When we hear Jimmy Kimmel’s name, we usually think about a guy just up there at night saying a few jokes. He is the “after-hours” relaxation white noise that you hear in the background as you plan the next day and drift off into the world of forms. But that is not what he is doing. He actually exposes something about us as human beings in his comedy, with bits like the one when Kimmel asks celebrities to read mean tweets that have been sent to them. But none of his jokes are as telling of human nature as this one:
This video can conjure up a lot of different reactions.
“These people are posers.”
“They are just trying to be cool.”
“Dumbasses don’t even know who Chandler Bing is.” [Editor’s note: Who is Chandler Bing?]
These were my initial reactions to the video, along with about ten minutes of straight laughter with my wife in Central Park (because really, who doesn’t love laughing at people in Central Park?). The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that this video is so distinctly human that it was a bit scary. These human beings are so desperate to break into the fashion scene and be in the know that they are willing to lie — and lie lavishly — to receive the affirmation that they so desperately want from this community.
And I have done that hundreds of times.
I couldn’t tell you the amount of times that I have pretended to know something, pretended to understand a concept, or told someone that I have read something, just so that they know how smart I am in comparison to those other people who have never read. Sometimes the pressures of being Hispanic (I’m just being honest) while living amongst a predominantly white community has made me cave into those pressures, because I don’t want to be stereotyped as a “dumb Hispanic.” So, in order to not get viewed this way, at points in my life I have made pretend, or worse, I have actually spent the time reading something that I truly don’t even want to read, but will, just so that I can say that I have in a social setting. I am willing to bet that you have done that as well.
Human beings are just funny. We do the dumbest things just to fit in, to make sure that we aren’t on the out, because what could be worse than that? Or maybe, we revel in being outside of the cool crowd, because being in would actually be outside of what is cool. Are you mind banged by the complexity of human nature? Good. Maybe now we can show a little bit more compassion towards those who do things that we think are a little bit idiotic.
And maybe if people were truly loved, we wouldn’t feel the anxiety of being unloved and unaccepted.
Previously from Christopher Cruz:
♦ How Not To Get Kicked Out Of Your Fantasy League
♦ In Order to Return to Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James Must Forgive
♦ Babies, Blogs, and Pretense