a pummelling from the thick fist of irony

So today is the Anti-Bullying Day where everyone is supposed to wear pink. This is a good thing. In theory. I think bullies are a sad lot, and nothing is finer to watch some poor little David triumph gloriously over the schoolyard Goliath. However, I only have one pink shirt and it is covered in skulls. Also, dressing myself in the morning is an underdog feat in and of itself. I’m not a morning person, and distinguishing pants from tops is the best I can manage. Something like remembering to wear a specific colour is of the least importance, the first wave out of the trench. So I wore blue today. (That it is a colour and not black or grey is its own little triumph. I sometimes wonder if I’ve gone colourblind when I look in my closet.)

Arriving at work, I immediately realized my faux pas when seeing a Barbie convention in the lobby. Oops. I was later berated by a fellow (nameless) employee for not wearing pink. Nor did I participate in the group photo. So I was bullied for not showcasing the fact that I am anti-bullying. ‘I forgot’ is not an acceptable excuse. As if someone would intentionally not wear pink on moral ground: ‘Actually, I do support bullying, and I would like my beliefs to be respected.’ What would the Anti-Bully do in such a case?

irony?

I browse Amazon a lot. It is never my intent to spend the next hour in the online equivalent of window shopping, but I do find it a strenuous exercise in targeted marketing. I go to look at one thing, and the wonderful wizards at Amazon immediately crop up with “Customers who bought this item also bought….” And so I proceed to add it to my ever-growing virtual shopping cart – the contents of which I will probably never, ever purchase. I think my running total is up to something like four hundred and eighty-seven dollars. Anyway, I was browsing through the Lou Reed catalogue, wondering whether I should finally buy Berlin or just leave it in my cart for another lap around the imaginary store. I clicked on Metal Machine Music, which is Reed’s most, ahem, “experimental” album, that is, consisting of just noise. Really. Lo and behold, what is the ONLY thing purchasers of MMM also buy? Why arguably the world’s first postmodern novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, by Laurence Sterne. Huh. Wow. Life is so surprisingly perfect sometimes. So ironic in the sense that it is entirely devoid of irony when irony is what we usually expect. I could elaborate on how I have come to that conclusion, but I think it would rather betray the artistic purpose of each work.