April 2, 2010

Leisure Academy: The Art of Deconstruction

Deconstruction, first introduced by French philosopher Jacques Derrida, is often considered the highest form of mastery of a particular field or art. It has perhaps become popularized in our lexicon thanks to cooking competition shows, like Top Chef, where competitors are often presented with the vague challenge of deconstructing a particular dish. Somehow though, we have reached a point in history where deconstruction of our media has become all the rage in web video comedy. I just want to point out this moment to you all because this fad won't be around for long. Once it's done there is no where for it to go. Now deconstructionists have been at work in the movie world for a while, mostly for parody, for example Mel Brook's films or the Austen Powers movies. Scream immediately comes to mind as my favorite deconstructionist film. However, there is usually more substance in those movies than just straight up deconstruction. This is probably why this latest resurgence of the fad is confined to short online videos, the deconstruction itself is the joke without any meat to sustain a longer form of entertainment. The current fad can probably be attributed to the superb "Trailer for Every Oscar-Winning Movie Ever" that emerged last month.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon The Onion's deconstruction of fluff news pieces:

Breaking News: Some Bullshit Happening Somewhere

And today brought me "Generic Rap Song":

I'm left with a few questions. What will be deconstructed next? And, more importantly, once we've deconstructed all of our societal scripts from contemporary media, where do we go from there? Anyway, it's an interesting moment we have found ourselves in, but the joke is getting old and overdone real quick, so let's get back to creating new and innovative entertainments rather than picking apart the old.

1 comment:

  1. Before the Onion came out with theirs I believe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtGSXMuWMR4

    I think it is funnier too.