12 February 2008

Rootless Rooted To This Router

I'm currently sitting in my room listening to self-selectable internet radio, reading a fantastic discussion on humanity and placelessness, and ruminating on critiques of postmodernism that I've been reading at work. In the past seven years I've lived in nine different apartments and I'll be moving again at the end of March (most likely and hopefully), hardly ever getting the chance to settle in before having to up and out all over again. Regardless of where I live, though it seems, I can tune in to knowledge and information distributed across vast times and spaces. At any time I can (and often choose to) disconnect from my surroundings and envelop myself in a world that I seemingly make for myself. Of course I'm not going to get into the real pros and cons of such a situation.
But what I really wonder at this moment is how I'm not supposed to feel separate and disoriented, without narrative and only the most tenuous grip on what could be considered "true" or "real." As much as these attributes seem to define the postmodern condition I can hardly help but heap barrels of disdain upon what amounts to little more than intellectual criminality and cultural hogwash.
None of us should really be posting inane diary entries for anyone around the world to read, but after spending most of our lives (at least those of us under 30 or so) being dictated to by every conceivable form of media, we'd love for somebody to listen to us for just a minute, please! If everyone else's bullshit opinion is valid and credible, surely my "educated" opinion is worthwhile, too, right?
Well, probably not generally speaking. But until we have the intellectual courage to move and think beyond tired, lazy, paralyzing postmodern theoretical drivel I'm afraid we as a technologically-connected segment of our species are confined to remain captives of this spectacle. In the meantime I've been trying to muddle my way through critiques of this state and try to make sense of a diffuse body of purposefully obfuscating, jargonistic theory that will probably only be really understood when we're dead.
So far I've found these two books really enlightening and helpful:

Christopher Butler - A Very Short Introduction to Postmodernism
Terry Eagleton - The Illusions of Postmodernism

Both explain the pros, cons, ambivalences and context of all this mental buggery. If you can relate to anything I just wrote and need help clearing your mind, I think these books are a great place to start.

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