Friday, February 3, 2017

Meta max

A faux tweet linked to one of many stories about Aaron Paul's trip though The Price is Right's time machine on James Corden's late night show. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away - actually in 2000 - the then unknown Aaron appeared on The Price is Right and...lost. It was an agonizing defeat as he went over the correct price of $26,368 by a mere $132.

On the Corden show they did a clever skit which worked the 17-year-old footage of Aaron's loss into his attempt to "redeem himself" in the empty TPiR studio. It's a funny seven minutes, and a bunch of stories have cropped up in Google News about it.

I should have just laughed at the skit and moved on. But no, I had to get philosophical about it. (I also needed something to write about on the blog.) So it struck me that the skit was meta material at its meta-est.

Google defines "meta" as "(of a creative work) referring to itself or to the conventions of its genre; self-referential." Aaron's skit wasn't just self-referential about The Price is Right. It was self-referential about his own experience on The Price is Right. You can't get much meta-er.

Philosophy fans - and I know you're out there - will tell you that the current meaning of "meta" is something of a historical accident. "Meta" originally meant "after" in Greek. One of Aristotle's more esoteric and self-referential treatises got placed after his stuff on physics, so it was labeled Metaphysics. We've been meta-ing about lots of things ever since, including game shows.


  1. His original airdate was 1/3/2000, the first episode of Y2K.

    1. Zach, are you still masturbating to your own posts?