In case you missed our drubbing of Massively Open Online Courses, the world performed its own takedown, as an online class of 41,000 students about the planning of online classes just went fully haywire and was shutdown. I laughed!
Christmas songs are designed to be catchy, annoying and vaguely reminiscent of winter. The most successful are horrible holiday earworms, such as "Wonderful Christmastime" and "Heat Miser/Snow Miser." But one song is so overplayed and over-covered and so mediocre to begin with that it makes the rest sound like "White Christmas." Its recent exclusion from the A/V Club’s recent list of worst Christmas songs is a gross injustice to the holidays and to musicdom in general.
"Last Christmas," written by George Michael and first performed by Wham! in 1984, is a wallowing mess of a song. It mistakes self-indulgence for closure. It contains a synthy falseness [...]
Forget Cricket, maybe you should get your little niece or nephew a subscription to McSweeney's:
Parents have been warned to choose their words carefully after research indicated that children as young as four can understand irony. While previous studies has suggested that children may not appreciate sarcasm until the age of 10, the latest work shows that many develop a sophisticated knowledge of non-literal language before primary school. The report also found that many young children are confident users of irony – in news that may not come as a shock to parents who have been the butt of withering asides from their angel-faced offspring.
Even more [...]
Which mild variety of irony is this, I can never keep them straight.
In honor of Thanksgiving, here is a dramatic reading of The Last Day, by Francisco Dao, published yesterday on Pando Daily. Francisco Dao is a "startup pitch consultant" and the author of the remarkably titled book Killer Attitude: 53 Rules of Unstoppable Confidence, in which he relates a little of his story: "At 24, when other college grads were begging for a good performance review, I was starting a business that would soon be bringing in slightly over a million dollars in revenue." So basically this a story of hubris and pride and insanity, just like the William S. Burroughs Thanksgiving message, only totally absurd and [...]
Remember that time—hint: most recently, that time was last night—that seemingly everyone that partakes in the Internet watched the premiere of a TV show, and were aghast, and kept putting their aghastness on their Twitters and their Tumblrs, making the Internet nearly unusable due to constant expressions of aghastivity? Yet apparently no one ever thought to actually get up and turn off the TV! Or to at least suffer in silence? I mean, not to say that all of Twitter and Facebook and the like isn't already actually noise, because who cares what we ate for dinner/threw up in the morning/did to our cats? But on some level it's [...]
I eat Hamburger Helper. Of course it's bad for me, and of course I know better. "It's ironic," I used to explain, back when irony meant everything, but it's not ironic at all. The shit tasted good, back then, and good in the way that good things taste when someone else is paying my rent and buying me clothes and comic books. So when I left home HH is what I took with me. Others my age/circumstance maybe maintained an affection for Ho Hos, or Flav-R-Ice, or Breakfast Squares. But me, I was raised in a place where deliciousness had only two aspects (salt, grease), so the idea of [...]
A number of us (and I am thinking her and her in particular) are sometimes mounting, and sometimes are not, an opposition to what Yahoo! News' Andrew Golis is calling "meta-enabling," in a coinage that isn't really going to stick but is fun for a while. For more explication: "Meta-enabling allows blogs to treat the way in which the posts are presented as the thesis of the post itself (hence, the necessity of the prefix meta- to the term)." Meta-enabling, and its prettier sister, the treatment of the highbrow in a pop culture way (which is, not at all incidentally, our own more-frequently-employed method here), are the [...]
• November 19, 2012: "New Yorkers once carried mace; now we sit at home in cardigans and pickle cabbage. Angry young men while away quiet hours playing Angry Birds."
• December 21, 2009: "In this new world of nice netiquette, technology is designed to make it easier for everyone to love one another. After all, if you're not your 'real self' online, how will Leighton Meester know it's you who loved her dress at the Teen Choice Awards?"
• February 24, 2010: "It’s not just Internet logrollers riding the wave of positivity. Conan O’Brien signed off from NBC saying, 'Please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism—it’s my [...]
Ah, British irony: "In an incident befitting his stage name, the rap artist and anti-knife campaigner DJ Ironik was stabbed near his Highgate home in the early hours of Saturday morning."
It's tough to make bad movies in the Age of Irony. Once you reach a certain level of badness, it raises a slew of questions: is it an "ironically bad" movie, where the director is tossing us a wink-wink-nudge-nudge with every line of face-clawing dialogue? Or is the whole debacle a deliberate attempt at "look at our reverential homage" bad? (Cough cough, Inglourious Basterds.) Or maybe it's "look at how bad this is but it's so bad it's actually good, and if you don't think so then you don't 'get it'" bad? The whole thing gets so confusing (I have had it with this motherfucking irony in these motherfucking films!). [...]
Eyed! Extremely famous 82-year-old ____ Alex K____, with his wife A., dining alone at great old restaurant M____, in the neighborhood of S____. They were spotted conversing and laughing and sipping espresso. At one point A., who has had the same haircut since 198-, laughed delicately. She also nibbled on a small cookie. They looked so happy! Even though I truly dislike his ____, it was fantastic to eye the twosome as they went off down S____ Street together. With her to his side, he stepped into one of the tree basins that are excised from the sidewalk, so as to make way for other pedestrians, temporarily leaning on the [...]