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October 7th, 2004

The Irony of Being Ironic About Irony

Snagged from cargoweasel... How to Have a World-Class Art Student Experience

Real artists are jaded aesthetes, made cynical before their time by unrelenting debauchery and single-minded pursuit of their artistic vision. In such a scene, irony is the coin of the realm. And besides - what other social device lets you appear intellectually superior and world-weary, without having the slightest fucking clue about what you’re talking about? Consider irony a short-cut to character, without all the invariably unpleasant work entailed in building it. In Toronto, irony is an even easier and more convenient mode of expression, due to a huge surplus of sour hipsters who use it to construct a form of passive aggressive double-speak – sort of like a bastardized Gypsy’s cant for the High Fidelity set.

Irony isn’t just a matter of speech, either – it’s a whole mode of being. This is facilitated by the fact that early 21st century western culture has amassed a veritable shit-mountain of self-referential pop-culture sludge, the recycling of which is one of the primary roles of the “culture industry” to which you as an artist now belong.

Now, with irony, everything you say, wear, and create – hell, your very BEING - need be nothing more than a self-consciously tongue-in-cheek re-hash of horrendously cheesy ideas vomited up in 1978 by balding Cincinnati-based marketing men in polyester pants, with gold chains and hairy backs. Welcome one and all, to the end of history. Be careful where you step.

-TG

PS: "Mind you, being non-hetero is about to jump the shark big time, and those with an eye for the Next Big Thing might want to take a gander at asexuality."

Hey! Sell Me on a Site!

Great googily-moogily, but I need something interesting to read! My brain is turning into mush here, and I need some heavy-duty verbiage to puff it back up into something useful for more than keeping my head from floating off.

What I want, is some kind of interesting literary/cultural sort of website, but one that ISN'T saturated to the gills with politics and endeavoring to bash me over the head with liberal propaganda ... so that lets out Salon.com right off the bat. I know that lots of intellectuals are liberal, and I'm not going to address that either way; the point is, that it's not what I want to read about! Surely there must be something else in the big, wide world to discuss besides how much you hate the Bush administration.

What happened to the happy days when editors would send stuff back to the writer with "Take all this political crap out!" scrawled across the top in red? Now, it seems, the commandment is, "Put more political crap in here!" I want to read about interesting (apolitical!) books, up-and-coming musicians, weird cultural studies, and prose that shimmers like dew on a spiderweb ... not Michael Moore.

So, this is my plea, out there in LiveJournalLand: recommend me some good pages! Find me some web-based belles lettres! For my sanity, I implore you.

-The Gneech

Hey, mammallamadevil!

This is for you. Care of athelind.

-The Gneech

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