This post yesterday was goddamn funny. I almost laughed my ass off. I laughed, and I enjoyed the laughing, because I am worn out, time kills you, existence is terrifying, laughing is the meds, it feels good to be included and not to be the one getting laughed at. The laughing is temporary shelter from bigger extinction, by way of smaller inclusion. I’m not alone. Someone else is alone. Not me.
The post made me sad too. I laughed, but I couldn’t laugh my ass quite off. Almost off but not quite. Like, I laughed my ass ¾ off but I also watched myself laughing and was like: You so stupid, gurl. That’s you he is making fun of. ALONE. You are up there alone. If one of us is up there alone, it is you. It is always you, in a Schopenhauer sense, nah mean?
I felt like a cog, too: cog-ish, cog-esque. I thought about “mean” and I thought about it as a hits-generator. Perhaps, first and foremost, mean is a hits generator. We are helping to generate hits! Hooray!?
The etymology of the word “mean”, according to etymonline, is:
“low-quality,” O.E. gemæne ”common, public, general, universal, shared by all,” from P.Gmc. *ga-mainiz ”possessed jointly” (cf. O.Fris. mene, M.L.G. gemeine, Du. gemeen, Ger. gemein, Goth.gamains ”common”), from PIE *ko-moin-i- ”held in common,” a compound adjective formed from collective prefix *ko- ”together” (P.Gmc. *ga-) + *moi-n-, suffixed form of PIE base *mei- ”to change, exchange” (see mutable); cf. second element in common, a word whose sense evolution parallels that of mean (adj.). Sense influenced by mean (n.). Meaning “inferior, poor” emerged c.1300; that of “stingy, nasty” first recorded 1660s; weaker sense of “disobliging, pettily offensive” is from 1839, originally Amer.Eng. slang. Inverted sense of “remarkably good” (i.e.plays a mean saxophone) first recorded c.1900, also in phrase no mean _______ ”not inferior” (1590s, also, “not average,” reflecting further confusion with mean (n.)).
It must be difficult to be funny and nice. Is the etymology of niceness “high-quality, uncommon, private, obscure, rare, possessed by few?” That sounds really hard. Perhaps what made me feel cog-ish about the post was, as a friend said: It personally called out someone “like us.” One of us small guys. As she put it: “He wasn’t making fun of Joyce Carol Oates.” I am sure Joyce Carol Oates has feelings too. I just don’t think she reads htmlgiant (though she might) (awesome)!
My own posts, while more of the generally-mean, or vaguely-mean, or passively-aggressively mean variety, are also totally cog-ish. I get more excited to post a funny post than to post somebody’s poem–mostly because I think it will make me more popular. Adolescence was a bitch. I still really want to be cool.
When I look at litblogs, I want to see funny things, gossip and dirt–not straight-up literature. So I figure you will like me more if I make you laugh. I want comments, because comments make it appear, at least, like I’m not alone.
Hopefully this post will get a lot of comments. Good ones.
I hope it becomes a popular post.