“The problem with the prevailing formulation—”irony” vs. “honesty” (see also “earnestness” and “sincerity”)—is more than just a matter of semantics; it goes to the heart of America’s infatuation with the trappings of “authenticity,” whether it be in art, literature, film, or politics. Think of George W. Bush’s very public retreat to his ranch during the post-election campaign, his swapping of the politician’s uniform of gray suit and red tie for jeans, a flannel shirt, a Carhartt jacket, and a cowboy hat. Was this an “honest” change of image? Did it make him a more “authentic” president-elect?
... Are barefoot authors more attuned to “real life” than authors who wear shoes around the house (or even furry slippers)?”
The US writer Benjamin Anastas writes about irony and why the USA is overly scared of it.