Epic Fail – The Book: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever

Ein Mini-Buch über schlechte Kunst und Viraleffekte. Ein Must-Read für mich, auch wenn ich sowas halbwegs versuche zu vermeiden, zumindest hier auf der Seite – weil, das Leben ist zu kurz für schlechte Kunst –, aber entkommen kann man Jesus Fresco oder sowas selbstverständlich nicht. Und wie sehr Netz-Memes, auch und grade handwerklich schlecht gemachte Remixe und ähnliches, tatsächlich als Kunst durchgehen, hab’ ich noch nicht wirklich durchdacht. Jedenfalls: Das Buch, eher ein langer Essay, gibt’s für Zweifuffzich für’s Kindle und ich hab’s mir grade bestellt. (Und ja, Kindle only. Deal with it.)

It clutters our inboxes. It fills our Facebook feeds. It keeps afloat a whole armada of late-night comedians, YouTube auteurs, and twitter wits … an endless stream of “Worst Things Ever.” Recall, if you will, Rebecca Black’s chart-topping disasterpiece, “Friday.” Or “The Room”, Tommy Wiseau’s cinematic tragedy turned cult farce. Or the devout Spanish septuagenarian who produced an infamously botched, and now stunningly ubiquitous, retouching of a 19th-century fresco of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Internet era has fueled an obsession with these and other acts of cultural cluelessness. Hardly a week goes by, it seems, without some new aesthetic travesty spreading across the globe in the form of ones and zeros, spawning countless remixes and riffs, like the world’s biggest inside joke. And once more the cry goes up: Fail! Epic Fail!

But what, exactly, draws us to these futile attempts at making songs, movies, and art? What are the essential ingredients that render a ridiculous failure sublime? More important, what does our seemingly insatiable appetite for the “succès d’incompetence” say about our aesthetic impulses? Our ethical ones? Is our laughter all in good fun or is something more sinister at work?

In this original e-book from the online magazine The Millions, Mark O’Connell, one of our funniest and most adroit young literary critics, sets out to answer these questions. He uncovers the historical context for our affinity for terrible art, tracing it back to Shakespeare and discovering the early-20th-century novelist who was dinner-party fodder for C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. He tracks the ascendency of a once esoteric phenomenon into the mainstream, where “what Marshall McLuhan famously referred to as the Global Village now anoints a new Global Village Idiot every other week.” He offers in-depth accounts of Rebecca Black, Tommy Wiseau, and the “Monkey Jesus”… and he probes the roots of his own obsession with terrible art. In this charming and insightful investigation into why we laugh, O’Connell not only spins a good tale, but he emerges as our leading analyst of the “so bad it’s good” phenomenon. And his discoveries may make you think twice the next time someone passes along a link to the latest, greatest “Epic Fail.”

Amazon-Partnerlink: Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever (Kindle Single), einen Auszug aus Epic Fail gibt’s hier: Introducing The Millions Originals and An Excerpt of Our First eBook, ‘Epic Fail’