an existential montage of boobery
March 4, 2015 11:51 AM   Subscribe

The concept first bubbled up out of the pop-cultural ether when competitive reality shows hit upon their formula, in the form of “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race.” TV enthusiasts — part fan, part Roland Barthes with a TiVo — congregated on online message boards like Television Without Pity, creating a new slang with which to dis and deconstruct their favorites. Fifteen years later, the critical language used to carve up the phonies, saints and sad-sack wannabes of reality shows has migrated, and the loser edit has become a limber metaphor for exploring our own real-world failures. Colson Whitehead: The ‘Loser Edit’ That Awaits Us All
posted by everybody had matching towels (25 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase...
posted by Oyéah at 12:17 PM on March 4, 2015


Is it bad that I love the idea that "loser edit" may become standard critical parlance and the only two contemporary "cultural critics" I can name are Heather Havrilesky and Anne Helen Peterson?
posted by strangecargo at 12:24 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


One of the more liberating things I've realized in life is that there is no inherent story.

Life's not a movie or a book. You can't anticipate winners or losers, failures or successes, by guessing the plot. Humanity's incredible ease with stories means that we project them onto the world like crazy, whether or not they fit. And if reality doesn't fit our story, it's our perception of reality that we change, not the story. You see it in politics, you see it in sports, you see it in business, you see it in journalism.

There is no inherent plot to your life or to this world, but you're going to ascribe one to it regardless. So pick one that helps you, one that makes you better. Pick a story that creates you into a stronger, more loving and generous person.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:37 PM on March 4, 2015 [42 favorites]


I suppose "existence precedes essence" is another way to put it.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:42 PM on March 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


See, I came into a thread titled "an existential montage of boobery" and expected a discussion of Baywatch.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 12:44 PM on March 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


Oh, I'm excited. There's actually a Survivor convention of sorts this next week in New York City that I'm getting ready for.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:52 PM on March 4, 2015


MetaFilter: part fan, part Roland Barthes with a TiVo.
posted by St. Hubbins at 1:00 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Take the footage you need. Burn the rest.

C'mon. It's obvious Don Draper wrote the article. He's in his eighties now and sharing his secrets of life.
posted by cwest at 1:01 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I came into a thread titled "an existential montage of boobery" and expected a discussion of Baywatch.

How delightful. I was expecting Congressional news.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:01 PM on March 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


God willing, most of the worst of my loser edit - and there would be enough material for a Loser Feature - occurred before there were cameras everywhere all the time. PICS OR VIDEO OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:11 PM on March 4, 2015


It's nice to see the themes in Black Mirror open a wider cultural discussion in a stateside paper.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:21 PM on March 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Colson Whitehead is one of my favorite writers.

I wonder who he was on Televison Without Pity.
posted by maggiemaggie at 1:23 PM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kanye West's must be movie length by now.
posted by OHenryPacey at 1:30 PM on March 4, 2015


I came into a thread titled "an existential montage of boobery" and expected a discussion of Baywatch.

How delightful. I was expecting Congressional news.


I read the title in the voice of Dr. Smith from "Lost in Space", which enhances either interpretation equally.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:09 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Dr. Smith never talked about the Baywatch sort of boobery.

Colson Whitehead had a great interview on Fresh Air last year, which was repeated just a few days ago.
posted by DarkForest at 3:08 PM on March 4, 2015


This is depressing
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:22 PM on March 4, 2015


I'm pretty sure Dr. Smith never talked about the Baywatch sort of boobery.

He might have...but only in a negative and scornful manner.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:30 PM on March 4, 2015


"There is no inherent plot to your life or to this world, but you're going to ascribe one to it regardless. So pick one that helps you, one that makes you better. Pick a story that creates you into a stronger, more loving and generous person."

That's one of the most insightful things I've read on MeFi in some time.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:30 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


To me psychotherapy is for the most part not a science. It's a hodge podge of various schools and points of view. None have any real empirical value. But... The one value of therapy is to provide you a story. One that helps you make sense of your life. It doesn't matter whether or not the story is true. All that matters is that it helps to explain things, put things in to a context you can work with. Having a good story is very important.
posted by njohnson23 at 3:36 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I actually thought this was building up to a sort of quasi-Buddhist "stop imposing stories on your life" moral, but apparently not. I'm still a little nonplussed. Although it was a good read (at least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it).
posted by uosuaq at 6:19 PM on March 4, 2015


Humanity's incredible ease with stories means that we project them onto the world like crazy, whether or not they fit.

I think it's all the narrativium.

To me psychotherapy is for the most part not a science. It's a hodge podge of various schools and points of view. None have any real empirical value.

There's a lot of research that disagrees with you. At the same time, continuing the theme, what you're talking about is headology.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:01 PM on March 4, 2015


I never came here to make friends anyways.
posted by furtive at 8:34 PM on March 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like this.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:36 PM on March 4, 2015


Damn, I was just hoping for some sort of searing commentary of the "Junkyard Wars" episode I was in.
posted by boilermonster at 12:00 AM on March 5, 2015


There's a lot of research that disagrees with you.

That research is about as rigorous as most psychotherapy is though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:01 AM on March 5, 2015


« Older People do not naturally assume that my family is a...   |   (Ο_Ο) Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments