I first noticed this problem among older members of my family, particularly my grandparents. A witty and sarcastic comment by myself or my sister would draw only blank stares. Television commercials in which grinning Americans tried to sell us things like The Clapper motivated not even the slightest attempt at disgust or humour. Bill Gates getting a pie in the face was seen as reprehensible rather than heroic.

I am worried about the effects that this disorder has on the political landscape.

Of course, one could argue that irony is simply the armour that our generation uses to cope with an increasingly fucked up world, and that we are the ones with the disorder. But then I would have nothing to take refuge in.