My Problem With Irony

How many times a day do you hear something described as ‘ironic?’

Without launching into hyperbole (another grossly misused word, witness any speech by Vice President Biden) I think I can safely say that I hear it every day.

And it’s almost always used incorrectly.  There’s even a 90’s era pop song by Alanis Morrisette called Isn’t it Ironic where the singer lists a series of unfortunate events that she repeatedly, and incorrectly, labels as ironic.

Ironic does not mean unexpected. Ironic does not mean surprising. Ironic does not mean contradictory.  Ironic does not even mean incongruous. Instead, something can rightly be described as ironic when the words or actions offered have a meaning different from what is expected, and the underlying message or situation has a profound or humorous result (whether intended or not).

Let me give an example.

This morning during my daily commute, I made the frequently unwise decision to listen to local sports radio.  As I live in the western part of Upstate South Carolina, WCCP out of Clemson is the sports radio station with the strongest signal.  That’s right, the C.T.U. propaganda station is my only local option.

This morning’s topic was the CTU-Auburn matchup.  After about 10 minutes of fascinating analysis by host Mickey Plyler (i.e. Cam Newton is a big framed guy, Auburn is only favored because it’s at home, etc.), his sidekick (whose name escapes me, but he sounds like a local [cue banjo music]) suddenly weighed in by saying “They’re ‘All In’ at Auburn now, can’t believe they stole that.” Mr. Plyler laughed in agreement, and then the commercials kicked in.

So apparently Gene Chizik is using the ‘All In’ slogan that Dabo pimped so diligently a couple of years back.  I guess I missed it, what with all the actually important football games going on, but this perceived slight is evidently a big deal in CTU world.

Here’s where the unintended irony kicks in: Everything about CTU is a cheap rip-off of someone or something else.

The mascot?  Copied from Auburn

The colors? Copied from Auburn(but with leftover jerseys where the blue had faded to purple #imcrappingyounegative)

The fight song? Copied from LSU

The stadium nickname?  Again, copied from LSU.

Howard’s Rock?  A leftover doorstop.

The head coach? A recycled real estate agent.

So the WCCP cats were calling someone else a rip off when they are completely copied themselves.

Isn’t it ironic?

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