I hope to god that this has already spread through the internet like some sort of non-hazardous, non-Colorado Based wildfire. It’s from the Swedish comedy band Ylvis, and it’s about foxes:
I was thinking about simply posting this video in one of my “Depths of the Internet” segments, but for now there’s something else I want to bring up in the first Henceblog Expose of the reboot. To begin with, I greatly enjoy this song. I was sitting in my room, shoving raw cookie dough into my face, thinking of WHY exactly I liked the song and one horrifying thought kept on spurting into my head: Is it because you think it’s cheeky and “ironic”. The short answer is no, but I want to visit this idea of “irony” as our modern youth understand it. To most young people wearing a “Thee Wolf Moon” shirt is ironic; going into a movie theater to watch Birdemic: Shock and Awe is ironic; the only way you can enjoy an 80’s hair ballad is through irony.
This form of “irony” (which isn’t irony at all, it’s not even a coincidence, it’s just an event that is happening which has nothing to do with any form of irony) which pervades the cultural consciousness it seems, is something where you’re trying to wink at how terrible something is. You’re nudging the person next to you, screaming in their ears “It’s a cheesy shirt. Get it? AND I’M WEARING IT! RIGHT? ISN’T THAT HILARIOUS? DO YOU GET IT? I DON’T THINK YOU GET IT. WHY AREN’T YOU LAUGHING” . It’s meant to force everyone to think you’re a cool hep cat because you’re able to appropriate something terrible, and whereas this may not have started out as a bad thing it’s certainly become something of a blot upon us, a hideous black hole that has started to consume and destroy everything.
The problem with this form of “irony”, as I see it, is that it lacks any genuine concern or any genuine interest in the object or piece you’re trying to appropriate (and thus, it negates the very use of the term “appropriation”, because in order to appropriate something you have to understand and appreciate it) and instead becomes a new way of peacocking. A person being “Ironic” here is attempting to draw the world to them, and they expect to do so simply because they exist. It’s all about the show, it’s all about the person doing it, and therefore it all becomes about pride (hence why when you fail to encourage this type of behavior, you’re deemed as simply “not getting it”).
So is “The Fox” “ironic”? No. Not for me, at least, and I see it as falling into the same category as Flight of the Conchords do.
Sadly there may be a layer of “irony” in each of these pieces, however I don’t find them as steeped as plenty of other cool internet videos (I get the feeling a lot of the Gangam Style fad feel into this). However, for me the enjoyment comes from a place of appreciating the joke and appreciating the genre. Much like, say, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera these pieces aim not only to make fun of these genres or these people (which I also feel like has a lot to do with “irony”), but rather to show that they have respect for it while telling a joke with it.
So there, person who Stumbleuponed this article three years after it was relevant: I don’t have a problem, everyone else does.