Monday, June 21, 2004

Do young children have an immunity to irony? I was on the Amtrak back from Grand Rapids last week and watched the conductor goofing around with some kids who were four or five years old. The conductor held up the bottom of his tie and pretended it was a microphone as he interviewed them. "That's not a microphone! That's a tie!" one boy noted. My dad was inconsolable when my younger sister and I stopped protesting the veracity of his goofing. I wonder if kids this age have a need for certainty and sincerity as they take in the world around them, and can only develop a sense of irony and metaphor later on (though in the case of talk radio, numbness to irony persists).

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