A Manifesto for The New Sincerity | Maximum Fun
Word came down from America’s commentary class around September 13th,
2001. Irony was dead. In what would come to be called “The Post 9-11
World,” there would be no room for that particularly distasteful form of
discourse. It was to be replaced by soft, sweet sincerity. Somewhere,
an eagle shed a single tear.
Of course, reports of irony’s death were greatly exaggerated. A few
weeks after the tragedy, irony made a heroic, if modest, resurgence.
Great exemplars of the form like The Onion and Jon Stewart went back to
their grindstones. Hipsters in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn slapped on their
Roos and drowned what was left of their trauma in Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Within two years, America was watching The Simple Life and basking in
Sincerity, Not Irony, Is Our Age’s Ethos
Cultural critics love hypothesizing about hipsters. And certainly
hipsters make for useful lab rats if you’re interested in the culture of
young, gentrifying, trendy, affluent, and white college graduates. But
it’s easy to let this hypothesizing go too far, and you get into trouble
when you try to charge hipsters with representing the “ethos of our
age.” They’re just kids making their way from young adulthood to the
rest of their lives.