Guy Kawasaki has all the fun. He gets in on the ground floor at Apple, launches a couple of wildly successful tech companies, starts a wildly successful angel investor service, writes a few wildly successful books. Now he gets to chat with Jon Winokur, the extremely clever anthologizer of curmudgeonly quotes about rich people, travel, love, golf, and other fat targets. Kawasaki's Q and A with Winokur is full of perfectly articulated gems ("Funny people have a heightened sense of the absurd. They take life seriously, but not literally. ... That’s why copy editors are hazardous to humor manuscripts. They care about being grammatically correct, not funny") and a bonus peek at Winokur's upcoming opus, The Big Book of Irony, to be published in January 2007. Here's a taste:
It drives me crazy when people say “ironic” when they mean “coincidental.” The classic example is Morissettian Irony, which I define in the book as “irony based on a misapprehension of irony, i.e., no irony at all.” It’s named for the pop singer Alanis Morissette, whose hit single “Ironic” mislabels coincidence and inconvenience as irony.
In the song, situations purporting to be ironic are merely sad, random, or annoying (“It's a traffic jam when you're already late/It's a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break”). In other words, “Ironic” is an un-ironic song about irony. Which, of course, is ironic in itself. But wait, there’s more, a “bonus irony” if you will: “Ironic” has been cited as an example of how Americans don’t get irony, despite the fact that Alanis Morissette is Canadian!