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A Surfeit of Hip Irony - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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February 23rd, 2009

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01:35 am - A Surfeit of Hip Irony
Recently, I had the misfortune to watch a bit of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the new DC universe animated series. It was horrible in a very particular and deeply annoying fashion. The most obvious thing about it was how much it was deliberately retro & as with almost everything else associated with comics that is deliberately retro, it was retro in the sort of hip-ironic fashion that both guaranteed it was clumsy in the way that only things make by people who do not respect the work they are doing can be. I'm once again struck by how much I loathe the way irony is used as a tool by either people who don't respect various geek media or, even worse, by self-loathing geeks who feel that they have to subtly (or not) mock material they like or once liked to maintain their "hip-cred". Like the majority of modern humor, I'm fairly suspicious of most types of irony and would vastly rather watch earnestly optimistic 1970s SF&F by the likes of Gene Roddenberry than modern media made by people who think both idealism & honest enthusiasm for something are marks of weakness or incipient idiocy.

While there were definitely episodes of Justice League: Unlimited & The Batman animated series that were far from perfect, both recent series were mostly fairly good, and occasionally excellent, in large part because they were not mocking their source material.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:February 23rd, 2009 10:03 am (UTC)
Amen, both to the horrid witlessness of Brave and the Bold and to your larger point about earnestness and irony.
[User Picture]
Date:February 23rd, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
I've not seen Brave & Bold myself, but I follow accounts by people involved in making it, and you're wrong about the respect part. These are folks filled, in many cases, with all my dislike of camp in general and a much deeper respect for the source material than I have myself as a childhood fan of it. They care very much about the work (and also its creators, several of them being active in efforts to secure the health and well-being of aging comics pros). I can't say anything about their effort yet - it's in the queue behind other stuff - but I am quite sure about this part.

[User Picture]
Date:February 23rd, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
If you're over 30, hip irony looks and sounds incredibly silly.

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