My interests are jump-started whenever I find an intersection of two or more of these things:
- the Law
- athleticism vs "the sport" (defined as: money generated by hyping gear or destinations)
- partisan politics offered as Objective Reality
- economics vs technology vs environment vs ecology
- satire/irony/sarcasm/parody, vs items offered as such but failing to provide it
Also, I like music, but I don't ever analyze or criticize a decision to put up a music video unless there is some absurdity in the idea of the thing offered as a music video actually containing music. Rick-rolling is not something I find impressive, but maybe that's because quite a few decades rest between me and myself in 8th grade. A practical joke needs more subtlety, wisdom and actual teaching to catch my attention now, much as it has since I was about 15, so that's a pretty long time I've got discerning the quality of practical jokes.
The judge I clerked for after graduating law school was a terrific practical joker who created elaborate practical jokes to prank on his friends. I heard about these not from the judge himself, but from his friends, who admired his creative sense of humor and mockery. I think if he'd chosen comedy instead of law, he could have been up there with Andy Kaufman.
Sometimes people think they're doing a "practical joke" and even will call it that when asked to explain their activity. Most times when you put the Elementary School Level Microscope (max 130x) on such explanations they fall apart and reveal the "joker" as actually trying to tear down the object(s) of the practical not-a-joke.
Whenever this is happening, I think it wise to look at the kind of person you're dealing with. In other words, up to the moment it seems clearly not-a-joke, you were thinking him or her to be a funny person, or at least one who considers self funny and is willing to offer that in public, perhaps to failure and ego-shame result; perhaps also, to admiration and, in some cases, copycatting-as-flattery result.
Whether it's funny or something else might be easier to plumb with the observations in this post and its comments afterward. It's from Hal, so you know it's going to provoke, because that's what Hal does. His humor always is provocative, and always aims at hypocrisy and absurdity in the process.
"Marketing" is where a lot of pseudo-humor, done destructively toward one's fellow humans, is most honestly and openly displayed.
Let me give you someone else's graphic, done to parodic perfection, regarding competing running shoe designs from a recent fadbubble in running shoe sales:
The Hoka was hyped as an anatomically true, more "natural" shoe. And hyped as such not just by Hoka itself, but by those in the relevant "industry" where people "test" and "review" such shoes. And therefore the myth on the street/trail was that the Hoka was a hot new anatomic shoe that will let you run longer, faster, further with greater ease and less detriment to your (otherwise not athletically trained) body.
I don't know about you, but when I discover this kind of thing -- like when I tried on a Hoka shoe and felt what that graphic describes above -- I thought to myself, "why in Hades is there so much hype around this torture device? Who could honestly think that's good for runners, or for future runner trust in shoe makers to deliver a well-designed shoe?" Really, my gnawing problem was this:
Who could think it's honest?
Why do people "cynically" say, "well that's how things are, dude, and that's what you have to do to get ahead in this world." ??
complaining about how their Partisan Opposite Political Superset are liars and how dishonesty is the primary problem with Donald Trump's campaign and status as seeker of the Oval Office?
Maybe you will leave me a comment that clarifies things?