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Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the…
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Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever (edição 2013)

por Mark O'Connell

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Título:Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever
Autores:Mark O'Connell
Informação:Byliner, Inc., Kindle Edition, 47 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:read-in-2013, non-fiction

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Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever (Kindle Single) por Mark O'Connell

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This was surprisingly insightful, all the more so for being both extremely short, and for being about irony, which is a tricky subject to handle even for a talented writer.

What makes people laugh at terrible things? Your Tommy Wiseau movies, your Rebecca Black videos, etc. O'Connell discusses the psychological roots of this particular kind of humor, examples from throughout history, and what it says about human nature that people keep returning to "so bad it's good" artworks. As he says:

"We don't just want to look at the horribly disfigured Jesus fresco or listen to the horribly misfired effort at a pop song; we want to look at the person who thought they were talented enough to pull these things off in the first place. And I think part of our perverse attraction to these people and to the bad art they make is a particular sort of authenticity."

There's a passage in there about his own shame as pulling a prank on an aspiring Irish rap artist that is worth the price of the essay itself. If you've ever watched a bad movie solely because it's bad (and of course you have), or you find yourself curious about why people are addicted to Buzzfeed articles about "omg must-see #epicfail", then this is definitely worth a read. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
Loved this, a long-form essay from Kindle Singles on the history and prevalence of "Epic Fails" or really, the sneering ironic judgement of failed or artisically terrible expression - something that is almost impossible to escape in the hyper-connected modern world (as O'Connell says, we're now in the Global Village and everyday a new village idiot is appointed). Touching on Wiseau's The Room, Rebecca Black's Friday and others, O'Connell is interested in what it says about us and our ethical code now - the mean-spirited streak that runs through a lot of discourse and criticism today.

There's probably not much here that you won't have thought about already if you're interested in the subject, but O'Connell writes so eloquently and interestingly that I couldn't put the short book down.

Highlight of the book though for me was this:

"The research originated in the Offbeat News Stories section of the 1996 World Almanac. Here, Dunning came across an account of the arrest of one McArthur Wheeler, of Pittsburgh, for two counts of armed bank robbery on the same day in 1995. At five-foot-six and 270 pounds, Wheeler must have been a conspicuous figure at the best of times, so it would have been in his interest to have worn some kind of disguise while robbing two banks at gunpoint. He nonetheless neglected to do this, and when his image was broadcast that night during the 11 o’clock news, he was recognized by a number of viewers, several of whom contacted the police. His arrest, less than an hour later, perplexed him. “But I wore the juice!” he said. He had somehow managed to convince himself that rubbing lemon juice into his face would render it invisible to cameras. He had even taken photographs of himself, to make sure the process worked, and was happy enough with the results. (The police later surmised that he’d either temporarily blinded himself with lemon juice or misjudged his aim with the camera.)". ( )
  arewenotben | Jul 31, 2020 |
Mark O'Connell offers a historical, literary and personal context for the modern fascination with the unintentionally awful. His arguments are convincing and the evidence he offers enlightening. Particularly affecting is his critique of the scaled cruelty behind such mockery: from the callousness of laughing at someone who doesn't realise they are the joke, through to the potentially scarring attacks on people who never sought public recognition in the first place. That these examples are counterpointed by O'Connell's own eloquent prose highlights the difference between critical analysis and global bullying. ( )
  m_k_m | Feb 27, 2013 |
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