Posts Tagged ‘insularity’

Against Insular Arrogance

I was at an Improv show the other day (in fact, it was referred to in the Anchoring Symposium) and the host asked audience members for a word, any word in order to get the guest monologist (a comedian) started on her monologue. One man responded with analrapist, an Arrested Development reference. In context, this joke is very funny. Out of context, however, it only signifies that you’ve watched the show. When the comedian did not get the reference, the man started repeating the fictional word louder and louder with a sense of snide condescension. Analrapist. Analrapist. He might as well have been saying “I watch Arrested Development, don’t you?” All I could think was: Are you serious? She is the one actually performing comedy, not you. Watching a show and understanding a joke written by someone else (and then, presenting it without context) is not at all impressive. It certainly does not give you license to look down on someone who is actually in the practice of making jokes for not understanding your reference.
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