Monday, June 10, 2013

The end of irony

I've been thinking about the end of irony for some time.

13 years ago, my cousins and I coined the term post-cynicism to herald the coming post-ironic age. I wrote about it on epinions, declaring Mallrats as the exemplar of a post-ironic age. 5 years ago, I helped organize a conference where MIT researcher Judith Donath declared that in a high-speed online age, irony is the key to cool, because of the in-group signaling value irony imparts, in an era where traditional money based status structures have slowly been deconstructed. Perhaps today we're at an end. There's been a spate of articles denouncing hipsterism, which as this n+1 article argues is defined by its ironic consumption.

So I like this paragraph from a recent Time review of the upcoming Superman (the first Superman movie I've ever been excited about), where the irony is.. the lack of irony... How meta... (Although meta feels so 90's)
Watchmen essentially dismantles the great Western myth of the Superhero--it's about exposing superheroes as tights-wearing neurotics and alcoholics and sociopaths--whereas Superman is the most ingenuous, unironic, unreconstructed, un-self-aware franchise of them all. But here Snyder was, in a parking lot in Vancouver in the rain, earnestly trying to breathe life back into the big blue Boy Scout. "All the movies I've made, I've made with a slight bit of irony," Snyder said. "Not even a slight bit. A fair amount. But the ironic part of this movie is that it's not ironic. You know what I mean? No tongue in cheek, no winking at the camera, no apologies. It's Superman. He deserves that."

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