Parties are meant to be filled with lively people, full of joy and song, and jokes. You’ve got to have jokes, for jokes are beautiful. They’re legal lies, weaved in all too telling truth.
It’s an easier method today than it was when it belonged to the then-unreachable tomorrow.
The public vote on special apps, the most well told jokes are fed through an algorithm highlighting the names of noone important as well as the percentage that are. Virtual zeroes and heroes.
The algorithms are a bit like a thermostat. If the joke is popular, the celebrity or non-celebrity it targets will steadily rise in recognition and appreciation. Eventually, if the joke becomes overused, ages badly, or becomes too repetitive, it ‘cools off’.
The real world reacts accordingly and adjusts, placing another big name at the top of the ranks, and drops the celebrity or noone made light of to a lower ‘temperature’
If they drop way below, everything about them is frozen, their assets, their perks, everything.
Once you’re made light of, once you experience the burn, it’s hard to crawl out of the cold.
Let’s give you one such example.
The person at this particular party is a bit of a local hero, a comedian who gets by on telling observational jokes about people he knows. He’s never mean-spirited about it, he doesn’t attempt to assassinate their character, and he just describes their mistakes in a way that keeps everyone laughing. He exaggerates a bit. But just a bit.
He meets a woman at this party, another comedian, this one is strikingly fit, for a smoker at the very least, and she likes to socialize in a shell suit. She’s the ironic kind of comedy. It’s her gimmick, she loves it, and people embrace her.
But she likes to bring celebrities down to our level, and she always goes for the more offensive jokes.
The man is fascinated by this, he wants to get to know her better, he strikes up a conversation, and he notices things about her behaviour. The way she talks, the way she moves.
She gets a little tipsy; she spills some of the drink across her shell suit.
His glass of wine wasn’t empty, but already he felt full. He could take control of the room. Right now. It’d be easy.
Tell people about what he’d just witnessed; give them something to laugh about.
He had respect for her though, and he found her quite attractive.
The two talked, the two struck up a connection, the two fall for each other, as they must.
Their connection goes beyond the party; the subsequent months see them bring a life into this world, a daughter.
This girl’s journey would be shared by the father on the club scène. The local hero found that simply telling the truth about life with a six month year old crawling about in her own filth and throwing up on the mother in bed were the sort of humorous anecdotes that gave rise to his and her notability and appreciation figures
A nobody became a somebody, and with it came perks. What a time to be alive.
What doesn’t stay alive, what doesn’t stay alight, is the burn. Eventually, it all cools off.
Children grow, children evolve, and the fun in how they deal with their growing pains soon becomes an all too harsh reminder of the everyday struggles people experience from day to day. Everyone is bullied, everyone argues, everyone leaves.
Everyone then seeks an answer to where their life is headed next, but some don’t seek that at all. Some instead seek escapism.
The joke can be a kinder fiction, or it can be a comically crass reflection of reality. Most of the time it’s the latter.
When it ceases to be even that, it can only become the former, and society is not tailored to appreciate that anymore.
So the daughter cools off, she loses her perks; her boyfriends cut ties with her. She can’t even attend school. She can’t even stay with her family.
The man and woman are way too busy keeping other zeroes and heroes in the algorithm to notice. Their field of expertise keeps the wheel turning.
The daughter fails to understand that, and takes a dive off the nearest bridge.
Love is always wise, unless it’s a wisecrack.