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Irony is Our Frenemy June 15, 2009

Posted by Master Shake in General blog.
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This Wednesday the 17th, the team travels to the buzzing metropolis of Gambrills, MD (Pop. 8,000), a Baltimore suburb, to take on Charm City FC.  If you watch the Food Network, you would have also heard this cryptic name used by the wisecracking hipster bakers at Charm City Cakes in the series Ace of Cakes. It’s not a very good show unless you enjoy watching somewhat dirty-looking 30 year olds with retro-sailor tattoos decorate inedible cakes shaped like a half-pipe for some little jerk’s Bar Mitzvah.

Another Kind of Garbage Strike

Another Kind of Garbage Strike

Now you may be asking yourself why the change in name from last year’s serviceable and utilitarian Maryland United to Charm City FC? The name Charm City first came into use as a marketing scheme following Baltimore’s 1974 garbage strike and concurrent heat wave that led to widespread looting and arson, because nothing makes people more crazy than the heat (David Lee Roth sung about this extensively) and the garbage. The combination was a recipe for sweaty disaster, and the resultant stinky chaos was the perfect platform for the literary device Verbal Irony, also known as Sarcasm. In this case, irony is our friend because it points out that despite the clever nickname, Baltimore and it’s environs are a stinky hot mess – less than charming. For some reason the locals have embraced this, thus the widespread, if only regionalized, use of the term Charm City. This can also be a Dramatic Irony situation, but that’s only if no one in Baltimore remembers or knows where the name Charm City came from. Then the joke is on them, you see.

Unfortunately, there is a flip side to this coin, and that is something known as Situational Irony; in this case it would be directed at our beloved Snow. Situational Irony happens when the result of an action is contrary to the desired or expected effect. Here, the Snow are in last place in the division, this despite having attracted much of the roster from last year’s NPSL championship team. No need to point out our bitter enemy irony this time.

There is another, more rare type known in certain (drum) circles as Cosmic Irony. This highlights the disparity between human desires and the harsh realities of the outside world (or in this situation, the whims of the gods). I like this kind, because blaming losses on, say, the Soccer Gods, is a much healthier way of coping with a terrible season. Simply focus on unseen cosmic forces and you forget that you just gave up 4 to a team with a -11 goal differential after 5 matches.

So embrace irony. Or don’t. It’s not like you have a choice, anyway.

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Comments»

1. Janet - June 16, 2009

The true reason Baltimore is called Charm City is as follows:

“Charm City” is a popular nickname for Baltimore, Maryland (much like New York is “The Big Apple” and Chicago is “The Windy City”). The city’s tourist industry and chamber of commerce would like you to believe that Baltimore earned its nickname from visitors who were enthralled with the red brick architecture, bustling harbor, and friendly inhabitants. Indeed, there are many legitimately charming aspects of Baltimore.

However, despite the attempts to put a nostalgic spin on it, the origins of “Charm City” are much more recent and prosaic. The nickname was the brainchild of four advertising executives hired by then mayor William Donald Schaefer. The phrase “Charm City” first appeared in 1975 in a series of advertisements in the Baltimore Evening Sun. The ads were designed to inspire Baltimore residents to visit attractions normally frequented by tourists (this concept of “local tourism” was something of a pet project for Schaefer, and one that he would enact on a larger scale when he became the governor of Maryland).

2. Charm City FC - June 18, 2009

Hey master shake I was wondering if you will be commenting on your blog this friday night when your sitting at home by yourself with your blow up sheep about the ass kicking your lame ass team, Pocono Snow from East no where PA, got from the Charm City FC. For those of you who don’t know the Pocono Snow came to Gambrills MD last night and were handed a very convincing lost 5-1.

3. D@rren Larocque! Cares « PENN’S ARMY - June 19, 2009

[…] D@rren Larocque! Cares June 19, 2009 Posted by Master Shake in General blog. trackback …and who exactly is D@rren Larocque!, you ask? He’s either the bass player from some ’80s hair band or the midfielder for Charm City FC, and he cares so much about his team that he left the following comment to my last post: […]


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