Sunday, December 25, 2016

Modernism vs. Post-Modernism

This was a blog I made 6 months ago but never submitted.  It's boring.  Enjoy.

So America is at odds with itself in a cultural civil-war based on a psychology that most people don't recognize.  Ultimately, we have the new, post-modernist younger generation versus the older, modernist generations.  Such reflects very contrastingly in society, media, work-ethic, etc.  At first, I blamed Millennials, aka "Generation Zero" and subsequently the "Generation Snowflake" starting-up, self-entitled, narcissistic, whiny babies who want to be always gushed-over and treasured for their choices and "self-identification" defying-biologistic, truth.  One could argue, "ah, but who's truth" in the vein of elegantly-put Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950).  Indeed, everyone's point-of-view, everyone's "truth" is correct from their standpoint... except in scientific evidence which refutes anyone's argument.  Most of the more recent generationals would never watch Rashomon, nor would they have any understanding or patience.  Indeed, these newer generations seem afraid to even look at the previous ones, avoiding older films like the Black Death like a devilish imp might hide from holy light, "It burns!  It burns!"

Older media reflects on society at-the-time.  Modernism is what America was all about, starting around 1910 (though some would argue 1860).  Basically, Modernism is hard-work equals success.  Modernism is a lot of things, but function defines form.  Scientific research through hard work improves the world.  Some things can be symbolic, however, and there's not "all seriousness" about it.  It can be argued, as was by C.S.Lewis that Modernism might be "chronological snobbery", that new = better.  This is not the case.  Modernism merely considers to break-up traditionalism (see Fiddler on the Roof (1971)) with more sensical choices; improvement through hard-work and creativity.  "Truth and beauty derives from effort.  If you work at something hard enough, you will find truth.  Now, it doesn't matter what that truth is, but if you work hard enough, you will find enlightenment, and success.  You can see examples of this in New York architecture, such as The Empire State Building, ending in a point.  All your hard work starts in a base and builds to a spire.  Anybody can reach these truths, just work hard, and there it is." [sic] RCR (2016).  Modernism died-out about the year 2000 and gave-way to Post-Modernism which started around 1945.

Post-Modernism is not quite the opposite of Modernism.  It's past Modernism to a sense, and defines the last 16 years of generational humanity in the US.  Basically, it defines a complete mistrust of Modernism, that hard-work does NOT equal success, and it's better to accept things as-is.  Acceptance of imperfection is perfection.  Why work hard if it all goes away eventually?  It's arguably more critical of analysis, however.  Post Modernism is heavy criticism (see YouTube) as well.  It rejects the individual's efforts and prefers the anarchistic collective (see Walking Dead).  Post-Modernism rejects the notion that anything presented is more valuable than anything else.  Any media is equally as good as any other media.  Those who loved Star Trek (recent films) as much as the earlier 1966 Star Trek TV series (and subsequent films) equally.  Everything deserves to be considered as "worthy".  Snowflake-Generation.  "Know those alternative comedy rooms where the comedian doesn't even prepare, he's just "wingin' it"?  Sometimes it's good but usually not, and you're just supposed to experience it "as it comes out" and whatever that is, doesn't matter if he worked hard at it or not, that's truth.  That's excellence.  Sounds unfair, doesn't it?  Especially for somebody in the audience who works a physical job who works hard all the time but isn't successful quite yet.  From their perspective, this jack-o just shows up and blabs and gets all this undeserved success and recognition.  From their perspective, there is no hard labor or work in that." [sic] RCR (2016).

Millennials doing nothing and feeling happy about it, contributing nothing.  Where's my entitled free stuff?

So again..

 Modernism:  Success and Truth come from Work.
 Post-Modernism: Just show up and win.

Participation Award recipient, "I did nothing!  I WIN!  I play games in God-Mode!"

Problem is, Post-Modernism, without any effort, makes all things seem both excellent.. and not excellent.  There's a mediocrity, a communistic vibe of over-balance.  Nothing is best, because everything is okay.  Just like those "participation awards" given in school.  Is it wrong?  Yes and no.  Makes Modernist parents grumble that their kid gets a lame trophy for doing nothing.  Makes Modernist parents who's kid is the best at a sport or class not valued more than the dumb or slow kid.  "Hey, my kid got straight-A's and is the MVP in basketball!"  Not as important as D-minus kid who gets that dodge-ball smashed at Mach-11 into his face because he's just standing there grinning and drooling.   Grr, right?  Maybe.

F*ck this kid's participation award.  Never more has the Kobayashi Maru made more sense.

Post-Modernists started in 1945 with the nuclear bomb, a nice little metaphor there for the kids, duck-and-cover not withstanding.  So the idea is here that despite man's best works, it can all be annihilated instantly with a wink, so why try?  If all your hard work can be just washed away like a sand-castle, then what's the point of all that toil?  Makes sense a bit, right?  Instead, just frolic and accept Life as it is.  This notion is a bit dangerous.  Current Youth, current fans of what seems to be Communism and Socialism think that everything should be shared.  That's actually a very Christian doctrine, even if sharing is indeed forced by a governmental agency.  The Youth believe that the wealthy have not toiled for their wealth, that it just happened, either by ancient inheritance or dumb luck of some kind or was just born under the right stars.  Such easily come-by wealth should indeed be shared!  This is an understandable point-of-view, but it is flawed.  The notion that someone is wealthy for no good reason except luck is an ancient Arabic belief.  If you read 1001 Nights and the collection of Tales of the Arabian Nights the overall theme is that fortune comes from blind luck and is purely random.  Fortune, wealth, benefit, all comes from a random consequence without any effort by the individual.  Likewise, misfortune also comes from randomness, usually in the form of a djinn, efreet, or genie.  Now, the Post-Modernist, today's Youth believe in this very much.  Hillary voters, particularly young ones, really, really take this to heart.  They believe that their misfortune: student-loans, poverty, being unliked, etc. is a random event and NOT one that they brought onto themselves.  They do not accept the concept that their lives they lived up to that point caused where they are today.  Indeed, it's more of a bad-luck idea, that misfortune just occurs and they deserve and demand balance amongst Americans!  It's not their fault they are where they are now!  The concept of cause-and-effect are alien notions; mythologically convenient lies by the rich and affluent.  Furthermore, those that are rich (ie. the 1%'ers) came upon their fortune by no good reason.

The Post-Modernist basis is unlikely.  Though true, there is beauty in just the way things are, the purity of it, there is also beauty in great works of man.  It's my belief a 2002 Pontiac Firehawk is more beautiful than a 1975 Chevette and is superior to it, but then again, I'm a Modernist.  I believe with my heart that work = success.  Now, there are some that fail the Modernist design.  Some work and work and work and get nowhere, usually due to a society stigma, such as India expecting to stay within a Caste System, or being too dumb to make that work actually beneficial towards improvement.  The "getting stuck in a rut" failing.  Sometimes, with a nod to Post-Modernism, you sometimes just can't get lucky based on various factors as well.  I've known quite a few decent musicians who get nowhere and some poor ones do well for themselves as an example.



And a chocolate Christmas to you


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