Profile
Search
Register
Log in
Postmodernism
View previous topic | View next topic >

Post new topic Reply to topic
Strange Famous Forum > Hall of Fame

Author Message
monkeyseemonkeydo



Joined: 23 May 2003
Posts: 498
Location: aussie outback mate!
Postmodernism  Reply with quote  

I am studying this at school and I have never been so disenchanted with a subject in my life. Any supporters? Is the Scary Movie series the greatest Postmodernist texts ever? Any fans?
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:33 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address MSN Messenger
cakes



Joined: 15 Dec 2006
Posts: 2586
 Reply with quote  

is it bad that at first glance i read this as postmortem and was a little excited?
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:36 am
 View user's profile Send private message
Windom



Joined: 04 May 2007
Posts: 721
Location: Manchester, UK.
 Reply with quote  

There are aspects to writers that I like that are labelled 'postmodernist'. I think the problem is that nobody knows what it means, there are about 11 terms in this philosophy text book on it. Apart from some general trends towards anti-essentialism, the decline of metanarratives, the acceleration of communication, time and space, mixing of genres, there is little that convinces me its a proper school of thought. Besides, what is it except another metanarrative that it derides?

All I know is the Matrix is postmodern as fuck.

If you hate it, you might want to look into the work of Alan Sokal who famously wrote a bogus postmodern text for a famous philosophical journal, just to see if it was published, and it was. Caused a big ruckus.

http://richarddawkins.net/article,824,Postmodernism-Disrobed,Richard-Dawkins-Nature


Quote:


As is now rather well known, in 1996 Sokal submitted to the American journal Social Text a paper called 'Transgressing the Boundaries: towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity.' From start to finish the paper was nonsense. It was a carefully crafted parody of postmodern metatwaddle. Sokal was inspired to do this by Paul Gross and Normal Levitt's Higher Superstition: the academic left and its quarrels with science (Johns Hopkins, 1994), an important book which deserves to become as well known in Britain as it already is in America. Hardly able to believe what he read in this book, Sokal followed up the references to postmodern literature, and found that Gross and Levitt did not exaggerate. He resolved to do something about it. In Gary Kamiya's words:

Anyone who has spent much time wading through the pious, obscurantist, jargon-filled cant that now passes for 'advanced' thought in the humanities knew it was bound to happen sooner or later: some clever academic, armed with the not-so-secret passwords ('hermeneutics,' 'transgressive,' 'Lacanian,' 'hegemony,' to name but a few) would write a completely bogus paper, submit it to an au courant journal, and have it accepted . . . Sokal's piece uses all the right terms. It cites all the best people. It whacks sinners (white men, the 'real world'), applauds the virtuous (women, general metaphysical lunacy) . . . And it is complete, unadulterated bullshit a fact that somehow escaped the attention of the high-powered editors of Social Text, who must now be experiencing that queasy sensation that afflicted the Trojans the morning after they pulled that nice big gift horse into their city.

Sokal's paper must have seemed a gift to the editors because this was a physicist saying all the right-on things they wanted to hear, attacking the 'post-Enlightenment hegemony' and such uncool notions as the existence of the real world. They didn't know that Sokal had also crammed his paper with egregious scientific howlers, of a kind that any referee with an undergraduate degree in physics would instantly have detected. It was sent to no such referee. The editors, Andrew Ross and others, were satisfied that its ideology conformed to their own, and were perhaps flattered by references to their own works. This ignominious piece of editing rightly earned them the 1996 Ig Nobel Prize for literature.
Notwithstanding the egg all over their faces, and despite their feminist pretensions, these editors are dominant males in the academic lekking arena. Andrew Ross himself has the boorish, tenured confidence to say things like "I am glad to be rid of English Departments. I hate literature, for one thing, and English departments tend to be full of people who love literature"; and the yahooish complacency to begin a book on 'science studies' with these words: "This book is dedicated to all of the science teachers I never had. It could only have been written without them." He and his fellow 'cultural studies' and 'science studies' barons are not harmless eccentrics at third rate state colleges. Many of them have tenured professorships at some of America's best universities. Men of this kind sit on appointment committees, wielding power over young academics who might secretly aspire to an honest academic career in literary studies or, say, anthropology. I know because many of them have told me that there are sincere scholars out there who would speak out if they dared, but who are intimidated into silence. To them, Alan Sokal will appear as a hero, and nobody with a sense of humour or a sense of justice will disagree. It helps, by the way, although it is strictly irrelevant, that his own left wing credentials are impeccable.

In a detailed post-mortem of his famous hoax, submitted to Social Text but predictably rejected by them and published elsewhere, Sokal notes that, in addition to numerous half truths, falsehoods and non-sequiturs, his original article contained some "syntactically correct sentences that have no meaning whatsoever." He regrets that there were not more of the latter: "I tried hard to produce them, but I found that, save for rare bursts of inspiration, I just didn't have the knack." If he were writing his parody today, he'd surely have been helped by a virtuoso piece of computer programming by Andrew Bulhak of Melbourne: the Postmodernism Generator. Every time you visit it, at http://www.cs.monash.edu.au/cgi-bin/postmodern, it will spontaneously generate for you, using falutless grammatical principles, a spanking new postmodern discourse, never before seen. I have just been there, and it produced for me a 6,000 word article called "Capitalist theory and the subtextual paradigm of context" by "David I.L.Werther and Rudolf du Garbandier of the Department of English, Cambridge University" (poetic justice there, for it was Cambridge who saw fit to give Jacques Derrida an honorary degree). Here's a typical sentence from this impressively erudite work:

If one examines capitalist theory, one is faced with a choice: either reject neotextual materialism or conclude that society has objective value. If dialectic desituationism holds, we have to choose between Habermasian discourse and the subtextual paradigm of context. It could be said that the subject is contextualised into a textual nationalism that includes truth as a reality. In a sense, the premise of the subtextual paradigm of context states that reality comes from the collective unconscious.



Visit the Postmodernism Generator. It is a literally infinite source of randomly generated syntactically correct nonsense, distinguishable from the real thing only in being more fun to read. You could generate thousands of papers per day, each one unique and ready for publication, complete with numbered endnotes. Manuscripts should be submitted to the 'Editorial Collective' of Social Text, double-spaced and in triplicate.


Postmodern essay generator at: http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:59 am
 View user's profile Send private message
icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11289
Location: ann arbor
 Reply with quote  

Fuck an Alan Sokal.
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:01 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
GrantherBirdly
D&D addict


Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 3145
 Reply with quote  

what does it mean that you're studying "postmodernism?" Postmodernism is a highly contested and diversely theorized concept, period, cultural dominant, or whatever else it may or may not be. Are you studying specific takes on postmodernism, i.e., Lyotard vs. Jameson, or maybe radical feminisms and postcolonialism, or poststructural psychoanalysis?

Becoming disenchanted with postmodernism is like becoming disenchanted with the ground, it's not really an object for judgment so much as a set of conditions.
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:13 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
GrantherBirdly
D&D addict


Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 3145
 Reply with quote  

Windom wrote:

All I know is the Matrix is postmodern as fuck.



Actually the Matrix isn't really postmodern at all. It's basic premise is grounded firmly in Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

Cronengberg's eXistenZ fits the postmodern bill much better.
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:17 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19373
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
 Reply with quote  

Charles Johnson's Middle Passage is a dope usage of postmodern techniques.
Plus I think it was a key mode of thought in shaping modern day Chaos Magic. Which people similarly deride as being nothing.

I think post-modernism is just freely using all the tools in the shop. It feels kind of an antiquated term. I feel like post-information is a more useful term. But maybe that's to do with just the internet.

WHO KNOWS!?
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:18 am
 View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11289
Location: ann arbor
 Reply with quote  

GrantherBirdly wrote:
Windom wrote:

All I know is the Matrix is postmodern as fuck.



Actually the Matrix isn't really postmodern at all. It's basic premise is grounded firmly in Plato's Allegory of the Cave.



Well, Simulacra and Simulation was required reading on set. And, I think, pre-pill Neo hid one of those VR drugs (or whatever they were) in a copy of the book. They were more than nodding. And then, of course, there was the "welcome to the desert of the real" line. (Baudrillard/the Wachowskis made it a hot line, Zizek made it a hot book.)


Last edited by icarus502 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:21 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:20 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
GrantherBirdly
D&D addict


Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 3145
 Reply with quote  

Oh, and for what it's worth, I think Fredric Jameson offers by far and away the most productive and applicable theory of postmodernism in his book "Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism."

Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:20 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
GrantherBirdly
D&D addict


Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 3145
 Reply with quote  

icarus502 wrote:
GrantherBirdly wrote:
Windom wrote:

All I know is the Matrix is postmodern as fuck.



Actually the Matrix isn't really postmodern at all. It's basic premise is grounded firmly in Plato's Allegory of the Cave.



Well, Simulacra and Simulation was required reading on set. And, I think, pre-pill Neo hid one of those VR drugs (or whatever they were) in a copy of the book. They were more than nodding.


Yeah, the movie also directly quotes the book, "Welcome to the desert of the real."

Nevertheless, The Matrix fundamentally misunderstands, and subsequently misappropriates, S&S. Baudrillard says as much in this interview:

http://www.empyree.org/divers/Matrix-Baudrillard_english.html
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:23 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11289
Location: ann arbor
 Reply with quote  

Like I said above, Zizek deals with the Matrix way better than Baudrillard did or could.
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:33 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
ted_kennedy



Joined: 17 Feb 2006
Posts: 990
 Reply with quote  

To cite Scary Moive as a 'postmodernist' film is not the way to go.

First of all, maybe you ought to ask yourself the question: which notable 'postmodernists' have ever described themselves as such? As far as the one's I myself am interested in, the answer is none.

Where 'postmodernism' is useful is in understanding the reasons why people want to use the term postmodernism.

I recommend you read Foucault - especially Discipline and Punish and Power/Knowledge. Also, Zizek is good (especially if you are into film studies).
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:35 am
 View user's profile Send private message
breakfast



Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 2895
 Reply with quote  

Academic writing is an army of lit theory stooges touching themselves in celebratory unison in the ivory tower.
Usually.

EDIT: Also, Scary Movie - post modern? How high were you when you thought about that?
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:36 am
 View user's profile Send private message
Windom



Joined: 04 May 2007
Posts: 721
Location: Manchester, UK.
 Reply with quote  

Its kind of a postmodern pastiche though - the biblical references, confusion over time and space etc. I mean, just because it doesn't correctly follow S+S doesn't mean it cannot be interpreted as postmodern, even though I can see the whole Plato cave thing too.

The Mirror of Production and Symbolic Exchange and Death are in this book below.

Baudrillard, Jean. "Selected Writings, Ed. Mark Poster." London: Policy Press 1: 988 - http://www.mediafire.com/?6vz2yb3x9ny

Simulacra and Simulation.

http://www.plebe.com.br/repositorio/.../simulacra.pdf

Paul Virilio - The Vision Machine

http://www.mediafire.com/?eitmgjymsbo
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:38 am
 View user's profile Send private message
icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11289
Location: ann arbor
 Reply with quote  

breakfast wrote:
Academic writing is an army of lit theory stooges touching themselves in celebratory unison in the ivory tower.
Usually.


What the hell does that mean? Are you saying that "lit theory stooges" aren't of the ivory tower? And you're saying that they're in unison? Lacanians and deconstructionists weren't invited to each others' key parties.
Post Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:39 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
All times are GMT - 6 Hours.
The time now is Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:51 pm
  Display posts from previous:      


Powered by phpBB: © 2001 phpBB Group
Template created by The Fathom
Based on template of Nick Mahon