Comments – (Lame Investigations Into Immorality Part 1)



Go ahead voice typing. Take some malformed JSON right out of my head — make something ill-conceived and broken instantaneously.

I mean, I have to try to get some work done now.


Oh, good, this is a recording of me being a jerk. I’ll just get rid of this and I’ll never have to listen to it again.

That’s one of those things– that’s a great example to start this blog. I’ll need another one for the text version though. How about you did your hair? That’s a good one.

You did your hair!

Why do you need to say that? Depending on the context it could be true that that hurts. But my example sucks, because what I need is a clever one.

Because even new people will fall for a comment that they come up with, if they find it sufficiently clever. Here’s the three things that happen, three things that happen that lead to a mistake. I’m going to do them in reverse chronological order, because I’m feeling annoying.

You know we say things and then also we comment. It’s different when we comment, it isn’t it? We know that we’re not adding anything to the body of verbal knowledge in the room, when we comment. We just want to say something.

We don’t actually have anything to say; we really more want to show somebody something about ourselves, and so we comment. This is different from telling people things. I can tell you that I had a similar haircut once.

I guess the pretty clear distinguishing factor here is that they do know that they did their hair, and so you’re telling them nothing when you say that they did. Why would anyone talk like this? That’s the third thing: talking like this at all.




There’s a dead kitten. (stops the car)

“Is it yours, honey?”

“Is she ok?”

“She’s going to be. It’s alright.”



“Can you give me your name and number, hon, and the vet you work for?”


“Can you give me your name and number, hon, and the vet you work for?”


“Can you give me your name and number, hon, and the vet you work for, just real quick?”

“Oh, I’m going to give them a call. I just work right down the road, at the Mid-Atlantic Equine Hospital.”

“Careful –

“What?” (to someone else)

“Honey, carry her real carefu– “

“No, she fell out of the car.” (holding her up)

“Can you put her in a box?”

“Yeah, I live right there,”

“Yeah, you know, get her flat, some place quiet?”

“Yeah, I live right there. I’m going to call my work.”

“Ok. Just be real careful–”

“Yeah–” (holds her up again)

“Oh oh, please be –”

“I used to work in small animal emergency, so I’ve seen much worse than this.”

“Ok, don’t worry about us, take, take care of her.”

“Thank you so much for your help guys.” (walking away with kitten) (comes back) “See, now I work at Mid Atlantic Equine, but I used to work at a different vet.”

Woman who hit the kitten: “Yeah, it’s so nice to meet you. If we had an animal, we’d take her to you.”

“Thank you so much for your help guys.”


This lady, her kitten was hit in the road, and I told her it was going to be okay, and so she’s just dragging it around by the scruff of the neck and standing around, sort of enjoying the attention. And I (laughs), I said, Ok, just because I told you it’s going to be okay doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful with it, just in case, and take it immediately to a vet– and she said she’s a vet tech. Jesus.

But she was in no hurry to get it anywhere. She said she lived right there. So I thought, “Then go?” Not in so many words, but I told her to go. The cat needs to be flat and in a quiet place. Its nose was bleeding.

Am I commenting? Actually, what I’m doing is trying to figure out what was wrong with that lady.




I love you Google. New paragraph.




That’s the third thing that happened. The second thing that happened was that I thought about commenting. Before I did it, I thought about it. Do I want to comment? I thought. There’s really no reason to say this. But it is so witty. It is SO WITTY.

Most people never would have thought of this. I wonder if people know that I have thought of this. Really, what I wonder is if they know that I’m the kind of person who can think of something like this.

I want them to know that, don’t I?

On the scales of my decision making, the enjoyment I derive from having been so witty outweighs any pain that my comment might cause anyone that hears it. And this is me, a person who tries to keep my thumb on the side of the scale of being nice. I hope you know that about me.

And so we find it easy to sneak, when we speak, into territory where we should not be, just because we find that territory so darn clever.

This doesn’t just apply to sarcasm, teenagers, comments — you can also make big mistakes this way. Let’s do it this way, because this is the way that looks smart. Often that way is also much more difficult.

I knew that, and I did it anyway. Because of the first thing: I was sitting here thinking about how smart I am. Before I even thought of the comment.

(Darm. Yum.)

It’s not something I spend a whole lot of time doing, but… I was looking at a video, and it looks like a prediction that I had made did in fact come true.

Not only did I manage to navigate a rather complicated system and use it to my benefit, from my rather strange, isolated, and unimportant position — I was also able to successfully predict how that system would behave, based strictly on patterns that I’d observed in the past. With absolutely no direct information about the system itself.

And so from that position of congratulating myself, the witty comment seemed ok.

Even though it really wasn’t.

You could say that I only felt clever because I’ve been deprived of information. I need a word other than blame — perhaps something like causation —  that connects that lack of information to my feeling clever about something that never really never should have been done.

But anyway, if you want people to think you’re smart, I’m sorry that’s an endeavor that’s never going to succeed.

There’s no way to tell them. That they’re going to understand.

You’re either going to make your point and they’ll just like you, or you’re going to fail to make it, and they’ll think you’re an idiot.

But if you just do nothing and know that you are smart everything should be fine.

And if you want to be witty, be self-deprecating.  We will all be very impressed, additionally by your modesty.

Yes, those are my actual feet. I’m sure, because if anyone had sold me these feet–  I’m sure because no one would have sold me this feet– I’m sure because — somewhere in there, that joke went awry. Let’s try that again.

These are my actual feet. I’m sure because anyone who would have sold me these feet would be in jail.

Somewhere in there, that joke went awry? That’s ok.

(Don’t try to be witty about something off topic. When we’re witty about things off-topic, we have a tendency to make some nasty Freudian slips (aka ‘forward his lips’). In general, this whole area of thought is a dangerous one. It’s not that hard actually to avoid it completely, if you decide to, commenting.)

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