You know the Independent Film Channel? Yeah, it's gone. Now it's just IFC, which officially stands for nothing. Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos. At least it stands for something.
IFC joins KFC as a post-meaning brand; you young people may not know this but once KFC stood for Kentucky Fried Chicken, but after the events of the Cola Wars we all feel it's too painful to be reminded of Kentucky, so now KFC just means literally K and F and C.
“The name ‘Independent Film Channel’ has been legally retired and IFC as an acronym now stands for nothing,” said network president Jennifer Caserta. “Well, it actually stands for a growing number of smart, funny and original alternative comedies, but our viewers already know that. So, starting today, IFC is legally IFC.”
It makes sense, since when you say IFC you think Portlandia and Arrested Development reruns and Comedy Bang Bang. In fact, IFC has better comedy programming than the Comedy Channel. Maybe they should rebrand as It's Fucking Comedic! (and yes, include the exclamation point. Feels very now). They're still showing movies, but you look at their programming - current featured titles include Animal House, The Aviator and Ace Venture: When Nature Calls - it's hard to reconcile Independent as having any meaning anymore.
It's fascinating to watch a channel like this change. I feel like this is the result of a changing relationship with cable TV; twenty years ago every channel had some sort of purpose, often reflected in the name. But we've seen The Learning Channel become a joke and the History Channel become a science fiction station and American Movie Classics become whatever it is now, so that era has clearly changed. The channels seem to be going after a tone as opposed to an actual meaning. TLC is now the channel for people who like looking at freaks. History Channel is now for people who are into conspiracies and ancient astronauts. AMC is for people who like quality dramas but can't be bothered to change the channel the other six days of the week. And now IFC is for... well, Portandians, I'd say. It's Hip 20s/30s White People TV.
And hey, it's sort of retro! Even though the big three networks all have meanings (National Broadcasting Company, Columbia Broadcasting Company and American Broadcasting Company), all your local channels don't mean a thing. I grew up watching WPIX on channel 11, and that doesn't mean a damn thing. So IFC fits right into that.
Although seriously, they should consider making it mean It's Fucking Comedic!.