On the theory that no printed word should go to waste, I submit as my blog today the first version of the column I wrote for tomorrow. I thought it didn't have my usual voice and I didn't think it was funny enough but you can be the judge. You will note many differences and some similarities ....
I wish to make a belated correction to a column I wrote seven years ago after 9/11. It was an obituary to my old friend Irony, then thought to be deceased. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of Irony's death have been greatly exaggerated.
Irony, the old rascal, is back. Apparently Irony took some full-body Viagra and returned to public life tanned, rested and ready. Why, he was recently a guest at the Republican National Convention. He may have been a guest at the Democratic convention too, but I was having my own bout of irrelevance at the time and did not spot him.
I do know that Irony thoroughly enjoyed himself in St. Paul. For a while, commentators like myself saw the convention as an Irony-free zone without realizing that Irony himself was inspiring the proceedings.
He applauded when the Republicans devoted one day to honoring Service, then turned around and ridiculed Barack Obama's service as a community organizer helping poor people the next.
He loved the fact, as witnessed by Sarah Palin, that devout Christians are no longer prohibited from bearing false witness. Thus, she was able to recall that she said "thanks but no thanks for that Bridge to Nowhere," which is a neat way of saying she was for it before she was against it without anyone in the cheap seats realizing. Irony thrilled to her mention of the government plane she put on e-bay when, in fact, it did not sell on e-bay.
Irony also rejoiced that Sen. John McCain's choice for VP has been cozy with the Alaskan Independence Party - Motto "Alaska First, Alaska Always" and her husband was actually a party member for almost seven years - and they found themselves being introduced at a convention with the motto: "Country First."
Irony loved it when she attacked the media to great cheers from the conservative base who long insisted that the traditional media was dead. (Huh, Irony thought, that's what they said about me).
By the time John McCain made his acceptance speech, Irony was positively giddy with joy. When Sen. McCain suggested that he and Sarah Palin would make the Republican Party the real agent of change in this election, when the same party had been the cause of Americans craving change in the first place, Irony thought he had died (again) and gone to heaven.
Irony imagined all the communities that would support this notion - for example, the spouse-beating community ("Yes, we have had our little problems at home but we promise to change and you can believe us just as you can believe the Republicans") and the drunk community ("Yes, this is the last drop we are going to drink and you know that we are going to stay sober and you can bet that the Republicans are going to stay off their usual intoxicants too.").
Irony also marveled at Sen. McCain's daring in suggesting that he's the one to end the constant partisan rancor, this at the end of a convention in which his pit bull in lipstick was sicced on Barack Obama and the other Republican attack dogs engaged in such an orgy of ripping that Freddy Krueger might have shrunk from it.
Indeed, so many ironies appeared that Irony's head swum in contemplating them. Foremost in his thoughts were the women who supported Hillary Clinton but are now going to vote for the Republican ticket because of Sarah Palin, the anti-Clinton. Yes, Sen. Clinton fully represented their views, but did you see the cute way Sarah Palin's daughter stroked the hair of that baby?
Indeed, Irony realized, all issues had now gone out the window: Politics in this country had been reduced to an updated version of "American Idol."
Resistance is futile. The final ironic proof is this: The ultimate political correctness in America today is not being able to criticize Saint Sarah, patron saint of the chronically conservative. If you say a thing about her, you are a sexist, a liberal, a Democrat, a journalist, an elitist, or any combination thereof.
Soon she will ride into Washington on a moose in order to remake the capital into a shining city on hill - cast, of course, in a very ironic light. In his own maverick way, John McCain will smile his forced smile and look for the keys to the nuclear bombs. Darn, he will say to himself, I had them here somewhere. I wonder if Sarah borrowed them to go hunting wolves out of helicopters?
Irony will look on, his mission accomplished.