Professing * Reflecting

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

On Pete, genrecide, and the heartless murder of irony

If you have not already been directed by Bitch Ph.D. and many others to this hilarious demonstration of sanctimonious fuckwittage, get thee to Pete's astonishingly dimwitted posts on 1. how being a cheerleader for abortion is just plain wrong and 2. how being a fictional satiric character who is nevertheless a cheerleader for abortion is just plain wrong.

So much in the posts and the 500+ comments has me, a pro-choice feminist and a professor of literature and theory, trembling with glee. The brilliant exposure of a lunatic politics! The drooling attempt and spectacular failure at understanding genre! The beautiful lessons on irony and satire in the comment threads! (I especially appreciate one commenter's efforts to include "A Modest Proposal" in its entirety in the thread.)

Perhaps I should be more thoughtful about the causes and effects of such dangerous stupidity. If Pete and his reading of The Onion are real, he is either functionally illiterate, at least in terms of reading comprehension, or quite possibly mentally ill, as the inability to grasp irony even when it is pointed out is a sure sign of untreated schizophrenia.

But I am in no mood for charity in this case and I am much more interested in how this directs our attention to the importance of satire as resistance in progressive politics and alerts us to the dangers of losing it. On the one hand, I agree with PZ Myers that Pete has served up the final evidence of irony's death. On the other hand, I hopefully wonder if Pete's posts, rather than proving once and for all that irony is stone cold dead, unwittingly do something to resuscitate its power.



Post a Comment

<< Home