By Tara Tracy,
Guest Blogger Extraordinaire
I admit it. Ever since that whole “Alanis’ song IRONIC doesn’t have a single ironic lyric, which means the whole song IS ironically, ironical” fiasco I am somewhat/altogether confused about the meaning of irony. (And let me save you Gen X ladies some google time: No, Ethan Hawke does not clear this up for Lelaine at all!)
So tell me, isn’t this ironic. …Don’tcha think?
Excerpts from my email correspondence with the indy enviro film company Bullfrog:Hi there,
I am looking for two films which aired on PBS, called AFFLUENZA and ESCAPE FROM AFFLUENZA. Are they available for viewing anywhere online (I would pay, of course), or for rent on DVD? I would really rather not buy them in hard copy, but would love to see the films. Thanks so much! Tara from Ottawa, Canada Dear Tara, Thank you for your email – Bullfrog Films is the distributor of both AFFLUENZA and ESCAPE FROM AFFLUENZA, and they are not available online, as far as I know. Please let me know your intended use for the films and I will be able to give you an accurate quote. I look forward to your reply, [Bullfrog employee] Hi again,
I am just a mom home on Maternity Leave who has decided to buy nothing new in 2011 (hence not wanting to buy 2 films about not buying stuff 🙂 ) and I thought these films would be great inspiration for me and my family. I don’t intend to use them anywhere outside the home. Thanks so much, Tara P.S. Do they ever replay on PBS? Hi Tara, Thank you for the reply. The two films you are interested in are available for home viewing for $29.95 each. (We do not have access to the PBS schedule but you should be able to get this from your local PBS station.) The total price is $59.50 for both films. Please add $11.00 shipping and handling to Canada via first class international mail. We accept MasterCard or VISA for Canadian orders. You may place an order via telephone, fax, email, or online. Sincerely, [Bullfrog employee]
Now, my husband warns me not to be too snarky or down on PBS. We totally love PBS and I get that they need support, as do companies like Bullfrog, I’m sure. But I also think that while this example isn’t as blatantly off as say, spray painting “stop pollution” on trees—and I get it that wicked books like “No Logo” still have to have a book jacket and sell in Chapters to get the good word out—but …isn’t there a but here? At what point do we have to start paying more attention to these small but real contradictions?
Maybe Alanis can help. OK so all those things she was singing about—like “rain on your wedding day”—those things are all just …well, bummers. But say you were engaged to marry a weatherman and he picked the date! Now that seems like more than just a bummer. And say you’re trying to find a way to watch a TV special called AFFLUENZA about the “high social and environmental costs of materialism and overconsumption” and the only way you can find to do that is to buy those shows on DVD, charge them by credit card and have them shipped across the continent …isn’t that more than a bummer too?
Isn’t it ironic? And yeah, I really do think.