aug 25

Trapped in the Closet

If I were in college right now, every term paper would somehow contain references to Trapped in the Closet and every night would be spent arguing with Chuck about some nuance of R. Kelly's masterpiece. Thankfully, I've grown up, and now my stupid blog is obsessed with the 22-chapter series while Klosterman writes about R. Kelly in The Guardian. (It's pretty great -- go read it. After you've watched the magnum opus.)


At your behest, I watched up to Chapter 15 or so and was mesmerised by it - but ultimately couldn't figure out how it differed from your average Youtube clip. I get the whole 'post-ironic' thing, the almost impossible blend of comedy and sincerity, but beyond that, I'm lost as to your rapturous praise.

Enlighten me. No, seriously - I'm not being a jackass. I think you have something to say about this and I don't think I've read enough Zizek to say anything smart about it. What are the chances for one of your rare-but-great longer postings?

posted by Nav at 2:58 PM on August 25, 2007


1) My above post makes no sense. I am simultaneously trying to say that 'everything is text' and therefore 'Trapped...' is 'art', while maintaining the high art/low art distinction. That was dumb.

2) But - you're going to think I'm insane for saying this - the corollary to 'Trapped' is... WB's Girlfriends. Yeah: Girlfriends.

Why? It contains the same weird mix of comedy and sincerity - i.e. a laughtrack joke in the middle of a discussion of abortion or rape. And it does exactly what 'Trapped' does - constantly and simultaneously staying on the edge of verisimilitude, camp, irony and comedy, but never committing to any of them.

So, to get all academic, as art/media recognise the impossibility of ever arriving at 'an end' in all attempts at *either* representation or critique, the phase of the post-ironic is the refusal to do anything but acknowledge its own failure as-representation/critique.

3. I am starting to believe that you just might be a genius.

posted by Nav at 10:48 PM on August 27, 2007

Prediction: within five years, there will be an academic book out that has various scholars offering wordy essays on Trapped in the Closet.

posted by Rex at 2:29 AM on August 28, 2007

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