Shortly after 9/11, political pundits started proclaiming “the end of the age of irony.” The horror and violence of that terrorist attack, in this view, would usher in a new epoch of sobriety, reflectiveness, and earnestness. That thesis didn’t pan out so well. See, e.g., Iraq, Afghanistan, Orgies of Capitalist Excess, LMFAO, and so on.
And yet, in the interceding decade, irony did, much like Kenny, die 1,000 tiny deaths. Things got so ridiculously fucked up – in our politics, economics, everything – that irony has lost its bite. Don’t get us wrong, we love Jon Stewart, but after a while that Scooby Doo noise he makes stops making us laugh and, instead, reminds us that something tragic has happened — that irony has died.
When people mistake headlines from The Onion with real news, it’s not just that they’re dumb (okay, sometimes they’re kind of dumb), but that shit in real newspapers has gotten that crazy; that George Orwell, having gone twice too far, didn’t go halfway far enough.
Here we document the cruel mess we’ve somehow gotten ourselves into, wherein reality has left irony spinning its wheels at the start line.
At DOI, we post posts in a post-post-ironic world.
Please send all inquiries and sightings of dead irony to firstname.lastname@example.org