As it turns out, Shia LaBeouf isn't a full-on insane person -- he's just what happens when that annoyingly pretentious guy that you hated/dated in college gets famous. In a surprisingly earnest -- but no less maddening -- conversation with Interview magazine, the troubling actor hits all of the "White Guy Who Majored in [Humanities/Liberal Arts]" milestones.
Smoking a cigarette, shirtless, Shia LaBeouf rattles off his Troubled White Guy Antiheroes that he looks up to, including Sean Penn, actual crazy guy Mel Gibson, and fellow pseudo-performance artist Joaquin Phoenix. LaBeouf also mentions and explains all the iterations of modernism that he has at one point subscribed to (post-, meta-), name-checks his existential crisis and subsequent coming to God, and discusses "tripping on drugs" and finding himself as he struggles to become an adult. The method actor also talks about how reading about performance art totally changed his life, for better or worse, and blames the avant-garde poet Kenneth Goldsmith for his penchant for plagiarizing -- or as he would call it, "uncreative writing."
If you don't believe me, here, take a quick class in metamodernism from Professor LaBeouf without rolling your eyes:
LaBEOUF: I'm going through it myself. I've been going through an existential crisis. If you look at my behavior, it's been motivated by a certain discourse. Metamodernism has influenced a lot of my action in the public in this last year and a half -- the idea of diametrically opposed ideas happening all at once: the irony and the sincerity, birth and death, the immediacy and the obsolescence.
MITCHELL: Isn't metamodernism, though, basically saying that irony doesn't mean anything?
LaBEOUF: No, it's definitely not. You have both modernist commitment and postmodern detachment -- sincerity with a wink. It is all things. It's a feeling that comes after deconstruction: the ripping apart, or the going to shit of a society, the environmental crisis, the financial crisis, the existential crisis. Metamodernism is the feeling that comes after that.
But to be fair, Shia LaBeouf does seem to have had a pretty rough go of life (he grew up in Echo Park "before it was cool"/gentrified) and has some major daddy issues -- which you can read all about in his very thorough defense of himself.