Saturday, January 02, 2010

Why Is "The Situation" A Funny Nickname? (A Serious Blog Post)

"The Situation" as a name used to refer to oneself is humorous in its tautology. One's self is "The Situation": the abstract state of affairs that constitutes one's personhood, one's identity; the state of affairs into which one feels oneself to be flung, abruptly, inexplicably, without warning or ceremony. Here you are, this is your life, this is your body, deal with it: that's "The Situation".

What is comical in human beings is the discrepancy between the way one sees oneself and the way others see one. "The Situation", as a character, embodies this principle and plays it to the hilt. His nickname epitomizes this self-blindness - he uses the name (in third person, always) as if it were a badge of honor, as in: "We got ourselves a Situation right here" or "The Situation's under control" - when, in reality (or at least, from the perspective of the audience and the other people on the show, which is to say, everybody else in the world) the nickname is loaded with pathos. The Situation is not under control. The Situation is always out of control, and "The Situation" is always failing to get The Situation under control. He can't control how others see him. He can't even get a girl to call him back. He clearly, pathetically, has not gotten laid in years, even though this is his self-professed area of singular interest and achievement. The situation is, "The Situation" is pathetic.

"The Situation" is an icon of all that we cannot control or mask in ourselves. Our situation are our problems, our embarrassments, our failures - our little rodeos of pain.

1 Comments:

Blogger Smith said...

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January 2, 2010 at 8:35 AM  

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