Oh, the Irony!

Sunday, November 22, 2009 – Oh, the Irony!

A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of humor, for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself. ~ Jessamyn West

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. ~ Frederick Douglass

Brain research tells us that only twenty percent of human beings have a sense of irony, which means that eighty percent of the world takes everything at face value. ~ Doug Coupland

Clap an extinguisher upon your irony if you are unhappily blessed with a vein of it. ~ Charles Lamb

Humor brings insight and tolerance. Irony brings a deeper and less friendly understanding. ~ Agnes Repplier

Irony differentiates. Cynicism never does. ~ Paul Horgan

Irony is a clear consciousness of an eternal agility, of the infinitely abundant chaos. ~ Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Irony is just honesty with the volume cranked up. ~ George Saunders

Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom. ~ Anatole France

Irony is the hygiene of the mind. ~ Elizabeth Bibesco

Irony, I feel, is a very high form of morality. ~ Jean Stafford

My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch. ~ Jack Nicholson

Neither irony or sarcasm is argument. ~ Samuel Butler

Probably it is impossible for humor to be ever a revolutionary weapon. Candide can do little more than generate irony. ~ Lionel Trilling

Okay, so maybe I’m romantic… but somebody is supposed to be romantic. Some warrior is supposed to go to war against the imperial forces of cynicism and irony. I am a sentimental soldier. ~ Sherman Alexie

Sentimental irony is a dog that bays at the moon while pissing on graves. ~ Karl Kraus

Two fundamental literary qualities: supernaturalism and irony. ~ Charles Baudelaire

Irony is a disciplinarian feared only by those who do not know it, but cherished by those who do. He who does not understand irony and has no ear for its whispering lacks of what might called the absolute beginning of the personal life. He lacks what at moments is indispensable for the personal life, lacks both the regeneration and rejuvenation, the cleaning baptism of irony that redeems the soul from having its life in finitude though living boldly and energetically in finitude. ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Irony gives us, at little expense, the impression that we are experienced psychologists. ~ Gaston Bachelard

Between “just desserts” and “tragic irony” we are given quite a lot of scope for our particular talent. Generally speaking, things have gone about as far as they can possibly go when things have got about as bad as they reasonably get. ~ Tom Stoppard

Political Addendum:

Bella DePaulo on one specific irony:

From my post as an outside observer, it seems to me that Sarah Palin doesn’t care much about the truth. In that way, she is a very special liar. Instead, Palin seems to love the effect her disingenuous pronouncements have on her audiences and so she just runs with them. Her fans adore her claims about “death panels” and about Obama supposedly “palling around with terrorists” and all the rest. Look at how they roar with approval and fervor when she tosses that red, bloody moose meat to them – how can the mere (non) truth-value of what she is saying ever compete with that? Plus, the fact that her taunts drive her detractors over the edge – well, that just adds to the fun!

Sarah Palin seems to relish the reaction she gets to her claims and complaints. Among her core fan base, the theme that the mean media and the full-of-themselves campaign staffers were unfair to noble, authentic, small-town Sarah seems to be a winner. Whether it is really true is almost irrelevant.

I do love the irony of Palin flaunting her authenticity with lies.

It works.