Thursday, January 24, 2013

Books Read in 2013: "Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever" by Mark O'Connell

A Kindle Single, and more of a long essay than a book, but worth reading. 

He uses Susan Sontag's "Notes on Camp"as a launching point, which I don't think is an exact comparison. For all of the frustrating qualities in Sontag's essay, she does argue that affection for camp is true affection, and a love for something that may be lowbrow but still passionate and sincere. O'Connell's examples fall more into finger-wagging, warning others that "There, but for the grace of God (and good taste), go you and I and anyone who ever tried to do anything." There's cheese and then there's cruelty. It's one thing to seek out something because it's so bad it's good, or that you love in spite of yourself, and another to tell a 14-year-old girl to kill herself because she made a bad music video and posted it on YouTube.

That ethos just seems best summed up by Homer Simpson: