This Week in Pop Culture: A Post on Postmodernism

Postmodern architecture seen along the Thames riverside. (Garry Knight/Flickr under CC BY 2.0)

The only true originality in this world is left for psychopaths and lunatics to discover. For only they are willing to do and build on things that others would never dare to think of. Now to elaborate, society is a building, which great thinkers among the likes Confucius, Aristotle, Galileo, Albert Einstein etc. have laid the foundations of. Societies advancements have been building on their ideas to advance it into a clearer, better defined and explained tomorrow. This building has had many architects who have been removed from its crafting, their ideas at the time to outside the norm considered a hindrance to the structure of society (an example being the martyr Louis Riel, who died trying to get equality for aboriginal peoples). Now, with the rise of postmodernism in the mid-late 20th century, the building of social structural norms shifts on its foundations. Things start no longer having to fit within clear cut social norms, and are accepted within society everything being viewed objectively and as equal.

Is this structural slip a positive or negative thing? Well let’s try to look at this objectively. The positive affects are easily seen in the worlds social culture, with the growth, awareness, and support for the LGBT community. Another slightly less explosive example would be the influx of postmodern art, building on the works of Pablo Picasso’s Cubism. Canada’s social changes due to postmodernism are the most transparent to us, but with globalization we must remember to look… well globally. In popular news it was announced Saudi-Arabia women are receiving the legal right to drive. Which could have been caused by the global shifting of social norms in other north-western countries, made widely accepted due to postmodernism. While this example seems a little more behind with the times its still quite easy to make this positive connection.

But now we must ask the question, can you really set your old reading glasses on a pedestal and call it art? Postmodernism would tell us yes, that the meaning is that which is most important to the individual. This idealistic thinking serves to undermine some of societies pre-existing structures, an example being the conflict generated between certain devote followers of the Christian faith and those engaging in homosexual marriage. Some of these conflicts like in the case of deciding what counts as art are minor, other conflicts like deciding what genders have the legal right to get married requires much more pomp and circumstance. However, both conflicts have roots that can be traced back to postmodernism, and we can only hope that in the end their resolutions will lead to an improved society.

Postmodernism is seen as a social tool used as an excuse for expansionist changes in the social paradigm by some, and there fore is seen in a negative light by many. While this view is not entirely wrong, it is a miss-representation of the bigger picture, forgetting all about a global view. For others it is a positive tool used for the reconstruction of set standard ways of thinking, maybe unfortunately sometimes leaving out the consequences of change. There is no way to entirely state whether postmodernism is a good or bad thing, we can only look at it objectively, keep cool heads, and accept it.