Lars Walker makes a good observation in a post over at Mere Comments about what he has termed "The Post-Ironic Age". One example he uses to make his point is the recent wave of technologically bloated movies with the ultimate message that technology is destroying ourselves and our world. I think another amusing example of this post-ironic age is the solar-powered tanning salon in California.
Here is an excerpt from his post:
People have been calling our present intellectual generation the “post-postmodern age,” but that's kind of convoluted, and doesn't really communicate much.
“The Post-Ironic Age” describes our times to a nicety, it seems to me. We've reached a point where statements are made by public officials and institutions which, only a couple decades ago, would have gotten the speaker laughed off the stage. But today such pronouncements are unremarkable.
Statements such as “The system worked,” when an explosives-carrying terrorist gets onto a Detroit-bound plane and actually begins detonation.
Statements such as, “And as horrific as this tragedy (the Fort Hood massacre) was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”
Statements such as, “We need to spend our way out of this recession.”
Statements such as, “There is nothing in the hacked e-mails that undermines the science upon which this decision is based.”
I think we live in the first age in history in which such nonsense is possible on a worldwide scale. There have always been totalitarian societies where the subject of the emperor's clothing deficit has been dangerous to bring up, but only today is such delusion acceptable everywhere. And not merely among the “ignorant masses,” but most especially and vociferously among the intellectuals.