Thanks for clicking here again. As you can see, Eddie Verde and his buddies have taken a short vacation. They'll be back next week, but I wanted to interrupt with a strip that I'm going to do from time to time called "Random Memories".
I got the idea for this week's strip from my favorite part of the "Zippy the Pinhead" comic. Basically, Griffey (the cartoonist and writer) takes a break from the normal strange narrative and tells a story from his past. Unlike his normal stuff; this type of strip usually has a beginning, an ending and a linear point to the story.
If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, check out my strip here: www.room19comics.com
Not that my main characters follow the absurdist point of view of everyone's favorite Pinhead, I thought that this was a humorous story that wouldn't have the same force if done in today's day and time. Aside from the graffiti scrawl on the board of Holden Caulfield equaling Ross Gellar (the whiney character from Friends), everything about this strip is 100% true.
The professor responsible for the inspiration of this strip was a nice lady (I'm not going to tell you her name and I can't remember the class) but she always tried a bit too hard to "connect" with her students. Like I said in the strip, she had a teenage daughter who either was very, very uncool or pretended to be uncool so that her mother thought that she was a good kid. I couldn't figure it out.
One day, she busted out that nugget about Alanis Morissette and I just about fell off of my chair. For one thing, by the time she said this, Alanis was pretty much played out. It had been seven months since her first song ("You Oughta Know") came out and the backlash was beginning. The first wave are the guys who are sick of hearing drunk sorority chicks singing wailing of jilted lovers through Alanis.
Secondly, the "Ironic" song was being pushed on so many different media, that it was impossible not to hear it. Where ever you were that spring, within 10 minutes you heard that song. Even ardent Alanis supporters had reached their breaking point. So, it was really no surprise that someone as out of touch with popular culture, like my professor, would try to get in good with her students by referencing Ms. Morissette.
Much like when your parents tried to use slang, it went over like a fart in church. Compound that with the fact that she actually liked the lyrics of the song, and you have the makings of a full-fledged meltdown. Here's the thing, I've thought a lot about this song and while most of the lyrics have nothing to do with irony, I wonder if Morissette was being ironic about singing a song about irony that actually had no irony in it. If so, than about 95% of the world missed the point (including my professor).
On the day she said this, I remember saying to my friends as we left, "Can you believe this crap? We pay her to teach us and she doesn't know the first thing about irony." After that, she completely lost the class. No one took her seriously. If she couldn't tell the difference between what's ironic and what's not ironic, how could she possibly explain the hidden intricacies of a text? Her comments on papers and tests were treated as if they were made by a third grader and her classroom comments were also blown off.
Basically the last month of the semester was a complete joke because of this one statement.
As I grew older, I've thought a lot about that day. I have no ill will for Alanis Morissette, when you find out that her first big hit was about Uncle Joey (Dave Coullier) from "Full House", the line "will she go down on you in a theater" is absolutely priceless. Plus, she did a pretty good job on an episode "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and Kevin Smith said she was cool on the set of "Dogma". Plus, since Alanis-mania, she has pretty much settled into the background of pop culture. Kind of hard to hate someone that isn't in the public eye.
As for my professor, like I said before I can't even remember the name of the course, but I do remember a part of her lecture. At least that's something.
BTW, for all you "Arrested Development" fans out there, FOX is running two-hour marathons for the next couple of Fridays. Then it settles into it's new night and time on Monday, September 19 with the season premiere. Just watch it.