Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Puffy Pants and Pulp Fiction

The votes are in. It's clear that you the readers overwhelmingly feel that the winner of our Love and Sailing group writing project should be Setting the Record Straight or Capt. Puffy Pants Eats Crow. I wholeheartedly concur. So, if Capt. Puffy Pants would like to email me his mailing address I will send him the prize.

I was very pleased that this entry won because, although the good captain has only been writing his blog Boat De Jour for a couple of months, I believe that he is setting a totally new direction in sailing blogs. Boat De Jour is, I suggest, the first truly "postmodern" sailing blog.

Let me first confess that, until five minutes ago, I had no idea what that term "postmodern" meant. But after extensive research using The Google and The Wikipedia I now consider myself an expert on the subject.

Actually The Wikipedia is not very enlightening on what "postmodern" really means. It just has a lot of twaddle such as saying that postmodernism is "a style and concept in the arts characterized by distrust of theories and ideologies and by the drawing of attention to conventions." Say what again?

However, I did discover that the 1994 Quentin Tarantino movie Pulp Fiction is considered by many critics as a "prime example of a postmodern film". Aaaah, now I get it. Tillerwoman and I watched Pulp Fiction for the first time a couple of weeks ago (we are a bit behind in catching up with recent movies) and right away I saw the similarity between Pulp Fiction and
Setting the Record Straight or Capt. Puffy Pants Eats Crow and why I loved so much the postmodern elements in both of them.

Pulp Fiction has a lot of swearing and killing people. I don't think that that makes it postmodern. And, in any case,
Setting the Record Straight or Capt. Puffy Pants Eats Crow doesn't have any killing people in it at all. On the other hand there is a bit of mildly foul language such as "bleep you".

Pulp Fiction has
John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis, but I don't think that this is why it is postmodern. Likewise John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis don't appear in Setting the Record Straight or Capt. Puffy Pants Eats Crow. Nor does Uma Thurman. (Which is a shame because I do have a bit of a thing for Uma Thurman.)

No. What I discovered from my minutes of research on The Google into postmodernism is that Pulp Fiction is considered postmodern because of the picture's "self-reflexivity, unconventional structure, and extensive use of homage and pastiche". Now do you see why I saw the similarity with
Setting the Record Straight or Capt. Puffy Pants Eats Crow?

Just like Pulp Fiction,
Setting the Record Straight or Capt. Puffy Pants Eats Crow has an unconventional structure. It is immediately apparent that there is a missing section from the story. The narrative abruptly jumps from Capt. Puffy taking the helm to the whole crew of the vessel swimming around in the lake. Classic postmodernism! (Can postmodernism be classic?) Thankfully the good captain posted the missing scenes a few days later in The Missing Transcripts of "Setting the Record Straight or Capt. Puffy Pants Eats Crow".

And how about that for self-reflexivity? Referring in his blog to the blog as if it were the record of some kind of court proceedings? "Missing Transcripts"! Delicious postmodernism.

But it's the "homage" that really makes this story truly postmodern. (I think that if you are in the know about postmodernism you are supposed to pronounce "homage" with a French accent.) Pulp Fiction is full of homages to other movies and television programs. I'm sure I only "got" 10% of them. Similarly
Setting the Record Straight or Capt. Puffy Pants Eats Crow is full of homages to films and TV. The blog's name Boat De Jour is clearly an homage to the 1967 Buñuel film Belle de jour; the name Puffy Pants itself must be a reference to the famous Puffy Shirt episode of Seinfeld; and the character Honey Bunny is clearly based on the character of the same name played by Amanda Plummer in Pulp Fiction!!! How spooky is that possum?

I could go on but I leave it to the reader to discover all the vast riches of postmodern elements in
Setting the Record Straight or Capt. Puffy Pants Eats Crow the worthy winner of our grand prize. The only thing that could have made it even better for me is if it had included a dance scene with Uma Thurman.


O Docker said...

Congrats to Captain Puffy from a fellow entrant.

It looks like he may be pulling off a sail blogging first by winning two competitions on the same day, as he also appears to have won the Painkiller Challenge, too.

Of course, I have only your word to go on that he's won the latter. If I were a more skeptical sort, I might suspect some sort of collusion between the two of you.

Just when I'm beginning to understand what the heck 'postmodernism' is, the hot new concept seems to be 'deconstructivism', which I think means taking stuff apart and putting it back together so that it's more expensive than it used to be.

After deconstructed philosophy, there is now deconstructed clothing and deconstructed food. And I think the old 1962 Corvair we used to have propably was deconstructivist long before the term was invented.

At any rate, Captain Puffy qualifies here, too, as his original post was missing a crucial piece that got reconstructed later.

Good job, Captain.

Tillerman said...

Hmmm. I thought deconstructivism was something to do with unpredictability and controlled chaos. A bit like my sailing.

Boat De Jour said...

Tillerman, Your genus never ceases to amaze. The way you picked up on my subtle use of "postmodernism" as a writing tool. And the way you saw right away the connections between belle de jour, Seinfeld and Pulp Fiction for a "homage trifecta," to coin a new term. Amazing. I tip my hat to you sir.

We can't wait to read Janna's book. I suppose I should let Honey Bunny have first crack at it as she is feeling a little blue right now. Thank you.

And O Docker, you filled in the final piece with that whole "deconstructivism" thingy. Kudos to you.

We both really liked your "It's A Rock!" entry too! Honey Bunny saw some similarities between our two stories. Our two ladies must never meet, let's make a pact!

tillerman said...

Hmmm. Did he just say that he is amazed that I am a homo? What else would I be? Australopithecus?

Carol Anne said...

Interesting form of blackmail to keep Captain Puffy, O Docker, and Pat in line ... threaten a get-together between Honey Bunny, Klove Hitch, and me ...

PeconicPuffin said...

Now that there's an offical Captain Puffy I hope to be called Michael in more quarters.

Of course, "that one" works too. And I usually respond to "Hey..."

Turinas said...

You are now and will always be Lord Puffington aka the Puffmeister

Boat De Jour said...

Oh no, in my haste to attempt humor, perhaps in vain, I forgot to thank all of those who voted for Capt. Puffy Pants. Thank you all, especially Tillerman. Puffy was up against some great competition. Great job all! I don't know about all this "postmodernism" stuff, but I will try to live up to the high bar you've set.

Unknown said...

Well, I think Cap'n Puffy is the one to blame for the high standards of his blog. I know I'll be eagerly looking forward to more postmodern deconstructionist posts.

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