Quirk Is the New Kitsch (Sigh)

Atlantic writer traces the devolution of idiosyncrasy into idiocy

(Newser) – Quirk is the “ruling sensibility” of today’s culture—random narrative, “mannered ingenuousness”—and it’s become exhausting, writes the Atlantic's Michael Hirschorn. “This American Life” has been the standard-bearer, but the quirk it purveys hasn't held up well in expanding from radio to TV.

After name-checking movies Napoleon Dynamite and Rushmore, Hirschorn credits quirks for re-energizing sentiment in American culture—but the “pleasures are passing.” The framework can often be an end in itself, and the writer disdains the embrace of the odd: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”