Now, pastiche is a tricky thing. One person's pastiche might come off as slick and smart, while another's is just derivative. Blaxploitation movies — you know, movies that took every racist stereotype that black actors had been traditionally playing in the movies and put them together into one big superfly extravaganza...
The trouble with Ke$ha is that she's channeling pop and hip-hop memes without adding any personal commentary or insight of her own. And if you're just employing a bunch of played-out old tropes without trying to make a larger point, you're just tired."
I had a good time with my students discussing (well, first explaining some of the words and then discussing) the diction. Cracked-out, pastiche; derivative; superfly; Blaxploitation; memes; and tropes.
What an unholy mashup of words! No, really, I thought it was rather brilliant.
The authors of this essay showed us exactly what they were telling us. They demonstrated the jarring effect of mixing influences, and also appealed to us with memes that have practically become archetypal.
I want to see my students do the same. Playing with ideas and fooling around with language can lead to bold, persuasive, insightful pieces of writing that engage readers in a delightful way.