Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Beauty of Our Disintegration


"People who are lonely, people left alone, sit talking nonsense to the air...
imagining beautiful systems dying, old fixed orders spiraling apart"
[from Tony Kushner's Angels in America]

1. Nothing is inherently nonsensical. "Sense" is one of many fictions that we have created in order to maintain order. We believe certain thoughts and actions to be quite contrary to the maintenance of an orderly society. In turn, we must deem these things "nonsensical" and therefore imprudent. Invalid. Negative. Bad. We must make them so unpalatable for the public that individuals will, by reflex, prefer and endorse the mode of thought that we deem conducive to our society.
I say screw it. I wear the supposed nonsensical as a badge. Not too long ago, folks were being dragged off to jails and looney bins for proposing such nonsensical things as a round earth and an American economy without slavery. Nonsense is merely the intelligence that the masses have yet to embrace.
2. Beautiful systems are dying. Fixed orders are spiraling apart. Patriarchy has been unmasked. Capitalism's seems are showing. Increasingly, yesterday's masters are being pushed toward the margins. I see these things and appreciate the uniqueness of our historical moment. I see these things and welcome my own heterodoxy. I see these things and know that another world is possible.

This passage highlights postmodernism's allure, its strength and its utility.
Postmodernity is said to be "a culture of fragmentary sensations, eclectic nostalgia, disposable simulacra, and promiscuous superficiality, in which the traditionally valued qualities of depth, coherence, meaning, originality and authenticity are evacuated or dissolved amid the random swirl of empty signals."

Only in such a fray as this can the verity of master narratives (ideologies that claim to explain the full range of life's phenomena/the stories a culture tells itself about its practices and beliefs)be called into question and suspended. Only here are we empowered to unseat science, religion and Marxism in one fell swoop, acknowledging that no one system of thought can boast primacy over another.

Color me macabre, but I savor every minute as I watch these things die. These decrepit systems, these defunct theologies. I watch them and applaud yesterday's nonsense bourgeoning into today's intelligence.

4 Comments:

Blogger pomedome said...

I love the hopefulness of your thinking. If I've heard
it once it has come from many people at many times;
That doesn't make sense...so I try different words.
You keep me going so Thanks.

9:27 AM  
Blogger negronius said...

Yes, all the things are dying, and what sounds they make! They ain't going without a fight. And for those of us who lead with a postmodern sensibility know that we are still hopeless entangled with these narratives. What's fly is that we know that they are just that---narratives, and not the full scope of who we are or hope to be. It feels good to read this entry and feel militantly on my on side for change. Here's to new ways of being and thinking and knowing and loving and...

10:06 PM  
Blogger Stoney said...

I wish I could listen in on a good conversation about everything in the year 2054. What will be pop cultural then? What will everything be, surely much different than now, right? Or is like the obvious slow stroke of time, there really isn't anything new under sun. Its just hitting a new generation dressed in new clothes.

6:09 AM  
Blogger geoff said...

Wow--a superior 'blog. I wish I could be so hopeful that "old fixed orders" were indeed "spiraling apart." Seems to me many of them are coalescing anew! The weight of history has, however, been pushing toward increased freedoms; progressives need not despair!

Nonsense is merely the intelligence that the masses have yet to embrace. Nice.

6:24 PM  

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