Well, it seems that irony isn’t dead after all, and I for one am greatly relieved about it. I don’t even know how I’d think without irony, let alone crack a joke. In fact, I’ve tried previously to get my mind around what a post-ironic movement might look like, and came up short. Does that mean no more jokes, or just no more good jokes? Would we have to believe everything? Would being a keener become cool again? A few years ago, Suck suggested Party of Five and PETA as examples of non-ironic behaviour… shiver.
If that Onion issue is any indication, irony ain’t dead, just different. rebeccablood described it as “satire with a broken heart”, which isn’t necessarily new, just a different breed than has been dominant lately. For example, Swift’s modest proposal is compassionate satire. In my own humble experience with parody, you have to engage deeply with something in order to acheive the highest level of ironic results. People assume you’re making light, which is far from the truth. Part of the problem with those who proclaim irony dead and wish to move on to full-time earnestness is that they see the two as mutually exclusive, which is a mistake.
The other mistake is that we’ve already got earnestness down. Take a look around cockeyed to see the state of the art in post-earnest irony. Especially good are the pranks, such as this one, and the “what’s inside” tests, such as this this one.