Irony Is a Survival Tactic

As Someone Who Tried to Give Up Irony, I Can Tell You—It Doesn’t Work

Comments

1
Thank you. This is a very wise and keenly detailed article, with a bold assertion: Irony is not either/or. Irony can be useful to copy with the ennui or horror of life, but can neither be fully embraced as a total lifestyle choice nor avoided as if it crushes the soul. One can be ironic, and earnest, or in varying degrees of either. (Enemies of thought would have us believe otherwise, and rage incessantly against this truth as if it corrupts everything.) Not understanding this tension leads to thinking of those with sincerely-intended beliefs as being some sort of zombie-like other; it also can make us feel as if humanity is disingenuous at the core, which is going too far. Thank you, Tricia, for taking a brave stance on mindful balance as others insist that we all have to be one thing, all the time -- that just isn't real, or real happiness.
2
lots to contemplate here. I'm wondering: is it possible to be ironic about Disneyland and not ironic about Bach?

The last paragraph about the selective use of irony seems very wise to me. It seems that both irony and earnestness can create emotional distance.
3
This is excellent
4
Yeah this is really good.
5

Irony is a kind of displacement behavior for a world you can't control anyway.

Society broke many promises...jetpacks being just the tip of the iceberg.

You have the people who embrace the failure (punk) but they have to do so ironically, just to let you know they aren't satisfied at all.
6
Fantastic.
7
Is irony a way of tickling yourself so you don’t mistake Facebook for reality?
8
Oh no, I'm having flashbacks -- your sincere friend sounds so much like my mother. The Disney infatuation, high tolerance for really crappy light comedies combined with inability to enjoy entertainment that is in any way gritty or depressing, an oppressive insistence on Christmas and other holidays being perfect according to a pre-written script…

But in my mother's case, I can't trace it back to any particularly traumatic childhood experiences. She just seems to a bit narcissistic and unable to face reality.

I loved Disneyland as a kid, when we lived in SoCal and it was a regular feature in my life, hated coming back to it as a teenager (for pretty much all the reasons you cite) and then had a good time again when I went back as an adult with friends. The friends were really the key there -- they could enjoy Disneyland for what it offered, but still find many things about it absurd and hilarious.

Vegas with my family, however, was even worse than Disneyland with my family. I think that's because I genuinely enjoy rides and animation, but not gambling and shopping, which was what the Vegas experience with my family turned into