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Sitting Next To Brian
OK, class. Now we’ve covered the concept of Socratic irony as seen in Act IV Scene iii of “Macbeth” where Malcolm discerns Macduff’s faithfulness by testing him in an argument utilizing Socratic irony.
We also talked about the incidence of dramatic irony in “Romeo & Juliet” where the audience is aware of the fact that Juliet is only pretending to be deceased but other characters, including Romeo, do not know this.
Are you following? Or was that last explanation about as “clear as mud”? Yes, yes, that last is an example of “verbal irony,” where one says the literal opposite of what one means. Still going too fast? Fair enough. Let’s step back to review situational irony.
Our definition: situational irony is an outcome of events that is contrary to what was, or might have been expected.
Here’s an example: the band Sitting Next To Brian was formed in 2002 as a vehicle for the songwriting of a local drummer named Brian Marchese.
What’s ironic about Brian? For starters, he is allergic to Allegra. It is ironic that a medication devised to help alleviate allergy symptoms would make them worse.
In addition, many of you might not have known that Brian has a pet zebra named Spot and he also once stated that when he was a teenager, Brian was intimidated by adults; now that he is an adult, he finds he is intimidated by teenagers. OK, kids. Please enjoy the music of Sitting Next To Brian.
The Salvation Alley String Band
Alright, class. Let’s take a look now at the irony inherent in this evening’s next performance of the Salvation Alley String Band. The group normally contains 5 members but only 2 will be performing tonight and leader Ryan Quinn almost didn’t make it due to irony of situation.You see, when Ryan went out to his car this afternoon, he saw that it was on fire! Apparently, the sunlight had filtered through a prism paperweight on his dashboard and set his vinyl car seat aflame- the paperweight had been a gift from his car insurance company.
Unfazed, he decided to walk to the show when he accidentally slipped on some sand, which had been thrown down to cover up a slippery patch of ice and skinned his knee.
Undaunted, he continued on his way and was struck while crossing the street by an ambulance. Luckily, he was okay and still was making every effort to get to the show; after all, his motto is “Quit giving up.” Please welcome the Salvation Alley String Band.
When considering the concept of situational irony, which again is defined as an outcome of events that is contrary to what was, or might have been expected, one need look no further than the band Goldwater and its leader Thane Thomsen. You see, when Thane isn’t playing music, he manages a website, www.amishcommunity.blogspot.com.
Excuse me, young lady, but are you operating a cellular phone or pager during class? Let me remind you such devices are off limits during classtime. Unless you’re using it for educational purposes, such as Online Scrabble. You know, whilst playing Online Scrabble recently, I tried to play the word “OK” but the Scrabble dictionary deemed it an unacceptable word. In order to resume playing, I had to click the “OK” button. Isn’t that ironic?
Anyway, back to our next act, Goldwater. If you like what you hear, please by all means pick up a copy of their disc for sale right here at the merchandise booth. You can also find Goldwater’s music online. One can purchase a 10-second ringtone of any track for $1.49 or download any full song for 99 cents.
My dear scholars, I’d like to share with you a story from my college days. I first met Ken Maiuri when the two of us were students at Umass in the early 1990s. We met in the dining commons under ironic circumstances.
I was sitting by myself reading “Pride & Prejudice,” an ironic choice considering I was alone while surrounded by people reading a novel that concerns itself entirely with social interaction, and Ken sat down a few spaces over and pulled out a newspaper. After a few minutes, he walked over to me and said, “Let’s be anti-social together.”
We then went on to have a very interesting and compelling conversation on the topic of boredom.
After that, we became good friends and would meet in the dining hall each day. It was fortuitous having Ken as a friend and vice versa because neither of us was ever able to find a young lady friend during that time period.
You see, most of the young women thought we were a gay couple. Why? Because rather than sitting across from each other at the table, we sat next to each other.
Why did we do this? Because both of us wanted to have a clear view of the entrance to the dining hall to be able to look at all the girls as they came through the door.
Please join me in welcoming dear friend Ken Maiuri.
The Aloha Steamtrain
Before we continue, class, I’d like you to raise your hand if you hate raising your hand.Now, I know you’ve been eagerly anticipating our next performance by the Aloha Steamtrain. This group was formed in 1997 by leader Lord Russ, whose name you can find in the Guinness Book of World Records for holding the world record for most unsuccessful attempts to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Without further ado about nothing, here is the Aloha Steamtrain.
School for the Dead
Many years ago, class, I used to play in the band Humbert with Henning Ohlenbusch. One day we found ourselves being interviewed on
’s WBCN for their local music show. Also on the show were the punk band Dropkick Murphys, who commended us on our song, “Sycophant.” Or do you pronounce that as “sicko-fannnt” or is it “sigh-co-fannnt?” Hmmm, and all this time, I thought I had perfect pronounciation. Boston
Anyway, the Dropkick Murphys liked the song but mentioned that they were unfamiliar with the term “sycophant” and thought that it was strange that we had a punk song with such “big words” in it. Then one of them said to the other, “How come you don’t use big words in your songs?” And he replied. “Hey, I use big words a lot too, you know.”
In other words, I utilize a sophisticated lexicon of elevated diction in my verbal communications.
My apologies to any of you who might suffer from hippopotomonstrosequippedaliophobia, also known as the fear of long words.
Anyway, after Humbert broke up, Henning formed School for the Dead in 2001, and invited me to keep playing with him so here we are.
Now, class, before I dismiss you, I would like to share with you a band who is celebrating its tenth anniversary of existence: The Fawns.
In fact, we’re fortunate to have them here, since lead singer Lesa Bezo has recently narrowly escaped incarceration. In addition to getting caught shoplifting a copy of the Bible, her family’s company, Bezo Fences, Inc. is responsible for the construction of the border fence between
San Diego, CAand . For the bulk of the construction work, the company hired illegal immigrants. Mexico
And then there’s Max, my ironic love. Who among us isn’t smitten by his good looks and charm? Max, I have just one thing to say to you- “Secretly, I love you.”
Oh, and one other thing- if you all wouldn’t mind having a look on and below your desks to see whether Brian’s retainer might be there. Yes, he lost it yet again- the one thing Brian can never seem to keep with him is his retainer. Please join me in welcoming The Fawns.