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12/24/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama's Election Marks The End Of Irony

Pity poor irony. Declared dead after 9/11, it staged a strong rally beneath a "Mission Accomplished" banner, only to find itself in mortal danger once again.

Its ill health was noted by, among others, no less an ironist than Joan Didion, the nation's poet laureate of disillusion. The week after the election, in a talk at the New York Public Library, Ms. Didion lamented that the United States in the era of Barack Obama had become an "irony-free zone," a vast Kool-Aid tank where "navet, translated into hope,' was now in" and where "innocence, even when it looked like ignorance, was now prized."

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