This essay by What Is Metamodern? co-editor Greg Dember was originally published on Medium.

I had been waiting for something like this.

For several years I had been observing and contemplating a certain shift in culture — something that was rather hard to pinpoint but yet was unmistakably new. Something seemed to have changed in the new millennium that made it cool again to express unabashed feelings — joy, wonder, sadness, vulnerability, triumph — in our art, and in everyday life, unfettered by the ever-present ironic snark that controlled the nineties and earlier… somehow, in such a way that didn’t toss out the fun that could be had in playing with irony. I’d been hoping that someone — a journalist, an art critic or a scholar — would acknowledge this shift I’d been noticing in music, film, art literature and even the way people around us talked and joked with each other.

In 2010, my writing partner Linda Ceriello and I came upon an essay called…

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