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POSTMODERN-ANON

POSTMODERNISM

DICTIONARY The Literary Dictionary's definition of:

POSTMODERNISM --
... [The word] "applied to a cultural condition prevailing in the advanced capitalist societies since the 1960s, characterized by a superabundance of disconnected images and styles—most noticeably in television, advertising, commercial design, and pop video. In this sense, promoted by Jean Baudrillard and other commentators, 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."


POSTMODERN TRAITS
• Moral relativity
• No absolutes
• Cynicism toward historical relevance
• Attention to emotion of the present
• Isolationism
• Pursuit of individualized fragmented "realities" through iconic media, technology, and micro culture association.

 

penINTRODUCTION:

I'm revolting. Not in the way you're probably thinking. Rather, my revolt is a protest -- against postmodernism. Postmodernism -- which is directing our current social thought and condition, should disturb us deeply, because its definition above is a very real dynamic for most people. Its precepts dictate scripted and unreasoned responses to information. Post-modern thought is eroding the depth and joy of life on many levels.


With its widely unknown definition, postmodernism has quietly seeped into virtually every aspect of our society: fine-arts, faith, media, education, government, social interaction, and more. Postmodernism is like natural gas. Natural gas has no odor or color. When there is a gas leak, the odor we smell has been artificially induced by the gas company, simply so we will recognize the leak. Otherwise, natural gas in its purest form creeping into a building can kill life, by displacing the oxygen in the body. The analogy is fitting, whereas postmodern thought is silently and rapidly asphyxiating our well being in every sense -- both socially, as well as individually, -- largely because we have not known what it is, nor that it is even there --affecting us. It's an elusive thing.  But it is very much disconnecting us from each other, and reality.

gas

Like the odor added to natural gas, knowledge of postmodernism is vitally important. As with most subjects we want to learn more about, it is advantageous to understand its historical origins, in order to address the present day issue with accuracy. Postmodern study is no different. Postmodern thought consumed our culture in the latter half of the 1900's, as the Modern era ended. However, the stage for postmodernism was being set in the late 1800's, during the Industrial Revolution.


Let's go back in time, and investigate one of the fastest societal shifts ever.

americana 1900

A BETTER TIME...

Imagine living in a place where a child's father and mother lived in the same house. Through thick and thin, the parents worked together to raise the children. Imagination and self-sufficiency would be stimulated through music in the home, stories on front porch, and work for everyone to share. Cast yourself in such a family. You would find your father teaches you a rich heritage about your family. He might also ingratiate you into the family trade, of which you could incorporate into your tooling or education. Your mother actively partners in your educational and nurturing needs you as you grow.

In this place, the entire community is accountable to each other, and it shows in the way each is treated. Because life is not perfect, the community has a solid support system, to help one another out in times of need. Doors are un-locked, as people look out after each other. Citizens take personal responsibility to care for each other. Delinquents' malice is distanced, and thwarted under vigilant community involvement. Family and friends all live in the same neighborhood and regularly meet, often partaking in meals, concerts in the park, and other social settings for bonding. Kids are safe to run free all day, (when there is no school),-- and they do so without parental fear of human harm lurking against them.

Remember this picture. For a majority of Americans, this is their community, just over 100 years ago.

PART I -- DAD SHIFTS WORK OUTSIDE OF FAMILY

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

1890-1915:
1) Fathers limit family leadership for factory work.
2) Companies foster workers' dependency.
3) Darwinism conflicts with individual purpose
4) Faith-based science spreads.

By the early 1900's, many men daily left their homes, their family ventures, and their paternal presence --all to work in the new factories of the Industrial Revolution -- and the Modern World. While men used to have a hands-onpresence in the home, leading the family in farming, trade, business, faith, and purpose, men's lives now revolved around a company. The rest of the family often had little connection with Dad's hard labor within these unseen companies, often situated out of daily access to the home. Likewise within this daily physical separation, Dad began loosing his understanding of his wife and children's milestones and struggles at home.  While dad was working in the preludes of impersonal urbanity, the home fires subtly began losing connection with its fuel -- its unique mission.


Though his role used to daily model responsibilities of a teacher, trainer, spiritual guide, and mantle bearer, fathers stepping into the Industrial Revolution began practicing a more monolithic role: that being simply a provider. The mother began carrying the tremendous load of raising the children and maintaining the home, (sometimes working in the factory, as well), with dad absent from the home 12-16 hour days.

factoryworkers
Factory Workers at IHC McCormick Works
1900 -- Chicago, Illinois

Dad's physical, emotional, and spiritual absence of heading the family unit, commenced a generational decline, away from equipping his offspring to be: explorers of individual purpose. The descent would spiral deeper throughout the generations of the 20th century.

"We have not come into the world to be numbered; we have been created for a purpose; for great things: to love and be loved."
-- Mother
Teresa

Without a purpose, some of these adult children were susceptible to a wide array of ideology.


An external ideology also thwarting individual purpose was gaining acceptance during this same period: Darwinism. English naturalist Charles Darwin's study on "natural selection" theorized that human beings are not intelligently designed. Darwin concluded that humankind was a product of random evolutions, which have gradually morphed or became extinct. (Hitler -- a Darwinist, chose to speed up the extinction rate, to create a master human race.).  Darwin's theory of evolution rests on the still unexplained division of just one single celled organism. Evolution theory is further developed by the phenomenon of cells magically merging together by some other unknown force. Some believe it was lightening, or a cosmic blast causing the first merge.

treeoflife

As the age of invention progressed, certain groups began following this new "explanation of species origin" with faith-like zeal. Doubters of the theory point to evidentiary wide gaps in the species types as well as the astronomical leaps of the "human mutation," characterized by: faith, ethical awareness, self-consciousness...but I digress). Observers on both sides contend: Evolution requires an enormous amount of faith, due to the infinite number of "random" mutations missing in evidence, both in past archeological and present day evidence.


Also contributing to the faith requirement of evolution: the absence of 21st Century knowledge. Had today's knowledge been available to Darwin, his theory would have to explain the origin of all of the infinitely complex yet necessarily perfect DNA chains to sustain cell life. One other coincidence: each chain conspicuously resembles software code, (no duplications, whatsoever). His theory also could not consider the undiscovered --bio molecular sciences, in which cells whose operation conspicuously resembles human engineered motors -- really, really, good motors ...motors which science today claims are the most superior ever known. Considering a very liberal 1 billion years, for these properties to slightly mutate to the present day human beings, this is random chance at its miraculous best.

Darwin prophetically states:

"If it can be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."
"The Origin of Species" Page 171
-- Charles Darwin

PART II - "CUTTIN' THE RUG" --

THE NARCISSIST DREAM


1915-1929:
1)Invention, economy, and meta-physical powers incite culture.
2)Personal Responsibility evacuated for self-indulgence.
3)Hollywood, "Faith" based leaders, and Avante-gard circles lure masses into manufacturing reality.

In the early 1900's as the Industrial Revolution morphed to Modernism, it seemed humankind had "made it"....and boy, were we riding high!  Our world became symbolicly rich, where ideas based on theories and principles could create extradordinary results.  From math, to science, psychology, to liberal arts, the symbols out of these disciplines ran the modern age. Businesses, inventions, social movements, and scientific theories grew exponetially.  We could do and make anything: automobiles, electricity, air-conditioners, airplanes, even motion pictures. This celebration climaxed with the Roaring Twenties, (1920's). "In the mornin', in the evenin', ain' t we got fun?..." was the mantra to fill the dance halls, where people would dance until the sun came up. Some circles already disillusioned with the limits of science and the world of absolutes, had begun to experiment with a new found luxury: expressing their ideas in a fanciful, self-absorbed way. Writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), were natural literary leaders of the time, with fantasies of individualized self promotion themes between their pages.

>

gatsby
F.Scott Fitzgerald,
"The Great Gatsby" 1925

Some were lured into socio-psychological faith performances : a hybrid Hollywood/"healing" exhibitionism, peddled by megalomania personalities such as Aimee Simple McPherson (1890-1944). McPherson was the first mass media evangelist, and the first of such to fall from scandal. The staggering revenue drawn from such dramatizations would be modeled by the next three generation of religious racketeers to rehash these manipulative techniques into the world-wide Signs and Wonders Apostasy, circulated into the later 20th Century.

aimee
Aimee Simple McPherson
Hollywood, California

New Thought/Metaphysical concepts of "speaking your own world into existence", and "positive thinking" flourished along the eastern seaboard, and particularly in Boston's Ivy League circles. This New Thought movement, a kind of super-charged humanism, believes that human kind is basically "good" at its core, and to date continues to morph its way to depths beyond reason. These early 20th Century New Thought thinkers were the fore-runners to Postmoderns in the late 20th Century.

PART III -- THE FIGHT ABOVE/

THE RUMBLING BELOW

depression
The Great Depression

1929-1948:
1) Media and philosophy manufacture "escapisms" during chaotic times.

2) Depression ravaged country demands revolutionary big government to manage Modern era's growing pains. Federal bureaucracies expand, with establishment of: work programs, welfare, social security, etc.

3) Indifference to sacrifice: an experimental expression begins within underground New Thought circles.

4) Social Sequestration is made possible by combination of urban population explosion, and governmental dependence.

Never before had the United States government expanded to the levels it did during the Great Depression. Citizens turned to President Roosevelt's "New Deal" put them back to work.  By this time, it became clear: many struggled in the new symbolic world of ideas, finance, and leadership.  The depression called for a much more powerful government to relegate commerce, jobs, retirement, unemployment, and more. We begin to see heroes being born out of the youth of this era. These youth are now known as The Builder Generation. The Builder Generation was determined to press in to scrape what they could for their families, sacrifice beyond our understanding, and get America back to work. The depression would be just the beginning of the Builder Generation's long mid 20th century struggle.

American fears and needs were extoled in MGM's literary metaphor the 1938 film production of the Wizard of Oz. The country identified with the missing pieces of themselves, longing for a place far away from their troubles...over the rainbow. 

oz

The movie industry was one of the only industries thriving during the Great Depression, as troubled folks could escape their problems for a brief two hours, and only for about a dime.


We also see the beginnings of a nation getting comfortable with government's new mammoth role for the modern era, as individual citizens add the government to their corporate/industrial support system. How does this dependency factor into postmodern thought? Simply that, individuals and families are now facilitated to be less personal and local responsibility, by leaning deeper into outside and impersonal forces of the federal government for care. Although this time period finds most folks still practicing tremendous virtues of interpersonal responsibility (rallying to one another's needs), the accountability escape hatch was widening with each decade, revealing a hologram of a social entitlement society on the other side. (Following WWII, some politicians, itchy to cast the lure, would morph this new terminology for "big government" into the term "entitlement."). Roosevelt's New Deal summonsed a dramatic controversial shift in dependency, as compared to the interdependent family described at the beginning.

dogfight

 

While the Builder Generation was A) Fighting for necessities in the depression, B)Fighting totalitarian advances toward the U.S. and Europe in WWII, and C) Fighting to save the world from communism during the cold war, (Yes, they had their hands full, and we owe them a HEAP of gratitude!), the reclusive New Thought philosophers were incubating their agendas, burrowing themselves from the oustide chaos.

cocoon

As people began allowing technology, government, and corporate caretakers to assume our personal matters New Thought pioneers languished in private social sanctuaries, beneath a modern age cocoon, sequestered from the growing world tensions of the 1930's and 1940's. Where once small town folks of wide eclectic backgrounds relied on each other for support and interaction, urbanites' now relied on impersonal agencies, allowing them to annonymously live their lives, without the rich broad sampling of community interaction found in smaller communities.

So why would anyone want to eliminate a broad cross-culture for social stimulus? Many urbanite followers of New Thought enjoyed conveniently select relationships "buffet style", simply based on the sheer numbers of their city's population, presenting a higher ratio of like-minded thinkers. The modern age offered New Thought urbanites this luxury of social sequestration with little accountability to rest of the city population. These tailor-made communities were a broad departure from the interdependent community in the late 1800's. (The urban social sequestration began the hallmark social delusions embodying later Postmodern subcultures.) Social sequestration began seeping into the myriad of hues and lines across all New Thought expressions, reflecting a less multi-dimensional reality.

This simplistic dimensional outlook was mirrored by New Thought artists as some began experimenting with abstract, somewhat cartoonesque art.  It looked "day-to-day." Not too provocative; somewhat whimsical; In some works, edging toward satirical;  It evoked...fun.

1940sart
Copeland Charles Burg (American, 1895-1961),
“Rhubarb and Two Oysters”, c.1942

Furthering the escapist folly of New Thought's suspension of reality, writers began to emerge such as Ayn Rand (1905-1982), heralding such book titles as: "The Fountainhead"(1943). Rand and her contemporaries marveled at man's ability to create a modernistic society. The book's title refers to Rand's statement that "man's ego is the fountainhead of human progress." Ironically, her philosophy is published right when the egos of fascist leaders led six million Jews to death, and engaging a wars against the world for totalitarian gain.

The book casts the main protagonist, who is Rand's idea of the ultimate man, living for himself and his own creativity, indifferent to the opinions of others. The Fountainhead, was originally turned down by six publishers. By the time it gained publication, the book eventually sold several hundred thousand copies, and is still in print to date. The book became a Hollywood movie with Gary Cooper, laid the foundation for Rand's man-centered religion, ironically entitled: Objectivism. Objectivism's appeal enticed the fundamental nature of man striving to be a god. She borrowed several ideas from science, psychology, and sociology to justify her position:

"My philosophy, in essence is the concept of man, as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." --from the book "Atlas Shrugged" -- by Ayn Rand

The descent from altruistism dropped further in other circles during this period.


Psychologist B. F. Skinner's (1904-1990) behaviorism theories, derived from animal experiments, were projected toward the motivation of humankind. The behaviorist message: that humans were solely a product of their environment's stimuli and response processes. Behaviorists' denial of human purpose, goals, curiosity, and morality further fueled the denial of individual purpose. Behaviorists actively propagated what they believed as the ultimate engineering for humanity: a programmed utopian society.

rat

English writer C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), inspired by the world at war, argues against New Thought ideas emerging from underground. Lewis critiques New Thought concepts, as an ancient repackaging of man attempting to be a god, for the modern era.

cslewis
C. S. Lewis

Lewis attempts to correct the inward social spiraling using rationale in several of his fiction and non-fiction books.  His main treatise:  that morality is not relative, rather a common morality is inate in each of us. However, New Thought thinkers rejected Lewis' works. Particularly on Lewis' points of personal accountability, New Thought thinkers were too fascinated by the ever changing colors under their feet.

tunnelvision

So ignorant to the world at war around them, this small band of New Thought thinkers embarked on an audacious social expression, something that would later characterize the cynical nature of this movement: They practiced a bold indifference to personal accountability, to thwart any threat of outside manipulation distracting them from their goals. Part of the New Thought "fragmented" outlook encompasses a curious "in the moment" tunnel vision, blinding the New Thought thinker to present and historical sacrifices, which would normally be reciprocated with gratitude and compassion.

Up to this time in history, the virtue of sacrificing oneself to help another brought with it honor, respect, and a virtue worth regeneration from one generation to the next. However, underground philosophical views were beginning to surface during the heavily united World War II effort, where the attitude of altruistic respect for sacrifice began to drift toward a self edifying posture of entitlement. Some point to parts of Western Europe, where the seeds of this particular Post modern attitude began: "If it is someone else's job to do the dirty work for me, and they want to do it, what does that have to do with me?" This anti-logic was due in part to the fragmentation (or compartmentalization) of societial issues on virtually every level, a pattern that was rapidly encroaching on people everywhere in the modern world.

PART IV -- THE POSTMODERN REVOLUTION

TV

1948-1973:
1) Sudden prosperity brings hollow purpose to children with unavailable parents.
2) "Mediaemotion"/convenience driven society allows virutous principles to be usurped from the classrooms.
3) Propagation of "moral relativity" begins to spread widely.

Not only did New Thought thinking survive the internationally united WWII effort, once the war ended, the stage was set.  New Thought thinking exploded into our society as Postmodernism. Sociologists point to the ending of World War II when The Modern Era began a full retreat, replaced with The Postmodern Era. During the 1950's the average citizen was weary of fighting, a depression and a world war. In 1948, United States movie goers witnessed on the "News Reels" -- the most vivid results of a cooperative scientific/military effort from our establishment: the creation and detonation of two Atomic Bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan. America had been fighting and clawing for several decades to survive and suddenly -- victory in 1948.

Virtually over-night, financial prosperity was back. Jobs were plentiful, and consumer spending was up, as the aerospace industry boomed. The work force was helping to fight a new kind of war, the "cold-war". The cold-war starred the super-power nations divided into primarily two camps with Democratic / Capitalistic nations on one side, and Socialistic/Communist nations on the other. The battleground, (with the exception of Korea and later Vietnam), was held on the frontier of ideas, propaganda, and the stockpile of threatening military might between super-powers. We were on top of this new world game, and we could now play it from the comfort of our offices and homes, for a while...

"I've got the world on a string ...
sittin' on a rainbow....
got the string around my finger...
what a world, what a life,
I'm in love!"

(Lyric from: "I've Got the World On A String"
Sung by -Frank Sinatra Recorded At Capitol Records 4/3/1953)

Sinatra

By the 1950's people were ready to stay home, exhale, and attempt a carefree life distant from the strife of war and financial depression. This attitude showed in the themes of the then --new larger than life "media-emotion".

Because of technological advances, media such as stereophonic music, contemporary novels, multiple television channels and shows, cinemascopic movies of many genres, and magazines on countless topics, -- all such media became quite diverse, more available, packaged according to the ever widening tastes of all socioeconomic lines. People at this time regular folks began creating their own reality, vicariously living through their customized world of favorite media, and often at the touch of a button,(later -- through the home computer). A wide pool of tremendous talent such as, Frank Sinatra, Truman Capote, and Lucille Ball, provided each sector of society their own "escape de jour". The blithe domestic attitude was glorified in such television shows as I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners. These were the dynamics of many 1950's homes.

Because of postmodern media's own over saturated cliches´, media parody, (a postmodern staple), became in vogue. Commercial art took on the Postmodern staple of iconic figures, with a blend of abstract and cartoon simplicity -- all feeding into the "feel good for the moment" mantra the western world was gobbling up.

marilyn
"Unnamed"
By Andy Warhol
(Commenting on the repeated,
random, and empty signals
bombarding the public)

For the then, two to three generations of growing underground leaders of Postmodern thought, it was becoming increasingly difficult to tolerate issues that required a larger perspective beyond their fragmented micro cultures. Subjects such as God, sacrifice, evil in humanity, and war, did not have a place for the postmodern ideals. So, as the malaise of consumer consumption soared, these leaders used the nation's prosperous distractions as their chance to advance publicly. Between 1948 through the present, postmoderns began propagating on a national level their new philosophy. Postmoderns chose the United States Courts as their mouth piece.

gavel

Advancing the practice of a fragmented reality, attorneys lifted a concept penned: "separation of church and state" from a Thomas Jefferson letter, entirely reversing the letter's context. The objective of twisting Mr. Jefferson's intent, was to aide atheist leader Madalyn Murray O'hair and the American Atheists' endeavor to eradicate school prayer through the Murray vs. Curlett case of 1963. The sound bite: "separation of church and state" based on the new erroneous foundation, along with words such as "offensive" all were used to conceptually sway the mind set of American life where faith and free speech are concerned. The postmodern solution? Compartmentalization of faith instead of the Bill of Rights "free practice thereof." 

"The last stage but one of every civilisation, is characterised by the forced political unification of its constituent parts, into a single greater whole."
-- Author, Arnold J. Toynbee
"A STUDY OF HISTORY" 1957


PART V: BABY BOOMERS, THE FIRST POSTMODERN GENERATION

PEACE

1963-1975:
1) Children of prosperity rebel against shallow upbringing.
2) Boomers begin experimenting with isolated sub/micro-cultures, as they crystallize post-modern doctrines.

A new generation was being raised within these events. That generation is known as the Baby-Boomers, named after the"boom" of birth rate right after American soldiers returned home from World War II. Baby boomers did not relate to the enormous sacrifices their parents and grandparents made earlier in the century: financial sacrifices through the depression, their very lives during WWII, and their physical and intellectual defense build up through the cold war. Rather they received for the most part an empty shell of consumerism throughout the Prosperity period of the 1950's and 1960's.

icecreamkid

For many homes, the art of instilling purpose was several generations now --long gone. The world's tense affairs, along with the corporate ladder had so pulled parents out of their interest in the home, many parents of this prosperity movement did not know how to "stoke the home-fires", by building strength through the home, or encouraging the unique qualities of their children. So shocked by the atrocities of World War II, those parents raised their boomer kids in a world of conformity.  Their postmodern world echoed a highly predictable sanity, certainly echoing the unity that won the war.  While the cookie-cutter uniformity was practiced by the children of 1950's and 1960's prosperity, for many the uniformity did not take root with any pertinent meaning.

suburb
1950's Suburban Tract Neighborhood

The virtue of instilling human purpose was nearly three-quarters of a century in decline. Many prosperity age parents sensing their home needs, could only attempted a veneer of imparting real purpose into their children. The family headship had long forgotten how to relate the authentic heritage and reason behind their fore-fathers' focus.& Parents instead hobbled along, leaning on traditional practices without properly conveying their meaning. nbsp; Even the 1950's-1960's tract home neighborhoods had an eerie sense of military housing from -- yes, a borrowed design of uniformity from WWII.  Again, the mentality of these neighborhood designs did not translate to the post war children living there.

Instead of dynamic interaction with one another, families leaned on third party mediums such as television to pass evening time.

1950family

Many boomer children in there later years bonded with one another, discovering their apparent vapid upbringing. The public school system attempted to fill the void, but remained institutionally distant from the deeper needs of these prosperity era children.

The one father figure during this period, whom gave baby-boomers a sense of hope and purpose was President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. During his term from 1960-1963 President Kennedy attempted to turn the consumer mentality around, with his memorable line:

"Ask not what your country can do for you; Ask what you can do for your country."

... a quote clearly out of order with post-modern thinking. Kennedy's exhortation was purposefully designed to re-direct the country's thinking, particularly those who unwittingly made government their care-taker. JFK had nobel and ambitious ideas to usher the United States by advancing modernism, (not post-modernism). It was an era he called The New Frontier. His ideas were exciting to many. JFK's ideas of sending people to the moon, and developing modern wonders to advance civilizations around the world, all captured the imagination of the scientific community, and many young people, quietly searching for purpose.

jfk
President and Mrs. Kennedy (back seat).
Moments before assassination.
November 22, 1963 --Parade through Dallas, Texas

JFK's assassination and martyrdom thereafter, triggered the beginning of a social revolution, led primarily among Baby-boomers. Due to the assassination's social shockwave of cynicism and mistrust, some historians site the JFK assassination as the actual propogation of world-wide Postmodernism. Those historians would say that JFK's assassination was the single most impactful event which ushered the largest shift into post-modern thinking, (ironically a move in the opposite direction JFK intended). If the seeds of postmodernism were scattered in the earlier decades, they took the largest public root on November 22, 1963.


During the 1960's climax of racial discrimination and segregation against minorities, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the most prominent leader of hope for America's long over-due promissary note of social freedom.

mlk

Speaking eloquently to all Americans, Dr. King's message of social equality for all, (not just blacks) resonated with those who valued the American prinicple: that "all men are created equal." (Thomas Jefferson, from The Declaration of Independence.) Dr. King's biblical convictions on God's love, propelled his advocation for peaceful demonstrations, of which sent shockwaves around the world. His most memorable vision was shared with America in 1963 within his "I have a dream..." speech at the Lincoln Memorial rally. There he described an America of the future, which does not judge persons by the color of their skin, rather by the content of their character. In 1968 during the prime of his life and ministry, Dr. King was assassinated on a Memphis, Tennessee hotel balcony.

Kennedy and King's assassinations further wounded this lost generation, subsequently unearthing a deeply disturbing dilemma in social America: the now decades old perpetuating loss of purpose. With the widest disconnect from the generation before them, and post-modern thought growing exponentially, baby-boomer's discontent began to be magnified on to a number of individual issues, (government conspiracy theories, Vietnam, inequality, civil rights the environmental issues, etc.). For the first time in their lives, many felt the euphoria of rallying around various causes, fighting to correct social injustices and fight what many labeled as "bad tradition." 

nam

But their seeking of purpose did not stop at their virtuous attempts to correct some obvious social/political wrong doings.  Trying to shake their malaise of being raised in a purposeless void, baby-boomers were willing to be led into a wide array of experimental, and sometimes senseless environments.  Many wandered into drugs, cults, rock-and-roll, and sexual exploits. In their experimentation, Boomers acquired the nick-name: The Counter-culture.

woodstock

The rebellion swiftly exploded in protest against the United States government for its questionable and poorly strategized involvement in the Viet Nam War. Boomer's rage would further project itself onto the Watergate cover-up.

Albeit some people refer to them as the spoiled brat generation, Boomers were none the less a very hurt generation. In the face of repeated disappointments, Boomers in their rebellion walked directly into the hands of Post-modernist philosophers. Desperate to escape it all, while following their New Thought fore-runners practices, Boomers were vulnerably led to accept the widely paradoxical shifts of postmodern mantras. Some became unstable adults, filling psycholoigsts' offices. Practioners dealt with (or played into) their patients confusion, and sometimes disillusionment between the alternative realities they chose to embrace...

Baby_in_womb

One of the most horrific dividing lines of the postmodern culture loosing awareness of reality and accountability with one another, is the accepted loss of accountability within the most fundamental human trust:  between a mother and her unborn child. 

Sociologists trace the maternal-child trust loss through the teachings of early 20th Century abortion activist: Margaret Sanger. 

Sanger's "Negro project" attempted to diminish ethnic babies in urban areas -- by promoting abortions and steralization to those with "objectional traits:" 

“We are paying for, and even submitting to, the dictates of an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.” 
– Margaret Sanger.
The Pivot of Civilization, 1922,
pages 116, 122, and 189.
Swarthmore College Library edition.

“Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.”
– Margaret Sanger.
Woman, Morality, and Birth Control.
New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922,
page 12.

Sanger's racial cleansing doctrines, (predating Hitler, but Dawrinian influenced) along with the succeeding mantras of ones like Gloria Steinem could not rationalize the abortion procedure as it related to the big picture: that picture being the obvious dependency of an innocent child in the womb. The narratives were carefully tailored soundbytes, fragmented on the issue to be soley about the power of women. And they worked. Clinical abortions are rarely about women's health, other than deterring a determined mother from killing her baby with a wire hanger or in back alleys -- highly unlikely today with available humane alternatives for the life of the child.

Rather the feminist narrative thrusts a narrow band of hyperbole and histrionics, primarily based on the same hatred lodged from its historic roots: a resentful undertone of retribution against men and children: the very forces they claim "enslave" women to motherhood.  Terminating unwanted pregnancies became a commodity for postmodern's value of: creating (or "un-creating"), one's own reality, despite the horror of what the procedure does to the life needing his/her mother.  As the issue came to a political decision in the early 1970's, one manifestation of the Postmodern moral relativity agenda was to use irresponsible sex and the concept of "life" itself -- as legitimate game pieces. To choose whether your unborn baby lives or dies became an intoxicating power among the feminist sub-culture.  Pushing the "option" of terminating an unborn child's life -- itself has become a cultural commodity brokered by political operatives attempting to hi-jack a whopping one-half of the voting block: women. 

God_Is_Woman

What once was considered to be a nurturing/protecting role of mothers, now mothers to-be were duped into wielding a false power against their babies; lured into a politicized self-absorbtion where the pregnancy was concerned; and even with adoption options, many mothers tragically choose to rid their bodies of their nine month inconvenience.

The abortion issue today remains a postmodern phenomenon.  The movement is held in place by a compliant public tolerance.  Our tolerance is held in place by a very shrill sub-culture's fragmentization of this large social issue -- far too large to be fragmentized.  Fragmented/partial narratives of issues are purposefully myopic to promote the sub-culture's desire, and not the reality surrounding the issue. In this case, femenists fragmented the issue: The miracle of life, and when life really starts. Innocent Unborn human life --medically referred to as "tissue" when pulled or suctioned from its mother's womb--, has been marginalized as "a choice," as abortions up to seven months of pregnancy became legalized in 1973 during the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court case. Today, people describing the procedure for what it is will easily be labeled "fanatics " or "insensitive" toward women caught in a "very difficult position."

If you are on the fence, just not sure if abortion should remain a legal sanction for the sake of anyone's "difficult position", go to Google, click on Google's "Images" tab, and type in"abortion". (You have the "choice" to know.) Abortion Alternatives are here.


<g+f=p

_________

"Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today...
Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace..."


-- John Lennon,
lyrics to Imagine

_________

Don't bother us with protecting children and their future. Dump diversity. Never mind: "Vive la différence." This lyric above, nestled in a mellifluous pop melody is the anthem of most unwitting Postmoderns. The words represent the central core of postmodern faith. Many post-modernists are in lock step pursuit of the principals in the song: Imagine. And it promotes:

1) (The paradox of) Peace without price.
(or any blue print to deal with tyranny).

2) Living for an experiential present,
denying historical lessons of humankind's nature.

3) Dissuasion in the belief in an afterlife.

4) Dissuasion in belief beyond sight.

Their rule book: if you believe differently from us, keep it to yourself; you ARE the problem. Their thinking is facist.  Fascism has no political boundries. Not quite the care-free loving society they appear to promote. 

As postmodernism attempts to blur good and evil,  the true reality is: life and its value begins to appear as grayscale -- where diversity is shunned, hope is abandoned, a "purpose de jour" is hauked, passion is forceably cooled, and sacrificing for The Beautiful is hard to find. Many victims of postmodern thought have been programmed to simply exist -- "living for today"...only...just as the song goes. 

sad
Paul Armstrong's "Sad"

__________

"...Well, it's a cold, cold, cold,
cold, cold, cold, cold, cold
Post, postmodern world
No time for heroes, no place for good guys
No room for rocky the flying squirrel...
It's a cold, post, postmodern world
No authenticity, no sign of soul
The radio won't play George and Merle..."
...Well, it's a cold, cold,
Post, postmodern world
no place for sentiment,
no room for romance
Bring back the Duke of Earl"...

-- Don Henley, lyrics to:
"They're Not Here, They're Not Coming"

__________

With virtuous values now relegated as cynical museum pieces, Postmoderns turn to a different mantra altogether. "If it feels good, do it...", values were heralded by pop psychologists: the new gurus for this society.

#1

Best seller books such as, "Looking Out For Number One", were widely embraced, as the new accepted center of behavior. People in media, politics, special interest groups, businesses, schools, and families followed.

As these Post-modern stresses spread rapidly throughout society, its self-indulgent thoughts began a systematic death upon the family unit. The pain for Boomers was exacerbated as the thin veneer of purpose in homes and self-pursuing interests buckled the union of a husband and wife into divorce. Divorce rates climbed to unbelievable percentages by the latter half of the 20th century.

The divorce pattern began to be passed from one generation to the next. Love and fidelity became a part of post-modern cynicism, worsening with each generation of divorced kids.  With the family unit rendered incompetent to instill values to their children, many turned to gangs and warped subcultures -- whose mission was to point fingers and hate against one another.



PART VI: THE NEW MILLENNIUM

Conncecting Our Sub-Cultures to Save Our Future

puzzle

1975-Present:

1) Self creating realities further indulged through computers/tailor-made media/information age.

2) Sub-cultures deny history, based on present day "feelings," discarding historical documentation.

Remember the story at the top: "A BETTER TIME." It took less than 100 years, for that way of life to all but disappear. Although we have rightfully come a long way in trying to treat all people equally, can any civilization governed by the citizenry hold itself together with individuals gravitating toward isolated sub/micro-cultures? Usually not. When people feel their sub/micro-culture should have preferential entitlement, they will blame the system for not receiving entitlement, and subsequently, not support the system. This is an arching phenomenon just prior to the fall of any culture.

During the latter 20th century, on an international spiritual leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, C. S. Lewis, Evangelist Billy Graham, and Mother Teresa were all reaching out with relevant messages -- calling out to these isolated sub-cultures. However most local churches in the late 1900's retreated,  ill equipped or unwilling to reach out. Many local churches succumbed to the tide of isolationism, giving their primary attention to their own respective membership on their role.  Ironically, such religious groups created their own individual sub-culture.




Further frustrating the walls between us: Texting, social media, and tailor -made sonic realities.  Earbuds and smart-phone made alternative realities portable and on the go escapism. Millineals on average struggle with verbal and non-verbal communication more than any recent generation. Many have become addicted to sequestering behind alternate personalities crafted on-line, versus developing their natural personality intended for more authentic intimacy face-to-face.

Working to Connect

There is no need to slam away at the Postmodern subcultures. With their sometimes comically contradictory positions, it is understandable how some poke fun at these groups, even projecting personal frustration. Nonetheless, to share proper perspective of just one sub-group's shrill tone, consider postmodernism as the foundational premise for all such sub-groups. By understanding the big picture of post-modernism's direct role in fragmentizing so many parts of our society, we have the proper perspective of seeing these groups as many little pieces in a vast mosaic.

flagstory
Faith Ringhold's "Flag Story Quilt"
1985

It is critically important to remain in clear view of the big picture, when communicating positive change.

Contrary to postmodern's moral relativity, there is nothing insensitive in peacefully explaining why you disagree with a philosophy people attach themselves to. The key to effective change, is describing an effective model to change toward. I used the Mayberry like town in "A Better Time" in this article as the model to demonstrate where we have come, (albeit, we will likely not return to that pre-modern setting again). Political correctness should stop, and we should open our mouths and our arms in love and understanding for one another. In reaching out, effective communication also includes publicly reasoning through the destructive postmodern dynamic -- along with its roots, --and always offer the better anecdote.

Indiana Jones

To cut through the jabberwocky, this reason/anecdote formula should be so thoroughly thought out, it's essence can be roped into a "truth" sound bite of 15 seconds or less. Why work a summary into a soundbyte? The soundbyte is the open door to a deeper discussion.   In a post modern society, the soundbyte is the figurative crack in the closing doorway, which Indian Jones narrowly slips through. If we don't take the time to ignite ideas in the language our culture will understand, fickle post modern ears will close quickly.

For centuries, the reason/anecdote method has been effective in changing lives toward a better way not only in faith-based circles, but in the public arena of ideas as well. Freedom of speech or not, a loving heart goes much farther to tear down the walls at hand.

That being said, there is something very wrong, in holding a prejudice against individual postmodernists. We don't know why each person is on the road they are on. Take for example, the guy above wading in the polluted waters at Woodstock. We now know by historical interviews, that many following antics like his, were motivated by peer pressure, loneliness, rebellion, drugs, and/or a need to sensitize their lives. Gatherings of people who "party" like this, rerun over and over throughout history. We've all sinned, or have had the sins of others affect us. As a result, we all fall short of our maker's glory.  For interpersonal success of this mission, individuals must be approached with understanding and reasonable persuasion in God's love.  This means we each have to be teachable by those we listen to. 

coffee_talk

It is society's lack of understanding of these Postmodern individuals' much deeper needs, all of which drive them to self-medicating agendas to begin with. Arguing or dogmatic rhetoric with Post-modernists will only drive them further into isolation.

...a simple plan for change...

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Matthew 22:36-40



SEARCH,Study, Recognize...then,PREPARE.

Here are some preparation tips for reaching those hurt by postmodernism.

1) STUDY AND PRAY: Some of the finest world leaders from all religions study well and pray.  They use their insights to build bridges between people.  Study and pray that God would bear fruit in you, and it would be noticed. Pray you would be spiritually sensitive to the right time -- when the person of interest would be most receptive to hearing your heart.

2) LISTEN: Postmoderns have a story. We've all had reasons and choices in filling the void in our lives, and so postmoderns have their reasons and choices as well. Listen intently. Ask God to give you discerning ears. Many reasons are used to justified the Postmodern cultural mandates. Their reasons for living a postmodern lifestyle will likely include:

A) Turbulent demonstration of purpose.

B) Turbulent or unavailable family history.

C) Accountability issues.

D) Innocent misalignment of logic-based ethics.

3) SHARE: Be a friend. One thing in favor of all people is: we LOVE stories! Gravitate to your personal stories. Make them concise, allowing for conversational interaction. Remember postmoderns appreciate many stances going on with you. You just might plant or water a previous seed of encouragement leading that person to discover their role among others.

4) BE SPECIFIC: This step people shy away from for fear of rejection. Try anyway, but only at the right time, after a relationship is built. Sometimes, that time is when your friend is sharing their emptiness. At that time begin comparing the big picture versus the fragmented view of postmodernism:

A) God loves us: Despite what the postmodern world says, we matter to God. We were created for eternal communion with Him, not a religion.

B) His Purpose: We each have a supernatural purpose, which outshines the daily grind and the entertainment in between.

C) His help: God's purpose can not be accomplished without God's help. 

D) Community: We need each other! We desperately need community, where sacrifice is made out of love for one another. Where deliberate acts of kindness are made, not random.



Love each other...


...and leave the rest up to Him.


postmodernaon
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