English teacher Henry Walters forwarded a fascinating article to me about the ubiquitous presence of irony in our culture today. I highly recommend the article, for one way or another it will provoke you! A link can be found here:
According to the article's author, Christy Whampole, the persistence of irony speaks to a larger malaise in our culture; "Irony is the most self defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic or otherwise." In spending so much effort being ironic, we shy away from any effort to believe in something for fear that our opinions may shift and we may be seen as dated. Irony is easy, taking a stand for something real is not.
Henry is using this article as a counterpoint to the poetry of William Butler Yeats, the poet he is teaching in his senior elective this winter. According to Henry, Yeats does not have a single ironic bone in his body.
This discussion has raised some questions for me. Do we live in an age of deep irony? If so, what makes one generation or era more ironic than another? I would love to hear people's thoughts and reactions to the article.