I got really bored at 10am today and created this awful thing, yes we all somewhat wholesome and somewhat of a dirtbag, and sometimes ironic and sometimes sincere. but… what does it all mean?
WHOLESOME: You are trying to NOT step on anybody’s toes. This could also mean you are joyful, happy positive, but also somebody trying to play for a large crowd.
DIRTBAG: You absolutely are trying to ruffle the feathers, you are going to say slurs all day, call people racist and sexist things, you don’t give a fuck.
IRONIC: Not Genuine. Very sarcastic. This is where theatrical goes. You are playing a character, you are saying something but it isn’t your actual style. It’s satire. It’s the memes.
SINCERE: Genuine. You are not being sarcastic in your material. You are pretty much coming from the heart with your responses. This is the essays. The venting. The struggle, is real.
So let’s put it into a way that might be easier to explain
WHOLESOME to DIRTBAG - how much of an asshole are you? From a Mr. Rogers “Just You Being Yourself” good natured person all the way to a Tucker Max “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” piece of shit?
IRONIC to SINCERE - From you attempting to get people to understand you are doing a bit, to you attempting to be real to the audience - where do you fit in? When you say “I like Shrek” is it like, a bit? Because people are very divisive over shrek? Do you like it because “It’s so bad it’s good”? Or is it one of those things where the CGI and Pop Culture references has not held up, so by saying “I like Shrek” It’s actually a laugh out loud hilarious bit.
OKAY BUT WHY DID YOU DO THIS?
Well, for starters, I explained years ago my “horseshoe” of comedy in terms of political correctness.
If you play it “too safe” - you get that high school comedy you see where it’s the Chemistry Teacher or Principal Floss Dancing (That is “Ironic Wholesome” - because these older people trying to be “hip with the kids these days” is considered funny) but at the opposite end of that spectrum, you have people that are so about ruffling up feathers, they are going to say hurtful and awful things not just “as a joke” but because they mean it. That’s your Reactionary YouTube dingus.
So if the top left corner is “Saturday Night Live” or Jimmy Fallon having politicians on to play funny games 'and THAT’S the laugh. The bottom right corner, is pretty much your basic harassment campaigns you see online to “troll” people offline. Somebody wronged somebody, and it’s time they pay, and if anybody calls you out, That’s when you go “it was a joke”.
And also, how mean spirited some things online really are
Recently, I’ve been people try and do “fursonas” as a bit. Some people are trying to be sincere, and do it out of respect or admiration for people online. Others have been doing it just as a way to mock furry culture, like somehow we are still on mid-2000s Something Awful. And others are just doing it for solidarity to help those out and more.
Now, I am not a furry. But I have friends that are. I think when it comes to THAT community. It’s kind of fucked up how people handle that situation. Because there are different ways people handle that issue.
Wholesome Sincere - write the tweet storm about how much you respect furries, you aren’t one, but they are welcomed in your community.
Wholesome Ironic - you created a fursona yourself, to show solidarity, trying to give the inclusion for that community, as a means for inclusive.
Dirtbag Ironic - You created a fursona yourself, but mostly because you knew it would draw a reaction to somebody, because “furries, am i right?” as the main punchline
Dirtbag Sincere - You compare them to those that fuck animals and try and dehumanize them.
WOAH WOAH WOAH, I AM NOT THAT EXTREME
I get it. No, seriously, I get it.
In today’s internet world, everybody is dunking on each other. Conservatives at Turning Point USA put on Diapers to show… something about safe spaces? I don’t know, it was embarrassing. And we are always going to be rotating around in these quadrants in forms of our daily lives.
Is saying “fuck you asshole” the same as saying a slur? Of course not! (But that’s why it’s a grid, and not an absolute)
I want to conclude by talking about the ironic admiration, there are podcasts that are wholesome like “The McElroys” but they bridge that line between Ironic and Sincere in their admiration of things. They have decided to not step on toes, but instead just be all-in on things like saying “Garfield” and “Sonic the Hedgehog” for laughs. Do they really like Jimmy Buffett or is it just something funny because dads like Jimmy Buffett?
Similarly, Chapo Trap House, is a “Dirtbag Leftist” podcast, because they say some pretty awful things, by means of ironic comedy. But at the same time, they are very sincere with their leftism.
And even with my work, “Fun Time Calls” falls more in line with “Dirtbag Ironic” because of the confrontations with each other played for laughs and the creation of characters for the sake of humor.
Yet, “Game Shows, I Suppose” is sincere and wholesome in the way I present myself there, as a guy who loves game shows and explains why.
The real questions to answer are…
Are you being yourself, or is this a character?
(Character = Ironic, Yourself = Sincere)
Are you trying to ruffle feathers?
(Yes = Dirtbag, No = Wholesome)
And then how far into that are you, actually? Are you willing to sarcastically quote people? Are you trying to maintain your tiresome reactionary character on youtube who loves “metal music” as much as they hate feminists? That’s where you’ll find yourself.
(And yes, that means something like Tim Allen (Sincere Dirtbag) is no different than Jeanine Garafolo (Sincere Dirtbag) even if they have different politics)
It obviously won’t answer everything.
Like, what about Jim Jefferies? What about Hidden Camera Pranks? Because Jim is playing a character, but when he gets political ranty, he’s sincere. But hidden camera pranks are on the farthest left of ironic, but are they meant to get a rise out of people or are they suppose to be “fun for the whole family”?
It’s a really tough chart. But I think Ellen is somewhere in the middle of all this, have you seen Game of Games?
EDIT: here’s some examples
There is also this chart, which explains some of the things I put in the top, because it kind of makes “more sense” to those that can’t figure it out. But “Polite Assholes” do exist. (But “Wholesome Dirtbags” don’t, I mean, how would that work? “Hey motherfuckers, I hope you all stay hydrated, I believe in you, suck a dick?”)
It comes down to how you present yourself, and knowing yourself.