A Manifesto for The New Sincerity

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Word came down from America's commentary class around September 13th, 2001. Irony was dead. In what would come to be called "The Post 9-11 World," there would be no room for that particularly distasteful form of discourse. It was to be replaced by soft, sweet sincerity. Somewhere, an eagle shed a single tear.

Of course, reports of irony's death were greatly exaggerated. A few weeks after the tragedy, irony made a heroic, if modest, resurgence. Great exemplars of the form like The Onion and Jon Stewart went back to their grindstones. Hipsters in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn slapped on their Roos and drowned what was left of their trauma in Pabst Blue Ribbon. Within two years, America was watching The Simple Life and basking in contempt.

The great irony of all this is that the pundits and prognosticators who declared irony dead three years ago were absolutely right. Irony is dead. Their account of it's death, however, was greatly flawed. Irony died not in a fiery explosion, but slowly, quietly, of old age. And it wasn't replaced by a return of the old guard. This time around, there�s a new cultural paradigm, itching to get in the ballgame.

This radical new ethos has a name. It's called: The New Sincerity.

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. His jumpsuit looks great. His stunts were amazing. As he once said of his own life: "I've had every airplane, every ship, every yacht, every racehorse, every diamond, and probably, with the exception of two or three, every woman I wanted in my lifetime. I've lived a better life than any king or prince or president." And as patently ridiculous as those words are, they're pretty much true.

So now, dear reader, you're in on the Next Big Thing. Something more Hedwig than Rocky Horror; more Princess Bride than Last Unicorn; more Bruce Lee than Chuck Norris. Something new, and beautiful. So join us.

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.

Comments

I almost stopped reading

I almost stopped reading after I saw the writer use the contraction "it's" when meaning the possessive its. Yes, I'm sure you have a profound understanding of the "new cultural paradigm". Or is writing like a kid in high school New Sincerity?

My understanding of the term isn't "irony" or a sense of humor combined with sincerity, rather just conscious sincerity. But I see this article was written before guys like Ariel Pink or Tim and Eric blew up, and it does describe some of what they dp pretty well.

dp?

Those in glass houses should spellcheck before criticising someone else's grammar.

how does evil kinevil or this

how does evil kinevil or this explanation of 'new sincerity' even deal with the issues that we were managing with irony? This is super evasive bullshit

Back to the 1970s we go then, eh?

Once again we have had our excesses, our Summer of '69 and Woodstock, once again we go back to another era of stripy turtle-necks and plain 'vintage' trainers! What next? Skippy the Bush Kangaroo? More Jimmy Carter than Bill Clinton? I don't want to sound cynical or ironic but this 'new' sincerity is as fake as wedding cake. Why do we have to drag ourselves back to the almost black n white era of joyless preaching and reactionary and forced/ fake virtue. More Seka than Sky Lopez? Let us all grow pubic beards now!

Yessssssssss. This is

Yessssssssss. This is nothing new...its just regression.

from someone more hedwig than rocky horror

double fuck. yes.

new sincerity is an old term

Look it up in Wikipedia. I coined it back in the 80s.