It's not all that ironic, it's really just unfortunate.

So a few days ago, I was reminded about how much I LOVE the Jagged Little Pill album. I remember sleeping over at my grandma and Papa's and I was listening to it and reading the words out of the booklet, trying to memorize how she said every word. Don't even worry that I listened to the entire album the other day at work, and just couldn't even help myself from singing along. There has been an argument about the song "Ironic" for as long as I can remember. Critics say that nothing she says is really ironic, it's just bad luck. Here, read this:

it is ironic, isn't it? (1996)
Alanis Morissette has taken more than her share of hits for the song "Ironic." Critics have argued that she doesn't really understand the meaning of the word, and that the examples of irony she gives are simply not ironic. To be perfectly honest, I'm more surprised that there are music critics who do know what "ironic" means than I am that there are 21 year-old pop singers who don't. But that's a whole other essay.

It's not an easy word to define. Not even language scholars agree on whether a certain situation is "ironic" or not. For instance, if Alanis and Moose (Alanis's childhood costar cum nemesis) both moved independently to LA from Ontario and later became lovers, some would argue that this situation by itself constitutes irony. On the other hand, if Alanis and Moose each moved because they individually were convinced that Ontario was devoid of potential mates, and then met each other at a bar in LA, that would be ironic. So in the interest of fairness, and erring generously in her favor, I took the time to examine the lyrics of Alanis's song, and discover for myself what was truly ironic and what wasn't. Results are tallied below:

1. "An old man turned ninety-eight/He won the lottery and died the next day."
While an amusing (if morbid) coincidence, there is nothing particularly ironic about the death. It is certainly an awe-inspiring sequence of events -- the gentleman celebrating his 98th birthday, winning the lottery, and dying all in a two day period. What kind of shitty luck is that? The ineffective slant rhyme, btw, is a little jarring, too.

2. "It's a black fly in your Chardonnay."
The irony here is that there is nothing remotely ironic about this line. In perhaps her one sweet moment of unadulterated genius, Alanis has shown us the true meaning of irony by giving an example of it that isn't ironic at all! Get it? It's a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning: the textbook definition of irony!

3. "It's a death row pardon two minutes too late."
This one's kind of a coin toss, and really depends on the context. Imagine the following situation: Jimmy is black and has allegedly murdered fifteen people in Texas, with malice aforethought. No doubt he's going to fry, right? All the while, his pretty young Public Defender facing obstacles both legal and societal, struggles to overturn Jimmy's conviction. The actual killer, as it happens, was the son of a cattle rancher whom Jimmy'd stripped of a football to make the winning play at the cattle rancher's son's homecoming game. The pretty young Public Defender, after years of searching, finally discovers the blood-stained sand wedge the cattle rancher's son used in the murders, covered up and down with his incriminating fingerprints. The PYPD races to the aid of Jimmy, with whom she's fallen in love and doesn't care who knows, and receives a stay of execution for her wrongly-accused beloved. But irony of ironies: the pretty young Public Defender forgot to set her clock forward for daylight savings time, and Jimmy's already been dead for two minutes while she's breathing a sigh of relief in the Governor's office as the Governor, bewildered, makes the phone call only to discover to every one's dismay that Jimmy's already toast and now he has to break the news to the pretty young Public Defender, who isn't going to take this little zigzag of kismet well, one suspects. Now, that's ironic. That was so easy, there's no way I'm giving Miss Thing credit for it.

4. "It's like rain on your wedding day."

5. "It's a free ride when you've already paid."
Sorry, no. Alanis seems to think that "irony" means "bad timing".

6. "It's the good advice that you just didn't take."
This is very close! Ignoring good advice is ironic, but only if the listener suffers some kind of befitting karmic punishment as a result. Alanis gets half a point for the setup, but because she only sketchily implies the irony, we cannot grant her full credit.

7. "Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly/ He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye/ He waited his whole damn life to take that flight/And as the plane crashed down he thought, Well, isn't this nice?"
This quatrain is truly a feather in Alanis's cap, because it contains not one, but two legitimate instances of actual, honest to God irony. A) It is, indeed, ironic that someone who is afraid of flying would die in a plane crash during his first flight; it's an unexpected disruption in the normal course of events that gives us insight into human folly. And B) said someone is being, you guessed it, ironic when he says, "Well, isn't this nice?" since we must presume that he is being sarcastic.

8. "It's a traffic jam when you're already late."
See No. 5. When Alanis finds a concept she likes, she runs with it.

9. "A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break."
Oh, come on. You were doing so well with the plane guy.

10. "It's like ten thousands spoons when all you need is a knife."
If the speaker is rifling through a silverware drawer which is known to contain knives, then this is ironic. If she's in a spoon factory, it isn't.

11. "It's meeting the man of my dreams/ And then meeting his beautiful wife."
The implied irony here is that Alanis has searched high and low for her soulmate, finds him only to discover that, wouldn't you know it?, he's married. Sheesh, all the good ones are taken, aren't they? But a moment's consideration will show that the situation is actually in no way ironic, since we would expect all the good ones to be taken. What would be ironic would be to meet some ugly, stupid, fat kid that Alanis spurned while a cast member of Nickelodeon's You Can't Do That on Television, and then meet his beautiful wife.

Final Tally
Attempts at describing irony: 11

Successful attempts: 2.5

Confusion of irony with "poor sense of timing": 6

Completely missing the term: 3

Now that you have the stats, you can wow your friends with your overwhelming command of both pop culture and the English language. The painful truth of the matter is that Alanis apparently did not quite center herself over the concept of irony before she and songwriting chum Glen Ballard sat down to compose the catchy ditty.

I believe, though, that we should not be so quick to judge. Winona Ryder's character in Reality Bites couldn't define "ironic" and had to have dopey Ethan Hawke explain it to her. And it took me longer than I'm comfortably prepared to admit to determine which of Ms. Morisettes vignettes were legit. So, Schoolhouse Rock it aint, but I'd like to see you do better with a song about assonance or hyperbole.

So is it luck? Is it irony? Is it just bad timing? Whichever way you look at it, I think you should watch Alanis perform with Crystal Bowersox from American Idol. I didn't watch even 1 single episode this season. But I did get recommended this little cutie on youtube because of my Jagged Little Pill playlist. Hella kudos for Crystal to hold her own on the stage with such a powerful talent. They both sound amazing, and the angsty little 10 year old inside of my heart got goosebumps, I'm not even trying to lie.


My saister is covered in moles.

Not really. If you know my sister, or if you have eyeballs, you know she's beautiful. I am lucky to be one of the people in the world that has a great relationship with my sister. Yeah when we were younger we fought and even now that we're adults we've had our...rough patches. Ha. But all in all I'd say we have a pretty good relationship. When one of us is acting like a jackass, the other has no problem pointing it out. Heather is a really great person. She's such the hostess. She's always taking care of people, making sure everyone is ok, and she has always put me before herself. Ever since we were little kids. She's always made sure that I'm taken care of before she worries about herself. She's super fun to be around (UNLESS SHE'S HAD HARD ALCOHOL. HEED MY WARNING PEOPLE haha jk sister) and we are always laughing together. She's smart, witty, and has a killer taste in music. She has a cute style. Trendy with her own unique twist. Whatever MAN is lucky enough to end up with her will have his hands full. But I swear he'll be one of the luckiest sonsabitches in the world. I love you sissy!


It's been so long and I'm lost without you...

...what am I gonna do? Been needin you, wantin you...

That's a beautiful song.

It has been quite a long time since I've blogged. We moved back to Rose Park, back in the house on 6th north and I'm LOVING it. But unfortunately, I didn't have the internet for awhile in the move. Hence the lack of blogging. But I've got the internet again and I promise to keep up. :) On a related note, I have started working for Comcast and I absolutely LOVE it. I enjoy the people that I work with, but that's been true at almost all of my jobs. For once, I actually enjoy the work that I do. If you know me, you know that I'm a movie/tv junkie! So working in a place where we hear about all the newest shows and movies and things that are coming out is awesome! Plus I'm not talking to customers which is a bonus! : ) Also, the free cable and internet isn't too shabby! : ) I get so many channels that I don't even know what to do with them! So I can finally get back to watching Chelsea Lately, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and How To Make It In America. Oh and The United States of Tara. I love that show. I'm getting off track...

I didn't know if I should make this into a music blog or a what's new with me blog. But clearly, I've already been talking about what is new with me, so I suppose I'll continue with that as well as talk about all the new music I've been listening to.

Manda and I got a new puppy. She is so cute and sweet. She is a malmute/husky/border collie mix. She's got one brown eye and one blue. Her name is Zoe, although I call her Zoe 2 Toes. And we call her anything from Zoe to Joey, Sophie and Chloe! I feel like a mom mixing my kids' names up! :)

She's adorable.

On the music front, there sure has been a lot going on! The new Coheed and Cambria album, Year of the Black Rainbow, came out. Manda bought me the deluxe edition which included a novel that goes with the album, a DVD documentary, and a card that gets you into shows early and gives you discounts on merch! She's awesome :) I finished the book 2 nights ago. It's weird, because it's totally science fiction/fantasy which I'm not generally into but I enjoyed it. I think because I already know the story through previous CD's, it's pretty easy to get into it. The CD is really good. It's a bit different from their other albums, but not in a bad or better way. Just different. A song that I am very much enjoying is called Far. Also loving Here We Are Juggernaut and Pearl of the Stars. I am going to see them in concert on May 10th at Saltaire with Circa Survive. Their new CD, Blue Sky Noise, also came out recently. I've never been HUGE into Circa Survive, but I like what I have heard. Since giving their new album a chance, I'm pretty impressed.

Deftones also came out with a new album and I really love it. I have been stoked on anyting they've come out with since White Pony to be honest. I mean, I've liked it, but it just hasn't grabbed me. But their new album is exactly the Chino and boys that I fell in love with 12 years ago. Wow. 12 years :) So check out Diamond Eyes!

Another new album I was pretty excited about was the new MGMT called Congratulations. I'm sad to report that I was pretty disappointed in this new album. I was expecting the infectious groove of Time to Pretend and Kids somewhere on the album, but it was nowhere to be found. I was reading an interview that one of the boys gave and he pretty much said that they were making music that they wanted to make and if people were looking for Time to Pretend on this album, they wouldn't find it and they could fuck off. Ha. So I pretty much just took that for what it was and maybe I'll give them another chance the next time around! Or maybe I'll even give this album another chance!

There is also a lot of new music that Manda has that I haven't listened to yet, but am excited to do so! The new Spoon, Vampire Weekend, and Modest Mouse are next on my list!

One more mention of music. I don't remember if I've talked about Idiot Pilot yet, but if not, it's high time I do. I ordered their album Strange We Should Meet Here off Amazon for like 2 dollars. Best 2 dollars ever! My personal favorite is A Day In The Life of A Poolshark. Because I'm such a poolshark :)

Speaking of poolsharks, Manda and I are wanting to get a pool table for our basement. So if you know anyone that is selling one for a reasonable price, send them my way! : )

I'm going to end this blog because it's been just a bunch of ramblings. Once I have my head on straight, I will put together a more thought out post. I just had so much in me bursting to get out!

So until then, stay classy and thanks for stopping by. But mostly, stay classy!