What comes after meta?

Here’s a trailer for a movie that you might see this year. Or maybe it’s a trailer for a movie that you’ve already seen several times in the last year. See if you agree.

This impressive meta-film is the work of the comedy duo BriTANicK.

Meta is in the air these days.

People are getting more and more sophisticated with their media diet. In a world where every episode of Lost is picked over by an army of obsessive fans, and TV Tropes is right around the virtual corner, writers can’t rely on cliché as easily as they used to. But since true originality is as hard to come by as ever, the thing to do is use the cliché and wink while you do it. I know that you know what I’m doing and I’m doing it anyway ha ha. A good example of this is the Scary Movie franchise, the premise of which is to loudly abuse every gimmick in the horror movie book of tricks.

Here’s another example of parody-by-dissection that I came across in the Boston Globe: How to write an incendiary blog post:

This sentence contains the thesis of the blog post, a trite and obvious statement cast as a dazzling and controversial insight.

It’s only fitting to finish with a touch of Python (or Eric Idle anyway). From the musical Spamalot, we have The Song that Goes Like This.

Once in every show
There comes a song like this
It starts off soft and low
And ends up with a kiss
Oh where is the song
That goes like this?

The real question is, in a jaded postmodern world, what comes after meta? More meta or less? How many layers can you add before the parody doubles back on itself, before camp masquerading as sophistication is revealed as naked camp?

The irony bubble may be the next big bust.

One thought on “What comes after meta?”

  1. Ok, that’s about the funniest thing that’s come across my desk in some time. Loved that song in Spamalot as well.

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