About the Falsehood of ignoring the full picture

Warning, sort of: If you do not know The Big Bang Theory, this post will be lost on you.

I was always skeptical about the american habit of playing pranks on your buddies. Most examples I found on youtube seemed mainly mean-spirited and occasionally downright dangerous, like placing metal buckets of whitewash on an almost closed door.

I got to reconsider after watching the episode “The Prestidigitation Approximation” (s04e18) of TBBT. Howard invents a magic trick with an absurdly simple solution of the kind that Sheldon will never guess. And then he nudges Sheldon into the challenge to find out the trick.
One reason this prank works is that it is inherently linked to Sheldon’s arrogant and at the same time quite limited personality. If he wasn’t convinced he was God’s greatest gift to humanity it would not be funny. But, also, it would not work.

Why does this change anything about my feelings about pranks?

Is this prank mean? Yes, absolutely.
Would I object if someone told me about the prank like this: “Two ‘friends’ goad a person into wasting an enormous amount of time and even get into trouble with the law, so they can snicker behind his back”?
Yes, of course.
And that description is not wrong per se.

But.
It misses some important points.
For one Sheldon regularly is an enormous pain in the derriere to his friends due to exactly those traits that make him fall for the prank. The prank to some degree is well earned revenge.

And the harm is done by Sheldon himself to 100%. The minute he’d stop being unbearably arrogant the prank would be over.

What has this to do with this blog?

Just this: occasionally the correct reaction to “They are mean to another person” is “Oh, good.” or “Yeah. So?” and not “#outrage!”

Remember this the next time you have a discussion with a feminist, those champions of not painting the entire picture.

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