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djgordy
721457.  Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:18 pm Reply with quote

"Ironic" - Alanis Morissette

Quote:
An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
And isn't it ironic... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
"Well isn't this nice..."
And isn't it ironic... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

A traffic jam when you're already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic...don't you think
A little too ironic...and, yeah, I really do think...

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out


Some people use this song to demonstrate the idea that Americans don't understand irony. Which is kinda ironic as Alanis Morissette is Canadian and, what's more, most of the things he cites in the song actually are ironic.

Quote:
irony1 noun (ironies) 3 awkward or perverse circumstances applying to a situation that is in itself satisfactory or desirable.


http://www.chambersharrap.co.uk/chambers/features/chref/chref.py/main?query=irony&title=21st

 
Bondee
721462.  Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:24 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:
most of the things he cites in the song actually are ironic.


?

Ed Byrne's (now infamous) routine on Alanis Morrissette's Ironic.

I love the line about the spoons.

 
Spud McLaren
721495.  Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:10 pm Reply with quote

Americans understand the concept or irony very well, but they will keep using the term when they actually mean sarcasm.

 
RLDavies
721585.  Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:11 am Reply with quote

Spud McLaren wrote:
Americans understand the concept or irony very well, but they will keep using the term when they actually mean sarcasm.

...or "things not turning out quite the way I expected".

 
thedrew
722918.  Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:26 pm Reply with quote

Spud McLaren wrote:
Americans understand the concept or irony very well, but they will keep using the term when they actually mean sarcasm.


I wonder if there's a word for that...

 
RLDavies
723019.  Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:34 am Reply with quote

Irony in drama or fictional writing describes the situation when the fictional characters and the audience (or reader) know different things. Robert McKee in Story describes the three possible permutations of knowledge under these headings:

Suspense: The audience and characters know the same amount of information. The audience's interest is retained mainly through curiosity about the outcome of the story.

Mystery: The characters know more than the audience. The audience's interest is retained mainly through curiosity about the concealed facts.

Dramatic irony: The audience knows more than the characters. The audience's interest is retained mainly through emotional concern about the characters.


There's also the concept of the ironic ending or ironic theme of a story. This occurs when the ending or theme is a complex mixture of "upbeat" and "downbeat".

In an upbeat or happy ending, the protagonist gets exactly what he wants. In a downbeat or sad ending, he doesn't get it. In an ironic ending, he both gains and loses. Generally he finds that he has to give up something in order to get something else.

Robert McKee wrote:
Irony is the subtlest manifestation of story pleasure, that delicious sense of "Ah, life is just like that." It sees life in duality; it plays with our paradoxical existence, aware of the bottomless chasm between what seems and what is. Verbal irony is found in the discrepancy between words and their meanings -- a primary source of jokes. But in story, irony plays between actions and results -- the primary source of story energy, between appearance and reality -- the primary source of truth and emotion.

An ironic sensibility is a precious asset, a razor to cut to the truth, but it can't be used directly. it does us no good to have a character wander the story saying, "How ironic!" Like symbolism, to point at irony destroys it. Irony must be coolly, casually released with a seemingly innocent unawareness of the effect it's creating and a faith that the audience will get it. Because irony is by its nature slippery, it defies a hard and fast definition, and is best explained by example. Below are six ironic story patterns.... [I'm omitting the examples here.]

1. He gets at last what he's always wanted, but too late to have it.
2. He's pushed further and further from his goal, only to discover that in fact he's been led right to it.
3. He throws away what he later finds is indispensable to his happiness.
4. To reach a goal, he unwittingly takes the precise steps necessary to lead him away.
5. The action he takes to destroy something becomes exactly what is needed to be destroyed by it.
6. He comes into possession of something he's certain will make him miserable, does everything possible to get rid of it, only to discover it's the gift of happiness.

The key to ironic progression is certainty and precision. Like Chinatown, Sullivan's Travels, and many other superb films, these are stories of protagonists who feel they know for certain what they must do and have a precise plan how to do it. They think life is A, B, C, D, E. That's just when life likes to turn around, kick you in the butt, and grin, "Not today, my friend. Today it's E, D, C, B, A. Sorry."

 
Sadurian Mike
723108.  Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:55 pm Reply with quote

I know what irony means.

It means "like iron".

(Courtesy of Mr Pratchett).

 
djgordy
723243.  Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:13 am Reply with quote

My favourite superhero is Irony Man.

 
Posital
723257.  Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:28 am Reply with quote

Thought I'd share (not sure why): http://smokesignals-ellumbra.blogspot.com/2010/01/hunting-of-sarc-mark.html

What is a Sarc Mark?

Well. A Sarc Mark is a silly bird with scarcely any mind. Which often runs so very fast it leaves itself behind... and when it gets there has to wait and hang around all night. Without a blessed thing to do until it comes in sight...

 
zomgmouse
723301.  Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:38 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
I know what irony means.

It means "like iron".

(Courtesy of Mr Pratchett).

Alternatively: "it's like goldy or bronzey, only it's made of iron" - Baldrick.

Ironically, when Blackadder asked "do you know what irony means?", he asked it after he used sarcasm, not irony.

 
tetsabb
723411.  Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:21 am Reply with quote

Quote:
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife

I know it would have been difficult with rhymes and rhythm and so forth, but would it not have been funnier if it had been 'boyfriend' instead of 'wife'?

 
mckeonj
723414.  Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:32 am Reply with quote

I much prefer infamy over irony, especially when enunciated by Kenneth Williams.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvs4bOMv5Xw

 
Ion Zone
723487.  Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:12 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Robert McKee in Story describes the three possible permutations of knowledge under these headings:


Robert McKee is a prat if he thinks there are only three! It's a sad fact that even people who should know better will try and tell you there are only a set number of ways of doing things.

 
Efros
723499.  Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:30 pm Reply with quote

McKee is one of those teachers who teaches 'cos he cannot do. He has never had a screenplay made into a film, no mean achievement for someone who teaches how to write a screenplay.

 
Flash
723510.  Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:41 pm Reply with quote

OK, but read this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2009/04/robert_mckee_the_new_aristotle.html

 

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