benjamin barber complains about irony


Irony is liberation on the cheap; irresponsibility without regret. Puritanism may be too hard to bear; skepticism may be the price demanded by reason; but irony is all too easy. No wonder our infantilizing, attention-deficit, lazy, consumerist times are in love with it. No wonder that the less crafted, less crafty version of McDonagh is found at every studio script conference for the latest thriller or HBO movie. The Puritans make work of play, moderns make play of work, but ironists make nonsense of work and play, seriousness and fun. To be too serious may at times be a sin; and to laugh too much at seriousness may be a greater one. But the ironist laughs at those who laugh at seriousness, somehow thinking this will enable them to recover seriousness without embracing its vices as seen by those who mock it.

more from Salmagundi here.