By about the age of twelve, I had become extremely proud of my mastery of sarcasm. Through my teen years, irony protected me from people that didn’t appreciate my intellect.
In my early twenties, I read David Foster Wallace’s essay about how televisual culture co-opts any criticism leveled against it with ironic self-reference, and I recognized the tactic. And I was moved by his idea that earnest feeling and unselfconscious truth-telling could be more constructive. Continue reading →