Ironies tend to be either bitter or sweet.
By definition, an irony is an incongruity
between what actually happens,
and what might be expected to happen.
I am a collector of ironies.
Since the museum in which I house them
is not adequately funded, nor open to the public,
I am obliged to share them here
in the hope of finding a proper audience.
Following are several examples.
Some you will recognize, others are less well known:
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were the last living
founders of American liberty. They were once close allies
in pursuit of American independence. Later, they became
political enemies, but eventually resolved their differences
upon retirement from professional life.
Both Jefferson and Adams died, a few hours apart,
on Independence Day, July 4th, 1822.
Anton Webern was one of the founders of twelve-tone music
in early 20th century Vienna.
Together with Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg,
he was responsible for freeing music from the limits of tonality.
Webern was accidentally shot and killed in World War I by an
American soldier, who was himself a composer.
After learning who he had killed, the American struggled for years
with emotional trauma, eventually committing suicide.
Carson McCullers, author of the sublimely melancholy novels
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and The Ballad of the Sad Café
studied piano at the Julliard School of Music before commencing
her career as a serious author.
In a double irony, American modernist composer Charles Ives
married Harmony (Twitchell), who was the goddaughter of
Gertrude Stein and Thornton Wilder were lifelong friends,
as were Truman Capote and Willa Cather.
‘Bad boy’ American composer and pianist George Antheil
and Hollywood 1940's superstar Hedy Lamarr
invented and patented an underwater artillery weapon
for use in World War II.
Benjamin Franklin’s son, William,
was the Governor of New Jersey
and a British sympathizer
during the time of the American Revolution.
Ironies are lurking everywhere.
It is easy to start your own collection.
Perhaps, one day, we could merge local collections
from all over the world, combining them
within an online museum.
This global enterprise, funded and acclaimed,
would evolve continuously into perpetuity.