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Weekend Wondering

If you proclaim to be a post-modernist, what is the purpose of attending university? If everything is a social construct and if there are no truths, then what knowledge is to be gained by university study? Furthermore, can you even proclaim to BE a post-modernist if you are a post-modernist? I’ve been lead to understand that there is no “IS” in post-modernism, so to say that “I am a post-modernist” seems to be no different than saying, “hydroponic billiard cellphones diving.”

PS Please don’t interpret this to mean that I have any clue at all what THE truth is, I don’t of course.

3 Responses to “Weekend Wondering”

  1. Thomas Cheeseman says:

    It’s ironic to become educated when there is no truth to become educated about. For someone who denies the existence of the metanarrative of truth, life is contingent and only truly enjoyable for the elect who embrace the contingency. Higher education allows them to indulge in the Dionysian pleasures of life, particularly in a place which purports to train and elevate the Apolloian instinct.
    -Thomas (Your favorite post-modernist)

  2. Harry says:

    The concept of post-modernism passed me by, the same way many popular television shows like Seinfeld and The Simpsons have passed me by — they are always the toughest crossword clues. I guess I am not a regular reader of the right magazines. Same for deconstructionism and political correctness as serious intellectual pursuits. All post-Columbia 1969 sit-in stuff — an excuse for creating gut courses where you can get an A without knowing anything, as long as one is expressing one’s feelings.

  3. chuck martel says:

    The term “post-modernism” would postulate its antecedent, modernism, which may be easier to define. I would argue that modernism involves a rejection of tradition, superstition and folklore in favor of what is perceived as a scientific, rational viewpoint where reality can be determined and is the same for everyone. While post-modernism itself, as you say, can’t be defined or described in its own terms, it must reject even the generally accepted realities of the modernists and replace them with the subjective impressions of individuals or groups.

    As an example, 500 years ago a couple of buddies fishing on the lake would, in their own terms, be taking advantage of the largesse of the almighty in providing a resource for themselves and their families and also providing an enjoyable afternoon. The process probably wouldn’t be investigated much further.

    Ten years ago, or maybe even yesterday, the fishing expedition would be just one aspect of a game management program that requires seasons, bag limits, rules on equipment, hatcheries and re-stocking. Caught fish would be photographed and returned to the water to reproduce more fish or even be caught again, bringing pleasure to other fishermen. And Mom doesn’t want to clean the fish and the kids would rather eat hot dogs anyway.

    The post-modernist take on it might be, “Hey, this isn’t sport, it’s fish torture”, catch and release fishing being construed as torturing a dumb animal to excite pseudo-sophisticates that reprimand their children for pulling the wings off flies and throwing rocks at the squirrels, but spend thousands on faux adventures where inhumane treatment of dumb beasts is the object. Even if a modernist disagrees, “Who cares, it’s a fish. I can’t hear it scream underwater”, they would be mistaken in not evaluating the post-modernist position.

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