February 17, 2010
I have wanted to write about an experience I have had a couple of times lately. I have attended some political candidate forums in small communities in the area. At each, candidates that range the gamut from county constable wannabes to heavy-hitting Congressional hopefuls crowd into community buildings to eat hot dogs, bid in cake auctions, hear about local history, AND speak briefly and answer question about why voters should consider them the perfect candidate for the office they are running for.
I have met a wide variety of knowledgeable and civic-minded people at these forums (fora?) who really want to figure out what candidates stand for (how else can a voter discern between the ten--this is not a number picked for exaggeration purposes. . .there really are ten actual people--folks running for Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace). On the other hand, not everyone I have met or observed has an equal grasp of the issues (or, perhaps more telling, an equal grasp of reality).
Herein lies my dilemma. On the one hand, some of the things I have heard, both from candidates and from audience members, are ripe for skewering on this page. I can easily imagine poking fun at some of the convoluted logic and less-than-informed opinions. On the other hand, I have attended these meeting as a representative of my friend and Congressman and do not want anyone to confuse my arch and snarky point-of-view with his generous and fair one.
But I have had an idea. What if I could invent a sarcasm font? I can think of at least two versions--one would be known worldwide and could be used just like those omnipresent emoticons to clue readers into impending sarcasm (my friend Lisa suggested that the well-known sarcasm font could have little curlicues dangling from each letter to indicate that each was dripping with disdain). The other would be useful in my current situation. I could write something using my secret sarcasm font, and my friends and those in the know could see the font, recognize my sarcastic intentions, and laugh accordingly, while the general reader could just interpret my words as meant sincerely. Imagine the possibilities.