irony lagoon.

A group is definable by its shared notion of what can and cannot be made fun of — of what is worth laughing at and yet not inappropriate to laugh at; imagine a donut-shaped “irony lagoon” — a ring of land between the cold outer sea of indifference and the hot central lake of reverie, between whats not interesting even for a laugh and what is held too dear for anything but an awed smile. ■    In fandoms, irony is peripheral — a narrow disjointed strip around a large inner sea of untouchable; by contrast, projects are mostly dry — laughable — land, perhaps with a point-like hot spring in the middle that shifts around depending on context. This is the conventional picture; historically, however, all sorts of communities have been observed to blend their land and water: through-and-through ironization is a long-attested trend but so is aweization — growth of veneration and gratitude lores invulnerable to, because perfectly compatible with, irony.

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