Satirical America

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Has the US turned into a satire of itself? Consider how quickly Congress has gone from championing Freedom Fries to chastising President Obama’s absence from the Paris peace march. Over at the LA Times, David L. Ulin looks at why Americans are choosing irony over satire:

Is it coincidence, then, that the rise of postmodernism in the 1970s overlaps almost exactly the decline of satire? Is it coincidence that after the turmoil of the late 1950s and 1960s, a period during which Terry Southern, William S. Burroughs and Joseph Heller (among others) portrayed, with bilious exactitude, the excesses and hypocrisies of empire America, we turned inward, forgoing satire for irony?


Ian MacAllen is the Rumpus Deputy Editor and founder of English Kills Review an online literary magazine focused on books, authors, and New York City. His writing has appeared in Joyland Magazine, The Billfold, Electric Cereal, Thought Catalog, and io9. He holds a Master’s Degree in English from Rutgers University and lives in Brooklyn. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →