The Irrepressible Nature of Irony*

Or, Nothing Is As It Appears To Be

If you were to do a search on my site for the word “irony” — and why would you? — but, if you were to, of the ten results you would receive, the first three would have the word “irony” in their heading, so it’s easy to see why they would be pulled up in the search; but as far as the other seven, it’s been so long since they were written that I have no clue why they were pulled in with the results, except for maybe the eighth one: it’s a post about Radiohead allowing fans to pay whatever they want for their latest release at the time. There’s probably a decent amount of irony to be found in that one.

Anyway, of the first three positively ironic posts pulled in the search, they are:

1. Irony, As Advertised, a post simply showing a screenshot of a youtube video with an advertisement for an Ad Remover app.

2. An Abundance of Irony, a longwinded, humorous attempt of mine to, among other things, poke fun at both our/my inability to correctly apply the term “irony” during our everyday usage of it, as well as how ironic (and annoying) hipsters are**.

3. Tragic Irony, a post about how ironic it is that the remains of King Richard III — you know, the hunchbacked dude made famous by Shakespeare, and who is known famously for crying out, in his final, desperate dying wish, for someone to please provide him with a means of transportation with the line of A horse, a horse. My kingdom for a horse — were found under a parking lot.

I highlight all the above in an effort to highlight just how important the concept of irony is to me (even though I don’t ever really feel I have a full grasp of the term, as I way too thoroughly discuss in the An Abundance of Irony post) as a lover of The Arts (one of “the other things” I attempt to point out in the An Abundance of Irony post is, to me, just how ironic The Arts are (my whole rationale gets a little weird and tangled so I’m not going to try and reconstruct it all here again. If you’re interested — and why would you be? — but if you are, see the post).

But I will say that as a lover of The Arts, and as an artist myself (yes, writers, too, are artists (and no, one does not have to be recognized/known by others as one for one to consider him/herself as one)), that if you, too, consider yourself either a lover of The Arts or an artist, or both, then you, too, should be equally interested in the concept of irony, for, especially in regards to literature, what is a good story without a good plot twist, or, in other words, what is a good story without our expectations and/or our understanding of what is going on in a story being totally blown to hell when the story finally reveals to us exactly what is/has been going on all along.

Now that’s irony!


Anyway… the reason I’m even bringing this all up now is because yesterday I was provided a real-world example of irony in motion (I see it as an example at least as far as my limited understanding of the concept of irony goes… (the concept of irony, to me, is a lot like the concept of algebra: as long as I’m actively using it, I truly believe I have a complete understanding of it; however, turn my head away from it for even a second… poof! the understanding is gone)).

You see, my youngest son and his buddy had just created a new youtube channel where they upload video recordings of themselves playing video games, along with, what’s supposed to be, their humorous commentary (I guess it’s a thing but I’m not a gamer so… yeah, whatever).

Anyway, as the supportive father I am of his children’s creative endeavors, yesterday I decided to check out their first uploaded video to the channel. However, I couldn’t remember the channel’s name at the time, so I did a youtube search on my son’s name, which is Vaughan Brindley***.

And, lets’ just say, I was very surprised by the top result in that search, for I found it to be very, very ironic.

This surprisingly ironic video**** shows brief yet shocking footage of two teenaged boys in a backyard willfully engaging in a fistfight while others stand in a ring around them egging them on. The title of the video is Brindley vs. Vaughan.

I am a big, big fan of Fight Club, both in its book and film forms (it’s a close call but this might actually be one of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book. I go back on forth on this. If I’ve just reread the book, then I think the book is slightly better, if I just rewatched the movie… you get the point) and this Brindley vs. Vaughan video is obviously inspired by the story, or at least the legend that has evolved from it, for it is a real-life fight club for teens.

*spoiler alert* Now, if you know anything about the book/movie Fight Club, then you probably know that for most of the story, we think the fight clubs are run by two different people: one, the unnamed cog-in-the-wheel-loser/insomniac/narrator (played by Edward Norton); and, the other, the flashy/sexy/doesn’t give a damn/anarchist, Tyler Durden (played by Brad Pitt), when, in fact, we find out toward the end, that the unnamed insomniac actually had a mental breakdown and they both are the same person who has been both fighting himself and creating an anarchic revolution all at the same time.

Yeah, I know, my recap is a bit mumbled and confusing so if you haven’t read the book/seen the movie, I strongly encourage that you do.

But anyway, you do see the irony that I’m seeing with the Brindley vs. Vaughan video, right?


I mean, c’mon! Do I really have to explain the irony in the fact that a real life fight club video is entitled Brindley vs. Vaughan, my son’s name, which makes it seem as if my son is fighting himself, just like in the story of Fight Club where it appears there are two people fighting it out with each other when all along its about one dude’s fight with himself?!

No, of course I don’t have to explain the irony of the Brindley vs. Vaughan video to you…

Because you’re way too smart for the need of such explicative nonsense…


*To paraphrase a quote attributed to Mark Twain (but which I haven’t had the time or desire to independently verify): I apologize for the long blog post for I didn’t have the time to write a short one.

**Are they still even a thing?

***You may already be familiar with my son Vaughan, more so for his extremely awesome musical talent and less so for his (awesome at least in his own mind) video gaming talent.

****I don’t feel comfortable sharing the Brindley vs. Vaughan video here because this post has already promoted its youth violence too much just by discussing it here. So, I’ll share with/promote to you some fake, adult violence instead:

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