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Grebels
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07 May 2015, 3:23 pm

I wrote this some years ago. I think Post Modernism has brought change but are you looking forward to a Renaissance, a rebirth of the ways we think.

Ofili is Innocent

Here we have a young guy laying in bed on a Saturday morning pondering the more important aspects of life, like has he got enough milk in the fridge to soak the Weetabix and have a coffee as well, when the letter box rattles. Oh how he loves Sundays when there's no post. He goes anxiously to the front door to see an unusual white envelope on the mat, not the same old brown things. And wow, wow, wow, he's just won any young artist's dream, with money he'd never thought about. Chris Ofili is a star.

There's something about a Madonna painted with elephant dung which offended my senses, but after a little research found Ofili had used it for his work about the Stephen Lawrence murder, a cause for which we must believe he had the deepest sympathy. That does place a different kind of light on things. It is looking as if Manchester born Ofili was painting in an African tradition, with no desire to offend the Catholic religion. 

So, we have an African painting with lots of yellow, and never mind what western painters used for that colour in the past, of a very ordinary woman. In fact there's nothing particuarly shocking about it and in Africa it would probably be passed by without comment. The problem seems to me one of a traditional painting of another culture being lifted up into the mainstream of Western Contemporary Art. Should that be a problem anyway?

The problem for me is not in the painting itself, but the fact of new meaning being placed on the work, and isn't that what Post Modern is all about. Think about that quote from the ArtReview, which is actually stating the agenda of the Post Modern and Conceptual Art. Put simply it is saying that the intention is to "re-historicise the past" and then "re-enact" it in some way. The word used is a trophe, which is taking something, then putting a new meaning on it. So Damien Hirst places deep meanings on sharks, cows and medicine bottles, if you believe it. 

Here again, why should this be a problem. After all we in Rugby have our own Roman soldier who having made his own superbly crafted armour continually re-enacts the past, and as we must agree to everybody's benefit, especially the schoolchildren. The word I'm looking for is metanarrative, and that's what Post Modern wants to and is doing away with. The metanarrative is the story at the core of things, and should I say the reason for their existence. Well, OK, but you can't exactly do away with History, can you. I mean things happened and that's that. So in step the great intellects and artists of our time who use the trophe on a continual basis, taking everyday found objects then placing new meaning on them. Soon enough people might get used to the idea as being normal. Re-historise the past the man says.

So many of us think this is shocking, exciting, or just plain dull and more often the latter. However, the trophe changes the significance of things, it changes the story, the reason for so many things which have long been at the heart of an established society. It takes the ground from under our feet. That may be a matter for great concern, or perhaps very exciting, but the problem for me is the fluid ease with which our society may now be manipulated and changed, simply because the foundations are being taken away. What comes next, will it be for the good, or your worst nightmare? In the end it's up to us to make it something.



naturalplastic
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07 May 2015, 5:20 pm

It's: "a young guy LYING in bed...".

Not "LAYing in bed".


If you wanna overthrow "post modernism", and go back to "traditional ways of thinking" a good place to start might be ... to stop using post modern grammar! :D Lol!



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08 May 2015, 10:25 pm

Our society has a particular bullwark against fracturing to bits over postmodernism - I think of it as the common trough or central-tendency, the one where if there is a deity worshipped as if its laws meant more than the legislative power of even the highest judge or even a cranky Zeus-like guy throwing lightning bolts its the deity called conformity; not practical conformity or conformity for the sake of clear communication but HUGE doses of arbitrary conformity for conformity's own sake, as if having it on board one's own being is a litmus test for being acceptably human.

The world's subjective narratives - wondering what it would be like, in full, to be a Roman noble, to be a student of Pythagoras, or to be a eunuch in the Imperial Chinese court - questions like that don't occur to people who aren't at least a little (or more than a little) eccentric. It's usually getting money, getting laid, getting high, that's really the common denominator. Similarly if anyone's trying to do something that's outside the context of how mainstream society thinks, and it happens plenty - no worries - society will beat it into a properly Nickelodeon 'Saved By The Bell' format, dump it into one of it's neat little pre-made stacks (even if the square peg screams in agony as it's pounded all the way flush to the surface of a round hole), and outside of the people actually involved any awareness of an avant gard intellectual movement is virtually nullified by the mass narrative. To them it's an -ism that they barely knew a thing about, barely heard anything about, could barely pronounce anyway, and that was already too much thought.


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08 May 2015, 11:09 pm

It has always been here. Prior ages just turned a blind eye to it. In 1800 drink, drugs, pan sexual behavior, rape, robbery, murder, were much more common, people wrote about a life of not dying in the gutter at thirty.

When less than a quarter could read, they did not want to read about the cess pit below them.

Even De Sade wrote about upper class degenerates.

It was sad enough to write about the life of the poor, but then it was poor minorities, then sub cultures of self destructive behavior.

How much should we know about the 10% who will die in the gutter, the pest house, or at the end of a rope?



Grebels
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10 May 2015, 6:51 am

Quote:
It's: "a young guy LYING in bed...".


Thanks for pointing it out. My grammar is not good.

You are right techstep. People couldn't care less and these days because they can get away do thing not previously possible. Isn't that the danger, society can be manipulated so readily. Of course it was manipulated in Roman times.

Hi Inventor, how old are you? You probably were not alive in the 1960's when I was a young man. In those days life was good in the UK. There were plenty of jobs, good career paths and young couples were buying their own houses. However, the Communists wanted to destroy all of that. In the next decade Marxists were taking over our universities. left wing, Post Modern writers and philosophers were still agonising over the meaningless slaughter of the First World War. We were still recovering from the last war.

It maybe that Post Modernism has come and gone but I still feel that life was better in the 1960's. There was no wonderful technology, life was simple and I recall much more secure.

In China giant steps are being made to rid the nation of corruption. I don't see that happening here in the UK. There cannot be a return to the 1960's so what hope do we have.



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10 May 2015, 11:25 am

I tend to feel like the 1950's and 1960's, from what I understand in the US, were the same kind of unusual bubble that left a lot of people feeling jaded. At least here I tend to also look at it this way - the 1920's were scummy, the 1930's were the Depression days, the 1940's were the days when mothers were getting letters constantly about their sons dying somewhere in Europe, if we go back to the 19th century we had industrial workers living in abject squaller and working upward of 80 hours a week - if a steam engine blew people died, OSHA didn't exist, and in West Virginia during the 19th century the coal miners were paid by the mines in company money - it was the same as if a plantation owner in the South had given their slaves play-money and a company store to exchange it at.

Seems like society moves in constant two steps forward, one step back type of motion, sometimes six steps forward and three steps back, etc. etc.. I would argue, at least in the US, with civil rights being such a mess before the 1960's there was a lot that needed to be circled back and reclaimed, and some of just how nasty the late 60's, 70's, and the crime epidemics of the 80's were seem to be consequences of what was storing up under the conditions of the previous decade (although I will admit there were fatal flaws in the way The Great Society was drafted and we're still suffering the consequences of that). It's been a funny experience for me, having been born in 1979, even remembering back in the mid 90's when hip hop was pushing the limits of mafioso fervor, now it's pop/dance music - that side of expression seems like it was largely vented off, explored to its limits for the time being, and pulled back. We have race riots starting to occur again but I really think it's a release valve of unarticulated thoughts, that since these started happening certain dialogues are in play and those dialogues will help straighten the real causes and issues out so that everything from concern over police behavior to simply youthful romanticism without and outlet finds more constructive outlets to resolution.

Seems like things come and things go, bubbles inflate and bubbles pop. There are some clearly that scare me more than others - like a west steeped in unprecedented debt or the west supporting most of its critical functions on electronic apparatus that a good solar flare like the Carrington Event could set us back centuries in both technology and population count. As far as culture though I think we have enough minds independent of each other that can brainstorm innovative solutions and that's part of where I'm not particularly worried that culture will go off the rails - it's like a cruise ship IMHO where some people are on the crew, most are just passengers, it's the major crew mistakes and oversights like unnoticed large icebergs that are more likely to concern me rather than who started a drunken brawl with who at the ship's dive.


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11 May 2015, 3:17 pm

Grebels wrote:
Quote:
It's: "a young guy LYING in bed...".


Thanks for pointing it out. My grammar is not good.

You are right techstep. People couldn't care less and these days because they can get away do thing not previously possible. Isn't that the danger, society can be manipulated so readily. Of course it was manipulated in Roman times.

Hi Inventor, how old are you? You probably were not alive in the 1960's when I was a young man. In those days life was good in the UK. There were plenty of jobs, good career paths and young couples were buying their own houses. However, the Communists wanted to destroy all of that. In the next decade Marxists were taking over our universities. left wing, Post Modern writers and philosophers were still agonising over the meaningless slaughter of the First World War. We were still recovering from the last war.

It maybe that Post Modernism has come and gone but I still feel that life was better in the 1960's. There was no wonderful technology, life was simple and I recall much more secure.

In China giant steps are being made to rid the nation of corruption. I don't see that happening here in the UK. There cannot be a return to the 1960's so what hope do we have.


I am five years younger than you. The post war boom was not all flowers, we had two recessions, 1957 clipped the war generation of everything they had worked for. Coming out of that, the plan for the war baby generation was called Viet Nam. Even before the war finally ended, Nixon abolished the Gold Standard, took the Silver backing from our domestic money, and interest rates spiked to 19%.

Then we get the War on Drugs and Police Entrapment, a goal of making everyone a registered criminal.

In the choice of a larger economy, or reducing the workforce, we kept a half million young men as military captives, and 68,000 died. Why WWI? Why Viet Nam?

I had the advantage of being born at the end of the war. Atomic Baby here, first three bombs set off while I was in the womb. The low birth rate of the time gave me lots of space till the war babies came along. You got another five years of that. Being twenty in 1960 was a great time. The economy was based on war, but it was expanding, the millions of dead left economic holes to fill, money was still worth something.

By the early 1970s, The World Reserve Currency is no longer backed by gold, recession and inflation to pay for the war, and the Arab Oil Embargo. Mortgage rates hit 19%, there were no jobs, and lots of war babies with degrees.

They outnumbered my age group five to one, and we were what stood between them and their Yuppie Scum dreams. We had jobs, houses, businesses, and they wanted them. Not to make their own, but to take what we had.

The few who survived the Yuppie Plague, were those mostly with technical knowledge, geeks and nerds who built upgrades of the IBM computer platform. Nowadays anyone with that much knowledge of computers is on an FBI Watch List.

1960 was great, but it came between the Recession of 1957, and the end of real money in 1972. The last Silver Coins were minted in 1963.

Yuppies in government service saw it as theirs. Important things could be learned about business, like their tax returns, contract bids, that friends outside of government would pay them for. Only one is doing life in prison for stealing a container load of Top Secret documents to send to his friends in Israel.

Yuppies in government service saw it as natural to spy on the Citizens, steal from the public, and torture and kill them. The NSA will store a copy of this post forever.

We are between the old, who demanded a Military Chain of Command relationship, and the to us young, who would do anything.

The monthly inspections of the blowout preventer on the BP rig in the Gulf were not done for nineteen months before it blew out. The result was, besides the spill, Minerals Management changed their name, the head guy retired, and there was no one left to question.

When the levees failed during Katrina, sheet pilings 40 foot long that had been inspected at every step of construction were found to be 20 foot long. New Orleans Water Board, State Levee Board, Corp of Engineers, Private Inspection Companies, had all sworn they were 40 foot. The result, the Federal Court sealed all records for 50 years. This blocked all Suits for Damages. 1570 people died.

Debt is at unsupportable levels. $17,000,000,000,000. The economy is based on forcing people to buy health insurance, pay to go to school, and Wall Streets bets against the economy surviving.

The first of the Yuppie Scum are reaching retirement age, 45,000,000 million of them. The Social Security Trust Fund has IOUs. Retirement costs for government are unfunded, so government spending must decrease to pay for the Gold Plated Health and Retirement. All of these people are going to live another forty years.

All of the Stock Market is Pension Plans. It was under 10,000 a few years ago and things have gotten worse. The current numbers are Tulip Bulbs.

The WWII Generation is gone, The Baby Bust Generation Unemployed, Illegals do not pay taxes and ship their money out of the country, so the Yuppie Scum will enslave School Children and sell their blood and organs to China.

The government investigated government corruption, they said there is none. History is about to be made.



Grebels
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13 May 2015, 2:22 pm

I would not wish to live in the USA.



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19 May 2015, 1:26 am

We may seem cynical and depressed, but that is because we are.

As some one told me, 'Most countries have an Army, in Honduras the Army has a Country."

Voting does not work when a third work for the government, and a third for corporations.

Voting does not work when the choices are between a red or blue tie.

Voting does not work as long as war is the most profitable thing for Government and Corporations.

This country ended in 1913 when they froze the numbers in The Peoples House of Representatives, and sold the money to the Private Federal Reserve System. Then they jumped into WWI and waved a lot of flags.

We have been in the International War Business ever since.



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19 May 2015, 5:22 am

Inventor wrote:
This country ended in 1913 when they froze the numbers in The Peoples House of Representatives, and sold the money to the Private Federal Reserve System. Then they jumped into WWI and waved a lot of flags.

We really screwed up the Senate.


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"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privelege of owning yourself" - Rudyard Kipling