Sunday, July 29, 2007

They say Americans don't do irony

But I'm not sure. Sometimes they can be so subtle, it passes over the heads of many Brits – especially the sort who pride themselves on being more sophisticated than their transatlantic cousins.

And sometimes I really can't tell if someone is taking the piss or not. These two factors coincide in this story about The Holy Land Experience in Florida. Now, I'm fairly sure the venture itself is pretty straightforward – "the park offers lectures, not rides, making it feel more like a trip to church. Its officers prefer to call it a "living Biblical museum" – and I have no doubt but that it offers a holiday even less fun than a damp amusement park in north Wales.

And yet... I can't tell if the person who wrote the thing is having an enormous joke at the readers' expense. The deadpan tone is fair enough – frankly, it's better than a lot of the pompous and turgid drivel that US reporters (sorry "writers") like to inflict on their readers – but it includes such gems as: "Trinity didn't intend to get into the Biblical attraction business, but was looking for an Orlando location for a new TV production studio, chief of staff Paul Crouch Jr. said"; "The park relies heavily on donations from benefactors, foundations and visitors slipping money into boxes scattered around the park, saying ticket sales doesn't cover costs" (a business relying on the credulous to bale it out? Most un-Christian) and the following:

The nonprofit operation was troubled. Management changed hands, its founder left and attendance was flat. But suddenly, a savior appeared.

As a synopsis of the history of the early Christian church you could hardly beat that. So much so that I can't rid myself of the suspicion that the reporter is having some very subtle fun at the expense of the baby Jesus.

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Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Having just returned from the place, I would say that yes, they certainly do irony. Sarcasm is a little trickier, however.


2:40 pm  

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