Simon Doonan had a childhood rife with delightful moments of sarcasm. A teacher once told him, after a particularly bad reading of a page from Ulysses, that Doonan's "sensitive" delivery had left him overwhelmed with emotion (and in need of a cigarette). His parents, when Doonan started dressing like a glam rocker, often informed him of the location of the nearest traveling circus. None of that scarred him for life—rather, it made him a better person—which is why our all-too-sincere society needs to loosen up and embrace sarcasm once again, Doonan writes in Slate.
Nowadays, make a sarcastic comment to a friend and you're likely to find yourself branded a "hater." But "sardonic irony is as critical to healthy child development as vitamins and tick-checks," Doonan writes. "Raising your brats on an exclusive diet of sincerity is a recipe for disaster. The current mania for relentless positivity and self-esteem building leaves me convinced that we are in real danger of turning out an entire generation of inspirational speakers." Click for his full column and more examples of the sarcasm Doonan loves so much.