Seattle: My Irony Beats Your Irony

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In 2008, GQ Magazine named Seattle the nation’s “Least Funny City.” GQ did not understand Seattle’s urbane and calculated ironic tradition.

Shortly after my wife and I moved to Seattle, we played doubles tennis with a Seattle couple, while our young daughters read books on the sidelines.  After tennis, my female opponent remarked, “Your children are so well behaved.”

“We shoot them full of Thorazine before each match,” I explained.

Straight-faced she asked, “Isn’t that dangerous?” 

That is when I began to understand that Seattleites respond to irony with deadpan humor by pretending that they don’t get the joke. They best your irony with a prevailing irony, leaving them, in Steven Potter’s words, “one up.”

I have lost count of the times I have been one upped by a Seattleite affecting bewilderment and asking me, “Is that a joke?”

Last year Post Alley published my parody of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. I wrote that Greene accused progressives of grooming children to become Transgressors, Transporters, Transactors, and even worse, Transponders. Among her other gaffs, I noted that Greene attacked the Black Livers Matter movement, asking, “Why should Black Livers matter anymore than my liver or your liver?”

This post received 35 comments.  Two-thirds were from superbly ironic Seattleites who feigned to read this as straightforward reporting. 

Struggling to comprehend this milieu, I would like to ask readers for assistance. Please indicate which of the remarks below would be clearly ironic if uttered by a Seattleite:

Next year ACT will produce King Lear

  • with a local, amateur cast.
  • With an all-indigenous cast.
  • With an all-transgender cast
  • With an all-transgender, indigenous cast
  • in ESL only with an all-indigenous, all-transgender cast of local amateurs.

It must be true, because I…

  • saw it on MSNBC.
  • saw it on Fox News
  • read it on Truth Social
  • read it The Seattle Times
  • heard it on NPR

You get what you pay for. That is why… 

  • Seattle Council members are second highest paid in the nation.
  • I read Post Alley.
  • I use Xfinity for mobile, internet, and TV.
  • I shop at Goodwill.
  • I wear a Rolex.

I, for one, apologize for…

  • my Cis Gender and Cis-White privilege.
  • my Cis Gender privilege but not for my Cis White privilege.
  • my Cis White privilege but not my Cis Gender privilege.
  • Israel, Hamas, Iran, Biden, and Trump.
  • living.
Steve Clifford
Steve Clifford
Steve Clifford, the former CEO of KING Broadcasting, has written humor for Crosscut.com and the Huffington Post. He is the author of "The CEO Pay Machine."

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