The Marvelous New 'Sarcasm'Commentary • ISSUE 34•15 • Nov 11, 1998 By T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911) Excuse me, but can you ignorant peasants be bothered to rouse yourselves from the puddle of steaming offal you call home long enough to hear what I have to say? There is no need for hurt feelings, for I am merely jesting. You see, to-day I learned of a marvelous new method to convey humor in a cutting yet indirect manner. It is called "sarcasm." When I was a young man, there were two types of humor. There was the humor to be had at the grievous expense of others and the humor of the minstrel-show. This newfangled "sarcasm" is neither. True, it can rob the person at whom it is directed of much dignity, but often the individual is unaware that he has been slighted until many hours later when he is in bed. It is purely verbal in nature and does not involve the heaving of pies or tarring and feathering. Nor does sarcasm require banjos or the singing of Stephen Foster tunes. Sarcasm is clearly in a class by it-self. I recently learned of it from my youngest son M. Prescott, who had just returned from the Grand Tour of Europe and was eager to share the customs he had acquired. At first, I refused to listen, as I despise all things which exist out-side our great Republic. But M. Prescott told me that the English are very skilled at the sarcasm and wield it to great effect against their enemies. I took great interest in this, for I have many, many enemies. So, after weeks of intense preparation, I have come up with several epigrams so devastatingly clever in their sarcasm that my adversaries will be forced to admit defeat and submit to my will immediately. My first words of sarcasm are addressed toward President Woodrow Wilson: Do not feel bad about your debilitating stroke. Perhaps you can ask your wife Edith to run the Presidency in your place! (Do you understand what I meant? Edith Wilson controls the Presidency already. I was pretending to behave as though she does not to make President Wilson rue the fact that he is a help-less gimp!) Here is my second example of sarcasm, this time directed at William Randolph Hearst: You don't seem corrupt and depraved enough, Hearst old boy. Perhaps you should acquire a blonde actress floozy as your mistress to make up for your many years of reason and sobriety! (Translation: Hearst has in truth been coupling with a blonde actress floozy for years now!) I pity the man who is the target of my withering sarcasm!