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Saturday, 10 August 2013

PARODY THESE DAYS

I used to embrace parody, and practice it. It used to be my favorite tool too. But these days parody does not taste good anymore, not even spicy as it used to be. Now, everyone seems to be using (and abusing) it. It doesn't bite anymore. It has become a tired cliche, an ineffective weapon. It has lost its charm. Heck, it has become a popular house-style, hip even.

Parody these days is fast becoming a language of a mutant snob. I'm beginning to 'not' enjoy it anymore. Perhaps I'm getting old (and wiser I hopefully).

Parody is becoming a convenient and lazy excuse for snobs to hide their own lack of conviction and commitment, in engaging or dealing directly (ya, 'like a true gentleman/woman') with issues (and people/collective/organisation/institution) that are normally 'exploited' as their objects and subjects of parody. Parody has become a fashionably easy escape from responsibility.  

Snobs because they are intolerant skeptics and doubters who posses a 'by-default' superiority complex, looking down at their objects and subjects of parody, normally those who don't share they opinions (if they don't posses this, they will be a fair 'listener', not a snob). Snobs because they are intolerant to dissent (voices of those who oppose their views). Snobs do not enjoy a civilized dialogue, do not bother to listen, do not commit, do not engage. They just mock to have fun amongst themselves like in a mass orgy. 

This is made worse by a lazy take on cliche binary or dichotomy, without taking into account that we are increasingly living in a hyper-connected world, where easy dichotomies and lazy binaries may not be, well...... convenient and easy anymore; that there will be lots of lots of fusion, lots of blurring, lots of slips, lots of overlaps.  Snobs dismiss these gray areas, or pores, or small holes, or potentialities. Snobs do not see that space 'in between' binaries or dichotomies. Instead, they prefer to take in a blanket yes-no, either-or, zero-one absolutism. They do not understand 'fuzzy logic'. They are blind subscribers of 'binary logic'.

A non-committed brats, hiding behind a parody, based on a cliche binary, is a mutant snob who does not know how to live in the present and embrace his/her 'being'. 

Mutant snobs can breed skeptics and doubters (even potential dictators or terrorists); skeptics and doubters can easily grow into angry mobs. Angry mobs breed hatred, hatred can escalate into war.

So, beware of parody these days. A tinge of it is cute, but too much of it may spell disaster.

No, its not somebody out there. Not 'some people', but someone everyone of us may embody 'within' and manifest or parade externally. I know this very well, I've at times embodied it!



3 comments:

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  2. And yet there is another sarcasm-parody done in the name of freedom of expression (and art) which works in many ways.. Increasing the value (of the work & institution) as a commodities + boosting the artist's name, into stardom, make people question (think critically)and also make the actant seen as a 'scum' by most people(Muslim).. 'I is idiot' truly fits the bill.. Or does such 'causal' works in Malaysia? There seem to be a 'fast-numbness' effect living and behaving amongst Malay-Muslim towards controversial issue, which also works in many interesting ways. Being very emotional by controversial issue - which create tensions, but at the same time wanting to just move on with normal life - which create stability.

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  3. Thanks Fuad, I think what we have a lot around us are reactions of reactions of reactions (to 'controversial issues' made controversial by the exploit of media). Reactions play only on emotion, and just good in creating an illusion (veil) of immediate change. It is the language game of politicians. Chains of reactions only create a bomb that destroy everything. And Ya, they do create numbness too. They do not instigate substantial revolution or sustainable transformation. Of course, no knowledge capital too. Real transformation does not come from reactions of reactions of reactions (to 'controversial' issues). Real transformation comes from the deep ocean of human heart, in the quantum domain (thought-mind-consciousness). Some parodies may function as a way of breaking a bad thinking pattern, to awaken (like a zen guru who liked to whack the mind of his disciple by asking absurd question or by literally whacking the disciple's head!) Such 'awakening' parodies accept paradox in life with ease (like ironic commodification of not just visual artist/institution/artwork, but even religion, ustaz, penceramah, pakar motivasi, pensyarah). Even 'humility' can also be paradoxically commodified and turn a person into a cult-hero! In a capitalist world, everything can be turned into a brand, a commodity, a business proposition, I mean....everything, not matter how one would want to name it. An Awakening parodies can wake us up to see beyond the paradox without having to overtly react to it. Yet, awakening parodies are increasingly obscured by these numbing reactions upon reactions to controversies. Parodies now have gone online. During the election, one could easily be drowned by parodies in blogs, websites, fb, twitters, instagrams. almost everyone is doing it. Some are good, most are terribly plain bad and evil. Once one goes online in accessing parodies, offline parodies (like some parody 'artworks' by that Hasnul Saidon dude) are becoming so lame, lousy and tired cliche already. Yet, as online parodies are increasingly becoming a sites for permanent deconstruction and mass orgy of reactions upon reactions, they have somehow lost their umpppp!!

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