Tuesday, April 25, 2017

But Is It Irony?


But Is It Irony?
by Rob Cottignies

The concept of irony is a complex and often-debated topic. Many people mistake coincidence for irony, such as you and a friend both wanting pizza for lunch. Alanis Morissette has mistaken rotten luck for irony, such as every instance in her song 'Ironic'. Cool video, catchy tune, horrible semantics.

A few years ago, one brave person wrote a humorous yet extremely poignant and excellent article which included irony and its unfortunate misuses. Our hero described irony as an event where the outcome is the opposite of the initially-intended result. For example, silent film actor Charlie Chaplin once secretly entered a contest to see who could best impersonate his famous [walk]. Because he was actually Charlie Chaplin and invented that walk, he assumed he'd win. He did not. Boom- irony.

So the other day I faced a conundrum- I wanted to run in the park and it was raining out. I generally can't stand wearing a wet shirt so I wore a zipped-up raincoat to prevent it from getting soaked. After the run, I took off the coat and my shirt was soaked. As you probably know, raincoats raise body heat because they are non-porous. The extra sweat my body produced caused my shirt to become soaked in gross moisture.

I wondered if this was ironic. The coat did its job in keeping out rain but my shirt got wet anyway because of the coat. However, if I hadn't worn the coat, my shirt would've still gotten wet.

This can only be explained by inserting or removing the phrase with rain. 'I wore this coat so my shirt didn't get wet. The coat caused my shirt to get wet.' Irony. 'I wore this coat so my shirt didn't get wet with rain. The coat caused my shirt to get wet, but not with rain.' Not irony. But then there's the inevitability that the shirt would've gotten wet regardless. A person could go crazy thinking about this stuff, which I do constantly. Yep, that explains it.


The next time I'm feeling a rain run, I'll just go nude. That'll show the ironic overlords who's boss. Also, check out this video spoofing Alanis's dopey song.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Sharing ≠ Caring

Sharing ≠ Caring
by Rob Cottignies



It baffles me how people are so quick to give personal yet ultimately useless information to strangers. Here are three examples:

Rosie

My friend Dennis was working behind a bar one Sunday. Aside from me, the other people present were a couple (Guy and a girl. I know there are other types of couples. Blah blah.) and some girl who was with them. Dennis knew the couple so he introduced himself to the girl. Like a child under ten years of age, she shrieked, 'My name is Rosie and it's my birthday!!!!' Unnecessary information shared strictly for attention. My friend did the "correct" thing and gave her a free beer. Then I started texting him hateful things about Rosie. 'I hope this is Rosie's last birthday.' 'Pour her a pint of poison.' 'If Rosie chokes on her birthday cake, I won't perform CPR.' Ya know, cheerful stuff.

What I didn't know was that Dennis's phone was not in his pocket but on the bar in front of the guy. Nosy, as people tend to be, he looked when it vibrated and lit up. With a shocked face, he looked right at me and motioned, asking if I had sent the messages. Playing dumb, I said, 'No, that's not my phone.' He rudely picked it up and showed it to the girl and Rosie. Someone else's phone. Unreal. Perhaps because I was the only other person at the bar, all three looked at me in disgust. Or so Dennis told me. I didn't acknowledge them. Apparently they were so  furious that they did the only thing furious people would do- finished their beers and left. No screaming, no defending, no fighting. Nothing. I felt badly because I had accidentally lost Dennis some business and because this story didn't have an interesting ending. The point is that if someone says your friend should drink poison, cause a scene. Don't run away. Freakin' hipsters…

Paige's Dad

Speaking of hipsters, I was sitting at a bar when a hipster and an older guy came in. Of course they sat near me and of course they spoke loudly because no one else was there. Due to their inconsiderate volume level, I found out the older guy wasn't the hipster's father but the hipster's girlfriend's father. Her name was Paige. I hated Paige. To make things worse (for me), the hipster was asking Paige's dad for "permission" to propose marriage to her. I lost my appetite and feared what I had eaten would erupt at any moment. Also, I knew they would somehow rope me into this garbage pile of a conversation.

And I was correct. In a "clever" plot to tell the "good news" to the bartender, Paige's father introduced the hipster to him as his son-in-law. In a pure Aw shucks golly gee whiz moment, the hipster said it was too early to be saying that. Not to be outdone, Paige's dad said that no one would blab because only the three of them knew. "And this guy." Me. I guess they knew how close they sat to me and how loudly they were speaking. I looked up to see the three of them staring at me, so I said that I wouldn't tell anyone because I didn't care.

Do you think that was mean? Do you also think honesty is the best policy? Hypocrite.

Dale & Belinda

I met my friend Julia at a concert and she was with a friend. Some guy. Dale? I don't know. She introduced us then someone suggested getting beer, which is always a great idea. Julia offered to buy the first round, so that left Dale and me to stand there awkwardly. I hate small talk but sometimes it can't be avoided. So I asked a reasonable question- 'How do you know Julia?' He replied, 'She was friends with my wife who died last month.' I JUST met this guy and he told me the worst news of his life. What was I to do? Now, my mind doesn't work like those of most people, who probably would've expressed condolences and maybe even asked how he was doing. Not me. I asked him how it happened, not to be a jerk but I was mildly curious and he opened the door. He shouted, 'THAT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.' I was ready to say, 'You made it my business' but Julia came back with the beers and obviously that was more important.

I never found out what happened to Dale's wife, so here's my theory based on exactly zero information: Dale and his wife, Belinda, were walking along a city street. They'd both tried to quit smoking many times to no avail. Dale took his last drag and flicked the cigarette butt into the street. Ever the environmentalist, Belinda reached down to pick it up and place it in a proper waste receptacle. At that exact moment, a truck swerved from its lane to avoid hitting an old woman named Sue who was standing in the middle of the street for no reason. This truck hit Belinda and knocked her head clean off her body. It flew into the nearest waste receptacle with the cigarette in her mouth, exactly how Belinda would've wanted it. However, the butt ignited the contents of the receptacle and the two children playing near it. Also, the decapitated body gave Sue an awful fright and she died on the spot from a heart attack so it was all for nothing.

See what you made me do, Dale? You were inconsiderate and years later a guy you've probably forgotten made up a horrible (though likely accurate) story about your wife dying. This is the pain you have caused. You're a monster.


Why do people share this stuff with strangers!?!? For attention, that's why. These are the same people who "send" thoughts and prayers to victims on social media. Attention makes them feel good so I give them none. But I guess this article counts as giving them attention so figure that out for yourselves. Whatever. Leave me alone.