Superversion and Lit Rebellion

Mr. Brandon Quakkelaar of Lit Rebellion website pens an article about Superversive Literature and our need for it.

What does Superversive Mean?

The first mention of superversive that I could find on Simon’s blog was from all the way back in 2003. Then, in 2014, the word was used in the title of The Superversive Literary Movement.

Tom Simon, and others in the movement, recognized that fiction and storytelling has been increasingly used as propaganda to undermine virtue and traditional values. He asserts that a concept that he calls “superversion” is the solution to the problem.

Modern storytelling, whether it be in the form of songs, poems, television shows, movies, or books has been progressively tearing down our cultural foundations by trying to convince the audience that lies are truth, ugliness is beautiful, and evil is good. Superversion is the antidote to such societal decay.

Mr. Quakkelaar uses the example of a song:

A very short example is a song by Bo Burnham called The Chicken. It’s honestly a beautiful sounding song. It’s a creative play on jokes about why chickens cross roads. He takes the simple theme and juxtaposes it with sophisticated and beautiful sounding music. The intersection of which is where absurdity lives―which breeds humor.

It’s very easy to hear the song and accept the new perspective and even walk away feeling smarter, but that’s the insidious nature of subversion. This song is not virtuous. It is not telling the truth. It’s not promoting goodness.

The chicken wakes up like she does every morning
To the sounds of her husband’s screams
Sat in the dark on the eggs she is warming
She closes her eyes and dreams of

Walking to Memphis, becoming a dentist
Anything but this
I mean, she likes her life as a mother and wife
But is that all she is?
She stares out the window

The very next morning, the chicken decides to
Makе her escape, gеt a taste of freedom
She runs out the coop that her life’s been confined to
Suddenly sees the thing she’s only dreamed of

The chicken then gets run over by a car, but the singer hopes she made it to the other side, escaping her family life. Mr. Quakkelaar’s conclusion:

… the chicken selfishly pursues “happiness” (which is a foolish pursuit), abandons her kids, and essentially divorces her husband even though she “likes her life as a mother and wife.” I think those behaviors are evil, generally speaking.

… But the singer … nullifies what could have been a moral to this tragic story. … Instead of lamenting the family’s pain at losing a wife and mother, this song celebrates behavior that results in a broken family.

Mr. Quakkelaar goes on to examine the spiritual roots of what is at issue, and the need to build art and entertainment on the same rock of truth as is mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew.

Read the column here: 

What Does “Superversive” Mean?

I am also mentioned in passing, as are some names sure to be familiar to my readers, with links to further columns: