The Essay That Should End the Irony Wars


Irony can acknowledge our natural, justifiable feelings of insignificance, or show that we understand our subjectivity. With some humor, if we can manage it! Irony demonstrates that we know we are not the center of the universe, that we can hold opposing ideas in our heads. That we can find humor in the contrast between our natural self-centeredness and our likely inconsequentiality, at any given moment.

Maria Bustillos has written an astute defense of irony as one mode of thought among many. You can have an inner child and an inner acerbic British aristocrat.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →