I am, or was, or am, a big fan of the Firesign Theater, who were or are or were a comedy group who got their start in the early 70s on LA radio. The albums they produced during their heyday were part sketch comedy, part Surrealism (like, hardcore capital-S stuff), part drug narrative, and featured some pretty incisive social commentary squirreled away here and there. And catchphrases. Lots and lots of catchphrases. Picture long-form monty python skits except filtered through that particularly Angeleno kind of urban nightmare madness and without nearly as many jokes.
They've done a lot of different things since then - musical comedy, period parody, live shows - but the records they made during the last part of their career in the late 90s did a decent job of recapturing the feel of their old work, broader and saner though it was. There were a lot of winking references to their old material, and that was fine, except that by the last album they produced before trailing off in a cloud of live sets and best-ofs there was hardly anything but, and one felt that one was wading hip-deep through a sea of half-remembered catchphrases. The atmosphere so created was insular enough to make the listener feel starved of oxygen, and it began to feel - like many things do, if they are allowed to persist for long enough - like fanfiction.
There is nothing wrong with fanfiction in and of itself. There is an awful lot of it that passes to and fro in the real world without notice, characters meekly living on long after the demise of their creators. Almost all superhero comics. Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. Muppets and Star Trek. Reboots and reimaginings of all stripes roam the pop-culture landscape, and when it's done well, we don't complain, but we know the signs when it's done poorly. (See TVTropes for endless, endless examples. I could probably write another post about the traits that set me off particularly.) One of the many things that marks bad fanfiction out is the unseemly way it can hump the leg of original canon, throwing in so many referents that it becomes impossible for a non-fan to navigate. When this happens in the real world with adaptations, it's regrettable; when it's self-inflicted, when the authors themselves begin to write like fans, it's tragic.
Now, I'm not saying this applies to Homestuck. Sure, there have been exactly zero conversations since Act 6 started that don't in some way reference or retell previous jokes, but that's part of the post-scratch conceit, right? And cycles and repetition and memetic mutation have always been a big part of the comic, and the stuff is brilliant and hilarious as usual. It's just the sheer referential weight in recent weeks is beginning to set off warning bells in the back of my head.
I trust Hussie. I do. But worries.