To be called ‘satirical’ or ‘ironic’ is now to be patronized in a different way; the satirist is the fast talking cynic and the ironist merely sarcastic or self conscious and wised up. When a precious and irreplaceable word like ‘irony’ has become a lazy synonym for ‘anomie’, there is scant room for originality.
Letters to a young contrarian – Christoper Hitchens
I had to google what ‘anomie’ was. (to be completely honest, when reading Hitchens I often have to look up words and then go back and re-read the passage. Often more than once since I’m remarkably stupid)
Anomie – A societal condition defined by an uprooting of breakdown of any moral values, standards or guidance for individuals to follow. Anomie may evolve from conflict of belief systems and cause breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community. In a person this can progress into a dysfunction in ability to integrate within normative situations of their social world.
While not the greatest segue into my post, I am quite careful now when I consider using the word ‘irony’. Or maybe reticence is a better word. I think to be rebuked by the ghost of Christopher Hitchens because I lackadaisically assign this word to every other interaction would be too much to bear. And so I don’t. Although, truthfully, I am quite tempted.
Like when a corona-virus-denialist gets corona. ‘Its just the flu’ and ‘People need to get over this’.
We’ve been subject to this from this particular individual for months now. More my wife, because this person falls into her particular sphere of influence. I am incensed by it more by proxy.
This person has been (proudly) flouting social distancing. Haranguing people into going back to their open plan offices. Mouthing off the conspiracy theories and sharing any dodgy narrative that reinforces her position.
I need to be careful now not dive off into the deep end of schadenfreude. Although maybe I’m allowed to dip my toes in, just to see what its like?
In any event it is what it is. And on the outside at least I am trying to project stoicism and a sense of apatheia to this revelation. On the inside, know that the hamsters are unfurling their irony banner.