Is it irony to say that it is ironic how often the word irony is misused?

I help out manning information tables for Atheist Ireland when I can. They are starting to become a regular monthly feature in our bigger cities. The one in Dublin has been operational for three years without a break. While there is competition for prime locations, we have managed to keep our own regular spot on the capital’s main thoroughfare.

Recently a Palestine solidarity group set up a table to our left but we asked them to move as they were too close. At the start there was enough space between us to ensure passer-by’s were aware that we were different campaigns..

Maybe it was ironic that an ex-Muslim in our group noticed that they were moving their table closer to us every so often. This was because they were too near to the evangelical Africans on the other side of their table. We joked about the irony of them encroaching into our land when we had been so accommodating to them at the start.

One of their group engaged me in conversation and it is was immediately clear that he was naively clueless on the subject which was ironic for someone so passionate and vocal. It is not a black and white subject.  From reading some of their leaflets it became clear that much of it was immature anti-American – anti-Israeli rhetoric and very little of it was constructive or pro-Palestinian. I considered telling him that I found the murder of the Italian activist Arrigoni to be ironic but as he was telling me he was a supporter of Hamas I decided to end the conversation.

My parting words to him were that he should trying talking to the Muslim activists at the table to our right as I suspected they were probably also Hamas supporters. He did not seem too keen on this and I found it ironic that a Hamas supporter would want to engage with atheists more so than with Muslims.

Later I had an informative conversation with one of the Muslims activists. He might have found it ironic to be talking to an atheist who whose national executive was representing the interests of Irish Muslims as well as Christian Evangelical groups at the UNHRC in Geneva to ensure Freedom of Religion and from Religion for all Irish citizens. He was surprised to see I had the words “I am Raif Badawi” tattooed on my arm in Arabic but calling that ironic is probably a misuse of the word. Still he smiled with me as did the ex-Muslim atheist standing on my other side.

I went into the local coffee shop. In the queue there was me, the Atheist (I swear to god I really am), an Evangelical Nigerian and a Muslim. We all smiled to each other as we were forced to listen to the Catholic at the top of the queue inform everyone that he was going to do something to prevent the groups outside on the street from destroying Catholic Ireland.

The irony is that such a nation no longer exists. The Muslims, Atheists and Evangelicals all understood that. As we stood at our individual tables sipping our coffees I noticed we were still all smiling even if we had the chorus of that song as a backing track to the thoughts in our heads. You know the one, the one that you too have just been singing to yourself.

Views: 116

Comment by Pope Beanie on July 2, 2016 at 6:32pm

LOL, the apocalyse is near! Was this at a local Starbucks? 

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on July 2, 2016 at 6:48pm

Nay, Butlers Chocolate Coffee Shop because it has a "happiness card" and a free handmade candy  with every cup. :-)

Comment by Davis Goodman on July 2, 2016 at 7:46pm
You've misused irony several times...but that is a good thing. Its only a matter of time what "the opposition of the expected" becomes so broad it also includes the opposite of cliches and the opposite of purpose like the "ambulance running over someone" or "its like rain on your wedding day". Since there is no word for either of those...ironic will come to mean those more than its pre 20th century one. I find it helarious watching purists lament in grammatical hostility over its misuse. Its futile.
Its great that people like you are manning tables and put solidarity out there for public view...every time you pull up your sleeves.
Comment by Belle Rose on July 3, 2016 at 4:18pm
It's like rraaaiiiaaaaaan on you wedding day, it's a freeeee riiiiidee when you've already paid, it's like ggooood adddvvviiiiice that you just didn't take! And who would have thought? It figures!!!

That's the song I thought of. Typical 80's baby, haha!
Comment by Belle Rose on July 3, 2016 at 4:19pm
Now that song is a misuse of irony!! LOL!
Comment by Belle Rose on July 3, 2016 at 4:21pm
Good word Reg. Maybe someday the sheep will wake up to a brave new world....would that be ironic for the sheep to have an "awakening?" - like a new birth, lol
Comment by Noon Alif on July 3, 2016 at 5:27pm
Haha sir fronkey you remember ? Last time when i was with you at table some muslims set up a teble next yo us . They were Slfi wahabi . They have conflict with every sect of islam they are considerd a very restricted sect. Hamas is a Jihadi organisation which is fighting against Israel . When these people start their movement fastly. Palestinians are bombared by Israel. But ISIS Al-Qaeda Taliban Hamas Boki Haram these all are the jihadi sects with same ideology. Plese send some info in my inbox about our table during july in Dublin. Thanx
Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on July 3, 2016 at 5:40pm

It was yesterday but Brunch is next week at 13:00 in the same hotel. I will email you some more info during the week. I have been debating Salafists for years!!

Comment by _Robert_ on July 3, 2016 at 5:53pm

Can enough of us rise above our primal fears, insecurities, and fables as the earth's resources wind down? Can enough of us become really educated? The next century will be pivotal for human survival. Hard times will only reinforce the foolish in their yearning for their everlasting lives as the mass extinctions finally become obvious to them. Are there enough coffee shops?

Comment by Noon Alif on July 3, 2016 at 6:38pm
Thats great sir .. I ll wait for your email sir

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