Irony, Thy Name is Amazon

From today's Amazon newsletter email. P.S. What's the original reference of the "Irony, they thy name is" phrase? Too many lazy writers like myself have made it difficult to source in Google.
This entry was posted in amazon, lawn. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Irony, Thy Name is Amazon

  1. Joel Johnson says:

    Skwid, you are getting a full-fist shake!

    HHype, should have figured Shakespeare. I presumed the “Irony” was part of it. “Thy name is” is a bit of a stretch.

  2. Skwid says:


  3. Hunty says:

    I don’t see the irony.

    • Joel Johnson says:

      @Hunty: While electric lawn tools are better than gas-and-oil-powered ones, they’re hardly the greenest option.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ok really late on this one but #23 deserves a reply. My lawn is almost as big as yours. I use a reel mower which works just fine. If you let the grass grow for a few of weeks it is problematic I admit. You should not have to sharpen it but every two years and is VERY easy to do. I just did it. Took about half an hour. You could not finish! Wow, you need more exercise. Should be no harder then a non self-propelled mower, or not much anyhow.

    Regarding the electric tools: You can use corded and still be electric. I have the cordless weedwacker and it works just fine. Usually I have to change the bat once during the job, but that is no big deal.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thy Name is Slim Shady.

  6. Joel Johnson says:


    (Not really. I concede I may be wearing the Birkenstocks too tightly on this one.)

  7. Anonymous says:

    @#23… try plug-in tools. my plug in ryobi trimmer is about ten years old and still kicks ass. i also have hedge trimming and edging attachments for it that both work perfectly. cuple of extension cords and you’re in business.

    on that front i just picked up a corded electric mower for $25 from a guy on the CL. there were at least four of them listed on the pittsburgh area CL last weekend, all for $25-45.

    admittedly my yard isn’t huge, but it isn’t tiny, and this should do just fine.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know anything about how ‘green’ electric lawn tools are, but I thought the irony was that they were hyping the tools as ‘green’ when in reality they are quite orange.

  9. Joel Johnson says:

    I’m ashamed to say I missed that second layer of irony about “de-greening.” But I will retroactively take credit for it all the same.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yeah. Try maintaining a 40′ by 150′ yard space with hand-powered mowers and trimmers, and get back to me.

    We use electric re-chargables (weed wacker, hedge trimmer, mower) and they SUCK compared to the gas powered tools, frankly. They don’t cut or trim as evenly, and the low power means lots more physical work and time. I do it, but grudgingly.

    And the price of a replacement electric mower battery (yes, we recycled the old one) was close to the cost of the mower itself and has to be done every 2 years. While it was out of commission, I borrowed a self-propelled gas mower from the neighbor (my GF was livid that I did) and I was in HEAVEN. It took half the time, was half as physically demanding, and the yard looked amazing.

    And our crappy electric tools are a step backward greenwise: I used to use a reel push mower on the lawn. Boy, did that blow. The lawn always looked shaggy because of the uneven cut, when the grass got too long it would push it over rather than cutting it, and it was so physically demanding that I couldn’t finish. I had to do the lawn in sections, and by the time I got it all done, the first section was long again.

    Also the blades had to be sharpened 3 times a year, which involved driving the mower to a sharpener and paying $50 each time.

    Before someone chimes in with “use native plants; lawns are wrong” – not possible in our historic neighborhood, where our lawn has been a lawn for nearly 200 years and is regulated by the city.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The irony is there’s probably less pollution generated by selling gas powered tools when you factor in the construction and disposal of rechargable batteries, probably 95% of which will end up in a dumpster instead of being recycled.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I honestly don’t think Amazon necessarily meant “green” to mean “environmentally friendly” (see post #16). Green has other meanings too, like in “green thumb.” Green as in gardening, grass, shrubs, leaves. Is there more text to the ad than is shown above? Because they don’t say anything about the environment, unless you assume that’s what “green” means, and I’m not sure that’s safe to assume.

    Not that I would put it past Amazonian ad creators to do something less than brilliant…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Joel Johnson: You mean compared to manual tools? That’s true, but power from the grid is vastly more efficient than power from a tiny gas motor, most of which also don’t have any anti-pollution measures. I think it is completely legitimate to consider an electric weed whacker as a green alternative to a gas-powered one.

    • Joel Johnson says:

      I may feel more stridently about this than others—especially since I live in Brooklyn and don’t even have a yard; I mow my neighbor’s 20 x 20 ft plot for fun!—but while electric stuff is definitely greener, it’s still not green green.

      I just really, really love to work in the yard and garden with my hands, so that’s what “working on the lawn” is to me. And hence, why seeing power tools listed as a “green” solution was funny to me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    We have owned and used a black and decker corded electric lawn mower for 15 years. During that time I have sharpened the blade around 8 or nine times and cleaned up a bit under the deck each time. There has been no other maintenance.

    The cord has never been run over (because it came with a piece of paper taped to the handle with a simple rule to prevent this printed in 4″ tall letters).

    No oil, no gas, no plugs, no batteries, and it’s a mulcher so no bags to empty (except in fall when we use it to gather & shred leaves) for 15 years. Throw it in the shed all winter with no preparation or protection.

    What’s not to like?

  15. Jemaleddin says:

    As mentioned earlier, the original is from Hamlet. What you’re looking at is a Snowclone:

    Almost as cool as an Eggcorn:

  16. ivan256 says:

    #27: Do you have the flip handle version? It’s nice to be able to keep the cord facing towards the outlet. I have had one break, but it lasted 10 years before the motor burned out.

    Of course, I’m sad to admit that since I’m at work for all of the hours of the day where the sun is out, I’ve had to resort to hiring somebody to mow my lawn for me.

  17. Teresa Nielsen Hayden/Moderator says:

    Anonymous #15:

    Isn’t the irony in the fact that this is included in a BB list of gadgets that nobody needs, yet take a vast amount of resources to produce. Is the Digital Video Rocket really more meaningful than a Singing Trout Wall Plaque? Is geek landfill less troublesome than trailer trash landfill?

    Answer: Yes. The Digital Video Rocket is more meaningful than an unmodified Bigmouth Billy Bass plaque. The singing fish delivers you one predetermined outcome (that is, predetermined by someone other than yourself): when a sound sets it off, it flops around and sings.

    If everything works properly–rockets are always unchancy–the Digital Video Rocket goes up, captures images, and comes down again in retrievable condition. But what you photograph with it, and why, and what you do with your footage or pictures, is open-ended. You could send it up in advance of an oncoming thunderstorm, or take footage of Coney Island at dusk. If you were stuck in one spot in a range of hills, the DVR would be a weird way to get a better idea of where you were; but it might work. And so forth.

    To summarize: Bigmouth Billy Bass does one pretedetermined thing. The Digital Video Rocket is a way to do a broad if not infinite range of things of your own choosing.

    Is Geek landfill less troublesome than Trailer Trash landfill? Again, yes, because you can talk about Geek landfill without using a term which many of the people to whom it refers find offensive and demeaning.

    What’s more troublesome than either Geek gadget landfill or Trailer Trash gadget landfill is Prosperous Suburb gadget landfill, because there’s so much more of it.

  18. urbanmike says:

    Nothing like the power of a gas tool though.

    Somehow the electric counterparts look weak and less manly on the shelf at Canadian Tire.

    Now that’s ironic, judging your manhood by the size of your powertool.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t the irony in the fact that this is included in a BB list of gadgets that nobody needs, yet take a vast amount of resources to produce. Is the Digital Video Rocket really more meaningful than a Singing Trout Wall Plaque? Is geek landfill less troublesome than trailer trash landfill?

  20. douglips says:

    I imagine I’m the old fogey around here, but I remember when the word “green” had a vegetative connotation. As in, he has a green thumb. Look, it’s Joe the green grocer! To this day, I dump my lawn clippings in a green waste bucket. Because, you see, lawn clippings are literally green.

    Why does this ad have to have anything to do with the environment?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Um, guys? The irony is that they’re trying to sell you “greener” tools to cut down actual greenery.

  22. Skwid says:

    Hmm…I dunno, there are very few references for “Irony, they name is…”

  23. Fred Ochsenhirt says:

    I don’t see any irony here at all, really. Life’s about tradeoffs, and in the grand scheme of things, electric tools are green. Unless you’re growing your own food, walking everywhere you go, and powering that laptop with solar panels on your roof, you’re making your own tradeoffs. I suppose I could mow the grass with a reel mower, clip the hedges with a hand clipper and trim the grass with a set of shears, if I was independently wealthy and didn’t have to work at a real job.

  24. Anonymous says:

    i think the origin you’re looking for was shakespeare’s “frailty, thy name is woman.” coz people respected women so much in england in the 1500s.

  25. hhype says:

    “Quality, thy name is blank” is a reference to the favorite phrase “Vanity, thy name is woman” usually attributed to Shakespeare. But the line in Hamlet is “Frailty, thy name is woman!” Hamlet (I, ii, 146) which Hamlet says because he is mad at his mother for remarrying his father’s brother within a month of his father’s death.

    Wikipedia has a short article on “Thy Name is” which has the same reference. Plug in whatever you like to make a new phrase. I doubt you could find the first use of “Irony, thy name is …” in particular, because I am sure people have been appropriating and remixing Shakespeare’s phrase for about 400 years, it’s a good line.

  26. carriem says:

    I think the REAL irony here, which is funny to miss really, is that these gadgets are truly for UN-greening your lawn and garden.

    I think a green lawn and garden tool would be something like a sack of seeds. Maybe to get all high tech you could get one of those thingys that spew seeds out as you wheel it around.

    >nod to you, Douglips<

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


More BB

Boing Boing Video

Flickr Pool




Displays ads via FM Tech

RSS and Email

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution. Boing Boing is a trademark of Happy Mutants LLC in the United States and other countries.

FM Tech