Sunday, September 17, 2006

My Arm Is Getting Tired From All This Ironing

Moaning about your Irony Meter exploding was a clever comment once or twice, maybe five years ago, but these days it's flying fast and thick enough to give even Magneto a serious headache. Let's content ourselves with only two examples from the past week...

Item the first: Steve Irwin preached the gospel of conservation and valuing even the uglier, weirder, less-cuddly members of the animal kingdom. He dies as a result of a one-in-a-million stingray spine to the heart, and a week later some of his devotees start... mutilating stingrays in retaliation.

Item the second: the pope gives a speech exploring the historical context of Islamic-Christian relations, apparently intended to argue against religious extremism of any kind. Unfortunately, a quote he included from a 14th-century Byzantine emperor instantly found legs as this irresistible soundbite: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." Some Muslims, in retaliation for the pope portraying Islam as violent, firebombed five churches in the West Bank and Gaza Strip yesterday.

Irony Meter? Off the rails. Conclusion? People are stupid.

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