Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Think for Yourself, Schmuck! => Topic started by: Cramulus on March 08, 2017, 03:44:29 pm

Title: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Cramulus on March 08, 2017, 03:44:29 pm
(http://i.imgur.com/mueGjvQ.png)

I really enjoyed this youtube vid discussing "The Problem with Irony"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2doZROwdte4

The video follows a train of thought from David Foster Wallace. It is critical of how irony has infused itself so deeply into pop culture and everyday human relations. The video talks about how "Irony has no redemptive qualities in and of itself. It can point out problems and deconstruct things, but it has no solution." We've begun to treat irony as a statement in of itself.

This resonates with me through my experience spending years and years trolling the Internets with you cats. I found that there long-term consequences of wearing an ironic mask for so long, playing a character until it blends into your real personality. It made me argumentative and contentious in my day to day life. People told me that when they were talking, they felt like I was just searching for a weak point to pounce on it.  I was full of criticisms, and I defended myself against criticisms by not believing anything, by not presenting a solid base that could be attacked. Sometimes it felt like all I had was a critical posture... I had built walls and a moat ... with no castle to defend.

David Foster Wallace didn't like how irony (which, like Satire, is often employed to intensify the The Thing you're criticizing) had become The Thing itself. It has no values, no statement, no castle to defend.

Wallace's counter-movement is called the New Sincerity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Sincerity


Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: Cramulus on March 08, 2017, 03:58:04 pm
There is a little symmetry here between the New Sincerity, and Christine Harold's book Ourspace, which is critical of Kale Lassn's AdBusters.

In Ourspace, Harold says the problem with the "anti-commercial" movement is that it's just a negation. It doesn't present a replacement. Adbusters say "stop getting obsessed with brands." But what do we do instead?
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: Bathtub Jim on March 08, 2017, 05:04:10 pm
There is a little symmetry here between the New Sincerity, and Christine Harold's book Ourspace, which is critical of Kale Lassn's AdBusters.

In Ourspace, Harold says the problem with the "anti-commercial" movement is that it's just a negation. It doesn't present a replacement. Adbusters say "stop getting obsessed with brands." But what do we do instead?

You get obsessed with sustainability and local shit and supporting ethics in consumption, etc, etc. This is pretty obvious, though maybe a tad implied.

TBH, it seems like irony, post irony, new sincerity, etc, are meaningless distinctions because all of them are intended to be sharp criticism of society. With every ironic statement is a very sincere criticism that is illuminated from the contrast.
Irony often didn't have the desired effect because the speaker knew what they intended, but this might be confusing to the observer. Irony is too often confused for sincerity because everyone is so inundated with shitty ideas on the internet that its no longer effective to present ideas as ironic due to their seemingly obvious absurdity.
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: Cramulus on March 08, 2017, 06:25:40 pm
Quote
You get obsessed with sustainability and local shit and supporting ethics in consumption, etc, etc. This is pretty obvious, though maybe a tad implied.

I think both Harold and Lassn would say that there is, like, a meta-product, identity and individuation, which the product provides for the consumer. And that's why "just stop being so brand obsessed" isn't effective; the motivational power of Nike's swoosh can't compete with "support ethical commerce instead". You can't wear that on your sleeve the same way, it doesn't have the same spectacular power.


TBH, it seems like irony, post irony, new sincerity, etc, are meaningless distinctions because all of them are intended to be sharp criticism of society. With every ironic statement is a very sincere criticism that is illuminated from the contrast.

The video in the OP uses Seinfeld as an example, so I'll start there. Seinfeld is an ironic take on the sitcom.. In contrast with its peers, it's got no "point", no "moral lesson", the character's aren't "wholesome".. which is probably part of why it succeeded--it was a response to the schmaltzy family sitcom. But it's also kinda nihilistic and cynical. None of the characters have any values or passion, they don't solve anything. They're not good role models, and they wouldn't be fun to hang out with.

and I'm not saying sitcoms need to be these aesop's fables or anything like that, it's just lowbrow entertainment

But I do think the Sitcom plays a role in our cultural myths. I confess with a cringe that at a young age, Full House and other TGIF programming played a role in how I perceived romantic relationships and the larger world. And when I think about shows like Arrested Development, or Parks & Rec, where the characters are actively seeking out meaning and joy and aren't just cynical new yorkers...  It's a different experience. It takes you to a different place.

If I had to choose between living in a world where everybody behaved like a character in Parks & Rec vs behaving like a character from Seinfeld, Parks & Rec is clearly the better universe.

To draw on my trolling experiences again -- my Pterodactyl Handler character didn't have any beliefs, he was just a dick. He was borne of irony, and he had nothing but teeth. Playing that character for a long period of time (like 2 or 3 years embedded at TCC), and slowly growing into him... it honestly didn't feel good. My Cramulus character, in contrast, was actively creating stuff, trying to discover new things... In a lot of ways, the cynicism and bitterness of the Pterodactyl Handler forced Cramulus to be more sincere. So I feel the difference between irony and sincerity in a big and personal way.

Yeah in some ways Pterodactyl Handler was, through mockery, helping refine shitty people and shitty behaviors. But the lack of values and the fun of blowing people up rapidly eclipsed whatever Goodness mockery could accomplish.
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: LMNO on March 08, 2017, 06:42:42 pm
Are we conflating irony, cynicism, and pessimism together in one big ball of emotions labeled "negative stuff"?

Because I think that's a massive oversimplification.

I prefer the John Waters' school of anti-irony.  Cf: Pecker.
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 08, 2017, 07:00:20 pm
I think that irony is best deployed when things don't really matter (ie. the fashions of the 70's) and during the early criticism phase of identifying social wrongs, but is of little use when it comes time to really tackle social change.

People who are stuck in perpetual irony-land are, in a sense, signaling that they don't really matter and have no intention of mattering. It is, for want of a better term, nihilism signaling.
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on March 08, 2017, 07:09:08 pm
I began to write stuff for this in reply but found myself a bit diverted and I want to be clear about what I mean when I post it.

Posting this to note that you got me thinking.
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: Cramulus on March 08, 2017, 07:09:47 pm
Are we conflating irony, cynicism, and pessimism together in one big ball of emotions labeled "negative stuff"?

No I don't think Wallace is criticizing emotional negativity, at all.

The "New Sincerity" thing is a response to the prevalence of irony and cynicism in pop culture, how these attitudes are no longer just a form of criticism, but have crept in as an expression in of themselves. Wallace thinks irony is basically hollow; when you put it in the creamy center of entertainment, its inherent lack of value has an "enervating" effect on culture.






Its kinda like that South Park episode where Stan becomes a tween and starts thinking everything is lame -- and in turn becomes awful to hang out with.

Quote from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You're_Getting_Old#Plot
From ice cream to movie trailers, Stan can now only see the bad in things, and this negative outlook alienates him from Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman, who begin avoiding him. When Stan catches them secretly going to the movies without him after lying about having the flu, he comes along, only for his attitude to ruin the trailers and Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman leave the theater.

 

Quote
I prefer the John Waters' school of anti-irony.  Cf: Pecker.

not familiar
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: Cramulus on March 08, 2017, 07:16:02 pm
related thread, dovetails nicely: http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php/topic,27451.msg969661.html#msg969661


Back when I was a kid, which was a long time ago indeed, stuff that was cool was cool. It was cool to like stuff that was cool, and of course everybody thought the stuff they liked was cool. "Cool shirt, dude!" was not a condemnation, but an accolade. Nobody was embarrassed to admit that they were into something because they thought it was cool; a cool band, a cool car, a cool chick. Maybe, if you were a nerd, a cool computer or a cool calculator... computers and calculators were REALLY cool back then, because they were now, and damn if they weren't hot rats.

...

Somehow, though, cool isn't cool anymore. If you like something because you think it's cool, people will judge you and find you insincere, and probably therefore inauthentic. "You're only into them because you think they're cool" is an insult. People are afraid to look like they think something's cool, because they fear the labeling that comes along with it. You come across a Knight Rider T-shirt at Goodwill and at first your heart leaps... Knight Rider! That's so cool! But wait... if you buy it, people will think you're wearing it to be retro, because that's cool. Nope; must avoid the appearance of trying to be cool.

God fucking forbid anything or anyone be desired or admired because of being cool. EVERY FUCKING THING had better be "authentic", or YOU WILL BE JUDGED, AND FOUND WANTING.
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: LMNO on March 08, 2017, 07:21:02 pm
I get what you and Wallace are saying, I'm just getting stuck on calling it "irony".

Eh, I don't want to derail.  I'll keep reading.

Oh, and you should totally see the movie Pecker.
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 08, 2017, 10:49:05 pm
I am liking sincerity more and more. I feel like gen-x really did irony to death, and then it lived on as a zombie, and much like zombies and zombie-themed merchandise WOULDN'T FUCKING DIE even when it was long past its sell-by date.
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: LuciferX on March 08, 2017, 10:52:22 pm
I'm jumping in here a little un-prepared, but who cares.  Fucking irony, yeah, I agree with DFW.  I also think his movement toward "new sincerity" struck me as being somewhat inauthentic and rehabilitated.  This is probably the result of my own different projections on the nature of "recovery" interfering with themselves.  This is not to detract from my rejection of irony, rather to indicate the insidious way that it infects us with its weakness. 

If it does serve as a tool for deconstruction, strong enough to dismantle even Itself, then what the fuck is it's business bolstering ego's and shielding fragments of self?  If irony were presented with it's own groundlessness, it would run off like a hysterical child screaming into the abyss.

If irony does indicate an absence, at least it can be full of a "positive-indeterminate"?

Now off to read what all this new sincerity clap-trap is about :lulz:
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: Cramulus on March 08, 2017, 11:34:33 pm
from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Sincerity#As_a_cultural_movement

Quote
...[Radio host Jesse] Thorn characterizes New Sincerity as a cultural movement defined by dicta including "Maximum Fun" and "Be More Awesome". It celebrates outsized celebration of joy, and rejects irony, and particularly ironic appreciation of cultural products.... A typical explication of Thorn's concept is this 2006 "Manifesto for the New Sincerity":

Quote

What is The New Sincerity? Think of it as irony and sincerity combined like Voltron, to form a new movement of astonishing power. Or think of it as the absence of irony and sincerity, where less is (obviously) more. If those strain the brain, just think of Evel Knievel. Let's be frank. There's no way to appreciate Evel Knievel literally. Evel is the kind of man who defies even fiction, because the reality is too over the top. Here is a man in a red-white-and-blue leather jumpsuit, driving some kind of rocket car. A man who achieved fame and fortune jumping over things. Here is a real man who feels at home as Spidey on the cover of a comic book. Simply put, Evel Knievel boggles the mind. But by the same token, he isn't to be taken ironically, either. The fact of the matter is that Evel is, in a word, awesome. . . . Our greeting: a double thumbs-up. Our credo: "Be More Awesome". Our lifestyle: "Maximum Fun". Throw caution to the wind, friend, and live The New Sincerity.

In a September 2009 interview, Thorn commented that "new sincerity" had begun as "a silly, philosophical movement that me and some friends made up in college" and that "everything that we said was a joke, but at the same time it wasn’t all a joke in the sense that we weren’t being arch or we weren’t being campy. While we were talking about ridiculous, funny things we were sincere about them."

that last part sounds really familiar

don't read the part that comes later about adult MLP fans.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Salty on March 09, 2017, 02:45:44 am
There certainly comes a point where avoiding having genuine values makes things easier. Nothing to get poked, nothing flawed that somebody can make a hilariously mocking meme.

I guess before I came to Discordia I was overly sincere, missing the other bit that allowed me to discern between things I liked or values I had and my WHOLE SELF.

Then, for a while, that constant lock-picking and deconstructing did get into almost all aspects of my life. To a point that's still true. I was born a Discordian, even when I was a newage idiot I never got along with any others. It's easier to see flaws in logic in others.

But you have to settle the minds constant tracking and hunting and find something with meat in it.

I was sort of apathetic politically until this last year. I just thought, "MEH, they're all the same." Now, even though I know there are flaws with it, I am very committed to doing my part in preserving the fabric of society. Mostly because of the concerted effort in the other direction.

Meaning to say: maybe living with constant irony crumbles in the face of actual danger.

Also, it's just nicer having things to care about. It creates a more fertile soil for the mind, I think.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Nast on March 09, 2017, 03:32:18 am

Meaning to say: maybe living with constant irony crumbles in the face of actual danger.


That brings up the point that perhaps irony is the sole privilege of the relatively well-off. A parallel you could draw would be with the affected aristocratic languor of the nobility of days of yore. Perhaps cultivation of irony is a privilege of people without any significant, immediate threats to their day-to-day survival.   
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Faust on March 09, 2017, 09:17:53 am
I have seen the counter argument that the majority of what masquerades as Irony is not irony at all, irony by its nature is not supposed to be the obvious path. Its not a new argument, proponents of the new sincerity were themselves accused of being an ironic reaction to what was as others attributed to nihilism.
I think when Irony becomes derivative it becomes nihilism and negativity.

Complex and layered Irony can still be incredibly clever, and original. Of course that becomes a relevance arms race, where Irony needs to constantly evolve to stay a step ahead of the populist use and dilution to banality.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Cramulus on March 09, 2017, 02:57:22 pm
I'm thinking about how the 'ironic racism' present in communities like /b/ and /pol/ created an environment where

(a) actual racists can say their sincere thoughts
(b) ironic racists embrace these ideas ironically... and evidently, less ironically over time



I wonder if irony is something you can maintain over the long term.


When I was in college, there weren't hipsters yet, they were still called Scenesters. Scenesters at my college could be identified by the way they embraced 'uncool' fashion like handlebar mustaches (which seemed pretty out of date in 2003), ugly christmas sweaters, old person clothes, obnoxious fixed speed bikes, etc.

But I think at a certain point, the irony was lost - they actually began to appreciated those things. Cosby sweaters became cool again.


For my own part, I've got this VHS cassette that came with a board game called DragonStrike (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTNnYkJwSNU). It is a terrible piece of film, a perfect balance of bad acting, bad writing, bad effects, and a weak premise. Its awfulness makes it funny. I have watched it probably 50+ times, and that's a low estimate. Do I like it ironically? Or do I genuinely appreciate the shitty VHS aesthetic? I don't know, man. I know that at first I liked it ironically, but now I want to share this experience with people because that VHS brings me legit actual joy.


random thoughts
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Faust on March 09, 2017, 03:55:47 pm
That VHS was nothing as mundane as Irony, it was a holy relic empowered by divine bulldada. You don't ironically bulldada, you are subject to its glory and it's mystery.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Cramulus on March 09, 2017, 05:36:13 pm
I'm trying to find some poetry that's part of the "New Sincerity" movement. This article (http://htmlgiant.com/haut-or-not/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-the-new-sincerity/) has a few links.


The Existentially Fucked Megamouth Shark (http://newworldwriting.net/backissues/2007/Vol13No3-Jul07/1303-070107-Lin1.html) (2007)
 


The article I linked above identifies these people as being on the same Sincere wavelength:



That makes sense... To me, the Decemberists and Wes Anderson go hand in hand.. feel like they're aimed at this place of ... intimacy? Not quite nostalgia, but the type of sadness and joy you only feel as a child. Think Moonlight Kingdom, a movie who reviewers said would make you think about your first childhood love. I think the word Twee fits here? One blogger calls this movement "The New Childishness".


Another poem by Tao Lin:


it'll get different
at work i wonder
if i should take anti-depressant medicine
finally, i decide, no, i shouldn't
later i am feeling depressed
do it, i say, take anti-depressant medicine
still later i feel better
anti-depressant medicine, i say, ha, ha
ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
an hour later i catch myself thinking extremely hard
about a bright green apple being where my heart should








I like putting some space after the poem so you have a second to digest it before moving onto the commentary








Some commentary on that poem
Quote from: http://thefrenchexit.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20New%20Childishness
I think this veers very close to the stated definition of flarf: "deliberate shapelessness of content, form, spelling, and thought in general, with liberal borrowing from internet chat-room drivel and spam scripts, often with the intention of achieving a studied blend of the offensive, the sentimental, and the infantile." Or, as Gary Sullivan put it, "A kind of corrosive, cute, or cloying, awfulness. Wrong. Un-P.C. Out of control. 'Not okay.'" Note how close this is to Ana Bozicevic's definition of the New Childishness as "a cultivated artful artlessness." The phrase "anti-depressant medicine" is funny because it is wrong, redundant, sounds misinformed in a Bushism way (a la "the interwebs"), an effect that's enhanced by its being repeated three times. There's also the implied understanding of antidepressants as something you take on demand, like a painkiller for a headache ("do it, i say, take anti-depressant medicine").

The end of the poem* is a caricature of a sentimental ending; what's more sentimental than equating your feelings to your actual physical heart? It is still surprising and strange -- the sudden image in this poem that has consisted entirely of straightforward reportage of thoughts and feelings. It's also weird ambiguous: would having a "bright green apple" for a heart be good or bad? It's a bit surreal, and Tao Lin poems aren't usually surreal. Is it moving in any way? Eh, not really. I think a poem like this works largely on the basis of self-mockery; if the real Tao Lin ever had these feelings, he's mocking them by writing them down, and if he didn't, he's mocking the mentality by proxy. It's an anti-poem. It could be called, "Poem About Depression." Oh ha ha ha.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on March 09, 2017, 11:08:14 pm
Something about how irony used to be, is that it would creep up on me.  Like some kind of unassuming ju-jitsu master that you would pretend to brush off, only to find that her legs are firmly wrapped around your neck, and you're going down.  I'm thinking Nabokov.  It's a calculated sequence of demolitions by shaped charges.  Instead now, with the chans, it's like irony just for irony's sake (look:  irony! ()).  It's a reactive bar-brawl where the principal of subversion stops at the quasi literal "up-endinding" of whatever (as long as it's not me...). Boring, pointless. The recognition of irony in itself is not a point of self-determination that can serve personal identity.  That last point seems lost on most who seek refuge in it, and then they choke.  slippery subject, irony is.



(would like to post better, more considerate responses, but time constraints only permit this.  Still very much enjoying the little time I can spend in here)
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on March 10, 2017, 03:39:06 am
It really seems that the currently ubiquitous sarcastic "irony" is a side effect of how our postmodernist society has taken all the sacred cows of the past and shat on them with extreme prejudice. I mean, people are sarcastic and ironic now not as a statement, not even as a conscious choice, but because that's all we have now. Everything else has turned out to be fraud, sham, superstition, or hoax. It leaves us assuming whatever the next thing is will, in its turn, also turn out to be an ultimately empty blip on a meaningless radar screen.

Religion is for rubes, spirituality is for dumb hippies, activism is for pawns, education is for condescending assholes. There's nothing to believe in sincerely, because the world is a great big complicated mess that nobody will ever understand, so thinking you have found something genuine is invariably an exercise in embarrassing naivete. The pace of social and technological change is faster than any institution can reasonably keep up with.

So, I like the idea of a "new sincerity" (though I'm not all read up on New Sincerity the Actual Thing™), but what can that be without being just another "dumb fad"? I get the concept of being sincerely satisfied with things as they are in the moment, but I'm not convinced that such a deeply materialistic approach is likely to succeed on a very large scale in a species that is so demonstrably obsessed with knowing everything, which always seems to take shortcuts through extrapolation and even metaphysics.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on March 10, 2017, 06:54:27 am
The thing is that I find the (profound) implications of irony ecstatically liberating.  Pure nihilism is that I believe sincerely in the complete emptiness of all things, which outstrips me with wet, slippery and entirely overflowing nothingness.  Yes, irony is the captain of my ship, I say, tripping over my fins.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Cramulus on March 10, 2017, 04:54:46 pm
Pure nihilism is that I believe sincerely in the complete emptiness of all things, which outstrips me with wet, slippery and entirely overflowing nothingness.  Yes, irony is the captain of my ship, I say, tripping over my fins.

It seems like we're getting closer to the kernel. I posit that the power of irony is its defense against The Nothingness.


Let me invoke Camus

Camus recognized the emptiness of all things and asked the question "So why not just kill yourself?"

and his conclusion is that even if the universe is bereft of inherent meaning, meaning can be created.

Camus said: let's not make our lives about the emptiness. Let's fill it with something worth living for.


I think maybe that's the guts of what we're talking about




Religion is for rubes, spirituality is for dumb hippies, activism is for pawns, education is for condescending assholes. There's nothing to believe in sincerely, because the world is a great big complicated mess that nobody will ever understand, so thinking you have found something genuine is invariably an exercise in embarrassing naivete. The pace of social and technological change is faster than any institution can reasonably keep up with.

So, I like the idea of a "new sincerity" (though I'm not all read up on New Sincerity the Actual Thing™), but what can that be without being just another "dumb fad"? I get the concept of being sincerely satisfied with things as they are in the moment, but I'm not convinced that such a deeply materialistic approach is likely to succeed on a very large scale in a species that is so demonstrably obsessed with knowing everything, which always seems to take shortcuts through extrapolation and even metaphysics.

Why do you think that being sincerely satisfied with something is 'deeply materialistic'?

What do you mean by "success on a very large scale" -- like that New Sincerity will eventually replace Irony? I doubt that'll happen, culture is too diverse.

I went on a date the other day... I was talking about Discordianism (she actually knew what it was, lol - though she compared it to speaking Latin, thought it was a conversation that essentially wrapped up like 30 years ago. Fair!). And she asked me, do you follow Discordianism as a joke? Do you think Eris is real?

Short answer:
(http://orig04.deviantart.net/5cc4/f/2015/320/0/f/sacred_chao_by_xaithas1-d9gycne.png)

it's hard to discuss... personally I do have a spiritual life and a spiritual relationship with Discordianism that transcends it being a mere joke. When I talk about this, I feel like I have to veil it behind layers of humor and sarcasm. I have to qualify that I'm not a pagan, I don't believe in Gods, and I don't practice the occult. I have to say I'm interested in religion but not a participant. And I have to do this because the cynicism about these topics is not wrong. 4 out of 5 people who will talk about spirituality on a first date are probably intolerable (myself included ha). But it's almost like I have to nod my head to the whole cynical train before I can say what I actually like.

not saying this is some huge injustice - just an observation
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on March 10, 2017, 05:47:36 pm
By "deeply materialistic" I mean the nihilism of the (not necessarily accurate or deserved) perception that life without meaning that transcends what we ascribe to it ourselves is unlikely to inspire large groups of people who expect -- demand -- an Ultimate Truth. Camus wasn't wrong, but he's also not very "fulfilling", at least not to most people.

By "success on a large scale" I don't really mean New Sincerity somehow becoming a dominant philosophy. I mean New Sincerity becoming a philosophy that even lasts very long, especially while maintaining its own internal sincerity and not becoming a self-effacing cynical joke. Even directly bringing up the context in which it makes sense seems like an invitation to make fun of anyone who dares to be genuinely happy in the face of such unrelenting nihilism as the kind our post-everything society keeps piling up.

"The Old Gods are Dead." The new ones are also dead, but they're wearing clown shoes.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on March 10, 2017, 07:31:06 pm
Okay, here goes.

There are people for whom Camus' resolution is deeply unsatisfying, and potentially unworkable. They're incapable of or unwilling to figure this shit out and come to a conclusion that's worth living for. They're cabbages, in Discordian parlance. They're the people who cannot handle the Strange Times. There's a million ways to end up there, intellectual laziness, poverty or diseased-caused lack of spoons, simple dullness, anti-creative indoctrination...

Discordianism fails is when it tells people to shit on the cabbages. It's not a crime to want the universe to make some fucking sense, and it's shitty as hell to dump all over people who haven't had the opportunity to sit around reading fucked up shit and practicing at thinking even weirder things. It's okay to want your basic needs met, and to not want people going GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE at you while you're handling your shit.

But the Future is coming, and right now I don't see where the cabbages end up in it. Where will they work? The factories full of literal robots? The fields full of actual robots? The service jobs replaced with self-serve kiosks? If you aren't a scientist or a creative, what the fuck does The Future have for you? Sure, they can regrow your liver from stem cells, but you were drinking yourself to death for a reason.

I remember a line from The Yellow Wallpaper, which I read for school because I went to a fantastic high school and I will fight you.
Quote
So I take phosphates or phosphites – whichever it is, and tonics, and   journeys, and air, and exercise, and am absolutely forbidden to “work” until I am well again. Personally, I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and chance, would do me good

Humanitarianism hasn't given people something meaningful to wrap themselves around, it delivers Camus. Tyson and Nye and the secularists all give us Camus, and expect everyone to be happy with it. It's not enough. If your Future doesn't have a place for the dull, for the intellectually lazy, for the sick and exhausted, what the hell kind of Future is it, anyway? And how can you expect the cabbages to do anything but fight it tooth and nail?
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LMNO on March 10, 2017, 08:44:59 pm
I lean away from what I call the "Protestant Work Ethic" theory, where a human is only satisfied when they are producing something of value.  While I understand that most people do not want to be the hedonistic meat sacks in "Wall-E", I feel that most people wouldn't do that if their basic survival needs were met.  Some would, of course, since humans come in all flavors -- but once the initial period of relief passed ("I'm gonna sleep all day and get drunk a lot!"), I feel that people would start looking for something to do, independent of "earning money".  And again, many people would indeed want to make more money, but many wouldn't. 

So, the idea of people wanting something other than existentialism or science is understandable, but I don't think a line should be drawn straight from that to "everyone wants a job".
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Cramulus on March 10, 2017, 08:57:16 pm
Quote
There are people for whom Camus' resolution is deeply unsatisfying, and potentially unworkable. They're incapable of or unwilling to figure this shit out and come to a conclusion that's worth living for. They're cabbages, in Discordian parlance. They're the people who cannot handle the Strange Times. There's a million ways to end up there, intellectual laziness, poverty or diseased-caused lack of spoons, simple dullness, anti-creative indoctrination...

(http://68.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mb0uyfIfXk1rhegcjo1_500.png)

I don't know how to address the economic side of it, how people will be okay in a jobless world. Better resources for going off grid is all I can think of right now.
 
But as for Camus & the quest for meaning - the Spectacle is a meaning factory. In the absence of jobs, I think a bunch of people will latch onto entertainment or volunteerism or the arts. Circus et paninis, etc.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on March 10, 2017, 09:08:08 pm
I lean away from what I call the "Protestant Work Ethic" theory, where a human is only satisfied when they are producing something of value.  While I understand that most people do not want to be the hedonistic meat sacks in "Wall-E", I feel that most people wouldn't do that if their basic survival needs were met.  Some would, of course, since humans come in all flavors -- but once the initial period of relief passed ("I'm gonna sleep all day and get drunk a lot!"), I feel that people would start looking for something to do, independent of "earning money".  And again, many people would indeed want to make more money, but many wouldn't. 

So, the idea of people wanting something other than existentialism or science is understandable, but I don't think a line should be drawn straight from that to "everyone wants a job".

I guess this is a little in Protestant Work Ethic territory, but I'm less thinking about Jobby Job Jobs and more Something To Do. I don't really think most folks can be happy long term without the perception that they are Doing Something, however vague that notion is and however little Something they do on a given day. There are of course the hedonists who will be okay with just consuming the culture others are creating, but I believe they'd be a minority.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on March 10, 2017, 11:47:04 pm

Let me invoke Camus [...]
[H]is conclusion is that even if the universe is bereft of inherent meaning, meaning can be created.

Camus said: let's not make our lives about the emptiness. Let's fill it with something worth living for.


I think maybe that's the guts of what we're talking about



I also enjoyed M.M. Ponty's articulation of meaning-giving as having both centrifugal and centripetal polarities.  Problem there is how to understand the relevance-relation of meaningful differences.  Usually instantiated as subject/object, self/world, individual/society; they are always and only understood in the shadow of empty things.  Then also my meaning-giving becomes empty, a simulation/simulacra.  So the question is, how do things go from zero to one?

I don't go camping nearly as often as I should, a fact evinced on my last trip by the food and clothing I thought would be adequate.  Cold and hunger not registering, I rose to look at the moon a tad too quickly and had the strangest head-rush.  Practically fainting (probably the off oranges) I suddenly found myself in a Berkeleyesque staged-version of the campsite.  Similar yet entirely different, it was like the space had been Disneyfied to look like the ride Pirates of the Caribbean.  Anyhow, that was also all I had.

What I mean is that I knew something was different, but I had nothing upon which to base that comparison.  I was in some kind of a fugue state, like a short circuit, with no determinate access to my particular sense of self.  It was like I had jumped into a different time-line, or slipped into a crack between worlds (words...). Capacity to clearly identify things and people substituted with fuzzy facades.  Point being, even as the world slipped away, the past vaporized, self dismantled, there was not also a dissolution of meaning or importance.  To the contrary, the "realness" of that state was entirely inescapable, the moment was unpostponable.

So I suppose what I'm getting at is that just because we give something meaning, which may or not be inherent, this does not make the sense of meaning any less relevant.  It is an entirely too permissive universe that humbly calls for us to accept that it provides the ground of possibility for our interrelation with it to be meaningfully nurtured, or not.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: tyrannosaurus vex on March 11, 2017, 01:58:33 am
I think I'm getting an idea of what this New Sincerity is, but the more I gaze into the Navel of Omniscience, the less I see it as an advancement. What is needed to counteract cynicism and nihilism is not to do an about-face and consciously reject the temptation to irony. Forcing myself to be satisfied with a meaning which I am also consciously (or at least upon reflection) creating, to the exclusion of every other possible meaning, is -- at least to me -- the epitome of nihilism and cynicism. To say, "This means nothing, therefore make it mean whatever you want," is to admit the ultimate futility of communicating or participating with others in a grander, universal "reality" that applies objectively and regardless of your own mental prodding. It feels one-sided, solipsistic, and masturbatory. Not that that's evil -- it just doesn't float my boat, man.

At the same time, any such "universal reality", even if it did exist, is unlikely to translate any more readily than a subjective meaning we individually ascribe to things. As has been shown in psychological studies, the way we experience and remember the very physical world we definitely share varies from person to person and even from time to time in the mind of a single person. Thus it's nearly impossible to communicate anything of "profound" meaning even when all the variables can be agreed upon. New Sincerity operates at this layer of experience -- the one where you and I both see Evel Knievel, gasp at his sick mid-air motor-batics, and agree "that was awesome." And it is awesome. It's exactly the right amount of awesome, too, and furthermore, that's all it needs to be. And it's a beautiful thing.

But not everything in human experience is a kickass white dude driving a motorcycle through the sky. Some things experienced are incredibly personal, incredibly subjective, and yet we still find ourselves needing to communicate these things and finding some common thread there that connects us. Sure, a lot of this stuff is hocus-pocus and superstition. But just as the distinction between "inherent" and "ascribed" meaning has not bearing on the value of that meaning, neither does the distinction between an "objective" and "subjective" experience have any bearing on the realness of that experience -- or on the inevitable desire to share it with someone. How does New Sincerity deal with these things? Do we deny the reality of spiritual experiences just because they do not register on a Gauss meter? Or do we take some cheap and entirely dissatisfying cop-out by politely smiling and nodding while some loon tells us how he had an epiphany about something, only to find ourselves met with the same vacant politeness when we try to relate our own thoughts about life, the universe, and everything?

Probably, the most reasonable and measured reaction to such a question is some variation of "meh, just educate yourself about how <scientific field> work and you'll stop fantasizing about <insert ridiculous metaphysical claptrap here>." But this sort of attitude is exactly where cynical postmodernism gets its continuing life force. It's a whack-a-mole game of shooting down every nonsensical idea that pops up in an endless array of incarnations of something that keeps refusing to be satisfied. That something is the point that, I think, New Sincerity is blind to.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 11, 2017, 02:40:01 am
I lean away from what I call the "Protestant Work Ethic" theory, where a human is only satisfied when they are producing something of value.  While I understand that most people do not want to be the hedonistic meat sacks in "Wall-E", I feel that most people wouldn't do that if their basic survival needs were met.  Some would, of course, since humans come in all flavors -- but once the initial period of relief passed ("I'm gonna sleep all day and get drunk a lot!"), I feel that people would start looking for something to do, independent of "earning money".  And again, many people would indeed want to make more money, but many wouldn't. 

So, the idea of people wanting something other than existentialism or science is understandable, but I don't think a line should be drawn straight from that to "everyone wants a job".

From everything I understand about human nature, this is true. Humans are weird in that we want to work as little as possible, but we become deeply unhappy if we aren't working in some way, whether it's art, design, gardening, hunting, manufacturing, etc.

This is why retired people become depressed and die early if they don't have a satisfying hobby or other pursuit.

It's also why people have hobbies, at all; job isn't satisfying the need to produce? Make something up!

We, essentially, have a fundamental need for strife. If we have nothing to strive for, we often simply shut down and die.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Cainad (dec.) on March 11, 2017, 03:43:29 am
I lean away from what I call the "Protestant Work Ethic" theory, where a human is only satisfied when they are producing something of value.  While I understand that most people do not want to be the hedonistic meat sacks in "Wall-E", I feel that most people wouldn't do that if their basic survival needs were met.  Some would, of course, since humans come in all flavors -- but once the initial period of relief passed ("I'm gonna sleep all day and get drunk a lot!"), I feel that people would start looking for something to do, independent of "earning money".  And again, many people would indeed want to make more money, but many wouldn't. 

So, the idea of people wanting something other than existentialism or science is understandable, but I don't think a line should be drawn straight from that to "everyone wants a job".

From everything I understand about human nature, this is true. Humans are weird in that we want to work as little as possible, but we become deeply unhappy if we aren't working in some way, whether it's art, design, gardening, hunting, manufacturing, etc.

This is why retired people become depressed and die early if they don't have a satisfying hobby or other pursuit.

It's also why people have hobbies, at all; job isn't satisfying the need to produce? Make something up!

We, essentially, have a fundamental need for strife. If we have nothing to strive for, we often simply shut down and die.

I'm having late-night drunken thoughts about Buddhism and the bolded statement.

Perhaps, when we no longer have strife to drive us, e.g. we stop struggling ("suffering," in most Buddhist parlance), some part of us figures "Ah ok, we're done here" and quits.

Whether or not this is desirable is up to the individual, I guess. But I didn't choose Discordianism over Buddhism for nothing, I suppose.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on March 12, 2017, 03:46:23 am
Strife serves the individual because it represents the inverted impression of work being done.  Without it's character of resistance, there would not b anything against which to cast our efforts:  purchase-less work, or, action without traction.  If this seems backwards, that's because it is, therefore, strife.

I can engage the world meaningfully without saying that it only runs on friction, noise and histrionics.   It's not work for the sake of distraction that I want.  It's a sense of relevant engagement that I'm looking for.

An image that comes to mind is Jean Claude van Dam, to illustrate what is wrong with strife.  He actually had very fluid kinetics from his dance training.  Putting that to work for martial-arts flix though meant that he was going to have to appear tougher than a ballerina.  So, to appease the gods of kayfabe, he's always flexing and holding all this tension to make him seem, well, more formidable.  This then informs the nether regions of what we think a confrontational stance looks like.  In actuality however, all that flexing is a waste of energy and motility that only serves the spectacle of combat at the expense of actually providing a lasting fighting strategy.

I'm so Discordian that I regect the limitations of strife, favoring a Daoist interpretation of it instead.  Otherwise it's just cognitive dissonance for the sake of cognitive dissonance.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 12, 2017, 04:00:17 am
Not sure what definition of "strife" you used to generate that banal pile of douchebaggery, but the one I generally use is the one that has the same etymological root as "strive", giving it connotations of working toward something of value.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: The Wizard Joseph on March 12, 2017, 04:12:03 am
Not sure what definition of "strife" you used to generate that banal pile of douchebaggery, but the one I generally use is the one that has the same etymological root as "strive", giving it connotations of working toward something of value.

Same. The very name of Eris has this Greek connotation. The Romans renaming her Discordia "Heartless(bad-hearted) Goddess" seems to me a reflection of how they saw the "gods" and the place of humanity in things. Strife is conflict, sure, but not pointless conflict without direction or merely a thumb pressing you into "your proper place".

Of course to say one culture had a better version of a deity than another approaches comic-fanboy levels of pointlessness.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on March 12, 2017, 06:03:38 am
Not sure what definition of "strife" you used to generate that banal pile of douchebaggery, but the one I generally use is the one that has the same etymological root as "strive", giving it connotations of working toward something of value.
:lulz:
I get the strive thing, only that the etymology conflicts with common usage of the English word /strife/. I'm all for root meanings, just not for pointless conflict.  For example, "working toward something of value", I like, given that the value I'd be working for would also lend significance to the present act.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on March 12, 2017, 06:27:52 am
Not sure what definition of "strife" you used to generate that banal pile of douchebaggery, but the one I generally use is the one that has the same etymological root as "strive", giving it connotations of working toward something of value.

Same. The very name of Eris has this Greek connotation. The Romans renaming her Discordia "Heartless(bad-hearted) Goddess" seems to me a reflection of how they saw the "gods" and the place of humanity in things. Strife is conflict, sure, but not pointless conflict without direction or merely a thumb pressing you into "your proper place".

Of course to say one culture had a better version of a deity than another approaches comic-fanboy levels of pointlessness.

I'm rusty on the Roman misappropriation, though it seems there's room for a connection between heart, remembrance and vengenfulness.  Echoes of the less corporeal "misericordia" also play counterpoint.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Roly Poly Oly-Garch on March 14, 2017, 04:33:37 am
But not everything in human experience is a kickass white dude driving a motorcycle through the sky. Some things experienced are incredibly personal, incredibly subjective, and yet we still find ourselves needing to communicate these things and finding some common thread there that connects us. Sure, a lot of this stuff is hocus-pocus and superstition. But just as the distinction between "inherent" and "ascribed" meaning has not bearing on the value of that meaning, neither does the distinction between an "objective" and "subjective" experience have any bearing on the realness of that experience -- or on the inevitable desire to share it with someone. How does New Sincerity deal with these things? Do we deny the reality of spiritual experiences just because they do not register on a Gauss meter? Or do we take some cheap and entirely dissatisfying cop-out by politely smiling and nodding while some loon tells us how he had an epiphany about something, only to find ourselves met with the same vacant politeness when we try to relate our own thoughts about life, the universe, and everything?

https://salemplayback.org/

Quote
Playback is a unique type of performance where members of the audience come on stage and tell true stories about themselves, which the players then re-enact on the spot. Sometimes funny, sometimes moving, playback performances seek to empower the teller and create a community among the audience.

I've done this. As a player. For me, empowering the teller and creating a community is a happy side-effect. I'm there doing what I'm doing to make my craft more awesome. I can't do that and fuck off some insincere interpretation of a story or idea someone has expressed. If the teller is saying something that, over coffee, would make me want to burn the place down just to alleviate the boredom, in the moment where I'm listening as a person about to construct a scene based on it, it's the most important god-damn thing in the universe.

In general, no one no ME wants to listen to other people's self-indulgent bullshit, but if someone else's self-indulgent bullshit serves our own self-indulgent bullshit..that's what makes the flowers grow.
Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: Roly Poly Oly-Garch on March 14, 2017, 04:59:23 am
I am liking sincerity more and more. I feel like gen-x really did irony to death, and then it lived on as a zombie, and much like zombies and zombie-themed merchandise WOULDN'T FUCKING DIE even when it was long past its sell-by date.

I was sick of it by 10th grade when at a school dance no one would boogie down until the New Kids on the Block came so they could safely disguise what they really wanted to do under a mask of irony.

Even though I was sick of it by 10th grade, at 41, it's still a reflex in way too many situations.

Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: Cramulus on March 14, 2017, 02:11:14 pm
I was sick of it by 10th grade when at a school dance no one would boogie down until the New Kids on the Block came so they could safely disguise what they really wanted to do under a mask of irony.

You nailed it -  too self conscious to dance sincerely, they needed the veil of irony so they could cautiously and inconspicuously enjoy themselves.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LMNO on March 14, 2017, 02:17:32 pm
Is that a self-generated irony though, or is it a fear-induced response to the very plausible possibility of social mockery?
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Cramulus on March 14, 2017, 02:35:50 pm
It sounds like a flinch

regardless, it's part of this culture of engaging the thing using sarcasm and cynicism - to position yourself in this hip cool space floating above everything, untouchable, unaffected.


"Are you being sarcastic, dude?" / "I don't even know anymore." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2QrWzsfghA)


Here's a David Foster Wallace quote which unpacks what we're talking about a bit more clearly:


“Irony and cynicism were just what the U.S. hypocrisy of the fifties and sixties called for. That’s what made the early postmodernists great artists. The great thing about irony is that it splits things apart, gets up above them so we can see the flaws and hypocrisies and duplicates. The virtuous always triumph? Ward Cleaver is the prototypical fifties father? "Sure." Sarcasm, parody, absurdism and irony are great ways to strip off stuff’s mask and show the unpleasant reality behind it. The problem is that once the rules of art are debunked, and once the unpleasant realities the irony diagnoses are revealed and diagnosed, "then" what do we do?

Irony’s useful for debunking illusions, but most of the illusion-debunking in the U.S. has now been done and redone. Once everybody knows that equality of opportunity is bunk and Mike Brady’s bunk and Just Say No is bunk, now what do we do? All we seem to want to do is keep ridiculing the stuff. Postmodern irony and cynicism’s become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what’s wrong, because they’ll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony’s gone from liberating to enslaving. There’s some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who’s come to love his cage.”


Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Cramulus on March 14, 2017, 02:51:55 pm
And in the interest of showing both sides of the conversation - this essay comes out against New Sincerity: http://www.blackandgoldreview.com/2014/05/05/irony-david-foster-wallace-obsolete

The thrust of the essay is that Wallace (who himself watched a shitload of bad TV, perhaps for ironic reasons) was writing in the mid 90s... at that moment, the self-aware, sardonic side of the Internet was just getting started.

We have multiple identities, multiple ways of relating to things. I am a little different on Tumblr than I am on Facebook than I am here on PD. This means we have multiple ways to ingest and contextualize That Cultural Stuff.

The essay argues that irony is a mode which reconciles our self-conflicted points of view. It's going to be an inherent part of a medium like the Internet. Wallace just didn't get it because “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction,” was written in 1993.

The essay says that Irony is going to be an inherent part of a landscape like the Internet because of the way it builds multiple-relationships with the same material.

(https://ih0.redbubble.net/image.38966973.4255/flat,800x800,070,f.u4.jpg)

I will close with a link to MACINTOSH PLUS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU8HrO7XuiE

The reader is invited to consider whether Vaporwave music (like the above) is an ironic appreciation of muzak that you'd hear at a mall, or a genuine attempt to distill it into something good.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Roly Poly Oly-Garch on March 14, 2017, 04:19:04 pm
Is that a self-generated irony though, or is it a fear-induced response to the very plausible possibility of social mockery?

There's some of both. Showing up to the dance with your spikes up. T-shirt and a tie. There's an ironic statement in that.

Finding yourself there, a little sick with cognitive dissonance, trying to act aloof in a room full of people un-ironically enjoying themselves. At that point you're just desparate for the lamest pop song to come on so you can ironically join in.

It's like what would happen if the host of an MST3K show suddenly found themselves legitimately moved by one of the movies they were there to mock.

Title: Re: Post-Irony
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 14, 2017, 09:29:27 pm
I am liking sincerity more and more. I feel like gen-x really did irony to death, and then it lived on as a zombie, and much like zombies and zombie-themed merchandise WOULDN'T FUCKING DIE even when it was long past its sell-by date.

I was sick of it by 10th grade when at a school dance no one would boogie down until the New Kids on the Block came so they could safely disguise what they really wanted to do under a mask of irony.

Even though I was sick of it by 10th grade, at 41, it's still a reflex in way too many situations.

Yeah, I still find that I have to remind myself that it's OKAY to express genuine enthusiasm or emotion about something. I don't have to play it cool, no cadre of hipsters is going to mock me for expressing an authentic response.

And if they do, fuck 'em.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on March 14, 2017, 09:31:25 pm
One of the things I love about young people is that they can respect my completely unironic appreciation for George Michael, while among my own middle-aged genX peers, there is a lot of "ha, ha, of course you only like this ironically because it is cheesy".
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on March 15, 2017, 09:43:44 pm
Quote
I will close with a link to MACINTOSH PLUS - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU8HrO7XuiE

My puter barely still gets on the Internet, so it might have been me breaking down, I'm not sure, but is the music supposed to stop abruptly at 5:05 right after he sings "time's running out"?
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Cramulus on March 16, 2017, 03:44:21 am
mmmm no
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on March 16, 2017, 10:11:57 am
Daahm.   Mea culpa.  I offer this indulgence,
Quote
One Small Step for Wishman
https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=eq3nhSQ30HI
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk on March 16, 2017, 06:08:17 pm
I don't like the way Wallace & many others suggest irony and sincerity are dichotomous. They're part of a cycle. Wallace suggests that irony has run its course and broken down everything it needs to break down (which makes me think that he's channeling Fukuyama: Seinfeld destroyed communism so now we can just be wholesome all the time), but the world is full of shitty ideas that need to be challenged, and an ironic stance is useful to the point of almost being necessary for challenging certain kinds of ideas.

The ironic stance is like the veil of ignorance: it allows us to observe ideas out of context and criticize them for their form rather than their effect. This is so powerful that it's almost equally capable of shredding good ideas as it is of shredding bad ideas. But, without it, all we have is identity politics without intersectionality.

Some problems are hard to see without stepping outside yourself and looking unsympathetically at the situation. Other problems are hard to see without empathy grounded in experience. Ignoring either set of problems leads to awful results, because the world is a mish-mash of soulless machinery and fragile human guts and understanding only one leads to breaking both.

Another nuance here is that there's no such thing as ironic enjoyment. If you're feeling something, that feeling is sincere, even if you feel it as the result of actions taken from an ironic stance. Someone whose self-conception is related to irony (which I think is the core criticism of New Sincerity: lifestyle irony, rather than an ironic stance in of itself) will see sincerity through an ironic lens, but while delusional posuers may be annoying they can hardly be considered a real threat. Basically, any position taken ironically is at least partly genuine and should be considered as genuine, because the idea that an ironic stance excuses actions taken under it has never held water.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on March 16, 2017, 07:21:06 pm
Quote
while delusional posuers may be annoying they can hardly be considered a real threat.

Until they hit a critical mass that enables actualization of the virtual and it's fusion with the real.  Sincere pretention can actually cause quite a bit of collateral damage. What I find terribly interesting is that there seem to be different levels of play.  On the lower, delusional fronts are engaged/harnessed in polarizing and self perpetuating conflict.  In this engagement, there is a total leveling-down and normalization of the combative stance.  Essentially you have an army of useful idiots that can be dispatched in service of any horizontal campaign for which they are given a position of fitting narrative agency.  The hero's quest for dummies.  I'm thinking of grown baby-men, shirtless fascists, chugging gallons of milk in protest, defiance and un-ironic misunderstanding of what is actually significant in terms of genetic selectivity.  On the other, and here comes my own sincere naiveté, I would like to believe that someone else also thinks this makes the spectacle of pretension flagrantly untenable.  When instead this cognitive dissonance goes to fuel the "kayfabe" of it all, then I think delusionals can pose a real threat.  I'm sure I'm prolly preaching to the choir.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk on March 16, 2017, 08:00:07 pm
What I'm saying is, despite their claims, they are in fact wholly sincere. They are just unable to imagine themselves being sincere about anything.

It's not the irony that's threatening. It's positions they would be holding regardless of whether or not they had an ironic stance to hide behind. That stance makes them feel safe, which makes them able to be more open (with themselves and others) about it.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on March 17, 2017, 07:22:26 pm
There's that.  And I can tell I'm skirting around registering the codetermination of irony/sincerity.  And then I have like this pet peeve or bone to pick about being "hoisted by one's own petard." The levity of irony can also be used to decouple people from direct connection with the object of concern.  People actually competing with each other about who cares less. Dangerous territory.  And to end with another mismatched idiom, re: being hoisted, "if they can lift you, they can move you". 
[Author regrets nothing about above word-salad]
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Rococo Modem Basilisk on March 18, 2017, 02:52:19 pm
The levity of irony can also be used to decouple people from direct connection with the object of concern.  People actually competing with each other about who cares less. Dangerous territory.

Decoupling people from direct connection with the object of concern is, I think, a core part of the utility of irony when used for positive ends. It becomes dangerous when it's not paired with empathy, but that's less a problem of too much irony and more a problem of not enough empathy: the lack of empathy has to be present in the first place in order for competing for irony points to actually begin to occur in a situation where empathy matters. (I.e., ironic performative racism isn't going to be popular with people who have deep concerns about racism, even if they would otherwise be willing to use an ironic stance in other situations, but those people will also take an ironic stance toward racism in a way that isn't a performative and 'ironic' embrace.)
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on March 19, 2017, 10:42:10 pm
The problem then is that the most common ironic stance has become too clever by half, neglecting how irony is itself grounded in a form of concern that takes issue with the importance of what people care about.  The shortcut from irony to abject nihilistic pretense is pathetic, I agree.  Like Witgenstein said of logic, irony (not concern!) is a ladder that can be discarded after use, or something like that.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on March 19, 2017, 10:51:07 pm


That brings up the point that perhaps irony is the sole privilege of the relatively well-off. A parallel you could draw would be with the affected aristocratic languor of the nobility of days of yore. Perhaps cultivation of irony is a privilege of people without any significant, immediate threats to their day-to-day survival.

"Things are going well so far."
- A French Aristocrat being taken out to the guillotine.

Irony is possible to anyone at all.  It is, however, a bad habit.
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: Cramulus on April 14, 2017, 03:20:22 pm
(http://68.media.tumblr.com/30087eda3d2f4e66e50af9666c89a08d/tumblr_oob2nwsY7B1tki7xko1_500.jpg)

(http://68.media.tumblr.com/c8c7192a7c2061913de3195612b8ff72/tumblr_om7h4c7y421vmqmo0o1_1280.jpg)
Title: Re: Post-Irony (& The New Sincerity)
Post by: LuciferX on June 19, 2017, 12:53:40 am
I may of had a bit of the vapors upon me yesterday, but I was frankly amazed by boards of Canada's roygbiv
https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=yT0gRc2c2wQ

So I cued it up to show a friend, and, well, it was still cool, but the compression algorithm was misbehaving. So I cycled through all quality-settings, top to auto to 140p/whatever and back again, all for nothing... Point being is that there was another "layer" to the video, really driving it home.

Instead of fuzzy edges, there was a 'Lego-block' VFX applied to characters and objects. So cars, cans and people would fully turn into "fake" and artificial/prefabbed representations.

Now it just seems like I have an overactive imagination, but I know what I saw, it was the Berkeleyan real-truth version of vaporware  :lulz: