"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Sunday, July 24, 2005

A Conversation about Irony, Sincerity, and Queensryche

satanslim: hey big boy
bobnewhartfan: hey satan
satanslim: satan loves you
bobnewhartfan: jesus loves you
satanslim: did u see my awesome comment
bobnewhartfan: no....but i will check it. hold on, i have to go potty
satanslim: gross
bobnewhartfan: it's not gross. it's a natural human function
satanslim: yeah, that's true
satanslim: so is fucking a donkey
bobnewhartfan: no, that's unnatural
satanslim: did u read my comment yet
bobnewhartfan: not yet. i'm almost there
satanslim: aight
bobnewhartfan: hahahhaha
bobnewhartfan: that's funny
bobnewhartfan: you are one funny dude, satanslim
satanslim: satan knows a good laugh
bobnewhartfan: hells yeah

*

bobnewhartfan: I think those people who drink water out of Nalgene bottles suffer the most. The Nalgene makes 'em crazy.
satanslim: hahahahahah
bobnewhartfan: you have to follow a sentence like "X is not crazy." with the word "yet"
satanslim: I dont think that [X] will ever get crazy
satanslim: she is unbelievably sweet. She's like a grown up little kid
bobnewhartfan: i like grown up kids.
satanslim: me too. [X] likes to swing on swingsets
bobnewhartfan: i'm like the grown up kid who eats paste

*

bobnewhartfan: The New Sincerity does not "pretend" to be sincere. We are sincere.
satanslim: yeah, how can you pretend to be ironic
bobnewhartfan: yeah.
bobnewhartfan: i don't know
bobnewhartfan: i'm trying to envision a scenario
satanslim: I mean you can attempt to be ironic and fail
bobnewhartfan: yes. or you can be ironic accidentally.
satanslim: yeah
bobnewhartfan: you can mean to do or say one thing but actually end up with the opposite result
bobnewhartfan: that seems the most interesting and true sort of irony to me--when the irony is unintentional on the part of the ironist
satanslim: I dont really understand irony
satanslim: I wish I was ---------------------- right now instead of iming
bobnewhartfan: well, i understand it, but not in the way that a lot of poetry/literary people use it. its definition depends largely on who's saying it.
satanslim: people always say that indie rock is ironic
satanslim: but I dont get it
bobnewhartfan: for a lot of people "ironic"=wink, wink
satanslim: like you have to be in on the joke
bobnewhartfan: Like "I wear this trucker's cap not because it actually makes me look cool, but because it's dorky and that makes it cool."
satanslim: ah, yeah, so how does that apply to poetry
bobnewhartfan: it's like lemonheads covering "step by step" from New Kids. it's a terrible song that is covered in a sincere-seeming way, but it's actually ironic...you're supposed to laugh at the incongruity
satanslim: yeah, I get that
bobnewhartfan: but then lemonheads covers "skulls" and it's really good. so i'm confused.
satanslim: I mean I guess
satanslim: but skulls is an awesome song
satanslim: “hack the heads off little girls and hang them on my wall”
bobnewhartfan: in poetry, at least as jonathan talks about it, there are some "sincere" things that you can't say with a straight face--in English poetry, anwyay--you must intend them or frame them as ironic, otherewise you look like a maudlin dork.
bobnewhartfan: to that, i say chale!
bobnewhartfan: the funny thing is, jonathan gets mad at josh for saying the same thing about spanish language poetry.
satanslim: that is INSANE
satanslim: I mean why like poetry if you can't say something sincere
satanslim: that's fucking nuts
bobnewhartfan: SOME things you can say sincerely.
bobnewhartfan: other things you cannot.
satanslim: that's why all those [nice poet men] are all fucked up
bobnewhartfan: i mean, i understand to a point.
satanslim: really?
bobnewhartfan: for example, if i were to send you a poem i just wrote about Orpheus, what would your reaction be?
satanslim: but people write sincerely about Orpheus all the time
bobnewhartfan: and how do you like those poems?
satanslim: that example is actually like the inverse of the real position of irony in contemporary american poetry…
bobnewhartfan: well, i didn't finish the example
bobnewhartfan: you'd say, "Tony, this Orpheus poems sucks ass."
satanslim: a poet like J. Graham can write about Orpheus and be completely sincere, but if J.A. writes a poem about Popeye then he has to do it ironically because it's not a PROPER subject for a poem
bobnewhartfan: but if I wrote a poem about fools who write poems about Orpheus that seemed to be sincere, but was actually poking fun at that position, then it would be better.
bobnewhartfan: if JA writes a poem about Orpheus, he'd be ironic too, because that's not HIS gig.
bobnewhartfan: it's, like you point out, a lot about expectation
satanslim: I don’t think that's totally true tho
bobnewhartfan: I think the [name withheld to avoid blogwars] poem can be read with a lot of irony. Because if it isn't we kinda look like sexist jerks.
satanslim: yeah, but it's kind of true
bobnewhartfan: However, I think we (and Mayhew, etc.) may be making a mistake in opposing irony vs. sincerity
bobnewhartfan: yeah it is kinda true, but..
satanslim: I mean when X was saying that stuff about Y he was being honest
satanslim: He wanted to touch her [breasts]
bobnewhartfan: they're not polar opposites.
satanslim: like I say, I dont really understand irony
bobnewhartfan: yeah, but i can bet you that people will still read it as ironic.
bobnewhartfan: because the alternative is to deal with the fact that we wrote this disturbing poem that sort of wallows in adolescent male sexuality. that doesn't mean that it IS ironic.
satanslim: or actually I think that anyone born after1960 or so is just so steeped in irony that irony is sincere, or irony is like the currency thru which sincere statements can be made
satanslim: it's all ironic
bobnewhartfan: that's a very postmodern position, Dr. Corey
satanslim: I dont think that adolescent sexuality is disturbing
bobnewhartfan: problem is, some people have forgotten sincere statements. they think that the irony is ALL there is. or they don't have any thing to say, so they lay on the irony. that's what the new sincerists aim to oppose.
satanslim: totally
bobnewhartfan: if irony in po is to exist, it should be used as a way to MAKE a sincere statement
satanslim: yeah, totally
bobnewhartfan: like, for example. “hey, we're guys. we like the breasts of women poets.” that doesn't make us pigs or adolescents. or maybe it does. but at least we’re not pretending.
satanslim: there was once this article in the Atlantic about Pavement and it said something like "It's not that Steve Malkmus doesn't believe in love, he doesn't believe in love songs"
bobnewhartfan: like when I say "I'm fuckin white on the inside," it's ironic, because it's a ludicrous statement, but the sentiment it conveys is my dissatisfaction with being labeled. of course, some folks will miss the irony entirely, and think I’m some sort of racist loser. The sentiment is against racism, esp. rigid essentialist notions of what it means to be [insert race here].
bobnewhartfan: Hah, I'm an inverse Malkmus. I believe in love songs, but not in love.
satanslim: and I think it's kind of like that for everyone. So anyone writing a love song has this weird chip on his shoulder
satanslim: hahahahah
satanslim: you believe in love dude
bobnewhartfan: there's a Queensyrche song that conveys my sentiment more adequately than I can do here
bobnewhartfan: (that statement is definitely ironic, btw)
satanslim: barf
satanslim: yeah, I know
bobnewhartfan: but there IS a Queensryche song called "I don't believe in love."
bobnewhartfan: But it's crappy.
satanslim: I think that almost everything that we've ever written in IM has been ironic
bobnewhartfan: hahaha
bobnewhartfan: this is true.
bobnewhartfan: ours is a friendship based on irony
satanslim: except the stuff about me loving Gina
bobnewhartfan: in service of sincerity
satanslim: exactly
bobnewhartfan: hence, "New Sincerity"
satanslim: I hung around in your soundtrack
bobnewhartfan: I think I should post this convo on the blog.
satanslim: I need to go get some grub
bobnewhartfan: Do it. Don't stop by the bookstore and buy any bad poetry books.
satanslim: ok
satanslim: holler at me later
bobnewhartfan: okay, later
satanslim: bye

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

movements fail. possibly the fact that you are claiming 'new sincerity' as a movement is in fact insincere to an exponential agree, because the titling of it begs for recognition. sincerity, i think, asks for nothing. individuals fail too, but i respond to their flames better than movements---timeout...wow, super hot girl at the computer next to me, sincerely...good lord summertime.
no oriole

Tony said...

Of course movements fail. Claiming "The New Sincerity" as a movement gives me something to talk about on the blog, for one.

As far as titling it or not titling it--I don't think that asking for recognition is inscincere. Sincerity means what it means.

I'm living it.

We're not trying to flame anyone here--I don't know if you're referring to this post, but if we've offended, we apologize.

Peter said...

Hahaha. Tony this is so funny. luv it. luv ya. ("luv">>>irony to the nth degree>>>new sincerity?).

Tony said...

All this irony is confusing.

Does Peter really "love" me, or does "luv" indicate that he is being ironic?

In that case, does he the opposite of love me?

(Cf. the episode of Futurama when the crew delivers candy hearts to the Omicronians)

MitzieBitchie said...

Just poppin around to say that I liked your post. =) Catch me too in my profile and visit me on my webpage. Ciao!

doejohn69 said...

tony, i spend most of my waking hours thinking about sincerity. new sincerity that is. you and your co-founders have changed my life. thank you and good nite.

xo, erica jane kaufman

Peter said...

Tony this luv is love . . . I think.