A Life of Irony

This is a holiday weekend here. So, it is a good time to lean back and smile at (at least) two of life’s little ironies.

Last week’s post on Bob Dylan acknowledged his strongly articulated stance against today’s technology, music, and delivery systems. Ruben’s comment on the blog posited a different point of view of Dylan’s modus operandi. Well, it’s time to add yet another point of view.

I’ve been watching the U.S. Open on television. As in all these kinds of events, there is always one commercial that they play again, and again. This one features none other than Bob Dylan pitching the iPod with music from Modern Times. Don’t take my word for it: watch it yourself. Given what he was ranting about: Isn’t that ironic?

Then there is this week’s story on George Johnson. George made it to 112 years old. How did he do it? Lots of exercise, eating only the right foods, and avoiding all sin, right? Well, here is today’s second irony. For George Johnson, the key to living long was gulping down waffles with maple syrup (Vermont’s main export) and eating sausages. (The Vegetarian Society will now reply.) Given everything we are told about what we put into our bodies: Isn’t that ironic?

From the dramatic irony of Oedipus’ journey, to approaching a debate with Socratic irony, what can we apply from these ironies?

  1. When an icon takes a stand against today’s commercialism, he still wants you to pay money to attend his concerts and buy his CDs, as well as the products he is selling.
  2. If you have favorite foods, go ahead and enjoy them.
  3. Don’t take life too seriously (especially when it comes to advice from rock stars and other establishment professionals.)
  4. Go to festivals: There, you can apply lessons 1 through 3.

- Bill Reichblum

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