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Subject: The Enslaving Yolk of Irony rss

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Calavera Despierta
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Maybe too serious a post for chit-chat? Not sure where else to put this though.

Came across the following quote by David Foster Wallace. Maybe that immediately means you are ready to click away. But read the quote anyhow. I find that when he isn't footnoting his footnotes and giving himself post-modern hemorrhoids from the logorrhea, he's actually a rather compelling fellow. Here's the quote:

David Foster Wallace wrote:
Postmodern irony and cynicism's become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what's wrong, because they'll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony's gone from liberating to enslaving. There's some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who's come to love his cage… The postmodern founders' patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years.

We enter a spiritual puberty where we snap to the fact that the great transcendent horror is loneliness, excluded encagement in the self. Once we’ve hit this age, we will now give or take anything, wear any mask, to fit, be part-of, not be Alone, we young. The U.S. arts are our guide to inclusion. A how-to. We are shown how to fashion masks of ennui and jaded irony at a young age where the face is fictile enough to assume the shape of whatever it wears. And then it’s stuck there, the weary cynicism that saves us from gooey sentiment and unsophisticated naïveté. Sentiment equals naïveté on this continent.

You burn with hunger for food that does not exist.

A U. S. of modern A. where the State is not a team or a code, but a sort of sloppy intersection of desires and fears, where the only public consensus a boy must surrender to is the acknowledged primacy of straight-line pursuing this flat and short-sighted idea of personal happiness.


Does anyone else feel this hunger? Because I sure as hell do, and it's really f***ing exhausting sometimes.

One of the reasons why I love boardgames so much, and tabletop rpg's so much, and geeks as a people so much is because they are sort of irony-deficient. Like so hyper-obsessed over Snooty Lüdöblümenheimer's latest Train game that they don't have time to be all self-aware po-mo meta-ironic.

So, um, well. Thanks, geeks. For being geeky. And freeing me from the Enslaving Yolk of Irony.

Carry on.
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Sean
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Reminds me of this.

Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?

-Gibran
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James To My Friends
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And this one

You can't believe everything you read on The Internet

- Abraham Lincoln

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Stephen Harkleroad
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--David Foster Thesaurus

Sorry, I get it, but...sheesh. It's like he was on a constant quest to stretch out the essay to the required number of pages declared by the professor.
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chris schott
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Yoke

- Mr. Cranky
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午餐先生
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Funny enough, I was thinking about postmodernism the other day. I can't stand what it's done to culture.

David Foster Wallace wrote:
We are shown how to fashion masks of ennui and jaded irony at a young age where the face is fictile enough to assume the shape of whatever it wears. And then it’s stuck there, the weary cynicism that saves us from gooey sentiment and unsophisticated naïveté.


This part rang especially true for me, having taught and watched middle schoolers and high schoolers begin do this because that's how they out-maneuver their peers, to appear all the more "mature" or "witty". But then they only have the maturity of middle schooler or teen, so they beat it like a dead horse.

One might protest, "They are only children!" But honestly, the media and the internet has exposed them to far more postmodernism in the last five to ten years than I had been in my first 20. I would marvel at the level of cynicism they exhibited at 12 and 13 years of age.

oh, and I didn't know Yolks were enslaving...
Down with the ovoid hegemony!
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Tim Thorp
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Quote:
The Enslaving Yolk of Irony


How eggsistential...
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Morgan Dontanville
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I honestly don't see any difference between early American artists set on painting landscapes and post modern artists painting My Little Pony on a Frazetta-like tower of skulls. Most art tends to reflect our environment.
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Calavera Despierta
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spacerx wrote:
Yoke

- Mr. Cranky


No, I totally know the correct spelling. I just thought it would be more amusing to spell it like egg yolk. I should have put another pun in there to make it more clear it was intentional. Eggscuse me for not doing so. Perhaps I ought to be punished.
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chris schott
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No, perhaps you ought to be beaten.
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Tim Thorp
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Quote:
No, I totally know the correct spelling. I just thought it would be more amusing to spell it like egg yolk.


"What!? You egg!"

The Scottish Play: Act 4, Scene 2

(I noticed the Shakespeare microbadge. Pretty clever, eh? Is this thing on?)
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Walt
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I don't think faux cynicism is ever out of fashion as a quick and simple way to appear sofisticated. [sic]

But I find it odd that you complain about cynicism as you teach it in your classroom. Is any game more cynical than Diplomacy, where the rules explicitly allow cheating? (Not to mention lying and backstabbing.)

Because, sir, teaching young gentlemen has a dismal effect upon the soul.It exemplifies the badness of established, artificial authority. The pedagogue has almost absolute authority over pupils: he often beats them and insensibly he loses the sense of respect due to them as fellow human beings.He does them harm, but the harm they do him is far greater. He may easily become the all-knowing tyrant, always right, always virtuous; in any event he perpetually associates with his inferiors, the king of his company; and in a surprising short time alas this brands him with the mark of Cain. Have you ever known a schoolmaster fit to associate with grown men?”
― Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian Mission

Now this is rather harsh--and Patrick O'Brian was no saint--but isn't there some truth in it? You are in a mostly solitary occupation: you don't work as member of a interactive, social team. A team's efficiency can be lowered or destroyed by cynicism, whether it's a fully cooperative team as in Pandemic or a one-company project, or a competitive team which must arrive at some level of win-win cooperation or lose a vital element in their business, as in Container or the business of making board games.

To be sure, Diplomacy requires some amount of teamwork. Still, the end result, canonically, is a tied game or a single winner. It's easy to forget that the single players of Diplomacy each represent a team of millions.

Um...I don't think I can continue without getting deep into Diplomacy variants for the classroom. At least, too deep for Chit Chat.

May you have a rusty (irony free) holiday!
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