A Concisely Enumerated List of 50 Contemporary Ironies, Paradoxes, and Puzzles:

Disclaimer: this list contains many generalizations and oversimplifications. 

  1. Irony can be used ironically.
  2. Almost everyone is a bit of a hypocrite. Thus, condemning other people for being hypocrites can be, in and of itself, kinda hypocritical.
  3. Some individuals spend so much time worrying about what other people think of them that they themselves forget to think of other people. However, in all likelihood, many of those other people aren’t even thinking of said individuals at all, because they’re also too busy worrying about what others think of them.
  4. Certain people will accuse others of being insecure out of insecurity. (BTW, I recognize that right now I myself am accusing certain people of accusing others of insecurity out of insecurity — but, like, I promise I’m not doing this out insecurity.)
  5. Haters gonna hate. Don’t you hate that?
  6. One can be self-aware of one’s own lack of self-awareness.
  7. Conservatives claim to value life, but are generally against universal healthcare and gun control.
  8. Free speech warriors claim to hate silencing tactics, but use their free speech advocacy as a silencing tactic itself.
  9. Social justice warriors preach tolerance, yet are intolerant of anything they perceive to be intolerant.
  10. Media & Entertainment centered around making fun of bad Media & Entertainment is often considered to be good Media & Entertainment (e.g. The Colbert Report, South Park, The Onion, etc.).
  11. When you donate money to charity, the charities will subsequently email you and email you until you no longer want to give money to charity.
  12. When a man attempts to authoritatively explain women’s behavior at a woman, some people call this mansplaining. Yet, by theorizing and accusing certain men of mansplaining, these same people attempt to authoritatively explain men’s mansplaining-behaviors at men. And, right now, I’m attempting to authoritatively explain people’s authoritative explanation of men’s authoritative explanations… And so on.
  13. We all know That Guy who’s so nice and generous until it comes time to let others be nice and generous.
  14. Some people who advocate for workers’ rights do so on a laptop manufactured by poorly treated, Chinese child-laborers.
  15. Some who protest on behalf of the environment do so using non-recycled poster boards and factory-manufactured markers.
  16. Anti-capitalist ideology sells very well within our capitalist system.
  17. Facebook is a great medium to post articles criticizing Facebook.
  18. Some middle-/lower-class students who go to college and learn to criticize classism had their education payed for with scholarships funded by the same sorts of rich people they learned to criticize.
  19. Dove’s® “Real Beauty” ad campaign, which attempts to challenge conventional beauty standards for women, ultimately reinforces a deeper-rooted convention, which is that the quality of beauty — not intelligence or personality or whatever — ought to be valued as a standard by which to judge women.
  20. The notion that people’s beliefs should be formed solely based on empirically verifiable evidence is itself an empirically unverifiable claim.
  21. Hipsters widely conform to an idea of anti-conformity.
  22. One could argue that we live in a culture of social media outrage. One of the main ways of combatting this culture of outrage is to express outrage at it, thus partaking in the culture of outrage.
  23. A lot of post-modern theory is aimed at criticizing everything, including criticism itself. But, please, pardon my criticisms.
  24. Lots of people these days are too judgmental about others being too judgmental. Or is that itself too judgmental?
  25. Some so-called feminists lament the death of chivalry when feminism itself is responsible for killing it (cf. Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women”).
  26. Selflessness can be one of the most extreme manifestations of selfishness.
  27. Often times, altruism is predicated on egotism (i.e., it sure takes some hubris to think you can actually know what’s best for other people).
  28. Seminars on buddhist enlightenment, with it’s emphasis on anti-materialism, can be yours for only two down payments of 19.95!
  29. Most Americans are too disgusted with politics to go out of their way to pay attention to them and vote. Consequently, political campaigns have to spend a lot of money to gain exposure. All this campaign money comes from big donors and lobbyists who strike deals with politicians. These deals make most Americans even more disgusted with politics and thus even less likely to go out of their way to pay attention and vote. Consequently, political campaigns have to spend more money to gain exposure. All this campaign money comes from big donors and lobbyists who strike deals with politicians. These deals make most Americans even more disgusted with politics… And so on.
  30. Most non-for-profit organizations are created and sustained by donations from people who’ve made lots of money working in for-profit organizations.
  31. Classical conservatism was all about respecting and preserving institutions that have slowly built up over time. Contemporary conservatism, in practice, is largely about disrespecting and destroying newer institutions that have slowly built up over time (e.g. Planned Parenthood, strong federal government, social security, etc.).
  32. Someone once told me, “Women hate when men generalize.”
  33. The desire to be perceived as less ego-driven is itself an ego-driven desire.
  34. Some fashion trends are centered around taking the time to make one’s appearance look as though one didn’t take any time to tend to one’s appearance (e.g. the au-natural or the rolled-out-of-bed look).
  35. It takes strength to show weakness. In other words: admission of one’s insecurities is itself a demonstration of security; on the other hand, an inability to admit one’s insecurities is probably a function of those same insecurities.
  36. In the information-overload age we now live in, there are books and podcasts with information about how to slow down your intake of information.
  37. One can be the victim of being a perpetrator (i.e., e.g., discovering that you have inadvertently hurt someone else’s feelings can really hurt your feelings).
  38. Accusing someone of deploying “silencing tactics” can itself be a silencing tactic.
  39. One can be peer pressured into not succumbing to peer pressure.
  40. Telling people not to do something might be the most sure fire way to ensure that they do it.
  41. A lot of PC-types are often oversensitive. On the other hand, a lot of anti-PC-types are often oversensitive toward the criticisms from those they perceive to be oversensitive.
  42. Taking an anti-political stance is itself a political stance.
  43. It is frequently the case that the more you want someone the less they will in turn want you.
  44. Applying ointment to get rid of an ugly looking coldsore will initially just call more attention to the cold sore’s ugliness.
  45. It used to be that promiscuous women felt weird and ashamed for having sex. Now, it’s not uncommon for chaste women to feel weird and ashamed for not having sex.
  46. “Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.” —Will Rogers
  47. Some people are at their happiest when they’re suffering.
  48. With regard to the whole God thing, Atheists believe in disbelieving.
  49. The quote, “if you say something enough, it eventually becomes true,” isn’t always true. The quote, “if you say something enough, it eventually becomes true,” isn’t always true. The quote, “if you say something enough, it eventually becomes true,” isn’t always true. The quote, “if you say something enough, it eventually becomes true,” isn’t always true. The quote, “if you say something enough, it eventually becomes true,” isn’t always true.
  50. If we should question everything, then shouldn’t we question questioning itself? …Just a question.

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