In Defense of Earnestness: Breaking up with Irony

I’m judgey and snarky.  Yuck!  I can appreciate well placed and timed irony as much as the next snarky girl next door; I feel as though I am approaching the saturation point however.  In looking at the motivations for many of the purchases and actions in my life I am left with a glut of high irony low satisfaction decisions.  I feel as though I may be trekking down the junk food of life paths.  Embedded within the concept of irony is also a sense of superiority to the object of irony or those who may appreciate the object on a literal level.  I believe this contributes to the kind of divisiveness that does my life no good.  There is no inherent value in that kind of snobbery.  There is no value for me in the possibly resulting drama.  I need to reduce the way I live my life to making decisions that contribute to my overall happiness and keep in line with the values I have established as being core to my identity.  I need a way of keeping myself honest.

The past few days I have been thinking, rethinking and then over thinking a new system of valuation for my life.  I needed a simple concept to base everything around with a definition flexible and cross applicable enough to be able to stretched and applied in a number of different rubrics.  Enter Earnestness.  Defined by my friends at

2.  Showing depth and sincerity of feeling: earnest words; an earnest entreaty.

1.  Fervent, intent, purposeful, determined, industrious, ambitious. Earnest, resolute, serious, sincere  imply having qualities of depth and firmness. Earnest  implies having a purpose and being steadily and soberly eager in pursuing it: an earnest student. Resolute  adds a quality of determination: resolute in defending the right. Serious  implies having depth and a soberness of attitude that contrasts with gaiety and frivolity; it may include the qualities of both earnestness and resolution: serious and thoughtful. Sincere  suggests genuineness, trustworthiness, and absence of superficiality: a sincere interest in music.

I may stretch the definition a little bit or even ignore certain parts of it in some cases (mainly related to the contrast with gaiety) but the level of earnestness a decision exhibits in keeping with my values and ideals has become the new way in which I measure its worthiness in my life.  What is my honest reaction emotionally to this decision?  Will it make me happy?  It is necessary?  Will this decision result in more industriousness and happiness in my life?  Basically everything in my life right now needs to be multi-functional in some how.  I will no longer be coveting the 3 wolf moon t-shirt because I find it ironically amusing but I may very find the confidence to openly declare my sincere appreciation for Everybody’s Rockin by Neil Young and the Shocking Pinks.

As I noodle it out, I will be posting a serious of how I am working to apply this concept in my life.  Probably the easiest will be describing how I’m using this to evaluating purchasing and design decisions.  I suspect the more challenging aspects like applying the concept of earnestness to interpersonal relationships may take a little longer.


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September 2010
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