So I've come to a point where I've had it up to here with irony. I don't mean irony as a whole because I still think it's an important literary device that has translated well into film and television (I think the best example is Reno 911!, which pokes fun at racism by being offensive, or The Daily Show, which tricks my generation into learning what's actually going on in the world by making fun of the news). I'm really sick of the Snakes of the Plane variety of irony. It's a by-product of the kitsch / "Vote for Pedro" culture we're all stuck in. And I'm kind of over it. I don't think it's funny anymore, because it's just gotten so exhausting to think that everyone is pulling this elaborate practical joke on everyone else, but it's not really the case.
The major problem with this kind of irony is that it's not ironic at all. And let's not slip into the kind of Alanis Morissette conversation ("Isn't it ironic that 'Ironic' isn't ironic?"). It's just the lack of sincerity that's bugging me. Irony seems to be misused to rationalize low-brow culture. I know I'm guilty of using it in that way, but I can rationalize it, and I think that's the problem with the misuse of irony: people are saying things are ironic because they can't rationalize why they do things. For example, why do I watch Next! on MTV? I'm not doing it in an ironic way. I think it's funny. It's entertaining. I'm laughing at the people on the show, but that's the whole point of any realty dating show at this point.
There. See how easy that was? I'm not embarrassed by it.
I fully admit to enjoying certain movies in "ironic" ways. For example: Mommie Dearest. There's a movie about a woman abusing her daughter that was so melodramatic and overacted that it became funny. Or Showgirls, which was supposed to be this "comment" on the fetishization of Vegas and how the culture uses women. At the premiere of Showgirls, Kyle MacLachlan walked out, allegedly saying that he thought the movie was supposed to be an art film.
But do those movies lose their irony when special edition DVDs are released that specifically market their campy aspects?
It's mostly the fake-irony found here that really gets to me. At the same time, however, I love it when I see young white men wearing Che Guevara t-shirts. That's a kind of irony I can appreciate.
I'm not trying to make any bold statements with this post, so don't take any of this the wrong way. It's just something I've been thinking about lately. I mean, wouldn't it just be great if we could just be sincere about things? Did you really love Raising Helen because, for some reason, you found it funny? Well, fucking say so. I can appreciate someone's opinion if it's different from mine if it's actually based on something.
Having said that, it's really refreshing to be honest right now and admit that last night I watched She's the Man and laughed really hard for an hour and a half. I'm not ashamed because it was funny and, when asked, I can tell you why.