Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Rise of the Ironic Class

Linked is an interesting article on the development of my generation, which I find thoroughly curious: 
The Rise of the Ironic Class

The young people of today operate (generally) with an ironic view of the world, not taking anything too seriously but rather poking fun at everything to maintain distance and superiority. Classic values, emotions, sayings, ideas, are all critisized to the fullest extent, because we know that underlying the façade of goodness is farce. Our parents have divorced, Lance Bass has come out of the closet, we figured out Power Rangers was racist, and Beanie Babies were just a hoax for our allowance money. So instead of actually embracing the cheesiness, we embrace it with pessimistic humor. 

The same attitude has transfered to Christianity, to the young people in (and out) of the Church. My favorite example of the ironic stance towards all things stereotypical to the church and all things Christian, is the blog Stuff Christians Like. Bellow are some of my favorites:

Stuff Christians Like:
#2. Saying “bless her heart” 
#11. Thomas Kinkade
#24. Church names that sound like clothing stores
#43. Metrosexual worship leaders 
#141. Getting freaky deeky with the Song of Solomon 
176. Giving open flames to kids on Christmas Eve 
#213. Not knowing how to baptize tall people 

The article ends with saying that while this ironic outlook on life is not entirely bad, it can be damaging when it causes us to be too prideful and elitist and thus too cool for change. I agree with one of the authors cited when he says that perhaps instead of just being critical we need to strive to change the past mistakes and make the future a place where irony for protection's sake isn't necessary. 

So I will keep reading while singing along with my metrosexual worship leader at my church, Reality LA. However, I will also pursue God's truth above the façade of Thomas Kinkade perfection and saying, "Bless her heart" before gossiping about her. Oh the irony.


  1. I think that there´s two different things to examine here. I don´t think that that the irony we express in response to the consumerist and political world we live in is the same as the irony we express towards religion.

    in regards to the world we live in today (speaking mostly of the Western culture, of course) we find it much easier to just laugh/shrug it off than to actaully make a statement or do anything. Today we face a risk in having a "serious" opinion. We´re afraid of what our friends, family, coworkers, bosses, professors, etc. will think of us if we take a serious stance on an issue. And I would even make the statement that most of us live cushy enough lives that we simply just don´t care. I find our generation is, if anything, apathetic. We´d rather laugh at our parent´s divorces and proclaim "i knew it!" when Lance Bass and Ricky Martin finally decided to come out of the closet instead of look at the social forces that cause marriages to break apart today, that causes people to feel ashamed and scared to come out to the public because we live in a society that condones sexual minorities and glorifies divorcees.

    With religion, however, I find that it´s not apathy, but rather we feel let down. We´re expected to live good lives of self control and regulation, but then find out that priests have been molesting children and pastors who condemn homosexuals to the firey depths of hell have gay lovers. We start to lose hope when so much hypocrisy is being discovered. Who do we trust? And instead of losing faith and trust in the person that has decieved us, we lose faith and trust in God. Of course there is also the whole religious debate of who has the "right" religion which often turns into hate. Muslims hating on Jews hating on Chritians hating on Muslims. Instead of embracing diversity, there is so much effort being made to convert people to whatever religion. We see wars arise out of religious conflict and agan lose hope in faith and humanity.

    It´s a sad situation, but everyone has the power to make it better. we have to keep faith and respect alive.

  2. Well stated. I agree that is the feeling of being let down, the internal hypocrisy, that has changed our viewpoint, true true. To keep the faith and respect alive, we will have to accept that people will use that as the butt of a joke or we might make some people scoff. But to me it's worth living a life with those core values, because to me an existentialist existence is not one worth living.