Have you tacqueax seen this? I found it when I was researching TV tropes. It’s called TV Tropes.
TV Tropes is a charmingly nerdy, somewhat dorkily written pseudo-scholarly reference work, a wiki-style compendium of literary conventions and devices used in television and beyond. Some of the tropes are direct from the good old literary canon, some are modern coinages what may or may not stand the test of time, but it’s all so Byzantine and labyrinthine and mezzanine and infinitely recursive I just can’t stop reading it.
This wiki is nothing if not overkill. It covers the beaming up of the aforementioned conventions and devices into the 21st century media mothership, sure, but it also identifies, classifies, and documents modern media-specific conventions and devices to the point of neurosis. This thing is hilarious, especially if you are a cinquagenarian spinster aunt who has begun to feel the hot breath of future shock on her wrinkly neck, because the concepts are often specific to pop sub-cultures I know nothing about on accounta they weren’t around when I was young enough to care about pop sub-cultures to the point of identifiying, classifying and documenting their minutiae. Anime. Video games. Fanfic.
Here’s an example.
Everything that is an element of the whole package immediately encompassing the text and not part of the text itself.
In other words, all that stuff that isn’t a part of the show/movie/story itself, but still comes with it. The stuff on the box, the stuff that comes before the show/movie, etc.
I had to meditate on that for a minute before I grasped what is meant by “the whole package” and “stuff on the box.” Whereas I might consider dustjacket blurbs as examples of something called “paratext,” it never before dawned on me that there is a whole, classifiable species of non-content “content” that envelops modern media. Bonus material, pop-ups, trailers, bloopers, closing credits, even PBS titles thanking Viewers Like You. I would quibble that some of this stuff isn’t, technically, text, but a lot of it is, so, fine.
Anyway, I mention all this because it has long been a dream of mine to do something similar with a blaming wiki. How convenient it would be! Instead of putting all this time and effort into banging out these lousy posts, I could just publish a collection of wiki links to the specific ideas and concepts I wish to drag out of mothballs to make whatever point, and call it a day! Because let’s face it; there’s not a whole lotta new under the patriarchy blaming sun.
Not My Nigel, Mansplainin, Obstreperal Lobe, She Was Asking For It, Empowerfulment, etc — they’d all be neatly collected in one spot for your blaming pleasure. Sadly, I’ve never been able to figure out how to do this wiki without having to spend 8 days a week culling out all the troll crap.
The idea for this non-post popped into my lobe when I noticed that my last two essays (“The Girl” and “The Slain Masseuse”) are actually blaming-trope classifications in disguise.
Got any favorite blaming conventions of your own? Or any idea how to pull off the wiki? Please enlighten the group.