Thursday, September 15, 2005

It's all very meta

I have coined a new term (and if you coined it before me, okay then):

Meta-blogging: The act of discussing the politics, mysteries and motivations of blogging in one's own blog.

Trey Atwood, the O.C.'s
king of the meta storyline.

Since I began my foray into the blogging world, I have noticed many instances of meta-blogging on almost every blog that I read. I even do it on my own blog (see Reading other people's lives). People seem to ponder every aspect of blogging... the reasons behind blogging, the different types of blogs, the merits or annoyances of things like anonymous blog comments, blog wars, antagonistic readers...and so on. The fact is, as bloggers, we're putting ourselves out there. And we are fascinated by that fact... we are utterly obsessed with our craft. So we analyze it. And why not do that on our blogs too?

This really reminds me of "The O.C.," which is a very meta show. The shows writers are constantly giving their characters lines that reference the show itself (or in many cases, point out the show's shortcomings or make fun of it). Example from last week's season premiere:

Trey is in a coma. Summer says that she's never known anyone in a coma before except for people on "The Valley," which is a fake show very similar to "The OC" (which is the show Summer is currently on, get it?). Summer goes on to say that comas on "The Valley" are usually just for "silly melodramatic plot-furthering purposes." Oh-so-not-coincidentally, that is what Trey's coma is being used for right that second on "The O.C." So the brilliant writers have pointed out the fact that their plotline is pretty much a stupid excuse to create some drama.

I don't get this. Do they think their viewers are so stupid as to not realize the show is poking fun at itself? Or is at sort of an inside joke and they just expect the observant people to chuckle at their brilliance? What good can come of being a meta show like this? Are we supposed to think it is clever? Are they using the meta quotes to show us that they know their show can be stupid sometimes? Maybe they're making up for the plot's obvious shortcomings by making a joke out of it?

Either way, "The O.C." is a good study in meta. And while we bloggers aren't always making fun of ourselves while meta-blogging, we are trying to say something about our craft. Maybe we are trying to explain it, just like those O.C. writers. We're thinking up reasons why we do the things we do, and sometimes we might just be making excuses. Luckily, we don't have to explain anything as complicated as why there's a boy in a two-month coma after receiving a gun shot to the abdomen... and (spoiler alert) why that boy magically wakes up and can walk and talk just fine about 30 minutes in to the season premiere. But, whatever.


At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

here I am yet again but your last couple of posts have been outstanding! This one even inspired me for a post of my own :) So thanks for that! :D

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Charlie

Result #2 of 284,000 - 'metablogging is dead'

At 5:28 AM, Anonymous metagreta said...

um... this was OK up until paragraph 6 where you reveal that you really don't get it. Not the OC, I mean, but maybe humor in general....


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