran out of several important ingredients chief among them, meat."

The Reduced Sentence Apologizer: "I'm sorry I killed your entire family and ate their corpses but if possible I'd like to be paroled in 10-15 years. Kthanks buh."

The Excuse To Say Something Horrible a.k.a The Simon Cowell Apologizer: Self explanatory.

The Manipologizer: The Manipologizer only apologizes for something that they did in the past when they want you to do something for them right now. Sadly, the thing that they want you to do "right now" is the very thing that they will be apologizing for the next time that they want you to do something "right now." 

Unless the next apology you hear starts with the phrase: "I'm an asshole, you caught me and I hope you still love me enough not to kick me out of the house" chances are that person is tactically apologizing. All apologies are appalling manipulations employed to trick you out of making logical decisions about an individual's behavior. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lady Gag-a

I feel obligated to preface this post with a disclaimer: Your opinion of music or enjoyment/rejection of Lady Gaga should not come into play when I present the following argument. I am well aware of her(his) virtues and I can appreciate your opinion. Having said that...............


I've always thought that playboy is the most sinister of all pornographic material why? because it pretends that it is soft and sincere. playboy reminds us that if you are going to take off your clothes for money it is the "classiest" way to do it. There is no way to be classy or decent once you have decided to remove your clothes for money and show millions of people. Either you are a whore who is doing because you are too lazy to actually work for your supper or you are so vain that you want to be admired for your body. Either way you have crossed a threshold and you can't have it both ways. sure we've grown into an accepted all of these things as natural in our lives but they are completely unnatural. Playboy in essence pretends that it's not porn and we have accepted it and its dirty little secret. 

In a similar way a less offensive version of pop music is still pop music. Just because it is the best of the worst does not make it in any way good.

The Argument:

These days pop music ascribes to a formula. good beat, strong chorus, short. the most important part of pop music however is the performer.

Point #1:

 lady gaga is not hot. i've seen scantily clad images of lady gaga everywhere and I don't objectively find her stimulating. One of the most important components of being a pop star is the infatuation/imitation aspect. Do young men have posters of her on the wall or pictures of her on their computers? Do pervy old men watch her music videos? do young girls wish that they could look like her? Are girls jealous of her hot bod?  The answer to all of these questions is no. Of course over time with money and media influence all of this can change.

Let me use an example to make this clear. My own father has no reason to like Avril Lavigne or Britney Spears but when they first came out his pervy eyes were all over it. He actually listened to Avril long enough until he started liking some of the songs. I don't think that Avril is conventionally attractive but she was an alternative niche type. She is the type of girl that all of the sk8ter bois think is attainable. In a mans mind attainable is good. Viola! lust is created and Avril has a career. Britney had that whole school girl sweet/innocent thing going for a while and the minute she lost that she lost her career. More recently she has been able to resurrect her image but not before a decade of misfires and a complete change in image.

In both of these cases there existed lust and idolization. All the guys want to pop the pop star and all of the girls want to be her. No one wants to schtupp Lady Gaga. She also has an elogated torso, strange eyebrows and a man ass, all things that are not seen as conventionally attractive.

Point #2

Let's dispel the idea that pop music is about the music. I could hit youtube and find 50 people who sing/dance better than any pop star out there. Their only problem, they are fat or ugly or both. Lady Gaga is not distracting to look at upon a cursory glance. There aren't any damning flaws about her exterior appearance that make her unfit for television. People don't get hired in the music biz let alone the pop music biz because of their technical talent. They have to be a particular package and that all begins with looks. Look at Taylor Swift she can't sing or play guitar and she sells a ton of records. She didn't even originally have musical ambition she just knew that she was pretty to look at. Unfortunately the modelling world didn't want her so she fell back on country music and parlayed that into a music career.

You could argue that of all the people who play pop music that Gaga is pretty good and she plays her own instrument. 1) Alicia Keys does it better and I don't like her either. 2) Since when did we start heaping praise on people because they play an instrument? Last time i checked every member of every band that ever failed could play an instrument. The whole point of being a musician is being talented...musically.

Next, Gaga's music really isn't that good. I am a guy and i can hit all of her notes. puh-puh-puh-puh-poka-face. Papa-Papa-razzi! no big deal. If you like the music it's probably because you were big into the club scene back in 99 when techo was still cool. Beyond the driving recycled nostalgic beats and her perhaps (and i'm being nice here) slightly above average vocals what does she have? her image right?

point #3

What hasn't been done yet? We haven't popularized creepy or strange. But, not the real creepy and strange because that's too creepy......and strange! so what I am going to do is put coke cans in my hair. What i am going to do is watch Marilyn Manson's sweet dreams video from the 90's and pilfer select images and copy them. I will splice this stolen creativity into my wardrobe and people will find it shocking because it's ten years later, I play pop music and I'm a girl. The rest? I'll just blatantly steal from every other female "artist" who came before me and not even veil it in a poorly crafted facade. But wait, Lady Gaga isn't just a singer, she is a performance artist. To which I say, the only thing less interesting than pop music is performance art (Blue Man Group exempt).


To steal a line from The Usual Suspects: "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." Lady Gaga like Playboy is the most sinister of ploys because it presents itself as something other than what it is in order to achieve extra credibility/consideration. Ms. Gags preys on the notion of the underdog, the unheard masses to uplift, confuse and trick you into buying into her. She is neither a talented performer nor a creature of beauty. If she has done one clever thing it was to play both image and musical talent against each other, then run her ass through a fast closing door before the world realizes the one and only element to her pop culture greatness, misdirection.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I don't know whether it is my horrible body odor or the fact that I find fault with someone the moment that I meet them but I have trouble getting friends. Before you sound the introverted dorky loser alarm, I'll have you know that I am probably only one of those things I mentioned above. Sadly, I think the reason that I don't have any real friends is that my standard for friendship is very high. Also, I think that we often confuse an acquaintance with a friend. 

My standard for a measuring a friend is this: Picture yourself stranded on the side of the road at 3 A.M. You just blew a tire/battery/engine/something you don't have the tools/knowledge/money to fix. Who among your "friends" would you feel comfortable calling and asking them to pick you up 30 miles away? Be careful the way that you answer this question. If you first instinct is that you have many friends, then consider that you might be a selfish person with a greater focus on having your own needs met rather than taking into account the thoughts and feelings of others. This list, it should be a short one as very few people are willing to climb out of bed, drive thirty miles AND put on a cheery face to meet/help you in another town. Of the few of these people whom you have narrowed this list down to, how many of them would you confide in, in a time of need? If you have any people that remain after this filtration process these people are you friends. Either that or you have an acquaintance who drives a tow truck with a minor in psychology.

 Over the years I have had several acquaintances and I have turned down several offers to be someone else's acquaintance. When I was a kid making "friends" was easy. All you needed was a basketball, baseball mitt or new Nintendo game. Kids especially guys will get together for any form of competition that resembles a sport. These childhood relationships may evolve or dissipate. Other surface friendships might replace old surface friendships. During our formative teenage years we are often thrust into friendships in order to battle against our parents and gain a sense of independence. During this time some real friendships might develop as a reaction to controlling parents. The teenage need to be free engenders reliance and a desire to confide in other people of the same age. Alas, none of this ever happened for me.

After I missed this stage I did develop some casual friendships in my late teens and early twenties. These friendships however were tantamount to childhood friendships. The only thing that changed was that the basketball became a bottle of whiskey and the new Nintendo game became a car. NOT IN THAT ORDER! There was no drinking and driving. By this I mean, that as long as there was bottle of whiskey and a trivial activity to participate in, all parties were entertained. When it came to cars, the conversations were stimulating with phrases like: "Did you see that car?" and the reply "Yep, it's a fast one!" 

No one in these situations was ever pressed to change their behavior or outlook on life due to our collective interaction. We were just an assembly of people brought together based on our collective desire to participate in that activity. The names and faces could have been swapped out with a million different people from a thousand different places on earth. We only drank together because drinking alone makes you an alcoholic. We only cruised together because racing up and down suburban streets in your mom's Pontiac sunfire by yourself is kinda lame. Okay, racing your mom's sunfire is kinda lame no matter how many people are involved. All we were doing was stifling the loneliness and isolation, not building important or interesting relationships. 

I fondly remember leaving one of my friends houses after a party early one morning to find the aforementioned sunfire had a smashed in front fender. I was so pissed because I couldn't get the door open and I had to climb over the center console from the passenger side in order to drive it home. Worse, the person who hit it didn't leave a note or their license plate number. Worse, it was my mother's car and I foresaw her yelling at me for driving carelessly and smashing her car up. What kind of asshole smashes a car and then drives off right? Well as it turns out, two of my "friends" just so happened to be in the car that smashed into my car and one of them was driving. 

I fondly remember another friend whom asked to borrow my stereo for a house party to which I obliged. He stated that it if went over well that he would consider buying the stereo from me. The next week I saw him he called me over to show me the new car that he had purchased. After we popped the hood and revved the engine a few times I asked him if he still wanted to buy the stereo. "The stereo?" He said. "I sold the stereo to buy the car." He said. A few days later he broke into my garage and stole my old license plates from my car while I wasn't home. Apparently the car that he bought with the help from the stereo he borrowed and sold could not pass the smog test, thus it could not be licensed. Lucky for him one of his friends had an extra pair of license plates in the garage and he was out racing up and down the streets in no time. I have never been so close to murdering someone in my entire life.

Growing up television enfeebled my mind. It suggested to me that every protagonist had a collection of friends who interacted with each other on a daily basis. Not only this but in most cases a friend relationship was much deeper and more involved than a parental/familial relationship.  In every sitcom or dramatic series there was always that scene where the friends were sitting down for Thanksgiving turkey or exchanging Christmas gifts amid dispensing helpful advice toward living. Maybe it's me. Perhaps my harsh, abrasive, insensitive comedic tone only draws the eyes and ears of assholes who are akin to me. These people are not the same as me but they are assholes of a different color karmically returning all of the bad that I put out into the world. But, I don't believe that to be true. Just this once I will confide in you random internet audience and say that without exception I have always been the better friend. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rest In Peace Parody

Over my life time I've watched and listened to a good share of parody music, movies and television shows. Weird Al Yankovic, Tenacious D, The Lonely Island, Jon Lajoie, Richard Cheese, (*takes a breath*) Spaceballs, Hot Shots, UHF, Mad TV, Saturday Night Live. What all of these things that I've mentioned have in common is that they attempt to satirize popular culture. They provide an absurd look at something that otherwise attempts to appear serious.

Humour in general often tries to make the same attempt. Irony presents the opposite of the anticipated result. Comedy pushes the envelope by taking the absurd to extreme levels. Whatever experience one may have in real life parody turns up the volume, color or contrast in order reveal a truth about humans and their behaviors. The truth that is generally revealed is that one part of the species is acting in an idiotic manner. As stated in my previous essay, the desire of satire/sarcasm is to make idiotic human behaviors visible and shame them out of existence.

But lately we have been presented with an ever increasing problem. We once thought that reality and parody were two distinct sets of tracks running parallel indefinitely beyond the vanishing point of human perception. But, we were wrong. Much to the chagrin of our intelligent ambition, or primitive lizard brains love watching crap, and not just one piece of crap but several helpings of the same crap. This crap might change in color from red to blue to green but we love it regardless of shape or smell. I don't think that any of us need to apologize for liking crap, we just do and that's a fact. We as a species and as individuals hold ourselves to a higher standard in public as a matter of ego but advertising dollars don't lie. For the record, not liking crap and not complaining about it/boycotting it is considered liking crap.

The problem with crap is that it is high in caloric content and it is clogging up the arteries of parody causing it to die a premature death. While many parodies are generally poorly done and typically considered a lower form of humor their inability to be expressed is evidence of a bigger problem. That bigger problem is of course the merging of reality with parody. This means that the arc of crap that we call reality has risen so high that it is now exempt from being ridiculed. In other words the absurd/silly has become the serious. Shows like The Jersey Shore and Toddlers and Tiaras are free from scrutiny because they parody themselves. The sane among us regard these shows as little more than mindless entertainment but (and it's a big but) we are not aware of the hidden and long lasting effects.

My wife and I have listened to several people pronounce the word "chipotle" incorrectly. Also, everyday our Inbox's are flooded with LOLCATS. The way that others say chipotle "chip-poat-el" is amusing to us, thus we adopted it as an inside joke. Further, LOLCATS are hilarious and as such we often find ourselves speaking in LOLCATisms. We know we are not serious but the world at large does not. So, often what happens when we are out in public or meeting new people we will accidentally mispronounce chipotle (or words like it) because of our programming. What once was parody for us has now become reality and often because of it we appear stupider than we are. The next step of course after being incorrectly programmed is to slowly devolve into the thought patterns and topics of interest of the people who we were at one time mocking.

Recently on a tabloid show I watched them do four minutes on Kendra Wilkinson Baskett. At first, I hope you are thinking "Who is Kenda?" Well, Kendra was a former live in girlfriend of Hugh Hefner who finagled her way into a television show with two other prostitutes who lived in Hugh's mansion. She eventually went on to C-list stardom with her own reality show which landed her a juicy spot on Dancing With The "Stars". Still with me? good.

In this particular video Kendra was practicing her dance moves while talking to one of the producers of DWTS. Instead of a nip slip she accidentally offered up a left cheek sneak which was made audible by the enormous boom mic hovering around her posterior. Ten years ago this inconvenient truth would have been edited out to preserve the credibility of the young starlet. These days Access Hollywood not only teased the spare the air incident three times throughout their show but they played the fart about four times in succession during a video breakdown segment. They then followed up on the story the next time that they saw Kendra on a red carpet to get the details about what happened on that fartful day.

Access Hollywood: What happened?
Kendra: I farted.
Access Hollywood: Do you fart a lot?
Kendra: Yeah.
AH: Have any of your farts ever gone too far?
Kendra: What do you mean?
AH: Have you ever shit your pants from farting.
Kendra: Not that I know of but I gotta be me ya know? Everyone once in a while you need to crack a few eggs to make a shit omelette.
AH: Ain't that the truth.

Zoom out on a pregnant Kendra doing a booty dance on the red carpet.

Enjoy it while it lasts folks, parody/comedy are going the way of the Dodo, Blockbuster and Bookstore. There is no sadness, there is no fear, the future is here and progress doesn't have room for shame or humility.


I would first like to inform you that I have a great interest in Anthropology. Correction, I have a great interest in Biological Anthropology. I am somewhat interested in Cultural Anthropology as it pertains to human development/survival but I don't really care much for learning the subtleties between redware/blackware nor how different dyes were produced to print various types of textiles. In addition, I have great respect for other cultures and their intricacies whether I specifically know what those intricacies are or not. This continent (North America) has learned and can continue to learn great lessons about life and living from other countries and cultures.

One of my more academically successful classes in college was strangely Cultural Anthropology. I think my success had less to do with my knowledge and interest of the topic and more to do with everyone else in the class being borderline brain dead. In every Cultural Anthropology class there is a subtext and that subtext is that America is a greedy, fat, wasteful apathetic country.  While I do not think that America can outright deny any of those claims I'd like to look at the topic a little bit beyond the surface.

A portion of my class was based around a tribe of People called the Baka. From what I recall they are a small tribe of rain forest dwelling people. The live in a pack of of about 30 people comprised of men, women and children. Their entire lives are devoted to community and sharing. The men hunt and trap and the women tend to the children and also build nets for fishing in the river.  One of the videos we watched in class chronicled the arduous yet rewarding task of obtaining honey from high up in the tree tops. It is a task that requires 4-5 men and one or two who are particularly skilled at climbing. The video took special pains to highlight how even though 1 or 2 people do the majority work in retrieving the honey that they make sure that everyone in the tribe gets some. The video also took great pains to show how the men trap animals and pass down their knowledge to the younger children.

The video wants us the entitled, wasteful, greedy American to take pause and consider the idea that we are not as evolved as we think we are. Further, maybe other societies know a little bit more about peaceful living and how to work as a team.  It's like one of those animated films that involves animals who only exhibit a kind and gentle spirit.  Somewhere along the way the dog, fish or polar bear who only has love in his/her heart reveals through the song the inhumanity of humanity.

Here is my rebuttal:

The Baka are comprised of small groups of people who roam the forests together. Their reliance on each other is built in and is necessary to their survival. There is no way that you can compare a small collection of people with an entire continent. If that was the case then I could compare my immediate an extended family to  the Baka. Well, not my family but a family that loves each other.  As a family unit we tend to be more generous and more apt to provide/take care of/ teach each other skills.

Honey also seems to be the greatest and most coveted currency of the Baka tribe. While the video emphasizes how honey is fairly distributed at the same time it is evident the amount of pleasure and excitement that the honey provides. I theorize that you could disrupt their whole sense of community simply by altering the way that they access honey.  If everyone did not have to work together in order to get honey I suspect that no one would. Moreover, if one member of the tribe developed a skill for obtaining honey in a faster, safer more plentiful way then surely he/she would be viewed as a more important if not the most important member of the tribe.

The dominant attitude when making a film or when anthropologically studying a culture is that they (the other culture) have somehow evolved and grown around our greedy and insensitive ways in order to find a better life. The thesis is that tribes like the Baka have perhaps found the true meaning of life and their way is superior to our way. But let's be honest, for the most part it's bullshit. I don't want to live in the forest wearing a speedo made out of leaves. I don't want to dig a hole to poop in, I don't want to catch and prepare my own food. If the vote comes down to popularity, neither does the rest of the world. Even third world countries have embraced the awesomeness of cars, cellphones and laptops. We invented technology because we didn't like the fact that our lives were harsh, brutal and short. Whatever we lack in connection to the earth we have traded for longer lives and a trajectory that will take us into the stars. To infinity and beyond!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Dearest reader,

You are the highest caliber of person "I've ever known." Your responses, ideas AND thoughts "captivate me" always.  There is no group of "friends" that I'd rather have than one composed of people who "truly understand" me.



Now that I got the serious business out of the way let us move on to today's topic: Sarcasm.

Sarcasm has had a bad reputation for a lot of years because of one quote that cannot adequately be traced back to its origin. That quote is: Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.  From my very lazy research it has been credited to Oscar Wilde, a writer who was known to rarely ever directly state anything. Because of this damning quote sarcasm has been relegated to a lower form of life. Sarcasm is like a career alcoholic in a seedy bar in a dead end town.  Kinda old, kinda purple, perhaps missing an eye. No one pays sarcasm any notice or gives him any credit. He's just that creepy guy who gets kind of "handsy" when young impressionable ladies are around.

Let us ask the question then, what is the highest form of wit? satire, irony, the directly stated truth? Truth is funny yes but there is no device or effort required to create the truth. There is the necessary act of dividing funny experiences from non funny experiences but stating what is comically true is reliant on the outside world. Further, there is no real effort or "sense of humour" required to differentiate between funny/not funny and if there is, it is very minimal.

Satire and irony if not regarded as the highest forms of wit are certainly near the top wouldn't you agree? If we look to the definitions of both of these words they contain the word "sarcasm." How then can sarcasm be both the lowest form of wit while being associated with the highest form of wit? To make a dated reference it's as if Sarcasm is stuck inside the movie Coming to America starring Eddie Murphy. In that movie Eddie Murphy is the prince of an African country who comes to America where he is regarded as a useless inept pauper.

You might be thinking "Well, sarcasm is generally mean spirited thus it makes people feel bad about themselves (the opposite of humours intention) To that I have several responses. 

1) As the great Kurt Vonnegut has said there is nothing funnier than watching a healthy man fall flat on his face. There is an entire industry built around deriving pleasure from someone else's pain. Certainly sarcasm may not be fun for the person is it used on but anyone else in proximity of its use will surely be amused.

2) Satire is an art built upon a foundation of sarcasm. It's intended use is to expose and shame people into correcting their behavior. In most cases sarcasm is used in the same way. If a husband asks his wife "Did you remember the dogs leash?" and she says "no, I forgot it." while clearly holding a leash in her hand, she is being sarcastic. The husband, an imbecile or an unobservant tit just wants to bother his wife with a useless question and is deserving of criticism.  If he recognizes his error he will be less inclined to ask a question that will be a source of embarrassment for him next time.

Now you might be thinking "Well, sarcasm isn't used in the grand way that satire is. Satire strives to change the way that society thinks through making broad observations about critical problems. How can sarcasm, a device used to ridicule your husband/wife/children compare?  Well ladies and gentleman, serial killers are not born they are created. They are created through terrible/absent parenting and a life's worth of bad life experiences. Following this line of thinking idiocy is born and developed through years of training. As difficult as it is to be an educated aware person, it is equally  difficult to be completely ignorant.

Sarcasm then is not just a tool to imply that the guy that "helped" you at Bestbuy is an idiot rather it is a non violent way of correcting idiotic behavior in the home. By challenging idiocy early and often you can discourage its proliferation throughout the adolescent mind. A sarcastic mind is a thinking mind because it first must consider what the normal answer would/should be before it can flip the script. So let us celebrate and embrace sarcasm. We need to raise its stock in how it is perceived by humans. It is not a device of hate, it is a tool of love. A tool that promotes intelligence and change. Embrace the change, embrace sarcasm.