Here’s how funny it is: It’s funnier than A Confederacy of Dunces. It’s funnier than Money or Lucky Jim. It’s funnier than any of the product that any of your modern literary LOL-traffickers (your Lipsytes, your Shteyngarts) have put on the street. It beats Shalom Auslander to a bloody, chuckling pulp with his own funny-bone. And it is, let me tell you, immeasurably funnier than however funny you insist on finding Fifty Shades of Grey.
“The first time I read it, I was in school, and I remember being confounded by two facts: 1) That it was originally published in 1941 and 2) That it first appeared in Irish as An Béal Bocht. Andif there was one thing that was less funny than anything written before, say, 1975, it was anything that was written in Irish.”
Epic Fail Aces Its Lulz Studies
“While others … have explored the more serious contexts of online humor, particularly when it tilts into the grim and mean, in Epic Fail [Mark] O’Connell makes a useful addition to what I’ll refer to as Lulz Studies by attempting to put this variety of Schadenfreude in cultural-historical perspective.”
“If you’re looking for a link to this GIF, you won’t find it here. That’s because, mid-laugh, I considered this [person] as an actual human being, moving through the world somewhere, possibly embarrassed that documentation of [their] genuine enjoyment had been repurposed into a nutty-looking punch line. I felt clammy.”
- When laughing at an epic fail is no laughing matter by Rob Walker
“In this expertly researched, wonderfully witty essay, O’Connell explains why we enjoy watching the spectacular artistic failures of others. The culture of the epic fail is a culture of “sublimated predation,” he writes. It’s a concept well understood by great artists, including Shakespeare, but understood little by its unfortunate victims, who often remain convinced of their creative genius even in the face of mass ridicule.” The San Francisco Chronicle on our own Mark O’Connell’s Epic Fail.
I’m not actively invested in the web as a place where I forge anything. (All puns intended.) It’s more that I just know and think that it is entirely the air we breathe—you know it, I know it, even John McCain knows it—and so I dip my toe into it constantly and relatively briefly to feel what it is that has completely taken over our consciousness.