In an incessantly sarcastic, pseudo-modern society where irony runs rampant, many artists have surrendered to the same cynicism and self-deprecation by which they are subjected. Irony-laced quips muddle sincere truths; pessimism has become tragically hip. This unabashed reliance on sarcasm has shamelessly replaced genuine sentiment, and the effects are staggering. Daily conversation is drenched with deceit, art is content with contempt, and entertainment is rife with rancor.
Paralyzed by such a dismal state of creative existence, it is imperative for the artist to awaken to a more genuine movement: practicing sincerity. In truth, the artist should strive to abandon all forms irony and uphold a sincere sense of self.
This certainly isn’t a newly minted concept. The New Sincerity movement was paved in the late ‘80’s, implored by David Foster Wallace in the ‘90’s, and revitalized by Jesse Thorn several years later. However, it is a rarely visited ideology, one that is truly vital in such cynical times. It is, quite simply, the right way to live. By practicing sincerity in their craft, artists create approachable aesthetics, encouraging growth and spontaneity. A culture is formed, art is produced, society thrives.
Many artists are already practicing sincerity: filmmakers such as Wes Anderson, Miranda July, and Michel Gondry; playwrights like Annie Baker, Philip Dawkins, and Samuel D. Hunter; and a new wave of emo bands epitomizes the movement, with Annabel, Foxing, and Into It. Over It. at the forefront.
It’s a beautiful way to live, love, and create. So scrap the sardonic state of existence and sincerity will shine. Uphold it, speak it, and breathe it. Let’s make a change.
Some thoughts on art, life, and theatre. Stay positive.