Satirical America


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 author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →