Category Archives: Irony

Irony – of ironies

A phrenologist (student of head bumps) once said the man whose head he studied had no sense of humor.  That man, Samuel Clemens, who came under an assumed name, had already published under his nom de guerre Mark Twain “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

George Rapp believed Christ’s Parousia was at hand but built New Harmony, Indiana as if it would last forever.  Robert Owen, convinced that his arrival heralded a new world, built nothing permanent.  All one sees of Old New Harmony came from the Rappites; nothing at all from the followers of Owen.  American Heritage, October 1964, p. 70

In the nine years Osborne Russell trapped in the Yellowstone country, he survived no-quarter-given battles with the Blackfeet.  He survived bitterly cold winters and wading in the punishing cold of beaver streams without losing any toes and fingers.  He even survived the few wounds received.  Then, after settling in the Willamette Valley, while building a sawmill, he lost his right eye in a blasting accident.  He noted the irony in his Diary.

After WWII the U.S. Army established an intelligence school named Fort Devens, after Civil War General Charles Devens.  The same man adamantly refused to believe intelligence reports from pickets and officers that Confederate troops had massed on the right of the Union lines at Chancellorsville in late April, 1863.  On May 1, at 5 pm Jackson struck that position like thunder, lighting and hurricanes.  Secret War For The Union, p. 400.

Then there is the comic strip The Wizard of Id.  It had the king of Id genuflecting before the pope.  He asked the ecclesiastic to let him now if he needed anything.  In the next panel the king received a whack on the head.  In the third the pope warned the king to be compassionate for his poor.  San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/3/15

Irony of ironies.  Roman, Greek and Russian Catholicism vie with Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism in not caring for their poor.  In leaving them illiterate and poverty-stricken.  In concentrating wealth in the oligarchy ruling their religions and societies; in constructing beautiful religious buildings; and in lecturing western democracies on our need to “help the poor”.  Shouldn’t they remove the plank from their own eyes before they lecture us of the speck in ours?

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