Dec 2, 2008

The end of irony (again)

"Again and again, perfectly sentient adults cited the clinching arguments made on the candidate's behalf by their children. Again and again we were told that this was a generational thing, we couldn't understand. In a flash, we were back in high school, and we couldn't sit with the popular kids, we didn't get it. The Style section of The New York Times, on the Sunday after the election, mentioned the Obama T-shirt that "makes irony look old." Irony was now out. Naiveté, translated into "hope," was now in. Innocence, even when it looked like ignorance, was now prized."— Joan Didion NYRB
The last time America was supposed to have lost its sense of irony was 9/11. It's hard to know what people meant exactly. It's nor as if the nation's wits, so used to ironising mass slaughter, went: okay not this time. The same with elections. It's a pretty prosaic either-or kind of deal: you go into a booth and you pull a lever. Pretty hard to do that ironically. You could of course try and argue that your support for a candidiate was only ironic, but the joke would be on you, surely? I could be wrong. Maybe all the people who voted for Bush were being ironic about it, but if so then it didn't make the blind bit of difference. All of which is a round about way of saying that Didion sounds cranky as hell. Hope? Bah humbug.

No comments:

Post a Comment