November 19th, 2012 / 4:01 pm
Snippets & Web Hype

><><>> Calzones, collaborations, and fogbound techniques of waiting gracefully for nothing at the new issue of red lightbulbs

><><>> Astronaut brothers (or not), paradoxical undressing, and interviews about $$$ at the new issue of Gigantic


  1. Brooks Sterritt

      i love the URL for this

  2. reynard

      agreed, that article was terrible; not because it isn’t true, but because it’s only true of very young children

  3. Brooks Sterritt

      the irony argument applies to young children? heh

  4. reynard

      actually i try to explain irony to 4yo’s all the time; they don’t get it, probably because it is evolutionarily unproductive

  5. deadgod

      Irony is not just lying; it’s an imposition and, when artful, a discovery of incongruity.

      Are four-year-old kids so impervious to incongruity? Do they “never” laugh?

  6. reynard

      they laugh at silly things, not ironic things; one must have a cultural catalog before one has what we casually refer to as context

  7. deadgod

      Agreed that one must have a context for context. I think that that catalog is not written on a blank slate, and that it begins to be written right away.

      “Silly” means ‘incongruous, in a way’, yes?

      It’s silly to put a hat on a dog. It’s not ironic–a hat on a dog–in the culturally dense sense that Oedipus’s discovery of the source of Thebes’ miasma is, or Gloucester’s “I stumbled when I saw.”.

      But a hat on a dog is comical because of contextual incongruity. There’s a contrast between, as it were, literal sense [‘hat’ on ‘head’] and context [dog’s head].

      A hat on a dog’s head says a reasonable thing and an unreasonable one, or a reasonable thing in an unreasonable way.

      A little kid will have trouble with verbalizing “irony”. A kid would have trouble verbalizing “being” and “nothing”. I have trouble verbalizing these words, and I’m old and use dictionaries.

      But that trouble doesn’t mean that the germ of these difficult ideas isn’t sprouting in a kid’s mind.

      The argument in that article was something like ‘four-year-old kids are too pure–too virtuous–for the dissemblance of “irony”‘. (–as old people are purified by their proximity to death, and fundamentalists are purified of the complexities of crossed purposes.)

      I think a four-year-old who laughs at a hat on a dog is plenty culturally attuned, and is already on the way to distinguishing direct meaning from the circuit that, when elaborated, we reasonably call “ironic”.

  8. reynard

      i’ll try harder