Jonah, I agree with you on the uses of irony. Jessica’s right, it can go too far and be corrosive, but only when it becomes not a tool for helping reveal the truth, but an end in itself. In the last year or so, priest friends who speak privately to me of the the scandals with scalding irony have been a God-send for me. These are holy and faithful priests, and by their ridicule of their corrupt bishops actually strengthens my faith. Their sarcasm and irony is a way of telling the truth, and telling it in a way that burns through the defenses of those who use pious sincerity as a way of covering up their ghastly, even criminal, failures. God bless smart-ass priests!