New Sincerity

Firespawn
Firespawn

How do you deal with New Sincerity?

Is it a saccharine affectation involving lying to yourself and being emotionally exposed or is it refreshing honesty?

Everywhere I look for New Sincerity I see people talk about its merits or qualities, but not getting to the heart of what it is. They often point to an indie band or director as examples, but it seems like an elusive quality. People also take it to mean being undiscerning, like a cutesy webcomic that eschews formal qualities (skilful production) or intellectual depth. Is it a form of hipsterdom around childlike naïveté?

Is being self-awarely new sincerity really that sincere? Seems like you can't turn self-awareness off.

It's good to not be cynical, and emotionally healthy - as with what comes with self-deprecation, but that's also based on self-awareness and at the very least some form of cynicism. Sincerity and irony are splitting hairs that need to be un-split.

All urls found in this thread:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_mechanisms
http://eqi.org/signs.htm
MPmaster
MPmaster

Shameless bump

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

It's a catch-22. Some fucking Crwank song made me really think about how nearly impossible it is to be sincere. The lyrics were about how he is a leech and knows he is a leech and will do things to make you think he's getting better (acknowledging he has a problem) but only to further drain you of resources. At first I thought, "wow, that was really honest amd self-aware!" But where does it end? Is the song declaring he acknowledges his problem of acknowledging his problem to be a leech not just another tool to seem "deep" or "broken" and garner more attention? Does he know that and does the lyric account for it? It's like an infinite amount of "self-awareness" and "sincerity" that makes it seem more and more like bullshit the more you listen to it. I don't know if being truly sincere is possible. No matter how open and honest you are with people you're always doing it for your ego on some deep level. Even if you write your innermost thoughts in a journal and never plan on showing anyone it can't help but feel like masturbation in a way. It's like asking if altruism exists.

Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

@PackManBrainlure
Also sorry to ramble, kinda drunk

SniperWish
SniperWish

@PackManBrainlure
Self-awareness can be fine and healthy, but that songwriter sounds like they thought being honest about their problem absolved them of their responsibility to fix it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_mechanisms

Looks like a weird mix of these defence mechanisms. Contrast that with - http://eqi.org/signs.htm -these signs of "High EQ" (for argument's sake).

DFW wrote about it but never offered a solution. Liking autist New Balance shoes might be sincere in admitting you like it, but is it healthy in Fostering social relationships? Another form of "haha I'm an outcast weirdo but that's okay :D *holds up spork*"

People are more aware of social norms now than ever, thanks to the wild wild web

w8t4u
w8t4u

@SniperWish
People are more aware of social norms now than ever, thanks to the wild wild web

I agree. I see this a lot with slang. "Lit" "bae" "swag" etc. are all words that people use thinking "yeah I know there are people who actually talk like this but omg I'm a white girl from the suburbs who just posted an insta of my cat tea party and said it was lit hehehehe, no one would expect that from someone like me!!"

It drives me crazy. Sometimes I want to buy an article of clothing or a book and just think "man, no one is going to think I actually like this. They'll assume I'm being ironic." Then I start to wonder if I even do fucking like it, or if I am actually being ironic.

Methnerd
Methnerd

@w8t4u
I think their are people genuinely stupid enough to live sincerely in this hyper self-aware age

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

@Firespawn
saccharine

Emberfire
Emberfire

@w8t4u
I don't wonder if me buying a book is ironic, I think one of the benefits of not understanding or participating in irony early on was being able to enjoy things wholly. Thanks to ironic memes I've become too jaded and cynical for internet humour. Notice how even in the normieverse of social media their memes have become a weird form of meta/ironic?

e.g. the twitter screencaps "when u screencap your twitter and..."

maybe not taking everything (including irony, sincerity, internet memes, yadda yadda) so seriously is good. Then I think of Heidecker's The Comedy where he takes nothing seriously at all.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

@Firespawn
How do you deal with New Sincerity?

Well I barely have to. It seems it never actually took off. It was either DFW in the 90's being hinted at in interviews or the alt-lit group a few years ago attempting to act it out but not explain it.

I think the whole idea is dumb. Being sincere is about being honest and consistent, it has nothing to with persuading people of that. You can be completely sincere and not give a damn if people think you are or completely care that people think you are. That part just doesn't matter, you can be sincere alone on an island.

Turning sincerity into a property of presentation in art seems misguided. You bring up the problem of being self-aware and how it can fold back in on itself and DFW brought this up years ago in the short story "The depressed person", and is very similar to what this user is saying
@PackManBrainlure

The core or message is just misguided. It may make for interesting art because of the puzzles of self-awareness and self-reference, and I like that, but thinking that an art movement about sincerity has to constantly mention how self-aware it is in order to be sincere is just wrong.

MPmaster
MPmaster

@SniperWish
Fostering social relationships
kek i see what you did

Evilember
Evilember

@Emberfire
I have a Harley (no joke, legitimate fag here). And I almost turned it into a chopper. I wanted old school, I was obsessed with the early bike styles from Easy Rider and bullshit like that. But it hit me one day...do I care more about what people think than comfort on long rides? The biker community is so saturated with insincerity it's just mind blowing. How many guys trailer in 30,000 bikes to rallies and "play hillbilly" for a week before leaving and going back to being a doctor? But really, if it's what people like to do then who cares? The rallies I've been to always make me want to call people out before realizing that to them maybe I look like a walking cliche hippie faggot millennial who's avoiding reality as much as they are. Who can truly judge someone's sincerity? Long story short I decided to make the fucker comfortable and just enjoy life in 2017.

SniperGod
SniperGod

just be yourself

SniperWish
SniperWish

@Evilember
*30,000 dollar

WebTool
WebTool

Isn't the issue with irony more like, irony is the unexpected, but it's become so common that people expect it, so the very act of not being ironic is unexpected, and thus ironic? So you're ironic no matter what and attempting to escape it only adds more layers.

TechHater
TechHater

@Firespawn

You realize it's just another stupid art movement, and like all movements and trends in the world it comes and then the next second it washes away.

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

@Dreamworx
I like your points, being honest and consistent is good as forms of self-regulation and emotional health/maturity, and requires a baseline level of self-awareness to achieve.

I don't mean it as a form of presentation like a persona, but sincerity is tied closely with expression in art forms too. The matter is how to discern if something like an artwork or book is being earnest for its own sake or being clever for its own sake, or something else, and for some other reason.

I'm starting to think it's not so much about black and white thinking, is this, isn't that, but about balance. Be serious, but not too serious. Be emotionally honest, but not too much.

Being too sincere can lead to stagnation too. The little voice of self-awareness can surely move you forward in any endeavour.

Has this sincerity/irony divide affected how we determine something as being good/funny/meaningful? I don't mean in the sense of how philosophers pick those words apart.

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@TechHater
cynicism is so po-mo bro

WebTool
WebTool

@PurpleCharger
I don't mean it as a form of presentation like a persona, but sincerity is tied closely with expression in art forms too.
Yes, I meant presentation in the arts as well. Both work similarly. Take for example

The matter is how to discern if something like an artwork or book is being earnest for its own sake or being clever for its own sake, or something else, and for some other reason.

I could take this as a test on sincerity. Were you being sincere when you said this, or is there a hidden meaning behind it? Similarly you can look as far back as Plato and wonder if he didn't write the third dialogue Philosopher because the two preceding dialogues Sophist and Statesman made a case that being a philosopher meant philosophizing, and the reader working through the first two dialogues meant the third was no longer needed. By the act of doing philosophy, they didn't need to be told what a philosopher is.

All of that, and you can just discard it. It is simply unknown. Plato may have planned to write the third dialogue and just never did. You can also look at a more favorable candidate like Machiavelli's The Prince and wonder what is actually well intended advice.

The major point is the problem of hidden meaning has been around for ages and it will never be solved because I can always question your intention, even when it is as mundane as a fairly straightforward Veeky Forums post.

A art movement concerned with sincerity, I would hope, would see this fairly obvious point. The game of rhetoric is never certain, but being sincere with oneself possibly is, therefore, you either have art that deals with the game of rhetoric and creates petty tragedy because of the conflation of not being understood and "sincerity", or nearly anything else ever written sincerely about whatever

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

@Firespawn
Tarkovsky is the kind of new sincerity we should seek, not rupi-poo. It's quite worrying how we confound self-indulgence with sincerity.

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

@Evilember
I think you bring up a great point. But in today's day what is really enjoying anything? With so much of our lives broadcast by us or others into a permanent lexicon accessible to everyone we know, do we really do enjoy anything for ourselves truly? That's kinda the beauty of shitposting we can't tell anybody this(maybe you do, but I would be mortified if anybody knew I spent time here on a regular basis) so this can really be pleasure in and of itself self for itself.

TechHater
TechHater

in a crude way its a bittersweet soundtrack to people being aware about the world and the humor of alienation from it. were breaking centralizarion of thought in a rapid way so new sincerity is the stoner's 'what dude?' of culture.

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

I see it as a reaction to postmodernism, at least books like My Struggle: clean prose, simple vocabulary, no complex narrative strategies... A bit like punk after prog rock.

SniperWish
SniperWish

this might be a stupid thought (look at this kids sincerity) but here it is: foster wallaces approach to it is similar to kierkegaards leap of faith. As much as one would be incredulous that there exists such a thing as God, so too would one be incredulous to sincerity. As such, it is not so much to do with what sincerity is, or any arbitrators thereto, but rather the modus operandi of sincerity itself; that is to say, the act of faith is as vulnerable, valuable and human as any phantom object of "sincerity" could ever be. It's a return to arête

RumChicken
RumChicken

@Gigastrength
Ah so like a dialled back simplicity, lo-fi and low-brow sort of stuff. That's nice to see but can the message of a work be sincere while its execution have high production quality and technical merit?

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

@SniperWish
ill ad hoc on: this is essentially the infinite jest. The infinite jest is the choice to live sincerely despite the entire idea being rhetorical, unable to be validated. One cant even describe what a sincere person would do day to day without hitting boundaries. But the act of faith, I'd say, is better than succumbing to the dregs of postmodern cynicism. Ugh, but now that i've put it into words it all seems grotesque

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

@New_Cliche
I agree, and sometimes I do feel that way about Veeky Forums. Not that it's my special club but it's something I enjoy that no one I know has any idea about. Maybe in that respect it's at least more sincere than other things in my life.

happy_sad
happy_sad

@VisualMaster
Well if you look at the themes dealt with in IJ, there are a bit of serious subject matter, likely things about the ways of life that DFW wished could change for the better, social commentaries, caring about the ways and states of the world. Maybe he saw in that time period, the coming generations, were really embracing irony and fluff more than anything, was afraid the coming generations novels would be nothing but masturbation and fart jokes. There is pure escapism pleasurable follyful entertainment, and there is serious, sincere, considerations for the complexities, potentially avoidable tragedies of some of the ways of life.

WebTool
WebTool

@SniperWish
I think new sincerity would be wearing the shoes because you like them, without offering a defense or preface to yourself or others.

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

@Sir_Gallonhead
Interesting, not him but I really feel that. I also feel my Veeky Forums affinity is based in ethical reasons, primarily the freer exploration of ideas for their own sake lent by anonymity. It doesn't compromise my self-image as an ethical person but I wouldn't mention it out loud. Would new sincerity be speaking abt it honestly?

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