Okay Let's Un-Skin that Joke, I Was Wrong...
If you haven't been reading this writing portfolio (blog) I'll catch you up on my worldview as it has developed over the past 8 months:
- There's this thing called Irony: it deconstructs literature, societal structures, political structures, art, etc.
- Irony is good at pointing out the flaws/hypocrisies of these systems, but fails at offering meaningful solutions or alternatives
- Too much irony, like too much criticism, ends up adding noise to the cacophony
- The biggest factor in social/political change is money
- We live in an age of information, social media, and ironic (meta) humor
- Advertisement is good at deploying both simple rhetorical strategies—ethos/pathos/logos, association between buying the product and buying a lifestyle, using catchy buzzwords or phrases or slogans "Just do it!" "Eat fresh" "I'm lovin' it"—to sell their product.
- Post-modern Advertisement deploys "meta-humor" to make the consumer falsely believe that they have "transcended" (Wallace's term, E Unibus Pluram) the system, and thus associate the product with that feeling.
- There's a pervasive notion—perhaps prompted (or perpetuated) by modern or postmodern advertisement—that if we buy this house, or get this promotion, or get into this college, or live this way, that then, we'll be "happy," or "contented." That feeling is what we call "closure"
- ^^closure is a myth, because we wake up the next day, and don't feel entirely fulfilled. Everything is in constant flux, and nothing is certain —"the only certain thing in this world is change."
- If we're aware that we need to change, but don't change, then our self-awareness is in vain
Those realizations took me 8 months. And today, I've had my entire notion behind entertainment upended through an 8-page paper and a youtube video:
Trickster in a Suit of Lights: Thoughts on the Modern short story. (It's only 8 pages long!!!)
Youtube vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tICiNbukog0 "What is Post-Postmodern Literature? An Introduction"
The essay defines our perception of entertainment
And then explicates that notion, refuting that perhaps our conceptions of "high-class literature" are entertainment in and of themselves. Channeling the philosophy of David Foster Wallace as it concerns the purpose of literature, the essay mentions that entertainment is a form of bridging the gap of solipsism:
And that's what I've been doing for these past 8 months: repudiating and disparaging it (entertainment,) just like irony repudiates political systems without offering solution. I thought I had transcended the maze, but I had in fact just reached a bigger, more complex maze.
Well, in my last article, To Skin Alive the Joke, I proposed that we could "skin the joke alive" instead of stretching it. I used the viral video ""Shia LaBeouf" Live – Rob Cantor" (a.k.a. Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf) as an example of "stretching" the joke—stretch defined as "to amplify or enlarge beyond natural or proper limits"—and I suggested that the only way to truly connect (bridge the solipsism gap) on a genuine level is to snap the framework and react genuinely. In essence, I was evoking the same vocation DFW did at the end of E Unibus Pluram:
I've witnessed a similar change in my personal life, as well. I've tried to embody a "wholesome" worldview as opposed to the "cynical defeatist." I'm fixated by the fact that it's now considered "cool" or "hip" to say things such as "ME!" whenever the group mentions the following: [a meme about procrastination]; [a general flaw most people can relate to]; [something with "shock-value"]
Yet, being positive, and trying to be better and having it get easier every day, that is what people actually find "hip" and "cool." So what compels this notion to say "Literally ME!"? What is the barrier too irrefutably tough to break, or climb over, prohibiting us from reaching that wholesome beacon of light? What's the crux of this impossible cultural shitstorm mentality?
17 year old Chris Barclay arrives at a crossroads here.
Another thing I'd like to share today is the fact that music, when paired with thunderstorms, sounds a lot different.
Listen to these both simultaneously
See you next week