No, no, new topic tomorrow – finish old topic first.
There’s a Reddit discussion on the squeecore conversation: https://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/s5mtre/whats_up_with_squeecore_and_superversive/
The Reddit discussion isn’t that interesting except that one of the comments there has since been endorsed by one of the Rite Gud podcasters promoting the idea.
“amazing that some random Redditor was able to understand and summarize the squeecore episode while a decade’s worth of Hugo winners decided it was impossible to parse” [screenshothttps://twitter.com/benedict_rs/status/1483130427275726853
Which is great because that makes it another point of triangulation in terms of what the people using the term think it means.
So here are the elements identified in the Reddit post:
- It’s overwhelmingly preoccupied with setting up “Hell yeah!” “epic” moments rather than, say, organic character growth
- Characters (or sometimes just the author) are extremely genre aware and constantly draw attention to the tropes of the story they occupy, without ever actually breaking the fourth wall. This genre-awareness usually isn’t used in any interesting way, and is fairly surface-level observation (i.e. red shirts, final girl, etc.)
- Characters are extremely sarcastic and have a lot of lazy banter, because it’s easier to write for the author than “real jokes” or “real humor” (though the podcast, I would criticize, fails to define what that means)
- Related to the last point: A huge discomfort with intense emotions; major emotional moments are undercut with “Whedonesque” interruptions like “Well that happened” to give a kind of glib distance from really fully experiencing the moment
- Over-explanation of everything happening rather than leaving room for interpretation
- Metaphors that fall apart after any scrutiny
- A “neoliberal” preoccupation with making sure that everything works out for all the characters, often including converting the villains into allies
- A huge preoccupation with mainstream pop culture references, but especially to movies and TV
[comment from _Gemini_Dream_ https://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/s5mtre/whats_up_with_squeecore_and_superversive/ ]
I think this description does capture some of what was said in the podcast, particularly with the section on Chuck Wendig [I’m not saying it’s correct about Chuck Wendig because I haven’t read any. Simon McNeil’s analysis was clearer on the Wendig stuff].
If the above amounts to a delineation of what squeercore is then, OK that could be reasonably called a genre and I think it is easy to conclude it’s not a dominant one within the awards/buzz arena but is arguably an aspect of popular culture.