Planking

So this is the latest craze?

Like some zombie apocalyptic future, or the falling down sickness (epilepsy to those not in the “dropsy” and “consumption” era), are people instantly dropping dead?  Is this a mimic of the Plague (“pockets full of posy, we all fall down”), a children’s game reflecting current fears of sickness and mortality, while simultaneously serving as a coping mechanism for grief or a desensitization in a world too familiar with death?  Does planking speak to the very fear of mortality? Is it a reflection of apocalyptic times or a reaction to the growing knowledge of viruses and epidemics and an over-clinicalized society?

Is it a public expression of drastic ennui? a passive suicidal behavior? a dehumanizing of self? willing oneself into the landscape? Is it an expression of Buddhist philosophy, regarding the self as both independent and dependent, as inextricably part of the fabric of the universe: you are as much the road, the grass, the trees, dependent on their existence and tied to them to define your own?

MOBILIARIO HUMANO exhibition by David Blazquez

Or it may be self-objectification.  akin to the “furniture” in Soylent Green. or Twiggy as a human clotheshanger. a desire to become an object, such as a floor or table. a statement of one’s invisibility and replaceability in a post-industrial faceless worker world.  Objects, valued for their quiet utility, their uncomplicated unpersonified functionality.  There could be a sexual component, as an inherent sadomasochism.  Whether or not that’s a component, the line between human and object is sometimes blurred, as any android movie/novel will emphasize.

And you can’t mention human objectification without conjuring women as sex objects.  Perhaps here, the pole dancer is subverting and exposing said objectification as biting social commentary.  like performance art, sans performance.

or…

I have no idea what world I’ve woken up in that this is a fad.  This could be a commentary on laziness or human stupidity.

Or the world’s gone stupid.

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4 Responses to “Planking”

  1. Completely objective news reports not tainted by advertising :: Last Exit to Reality ~ http://lastexittoreality.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/planking-extremely-stupid-or-extreme-sport/

  2. Lets all get together and do
    something stupid! I considered
    an article on planking but coulden’t
    do anything with it. I’ll agree with you
    when you say it is stupid, but I admire
    a world aways lusting for something
    new – to the point where I can wake
    up one morning and be presented
    with the latest wave of WTF.

    Inexplicable behaviors like this one
    are one of life’s many redeeming qualities.
    Normally my interest in people is limited,
    but when they do something like this . . .
    One man filming himself planking would
    be lame, the fact it has actually caught
    on is sheer crazyness, someone once
    compared the meme to a computer virus,
    perhaps a fad is the biological equivelent?

    I read it supposedly has connections to
    surrealism – a process that often involves
    taking unconnected random thoughts and
    committing them to canvas – in this case
    planking would have no meaning – or be
    for the viewer to interpret?

    • Interesting connection to surrealism. I wonder what planking would reveal about the unconscious mind. What would Dali think? I’m sure Freud would toss in the obligatory phallic references. One’s desire to become wood.

  3. People often tease me for
    quoteing Freud. I just think
    his logic is hilarious, especially
    in the context of the times he
    lived in.


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