Irony is a funny thing.
Consider Najib Razak and his current concept of time. When he was Premier, he was so busy, there just wasn’t enough time in a day. Now that he’s serving it, it’s a whole new game and no fun at all unless you’re Kermit the Frog: “Time’s fun when you’re having flies.”
Actually, everyone appears to have had an ironic makeover of sorts, even the ever-scheming Dr M. He’s evolved from acclaimed Malay champion to deposit-losing reject only to resurface as self-proclaimed ethnic champion through tie-ups with rabid fringe groups.
Meanwhile, his worst nightmare has materialised: Anwar Ibrahim, his former nemesis and much maligned deputy, is now calling the shots as Prime Minister in his own, ironic bow to the vagaries of fate.
It appears that while anyone is free to rage against the dying of the light, Karma can, and will, continue to be a bitch!
Irony reigns supreme. It was the work of one of the world’s great pacifists, Albert Einstein, which spawned the world’s deadliest weapon. And it was with that in mind when he predicted: “I don’t know what weapons will be used during World War Three but World War Four will be fought with sticks and stones.”
The Bible is the world’s best-selling book and has consistently been so for the longest time. Ironically, it’s also the most shoplifted book in the United States – which says much about the moral underpinnings of petty crime in America.
The actor Charlie Chaplin’s walk was much imitated during the era of silent films. But when the man himself entered a “Charlie Chaplin walk” contest, he was placed 20th.
How do you shut down your foes? Simple, when you have rich members like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, you just buy their silence. Once a leading anti-cult network, the Cult Awareness Network was silenced permanently after it was bought over by the Church of Scientology.
In the 1990s in Kuala Lumpur, Yomeishu, a famous Japanese herbal brandy, sued a rival Malaysian make that claimed similar properties, one of which, famously, had to do with male potency.
The Judge hearing the case seemed especially interested in that alleged virtue. The following exchange took place between said Judge and the chairman of Yomeishu Japan, then on the witness stand:
Judge: So your drink helps male potency, does it?
Witness: It does
Judge: How does it work? Do you drink it or apply it?
Witness goes into a giggling fit. It isn’t clear if the judge was being ironic but, for those interested, the correct answer is to drink it.
For the record, I covered the case for the Far Eastern Economic Review then. It must have been a dry week.
Even the Beatles got roped into the irony act. In 2002, a tree was planted in a Los Angeles Park to honour the band’s guitarist George Harrison who’d passed away in the city a year earlier.
Unfortunately, the tree died after a year owing to an infestation of beetles.
Finally, the lyrics of Alanise Morisette’s 1996 hit Ironic does not evoke the quality in the slightest, an admission the songwriter herself made later.
There’s irony for you.