that might be kind of profound. i think some of my hipster acquaintances transcended hipsterdom just a little when they listened to oasis, madonna, and justin timberlake without claiming to do so "ironically." i mean it's like, you like it or you don't, so own up to it.
that said, it's easy for someone, particularly someone who is analytical or insecure, to harbor mixed opinions. or maybe feel, entirely honestly, that something is a guilty pleasure--emotions and reason coming into conflict. and i feel like there's some overlap between ambivalence and ironic remove. what if my honest opinion is i'm not sure what i think? that might be the hardest thing to express. hot fuzz had a bit of that, like was it a parody of or homage to bad boys ii? why did shaun of the dead work better? both are "ironic" movies, equal parts parody and homage, but they're also not bad. shaun of the dead is quite good. evil dead ii might be an ironic movie, but it's fukking great. (or maybe it's just an internally consistent joke; army of darkness might be the only truly ironic film in that trilogy and it's the weakest one, too.) dan harmon made a few great "ironic" videos, but his bizarre love of and adherence to the monomyth might ground them a little. does it really, though? i mean watch, for instance, the lynx. and i suppose even brecht grounds his plays in an honest metaphor that's meant to represent something real and important, but his entire idea is subverting the form.
some problems must just arise from a bad mix of (let's talk movies here, literature is mostly beyond me, lol) project and director. kahn wanted to make a parody, it's pretty clear, and the studio wanted him to make an homage/copy. i think some remake directors who wink coyly at their audience suffer from a bit of ironic remove, like "come on guys, i love the original, too." it takes a lot of guts to face something without that defense mechanism--and it's hard for me to express myself honestly when i don't think my emotions or ideas in their purest form are as interesting or articulate as those that are expressed to me by my favorite artists. i suppose that's why spielberg's best movies are about the supernatural or aliens or whatever--even he needs a level of remove from the very simple, beautifully honest (and oftentimes maudlin) stories he tells. and no one knows what the fukk joanna newsom is singing about, man, but it's obvious to us that she's not one bit ironic about it, even if her oeuvre is existential as hell. maybe if i had her gift for metaphor i could express myself more fearlessly.
i think you've got a great hypothesis here, but i've got two questions for you (i also want to know what an ironic novel is, but maybe not that badly):
how do you reconcile this view of irony with someone like beckett, who constantly subverts both form and content? and in what respects do irony and humor differ? why is humor okay when irony isn't? why does waiting for godot transcend an ironic stance? does it?
what do you do if you're in a situation where you have to approach something for which u harbor an ambivalent stance on both its subject matter and its form? is occupying a concrete position one way or the other on both aesthetics and content an inherently better stance when it is, ultimately, more dishonest than an honest expression of ambivalence and self-awareness or self-deprecation?
i think you have an interesting idea here, nardo, but i don't know if i follow it all the way.
Edited by CRIS - 9/15/12 at 11:02pm