The Death of Irony


If the rest of the world has lost its patience with the shenanigans emanating from the United States of America, it is perfectly justified in having thus exhausted its historically impressive font of forbearance. The most significant transgression underlying this development isn’t necessarily obvious. I don’t believe the reckless saber rattling or the contagious xenophobia constituted the proverbial last straw. It’s the fact that irony, the very backbone of comedy, is officially dead since its most ludicrous imaginable expression has now been upstaged by reality.

Several years ago, an episode of South Park had Cartman facing an existential crisis. He had just witnessed the funniest thing in the history of ever — specifically, a milk carton photo prank he pulled a few days earlier resulting in an actual couple with asses for heads appearing at his door in search of their missing son. Rather than reacting to their presence with uproarious laughter, he just stood there in stunned silence. You see, this was so intolerably hilarious that he blew a funny fuse and thus found himself incapable of laughing at anything else, possibly for the rest of his life.

In a sense, this is what we have done on a global scale. The United States has become a well-dressed suburban couple that communicates via fart-speak from its anatomically reversed sphincter-mouth. We have elected a citrus-pigmented, crude, vulgar, proudly uninformed fat lump of shit with the world’s worst comb-over to the post of Commander-In-Chief. He is a barely literate former reality TV personality who is frequently more inappropriate in his official dispatches from Pennsylvania Avenue than he ever was on the Howard Stern Show. The media has collectively and inadvertently outpaced The Onion in the realm of absurd reporting since the only outlet for “the President’s” thoughts is his bizarrely juvenile Twitter feed. In the truest sense, the comic-dystopian future scenario envisioned in Mike Judge’s 2007 film “Idiocracy” has come to pass. The former biting irony of that movie’s message no longer packs even a meager punch. We have actually managed to elect a leader more patently ridiculous than the foul-mouthed, glitter-adorned former professional wrestler of Mr. Judge’s imagination. Like a no smoking sign on your cigarette break, as a former pop star from the 90s once opined.

Of course, humor at its most base and basic level is still achievable. A well-timed pratfall or fart joke can still elicit a good guffaw. However, since this type of nearly instinctual laughter is all that’s left for us, we’ve reverted to the comedic sophistication of the baboon, a creature who also finds amusement in falling and farting. Another similarity to the baboon that we have recently acquired is its shamelessness in parading around publicly with its big red ass exposed. We just don’t care anymore. National dignity is a thing of the past as we drop our collective trousers and moon the rest of the world in 140 characters or less. This is the end result of the “Great Experiment”, the idealistic democratic vision of our forefathers. If I had to sum up this fatal buffoonery in a single word, the only one that comes to mind is covfefe. And why not? A society that perpetually and intentionally rewrites recent history to suit its utter lack of integrity and class might as well invent its own words. It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife. But it isn’t ironic. It’s the perfectly predictable upshot of 200+ years of proud ignorance and arrogance.


33 thoughts on “The Death of Irony

  1. I don’t know if you watch any streaming video services. We like to catch a lot of British shows on Hulu. There is one called The Black Mirror that had a recent episode titled The Waldo Moment. Please catch it if you can. I believe it is a wonderful encapsulation of these events and then extrapolated beyond.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. aw you’ve just mentioned some old school stuff I love right there! I think we just have that built in self deprecating taking the piss thing…..but also at the same time taking the piss out of everything else hehe

        Liked by 2 people

      1. It definitely was better with him. Oh yes. He is hilarious on Mock the Week. Unfortunately the only way we can watch those sort of shows are on YouTube. We are particularly fond of “Would I Lie to You”. Watching David Mitchell and Lee Mack together is hysterical.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Black Adder Season Season 3 is pretty close, but TV can’t even approximate the lunacy of the current American administration. I didn’t bother with House of Cards this time because I heard it paled in comparison to reality. Regardless of the topic, I’m always amazed at the beauty of your prose.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This may be the death of Tom Being Tom, since everything I think to say you already say better. 🙊

    I should re-blog this.

    I’ve never done that before. It might cause people I know to blow a head gasket. That would be fun, right?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “…its most ludicrous imaginable expression has now been upstaged by reality.” I stand before you humbled. Reality has become far more ludicrous and perverse than any comedy or satire, but society is so immersed in it that few among us see it…but you do…I do…but I could not have expressed it as well as you just did. Genius, once again. Do you live alone, in the desert, frustrated that you have no friends because no one is ready for the truth? Just askin’

    Liked by 1 person

  5. DC, this left me with chills and my stomach in knots…which is common these days, knots or nauseam, that’s all I feel, the inescapable, visceral reaction that happens when I see his face, hear him speak or read his words. But even more tragic and mortifying than my “funny fuse” being blown, I’m afraid, is my ‘do something, do anything fuse’ feels beyond repair. Admittedly, there are a few other details I need to remedy in my life that have ‘trumped’ trying to counter the sordid fucking circus that we are now portraying as a shining example of democracy at its finest. But I just can’t right now.
    So I have done the unthinkable- buried my head and opted to shut my eyes as tight as humanly possible to avoid watching this runaway train that it appears cannot be stopped. ‘Our great democracy’ (and any hope for redemption from the catastrophic decisions we have made and actions we have taken) is now barreling down the tracks toward an inevitable collision with its lethal backend, which has catapulted to the front as the ‘we’- out of utter hopelessness and resignation- have come to a grinding halt. I fear this “citrus-pigmented, crude, vulgar, proudly uninformed” ass (as you so accurately described him) who is now leading our ‘great nation’ is about to cause an explosion of such massive proportions, its destruction will be felt on each and every continent.

    Yet, here I sit…

    as always- on point, thought-provoking, mind-blowing writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a perfectly stated and well-thought-out comment. If it’s any consolation, I am also starting to lose hope in whether there’s even anything to be done about all of it, but I think this is natural. We have to take care of ourselves and we still need to enjoy ourselves when we can. If and when an opportunity to help presents itself, I have no doubt both you and I would take it…but we also have to treat ourselves compassionately and realize we’re just human.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s