Irony. What is it good for ?
The Macquarie Dictionary, that all knowing tome, says irony is “a figure of speech or lierary device in which the literal meaning is the opposite of that intended, especially, as in the Greek sense, when the locution understates the effect intended, employed in ridicule or merely playfully.”
All clear ? Thanks Mac.
From my observation, not so much from the top deck of the mythical Clapham omnibus but from the beloved 55 tram, irony has a struggle on its hands.
There seems to be an increasing lack of irony, or perhaps there is little realisation that it actually exists.
Example. An overheard, a shouted at me, conversation, on a tram.
“My supervisor said ‘go back in there’. I said ‘you can’t tell me what to do.”
That was said with a straight face with nary a thought of … the irony.
A supervisor supervises.
So what’s going on comrades ?
Is it that fewer & fewer people have less & less time to actually listen to what is being said by them or to them ?
It seems that taking things at face value is a big enough struggle for many.
When comes to actually processing the verbal material – best of luck.
In a seemingly post-ironic age the advertisers, speechifyers the other shenanigan purveyors of the military-industrial complex can say what they damn well like.
Very few will be (adult content warning) arsed to sort the aural wheat from the chaff.
Are we somewhat afraid of drawing attention to ourselves by the deep-seated ironies running through almost every straight faced pronouncement of the great & the good, not to mention commercial television ?
Buggared if I know.
I do miss it.
Or do I ?
All above may just be me having a lend of you and being … you guessed it – IRONIC.
(Adapted from a previous “Andy Bell’s Cranky As Hell” broadcast on the Full Catastrophe in March 2011)