A few years back (I'm 24), I decided to grow an ironic mustache. I was fresh out of fire academy and it seemed like the thing to do (no, I am not currently a fire fighter). I grew it, but I couldn't stand it. I just felt like a walking joke. My facial hair couldn't live its life solely for the purpose of mocking other facial hair. It was inhumane. So I shaved it the hell off.
This is a parable about Flarf (I think).
A few days after, I decided to grow the mustache back, but this time, as a serious mustache, one that didn't eschew my mustachioed brethren. I wore it proudly for years. However, it couldn't ever truly be a serious mustache, my former mustache was still there, palimsestuously intertwined with the new one. And facial hair, will always be a little silly.
Irony is unavoidable if you take humanity seriously enough. Irony only becomes problematic when it is used to deny one's commonality with the rest of us assholes. And I really can't see Flarf as doing this.
Henry Gould comments on K. Silem Mohammad's blog (in this week's biannual declaration of the death of Flarf) : 'CAN there be a "serious Flarf"?'. Hmm, if there ever was a "serious Flarf", wouldn't that be too ironic to be taken seriously. No, really, why shouldn't we take Flarf seriously? Where is this idea come from that irony and pathos can't coexist.
The best jokes aren't the ones that make us happy, they are the ones that help us laugh at our misery. The first kind lies to us, fractures us from who we are. The second teaches us about ourselves, and is less of a lie than even our misery.