Everything Is Awesome When You’re Part of a List: The Flattening of Distinction in Post-Ironic LEGO Media
In LEGO media, irony is all-pervasive. Irony, or the fluctuation of meaning between oppositional points, typically generates a rich multiplicity of meanings—but this is not the case in recent LEGO movies and videogames. For example, while LEGO films demonstrate an acute, Buzzfeed-like awareness of popular culture as they jump ironically from one reference to another, their ubiquitous use of irony leads to the flattening of meaning, rather than its multiplicity. By way of a close, formal engagement with LEGO films and videogames, in this chapter, author Ari Mattes examines how LEGO’s privileging of the list as an aesthetic form ultimately serves to negate irony’s potential as bearer of critical meaning.
- Adorno, T., & Horkheimer, M. (2016). Dialectic of enlightenment (J. Cumming, Trans.). London: Verso.Google Scholar
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation. (2019). Classic composer: The composers you can’t live without. https://www.abc.net.au/classic/classic-100/composer/. Accessed on June 6, 2019.
- Baudrillard, J. (1990). Fatal strategies (P. Beitchman & W. G. J. Niesluchowski, Trans.). Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Beniger, J. R. (1986). The control revolution: Technological and economic origins of the information society. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Borges, J. L. (1998). Collected fictions (A. Hurley, Trans.). London: Penguin.Google Scholar
- Dean, J. (2009). Democracy and other neoliberal fantasies: Communicative capitalism and left politics. Durham and London: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. (1970). The order of things: An archaeology of the human sciences. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
- Girard, R. (1988). To double business bound: Essays on literature, mimesis and anthropology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
- Graeber, D. (2015). The utopia of rules: On technology, stupidity, and the secret joys of bureaucracy. Brooklyn: Melville House.Google Scholar
- Hutcheon, L. (1995). Irony’s edge: The theory and politics of irony. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Kenaan, H. (2013). The ethics of visuality: Levinas and the contemporary gaze. London: I.B. Taurus.Google Scholar
- Marr, B. (2018, May 21). How much data do we create every day? The mind-blowing stats everyone should read. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/05/21/how-much-data-do-we-create-every-day-the-mind-blowing-stats-everyone-should-read/. Accessed on May 1, 2019.
- Nagle, A. (2017). Kill all normies: Online culture wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right. Winchester and Washington: Zero Books.Google Scholar
- Shaviro, S. (2010). Post cinematic affect. Winchester and Washington: Zero Books.Google Scholar
- Sloterdijk, P. (1988). Critique of cynical reason (M. Eldred, Trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Virilio, P. (2009). The university of disaster (J. Rose, Trans.). Oxford, UK and Boston: Polity Books.Google Scholar
- Young, L. C. (2013). Un-black boxing the list: Knowledge, materiality and form. Canadian Journal of Communication, 38, 497–516. https://doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2013v38n4a2651.