Post-irony: so uncool, it’s cool

I think things that are hideous and bad are cool. (..) This phemenon has been called post-irony (..) „Post-irony“ is the sarcastic liking of something that you are aware is uncool. Irony, really, kind of fits that same definition, but post-irony is usually defined by sincerity, whereas with standard irony everyone is aware of your sarcasm.
This makes it all but impossible to determine when someone is being ridiculous and when they are pretending to be ridiculous. To us uncool people, post-irony is the greatest thing ever. Nerdy glasses and T-shirts with stupid slogans on them like, „I can only please one person a day. Today is not your day,“ are what I wore in high school as a result I was considered somewhat of a loser. Now, however, I can wear the exact same outfit and be cool and disinterested in a post-ironic way because now I am totally aware of how stupid that crap is.
But there is a line. There is still stuff that isn’t cool, even in a post-ironic way. For instance, there was a brief period of time in France last year where bulky, plaid jackets were the hip clothes. And we are all aware of America’s post-ironic love affair with trucker hats. But Alaskan ice road truckers, despite wearing those hats and jackets, were never cool. There’s a juxtaposition between a skinny, handsome kid and the trucker hat that isn’t there for a hemorrhoidal truck driver.
This juxtaposition is the core of post-irony. (..) Post-irony is complicated but ultimately boils down to this: anything is cool.


(written by Mark Johnson, an unprofessional writer who drinks too much and smokes too little. Witty, unconventional, cavalier, badass: all terms rarely used by others to describe him. Mark takes nothing half as serious as perhaps it should be taken; to date, this has not gotten him physically harmed, but he worries. His personal blog is available at

8 Gedanken zu „Post-irony: so uncool, it’s cool“

  1. Finde ich merkwürdig…er sieht postironie ja als eine verschärfung der ironie, blendet die guten dinge völlig aus. klar werden auch „dämliche“ sachen wieder ein revival erleben, aber das ist nicht unbedingt postironisch. zumindest sind t-shirts mit blöden sprüchen für mich die pure ironie um mal das beispiel aufzugreifen, welches er nennt. man drück sich mit so einem shirt selbst einen stempel auf, der nur selten etwas mit wahrhaftig dem zu tun hat, wie man wirklich ist oder dem, was man wirklich sagen will. was ich mich langsam frage ist, ob es überhaupt machbar ist, eine allgemeingültige definition von post-irony zu schaffen- selbst für die ironie ist das nicht wirklich gelungen, da doch jeder irgendwie seine eigene vorstellung von diesen begriffen hat und auch immer haben wird vermutlich.

  2. I’m going to assume, since you read my article, that you can understand English. I, on the other hand, had to run your comments through Google translator in order to formulate a reply and I hope the gist of your meaning was not lost in translation.

    I don’t make any comments at all about not shitty stuff disappearing. There are still plenty of things that can be liked and enjoyed and found cool being taken simply for what they are. In fact, without allowing for things to be liked for themselves, the trucker hat fad in America wouldn’t be post-ironic at all. Truckers like trucker hats, keeps the sun out of their eyes and advertises products they’re interested in. People who act in movies have no reason to like trucker hats for the same reason.

    Post-irony has to have a different definition for each person, when it actually comes into play into reality, because irony has a different definition. For example, a Bible salesman getting run over by a car driven by a Catholic priest is ironic, but a lawyer getting hit by the same person isn’t.

  3. You fool, what you described is exactly irony. Post-irony is the realization that irony as a form of humor (which in most cases is actually sarcasm, not irony) is not funny and that sincerity is a much better and more meaningful form of expression.

  4. Peki hi? bir halti yemeyen kiz alinip ne yapilacaktir? basi Ürtölecek, evde oturacak, kulucka makinesi gibi Cocuk doguracak ve Cocuk bakacaktir. yok arkadas ben almayayim
    Cathleen Hoeser

  5. Sometimes people use the term „post-ironic“ in an attempt to reconcile the allegedly opposed attitudes of earnestness and irony. It reflects an insecurity on the part of the person using the term, that they need to defend themselves or others against either the label of „ironic“ or „unsophisticated.“

    Other times, „post-ironic“ simply means „ironic“ except happening after the time when the twenty first century idea of irony hadn’t been totally apprehended and appropriated by mass culture.

    Does post-ironic simply mean sincere? There’s no way it could only mean sincere, because it implies an evolution from something related to irony to something that comes after irony. That could either be more irony…or…something…else………..

  6. James is right. You described irony as used by hipster douches who embrace things that were once known as nerdy (like the Buddy Holly glasses trend going on right now.) It is an attempt to be cool by trying to be uncool and standing out.

    Post-ironic will be when everyone stops wearing the clothes now considered cool, and you still wear them, and they realize that you were a nerd all along.

  7. This whole ‚post-irony‘ and ‚ironic‘ thing sounds like insecurity.

    A way of hiding geniuine interest in something by saying „No, no don’t judge me for liking ________ I’m just being ironic!“

    Just grow up and admit that you actually, truly, unironically, sincerly like something that other people might not readily accept. That is what it truly means to be your own person, and not just another hipster douchebag.

    *Seeing as this is one of the first posts that comes up when you type ‚post-irony‘ into google, I feel it bears repeating*

  8. Your definition of post-irony is just a convoluted form of irony. Post-irony is better used to describe content that has gone through a specific process in relation to the viewer. It starts with irony and ends with sincerity. For example, I might first watch the movie „They Live“ because it is bad (ironic) but later begin to actually like it and watch it because I enjoy it (sincerity). The motivations begin with irony and extend past or after it, thus the use of the prefix post. It requires a cyclical view of the relationship between irony and sincerity.

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