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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Tzintzuntzan: Okay, once again this page is refusing to let me indent properly, leading to that real ugly paragraph chop at the bottom. What am I doing wrng?


Tzintzuntzan: I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong here...this is the fourth time that I haven't been able to get the indenting to work.

Ununnilium: You seem to be putting a lot of newlines in, instead of just letting it word-wrap naturally.

BT The P: Which browser are you using? I think you may have a problem with the handling of text input boxes.

Tzintzuntzan: I'm using Internet Explorer, for what it's worth. I did start out letting it wrap naturally, but that didn't work — so I tried putting new lines in, which made it even uglier.

Gus: It looks like you want more whitespace above the ** items. I'll do that globally, and see if it meets your concern... //later: that's in. Let me know.

Tzintzuntzan: I can see the difference, and it looks good — but that's in old entries; we'll have to find out if it keeps later entries from looking odd.

Tzintzuntzan: Oh, while I'm here, a question about the entry: I've heard it argued that Revolutionary Girl Utena and the new Battlestar Galactica should be considered Deconstruction (of the Shoujo and Wagon Train to the Stars genres respectively), but I don't know enough of either show to judge. Anyone know? (Maybe they're like My So-Called Life, which was not created as deconstruction, but greatly resembles it?)

Robert: It's related to the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: increasing the cynicism can end up bordering on deconstruction.

Susan Davis: Revolutionary Girl Utena isn't a deconstruction of anything — it's a Mahayana Buddhist allegory. The new Battlestar Galactica isn't a deconstruction, either. It's a very different direction with a different focus and much more realism, but that doesn't make it a deconstruction.

osh: Agree with the above. Didn't the last bits of Evangelion do similar Bhuddist stuff? I wondered if that's why some fans found it so opaque... I could argue Utenadeconstructs the whole Prince ideal in shoujo, but that's a stretch.

Ununnilium: I would say Utena *does* deconstruct that kind of thing. You know, I was able to understand it pretty well without knowing about the Buddhist allegory. >>;

Looney Toons: Likewise I. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, Susan is the only person or source from whom I've ever heard the "Buddhist allegory" explanation.
Looney Toons: Re the Sailor Moon/Crystal Tokyo entry — I thought the Black Moon Clan were time travelers from the future, who rejected being cleansed not by Queen Serenity but by Neo-Queen Serenity. Can someone more knowledgeable about the series than I confirm/deny?

Binaroid: Judging from Wikipedia's entry and what I remember, it was Neo-Queen Serenity (Future Usagi) who exiled the Black Moon Clan.

Ununnilium: ...is that right? @@ It's been so long. Okay, if you say so.


Scrounge: Anyone think the Reconstruction phase should have a page of its own, if only to list examples? I'd argue that the Reconstruction ideal is what makes some shows so fun to watch. I keep going back to Transformers: Beast Wars, but it only now just clicks that this is why... It's made to be entertaining.

Ununnilium: I say yes.


Solandra: I moved the Scream example (that I added myself) to Affectionate Parody because I added it here when the Affectionate Parody entry didn't yet exist, and Scream's self references are more joking and respectful than those of merciless Deconstructions and thus more in the spirit of an Affectionate Parody.

Big T: I'm removing it again, along with my added bullet point under it.

Krid: Since this is somewhat subjective, would The Tick count?

Ununnilium: Hm. I'd say it's an Affectionate Parody.


Space Ace: That Star Trek essay, aside from being completely ridiculous, was so nerdy it made my testicles physically retreat into my body. And that's coming from a longtime Star Trek fan.

Added later: I take that back. Not just the essay is insane, the entire site is. I feel sorry for that guy.

Pirate King: It's not ridiculous at all. It's accurate, and the Owner KNOWS THAT IT'S AN IMMATURE HOBBY, BUT DOES IT ANYWAY BECAUSE HE FINDS IT FUN.

Andyroid: Yeah, I first heard of StarDestroyer.net on the message boards for Comic Book Universe Battles, and what I heard was not pleasa

PirateKing: You are aware that many of the people on comic book resources are trolls who gleefully ignore evidence and who refuse to site logic? The people who told you about SD.Net on that site were lying through their teeth

Ununnilium: "One could theorize that radical left-wing activists took control of the government agenda." ...oh boy.

The worst part is that he's being so geeky, yet doesn't seem to understand what he's geeking about. "No wealth: Counsellor Troi and Captain Picard have both boasted about how the accumulation of wealth is no longer an incentive. What they don't explain is why." Oh, I dunno, maybe the replicator that can instantly produce any item of material desire!?

Pirate King: Replicators don't work that way. They have limits. the fact that metals like gold are still valuable to everyone show that replicators aren't the wondertech you claim it is. And the federation doesn't have investment, a key part of capitialism. I'm sorry, but you are completely ignoring the points and using utterly false logic

Space Ace: I never really got the rivalling fandom, either. What the hell would it matter if the Death Star could blow up the Enterprise? Does that make Star Wars better somehow? I mean, if you're going to compare them, at least look at the writing and directing and whatnot.

And even then they're not in the same ballpark. It's not even the same goddamn sport. Pretty much the only thing the two have in common is the "Star" in the title. Can't people just enjoy them both? Or think one is better than the other without having to explain how Kirk would kick Darth Vader in the nuts?

Speaking of such arguments, is it just me or do Star Wars fans always cite Imperial equipment for their comparisons? Aren't they the bad guys?

Anyway, here's something that will hopefully reduce some of the Stardestroyer pain: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/blue-stripe-life.php

Pirate King: There is a problem with your arguement. The NR is peaceful and wouldn't start a war. The empire has no such problems. Also....who cares if they are the villians. All that matters is the power of the tech

William Wide Web: Another really bad thing about the StarDestroyer stuff is that one of the major themes of Star Wars is actually a numerically inferior force defeating the Evil Empire by the power of their goodness.. Which makes all the claims of the Empire being able to defeat the Federation for those reasons ring a bit hollow. He has a few interesting points about the Literary Agent Hypothesis in there somewhere but it would be better were it not for the fact that the author is wwwwaaaayyyy too absorbed in the Imperial Officer routine.

Pirate King: Totally missing the point. The rebels had tech on the same level, and won largely because the emporer and leaders made boneheaded moves. Their goodness had nothing to do with it. The federation has inferior tech, and lacked the rebel's competence therefore the empire would wipe the floor with them.


Tanto: Deleted 8-Bit Theater because it's not a deconstruction; it's a Dead Baby Comedy with No Fourth Wall elements.
gryffinp: It always seemed to me that the Discworld series was more of an Affectionate Parody than a Deconstruction. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like it should be moved.


Puffy Treat: I don't think the Kingdom Come series counts as reconstructionist. By the end of the series, ALL the super-heroes, from the gritty vigilantes to the idealistic silver age types realize that they are fatally flawed, give up their secret identities, and rejoin humanity as fellow citizens trying to rebuild the world.
Uknown Troper: Removed:

Because it isn't a deconstruction. It's a parody. A deconstruction of Magical Girlfriend would possibly go closer to Elfen Lied.
Meta4: Moved the mention of Astro City and Marvels to Reconstruction, and moved the A Song of Ice and Fire and South Park examples to Deconstructed Trope.


The Nifty: Chopped this:* BioShock is often claimed as a deconstruction of Objectivism, but just reading Rand's novels it's pretty clear the developers missed most of Rand's points. It remains as an impressive deconstruction of linearity in videogaming.

Because most people would disagree with Bioshock not having done the research. The points it makes re: Objectivism are the same points most detractors bring up. I get the feeling this was edited previously by someone who likes Objectivism and objects to a deconstruction of it on principle. Still, I don't think I'll re-insert it as a straight example of Deconstruction in case I provoke an Edit War.

Gattsuru: I like the current version of this entry better, but even without being an Objectivist, I think there are some non-trivial gaps in BioShock and its display of Objectivism Gone Wrong. There are a thousand ways to deconstruct Atlas Shrugged, but doing so in any manner that clearly violates the oath — I swear, by my life and love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man nor ask another man to live for mine — as clearly and completely as Andrew Ryan is a bit like 'deconstructing' Sikhism by having a character strip off the five Ks and renounce every religious text related to Sikhism. Or 'deconstructing' laws against murder with a hitman that supports those laws. Andrew Ryan applies force against people for reasons other than self-defense, socializes an entire industry, and applies effective mind control. It's a Shallow Parody at best, which is unfortunate when there are more than a fair share of much more reasonable complaints than summoning someone who talks the talk but isn't willing to walk the walk (such as the weird emphasis on atheism and likely results thereof, the moral and ethical implications of a society with little or no welfare for the unemployed).

NotGodot: Way to totally miss the point. BioShock doesn't deconstruct objectivism by attacking the philosophy, it does it by taking the work most tightly wound up in objectivism (Atlas Shrugged) and doing what Derrida advises us to do: Extending it until the inherent contradictions become clear. In this case, the makers of Bioshock extend the notion of a small, tightly contained commune based on laissez faire capitalism, stuffed with apparently important luminaries and super-scientists. The point is that unlike in Atlas Shrugged, it was the Gulch that collapsed in on itself and not the rest of the world. It was the Gulch that went to hell, in this case because laissez faire capitalism and the proliferation of "achievers" enabled instability and discontent in an environment that can't really tolerate it. Ryan betraying his principles is part of that deconstruction. The point is that John Galt would have done the same, despite being the Objectivist Superman. It's probably a purer deconstruction than 90% of what's on the page.


randomfanboy: Is it actually possible to have a humourous deconstruction of something? Or is that satire? Or are satire and humourous deconstruction the same thing?

Danel: I don't think that would be satire. I believe it would be either parody or pastiche, depending upon how friendly the humour was.

randomfanboy: So deconstruction and parody are the same thing, just not all deconstructions are funny? Is that it?

Gattsuru: Some are both, but not all parodies are deconstructions, and not all deconstructions are parodies. Satire takes a work, duplicates it, and criticizes it with this duplicate, usually by pointing humor at it. Parodies mimic a work while making fun of it. Deconstructions take themes from a work, and see how the theme works in a more 'realistic' setting (most often varying in terms of cynicism-idealism).

To provide an example : a basic story would be to have a Super Hero trying to save the Girl from the Villain. A parody would have a incompetent Hero trying to save the Girl from the Villain...'s evil dinner party. A deconstruction would have the Super Hero trying to save the Girl from the Villain... while the villain tries and fails to resist his madness, and the hero's arrogance leads to the death of the Girl. Or you can see what happens when the arrogant Super Hero dies messily trying to stop the Villain he unleashed, while the incompetent one saves the Girl from the Villain with the use of unstoppable rage. Real anger, this time.

A basic character would be the mad scientist. A parody would be the mad scientist with super gerbils. A deconstruction would look at the underlying causes of insanity in scientific minds, the cultural ramifications of mad science's products, and how society would need to react. Or you can add the super-gerbil wielding mad scientist and a government agency focused on letting mad science products live a fulfilling life to get a deconstructive parody.


Tze Tze: Has anyone considered that maybe this word is overused a bit?
  • The Mushroomy Kingdom stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl deconstructs the "brown = next-gen" philosophy by applying it to World 1-1 from Super Mario Bros., turning the bright stage into a deserted wasteland.
'Cause it's hard for me to imagine Super Smash Bros. deconstructing anything. This is a game where a puppy dog can jump up and block the screen. Isn't deconstruction supposed to be less... wacky?

Gattsuru: I don't think you need to be Darker and Edgier to Deconstruct something, although it does help, nor does the entire work need to be deconstructive for an individual aspect to be. For example, Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure is more of a Deconstruction of Evangelion than a Reconstruction of the Giant Robot genre (the show is more interested in providing a more realistic interpretation of the three Pilots where D = saner Rei, Mitsuki = less arrogant Asuka, Kazuki = less whiny Shinji, with rather impressively in-depth undertones, than it is bring conventional mecha tropes to the table). Dual! is still much Lighter and Fluffier, as you'd expect by anything that isn't Warhammer.

That said, I'm not sure the Mushroomy Kingdom level isn't just a parody or satire of real = brown. It doesn't seem interested in showing the reality of the trope, so much as it is just making fun of it.
Man Without A Body: I removed the Dr. Horrible example, because it's not really a Deconstruction. It's a particularly sad/hilarious example of the supervillain origin story, with lots of moral ambiguity, but it doesn't really say anything about the superhero genre.

Gattsuru: I thought Dr Horrible was a pretty good example of what a super hero and a super villain would be like in a less idealistic world than is typical for the super hero genre. Captain Hammer isn't an effective antagonist simply because he takes the villain's girl, but because so many super heroes save the girl with Redemption Equals Sex. He's an arrogant blowhard, a liar, and has no empathy for the little people... but that's not far from a normal superhero, and that's what makes him seem powerful. Dr Horrible isn't just sympathetic because he's neebish well over his head, but because he seems like what would actually drive someone to be a street-level supervillain, and his drive to murder Captain Hammer is far more mundane than that of Lex Luthor or the Joker.
Klaue: I am not sure if it would fit in (partly beause I'm not quite sure how this Trope is different from a parody/satire), but wouldn't Otherland count for deconstructing fairy tales by showing them in a semi-realistic (even if only virtual) environment?

Pro-Mole: The trope sure is different from parody/satire, it's just difficult to differentiate. If it ends up twisting the tropes and motifs of the genre upon themselves by switching their environment, then put it there and let Wiki Magic work!


Pro-Mole: Cutting

  • Enchanted is about as close to a deconstruction of other Disney movies as you're ever likely to see a Disney movie get.

Because Enchanted is mostly an Indecisive Parody. Humorous, yes. Portrays Disney Animated Canon tropes as they'd work in real life... sort of, since it actually works like a Disney movie anyway. Deconstruction... no.
Whatever: I'm cutting this.

I don't really think "Alien invasion/monster attack from the point of a normal guy," is enough to count as a deconstruction, it's just a different way of doing things. Cloverfield pushed it more by having the group actually hindered and killed by the big conquering army, and I haven't seen Signs in years and don't remember it very well, so maybe that had something in it. But I'm taking this one out.

Matthew The Raven: Considering that the original War of the Worlds (and thus the original alien invasion novel) was from the POV of a nameless Red Shirt, it's not deconstruction at all. If anything, it's a Reconstruction. (Ditto with Gozilla for Cloverfield).


Man Without A Body: I suspect that many of the examples here aren't really deconstructions at all, but were just put up by overeager fanboys to valorize the shows in question. Honestly, 40K as a deconstruction of sci-fi?

Peteman: Yeah, I felt the same thing.
cg12345: Just out of curiosity, would Fallout be considered a Deconstruction? Possibly of I Want My Jetpack? I could of sworn I added something about it to this page a long while ago, but it seems to have been snipped.

Chad-Steiger: Does Smallville count as a deconstruction of the Power Rangers/Super Sentai shows? You have Clark being the lone power ranger most of the time. He fights in street clothes instead of spandex. Only the aliens have humongous mecha but it only gets you a one way trip from Krypton to earth. Clark has to fight with his bare hands with no Power ranger-fu. Most of the monster of the weeks are human looking. Season 8 brings doomsday the closest person Smallville has to a triditonal power rangers monster.

Man Without A Body: No. It counts as a very different show from Power Rangers.
thelighter: Wouldn't eiken count as a deconstruction of Most Common Super Power considering how hindered most of the character are because of their breast size


Selph: Removing Warhammer from the page. I don't see how making Dark and Edgy Tropes well...Dark and Edgy counts as a deconstruction. A deconstruction of Crapsack world would probably either show that it isn't that bad after all or that it's the hero's fault that the world's that way in the first place.
arromdee: Removed:

  • While the series plays a number of tropes straight, Macross Frontier features an absolutely vicious deconstruction of the Moe archetype in Klan Klein. At first she appears to be played straight and has a Sleep Mode Size, but as the series goes on the show takes pains to point out that the fact that she's what most otaku would consider a walking fetish doll while "micronized" is an almost nightmarish inconvenience for her. She and her heart's desire Michael can't really date too often in public since she looks like she's 12 when micronized (despite being at least 20), Michael feels uncomfortable around her at times due to her appearance, people have difficulty taking her seriously even when she has things to be very serious about, and worst of all, the fact that she has to change size to fight effectively is what essentially gets Michael killed. In the end, it's almost an Asuka-level evisceration of a character archetype, although thankfully for the viewer Klein has a little more mental fortitude than Ms. Soryuu does.

The biggest part of this—that having to change size gets Michael killed—isn't really true, because Zentraedi would tend to fight at large size anyway, and it's clear that a Zentraedi is a better fighter at large size than small regardless of whether the small size looks like a kid or not.

As for the rest, I think that this is just a case of dueling tropes. The idea that big breasts are good is itself a trope, and opposes Moe; and either of the two tropes is inherently going to seem like a deconstruction of the other. Otherwise you could say that Lina Inverse is a deconstruction of Moe (gets treated as a kid by Gourry because she has small breasts).

  • MacF also provides a minor deconstruction of Everythings Better With Pineapples, which of course the original SDF Macross invented. In episode 17, we get all the classic signs of an impending character death — memories with "old music" (hilariously Fire Bomber songs), signs of an old love rekindled, and of course preparing a pineapple cake. Ozma looks like he's going to die and ends up fine, complete with resident Deadpan Snarker Micheal Blanc hanging a lampshade on "how tragic it'd have been if he died". Of course, the other side of the deconstruction then also gets applied when Michael is quite suddenly and tragically killed himself, with practically no waring whatsoever.

That's Playing with a Trope. It doesn't try to say anything about the trope except that it happens.

Man Without A Body: I removed the following example, because it's really more of a parody (that is not how blues songs are written), and a slightly racist one at that:
  • The song "Poppa's Blues" from the stage musical Starlight Express is a wonderful deconstruction/analysis of a blues song — it is a blues song that tells you how blues songs are written, with a sense of humor about itself. The first verse goes:
    Oh, the first line of the blues is always sung a second time.
    Yeah, the first line of the blues is always sung a second time.
    So by the time you reach the third line
    You've had time to think of a rhyme.

Xi Whoeverski: I removed the examples below...

  • Jude the Obscure deconstructs a lot of aspects of Hardy's contemporary Britain, such as how impossible it could be for a man born poor to make anything of himself.
    • Surely that's just satire...
  • William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" deconstructs fandom and, to some extent, advertising. The protagonist is a lonely woman with few friends, the one she mentions most being entirely online. The primary forum for the fandom is fetish:footage:forum, the "footage" itself has no known source, reason, or order, and some of the primary figures in the fandom have long, wordy, somewhat-pretentious arguments over their interpretations of the footage.

Deconstruction is supposed to attack/critique a genre, not real life. A critique/attack on the latter is satire.

Man Without A Body: I'm deleting this, because it's not really a deconstruction so much as it is a very dark parody.
  • "There Will Be Brawl" on The Escapist, the same site that hosts Zero Punctuation and Unskippable, takes some of the same ideas, throws in a good helping of Black Humor, and makes a whole series out of it. It also uses all the characters from Super Smash Bros. Brawl in addition to the Mario series. In this story, Luigi is a drug dealer and the narrator, Wario is a small time mob boss with the Ice Climbers as his bodyguards, Link is the head of the police force, Captain Falcon owns a gay bar, and Kirby...is essentially the universe's version of Hannibal Lecter.


PROPOSAL FOR A REWRITE

I think that the current text describing deconstruction (not the examples) is a bit unclear. I have a beta rewrite here that I'd like to ask for some feedback on, and generally see if other people agree with me and think that the description needs a rewrite.

Deconstruction

Wouldn't it be nice if the world were like the TV Shows, Films, Video Games and Comic Books you love? I'm sure it would be! Because then you'd have superheroes battling outside your door! Only to crash into your house in the heat of battle, smashing through your television and killing your pet.

No, it would NOT be cool if our fantasies were real, because our fantasies are usually rarely thought out and as such, if real, would have terrible consequences.

Deconstruction occurs when you take a common fantasy, being a trope or a set of genre conventions or a typical plot, and attack it by showing how much it would suck if it were in fact real.

For instance, the dream of wanting to be a Princess Classic would be deconstructed by showing all the pressures and problems associated with actually being a Princess. Even more savagely, one could be Princess to a Prince Charming who lorded over an absolute monarchy where he was a tyrannical oppressor of the people (like most absolute monarchies)! The oppression would generate a revolution and before we know it, Ms. Princess Classic would have her head in the guillotine.

In essence, Deconstruction is Reductio Ad Absurdum applied to genre conventions/tropes/fantasies. Nothing about the trope (or set thereof) is actually changed, it is played straight. However, it is played straight without ignoring or hand-waving the negative consequences/corollaries. Indeed, these consequences/corollaries are highlighted in gruesome detail, taking a cherished fantasy and showing it to have indefensible results.

Well-done deconstruction will change a genre forever; every example of it afterward is, to some extent, a response to the deconstruction. It will also inspire a ton of "Darker and Edgier" imitators that are considerably weaker than the original.

Deconstruction is also usually followed by Reconstruction. Wheras deconstruction aims to attack our fantasies by showing them to be flawed, absurd, and unworkable and unpleasant in reality, reconstruction accepts these criticisms and builds a new fantasy that allegedly would work in reality. Continuing the Princess Classic example, a reconstruction of this fantasy would make it clear that Prince Charming is the Prince of a Constitutional Monarchy that strictly limits the powers of the royalty, and that government is handled by a constitutionally restrained representative democracy and thus the threat of any Regicidal Revolution is minimal.

Deconstruction and reconstruction can become cyclic tropes. A set of conventions is established (the initial 'construction' of the genre or ideas that are used in the story), this set of conventions is played straight until some author gets bored and decides to show us the dark side of these conventions via a deconstruction of them. Atop the ruins, a more realistic narrative (i.e. one that accepts the criticisms of the earlier deconstruction) is then built via reconstruction (and in the future, this narrative gets deconstructed, etc.).

Note that to be a deconstruction of X (x being a trope or set/s thereof), a work must both abide by and criticize X. Merely making things Darker and Edgier is not necessarily a deconstruction, unless the author is clearly criticizing that-which-is-being-made-Darker and Edgier. For instance, Warhammer40000 cranks all its tropes Up to Eleven and deliberately makes every piece of lore and all of the factions so GRIMDARK that the setting is an ode to moral nihilsm; but in spite of the fact that it clearly paints an unpleasant picture, never once does it seriously compell the player to seriously question whether or not they would truly want to be a badass Space Marine fighting tentacle-rapey Slaaneeshi Daemonettes by stabbing them repeatedly with phallic and extremely large sword-chainsaw hybrids. Thus, 40k abides by the tropes without criticizing them.

  • Man Without A Body: I like it.
    • Studiode Kadent: Thanks! (I did the rewrite, by the way). No one's objected so far, so should I replace the text with this rewrite?
  • Ingonyama: It's clear, to-the-point, and expresses what a Deconstruction is in a way that's both enlightening and entertaining. I'm all for it! ^_^

Studiode Kadent: This is about the page edit that occurred 29/Oct/09 at 12:35 AM by Sign Of The Dead. The edit merges the old body with new body of text. To be honest I don't think this edit adds anything. It creates unnecessary confusion (between a genre-deconstruction and deconstruction-as-a-way-of-playing-with-a-trope) and increases redundancy. It makes the article unnecessarily long as well.

For instance, the old version described deconstruction as 'subverting a genre.' This isn't the case; subversion is when you would make the audience expect genre X and the work becomes genre Y. Neither Metal Gear Solid 2 nor Evangelion subvert their own genres; MGS 2 is an action game and Eva is a mecha anime, but both are deconstructions of their genres. Deconstruction is NOT subversion.

Additionally I think there should be a split between "Deconstruction as a method which can be used on genres and/or individual tropes," "Deconstruction of a whole genre" and "Deconstructions of individual tropes." There is obvious confusion in the article and examples page.

Does anyone else think we should go back to the text of the article before the aforementioned edit took place?

Man Without A Body: Let's go back to Studiode Kadent's above-posted text. The fusion of the old and new doesn't work, and the new is better than the old.
Matthew The Raven:

  • Bliss Stage is the Tabletop Games equivalent, and specifically lists Evangelion (and various Evangelion byproducts) as an inspiration for its ruthless deconstruction of The Power Of Love. If all that's required is intimacy and affection rather than actual love...
    • Well that's not Deconstruction, that's just arbitrarily changing the nature of the trope to make it darker. It's like saying that you've created Car-Nage, a ruthless deconstruction of the internal combustion engine if all that's required is any kind of dead biomatter rather than petroleum...
      • Which is, by the way, exactly the same thing.

I wrote the second bit, and the third line keeps getting added. Should I just remove my snarky little proposal? Is it just dumb, wrong, and people don't get what I was trying to say? I was proposing a scenario like Bliss Stage's supposed deconstruction, a stupidly Grimdark world where people fuel cars with corpses and crap like that, rather than petroleum), in which the fuel is something in the same category but not the same thing (love is related to but not the same thing as physical intimacy, and not all dead biomatter is necessarily petroleum - could be a dead rabbit).

Take it out?

Man Without A Body: I'd remove the example altogether. Although I'm not familiar with Bliss Stage, from the description, it ain't a deconstruction. I get what you're trying to say, and you're right.


I think the article is over-all weakened by somebody's hate-filled-fixation on the "evils" of "darker and edgier" basically the article is just fine until it jumps crazily overboard discussing "darker and edgier" and would be stronger without so much fixation upon it.
  • Studiode Kadent: I wasn't really intending to criticize Darker and Edgier so much, I was trying to show the distinction between merely making something Darker and Edgier and an actual deconstruction (they are very different things). As for the W40k example, that was just a joke. I know not everyone agrees with me, but TV Tropes without humor would be much less entertaining a resource.


Whoeverski: I don't know if this is just me, but I think the article (trope description) is way too long. I wouldn't be suprised if it was the longest trope description in the wiki. Can we stop adding stuff to it and agree to cut, streamline, and reduce?


Studiode Kadent: I agree that the article is getting a bit long. For instance, the statement about deconstruction rarely being done do kill a genre is simply not needed. Deconstruction doesn't kill a genre, it simply shows where the genre's conventions break down in reality.

Additionally, the statement about deconstruction adding depth could be simplified. For instance, the example about The Question vs. Rorschach could be removed. It is very debateable whether or not Rorschach is actually a deconstruction of The Question, firstly because Rorschach is not an Objectivist. The whole "perfect duty to never lie" position (which drives Rorschach to refuse to accept the cover up) is a Kantian position, not an Objectivist one. I will accept, however, that Rorschach is a deconstruction of the morally-absolutist superhero archetype (as a side note, I think if you really wanted to deconstruct an Objectivist superhero, you'd have him go on strike and refuse to rescue anyone until the Superhero Registration Act or the like were repealed).

Finally, I must suggest one point to be included... Deconstruction may be Reductio Ad Absurdum applied to tropes/genres but in order for a deconstruction to be accepted as an actual deconstruction, I don't think it should have to be CORRECT. BioShock is not (in my view) a correct deconstruction of Objectivism (it assumes humans are invariably hypocritical and cannot consistently practice any set of ideals, wheras Objectivism denies this), but I would not say it is not a deconstruction. It clearly attempts to say that a Galt's Gulch style haven would not work in reality and it does play the idea of Galt's Gulch straight (for the most part). I am an Objectivist but I would agree with calling BioShock a deconstruction.

Additionally, someone earlier argued that a work that introduces additional premises in order to deconstruct a trope cannot be considered a deconstruction. I have to thoroughly disagree here. For instance, Watchmen introduces the premise "moral absolutism is sociopathic and a product of childhood trauma" in order to get Rorschach. Both Kantians and golden age style comic books would strongly reject this premise. But I don't think that makes Watchmen less of a deconstruction. BioShock as stated before introduces the premise of Humans Are Flawed, which would be rejected by many.

Introducing additional premises is inevitable because a deconstruction requires placing a trope in reality (at least to some degree). How the author believes reality operates will thus influence their deconstruction. For instance, with my Princess Classic example, I basically insert the empirical facts about the way the institution of Princess-dom operates in real life.

Studiode Kadent: Update; have simplified the page a little. I am going to launch a YKTTW about splitting this article into "deconstruction as a method" and "genre deconstruction" since it is clearly getting too long.


The Gunheart: I'm probably alone here, but anyone else think this needs a touch of Tropes Are Not Good? Like an example of how a Deconstruction could go poorly?

BritBllt: Darker and Edgier is often the result of a Deconstruction gone bad, with the Nineties Antihero fad being the biggest offender: most of them tried to copy Watchmen, which was a perfectly good deconstruction of the superhero mindset, but missed the point and just randomly made things gritty and violent. Maybe a footnote could be added, but since this page is in the middle of a revamp, I'd let things settle down first.
Studiode Kadent: Alright, Genre Deconstruction has been launched and the main Deconstruction page has been significantly simplified. I was hoping people would move as many examples as they could to the appropriate subtrope pages, and please don't add any more. As many fellow tropers above have said, this page is getting too long. Clarity and brevity are vital.