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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Maybe It’s Irony, Man

    By kyle | May 12, 2010

    I hold both “Iron Man 2” star Robert Downey Jr . and writer Walter Kirn (“Up in the Air,” “Lost in the Meritocracy”) in high esteem but it looks like Kirn had his hands full trying to make sense of Downey’s gnomic pronunciamentos in his Rolling Stone cover story. The actual interview is hidden behind a pay wall at Rolling Stone, but in the eight-page piece Downey, who reports that he sees a therapist twice a week, wobbles between the prosaic (“This is the worst coffee machine in the world!”) and the effortfully inscrutable.


    “In the Joseph Campbell world of no longer being on anyone else’s path, I’m out there and it’s leafy and green and there’s abundance, but I don’t think it’s amounting to anything other than surviving in the jungle.” (Huh?)

    “In the moment, if you zero out your board, anything is possible.” (Eh?)

    In trying out for “Iron Man,” Downey says he built an “altar to the possibility of self” out of “some intuitively gathered objects” including a “sunstone wand.”

    Of Long Island’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, Downey says the government is producing “supersoldiers” with three levels of detection-foiling: “Hidden,” “Invisible” and “Gone.”

    Kirn tries manfully to parse all of these statements but when he writes, “It’s easy to shrug off such utterances as La-La Land New Age mumbo jumbo,” I thought: It is easy. So that’s exactly what I’ll do.

    Topics: Magazines, Movies | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses to “Maybe It’s Irony, Man”

    1. JohnFNWayne Says:
      May 13th, 2010 at 10:52 am

      Explanations: Still high? Screwing with the writer? It wouldn’t be the first time.

    2. Hunter Tremayne Says:
      May 13th, 2010 at 11:05 am

      I’d like Kirn to interview Downey and Bill Hurt at the same time. That would be quite some interview.