Everything makes sense in retrospect, which instills the false confidence that the world is an ordered place. Consumed in real time, however, life is unpredictable and curling irons are suddenly, inexplicably hot. The distinguishing feature of human experience is incoherence, because what are we distinguishing it from? Fiction, the realm of ideas, religious narratives, rocks—all the things human experience isn’t make perfect sense to us, for the simple reason that they are products of our understanding. Life is the part we understand backwards, and so it surprises us anew. Today is Friday, and all manner of unexpected stuff has happened. Won’t you say you knew it all along with me?
This photo of one of several hipster traps to appear recently around New York was sent to me by Big Game, and it clearly represents a new epoch in the nebulous socio-aesthetic construction that is hipsterdom. First of all, I bet I could get that beer out of there without getting my hand caught. Second of all, the best part about irony is that you can even use it on irony. Once you do, your newly ironic approach to your previously sincere experience of irony seems like the only reasonable perspective. It’s the logical next step, even though it is prima facie absurd, and the paradox between these two understandings of the same relation can be resolved by noting that, oh yeah, the thing you did in the first place was absurd, too. This week’s link roundup is full of such progressions, in which logic demands more absurdity from absurdity. It’s the inductive narrative of history, and it’s happening all around us—even to Glenn Beck. When’s somebody going to make a trap with a Bible, an airplane bottle of scotch and a Ho-Ho in it?