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On Cynicism, Again: The Rise of the Ironic Class

22 February, 2010

b picHere’s a very thoughtful and insightful article from Brett McCracken of Relevant online magazine, entitled “The Rise of the Ironic Class.” Focusing on today’s teens and twenty- and thirty-somethings, it ties in very much with my recent posts here and here on our pervasive cultural cynicism and its remedy in Christ.

My favorite quote:

If a healthy dose of irony—one that keeps us real and exposed rather than lofty and detached—can help us live humbler, more grounded lives, Iʼm all for it. But if our irony proves to be more self-serving and alienating to our community and witness, it should be toned down or abandoned. And if irony depreciates our sense of the importance of life—of the immortality of people and the awesome wonder of things—it cannot be helpful. People will say, “we shouldnʼt take ourselves so seriously,” which to some extent is true. But itʼs also important to remember, as the ever-direct (but occasionally ironic) C.S. Lewis famously noted: “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” Existence is inescapably serious.

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2 Comments
  1. 23 February, 2010 2:35 am

    Thanks for introducing me to that online
    magazine. The article is short and to the
    point. As a former ,” new age garbagehead”
    and cynic( though not a classical Cynic of
    ancient Greece), I know the mindset. I am
    grateful to have a relationship with God
    through Christ because ambiguity in morals
    and general conduct is a shadow of what it
    once was. I know how to make decisions
    and act on my conscience most of the time.

    I can sympathize with excessive irony but
    I pray that young folk( and old) find a moral
    core that is from God and therefore true; not
    so relative that anything goes. In AA I see
    how ambiguity leads to a relapse all the time.

    I know that I am a sinner, and I know what sin
    is. I do not have any excuse for my wrongs. I
    also know that I am an alcoholic and my thinking
    can go goofy real quick if I forget who made me.,
    and forget what His will is for me, to be sober.

    Pete.

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