As we’ve discussed, “That’s Awesome!” is one of our favorite metamodern expressions. Not “awesome” as in the over-used saccharine-hype 1980s usage of the word, but the updated 2000s usage that people use to remark upon the poignancy of a scenario. Reporting on something being “awesome” in this sense, does not necessarily mean it is great but rather means that it is just so WHAT IT IS; that it would make such a great detail in a film or novel; that it’s maybe reminding us that we can collectively appreciate how weird, often awkward, and therefore momentarily meaningful, it is to be human. Here, Paul Krugman is not saying that there is anything objectively good about the bill in question… instead he’s suggesting that it is just such a remarkably badbill that you have to take notice and marvel at it. Actually, the word “awesome” does not even appear in the article itself (which you can read here), but only in the headline, so, for all we know, we’re talking about the handiwork of Krugman’s editors, not Krugman himself. But either way, it’s in the New York Times, and that’s … awesome!
We wrote a whole thing about the phrase “That’s Awesome!” and you can read it here.