Yours sincerely: the anti-ironists

Hello!: An example of a product which, though widely read by ironists, staunchly claims to be straight-faced. Genuflective anti-irony.

Alan McGee: The boss of Creation, although his chef-d'oeuvre is a band with retro tendencies, is resolutely stern and non-ironic to the point of actually caring about politics, the homeless, etc. Rock realist anti- irony.

The Bible: This week's repackaging of the Good Book which takes the premise that people want to read something of historical and cultural weight. Back to the source anti-irony.

The Manic Street Preachers: Cultish band whose long-term appeal has always rested on painful sincerity. Indeed, Richey James's carving "4 Real" into his arm illustrated that he was more than a pose. Or was that a pose itself? Turbulent emotional anti-irony.

The return of grit-film: Gary Oldman's Nil By Mouth and Shane Meadows' 24/7 both chronicle less fortunate Britain using the language of social realism: extreme close-ups, black and white film stock. Searing indictment anti-irony.

Blair's government: Taking "core" values into a religiously-tinged millennium with the fervour of a herd of trendy vicars. Mormon-like glassy-eyed anti- irony.

Old-fashioned light entertainment: ie Freddie Starr and Des O'Connor, who tell jokes and complete with a song. Seriously though folks anti-irony.

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