Here’s what shits me about post-modernism and post-modernists:
By de-privileging grand narratives, all narratives are privileged, even the inherently stupid ones.
I get the notion of the arbitrariness of privilege and the cultural, class, gender, etc specificity of any particular grand narrative. I really do. But just because that may be true, it doesn’t follow that anything you have to say is worth listening to. Only under the notion of all points of view being equally valid can, say, creation science or climate change denial, get a look in. If science is just another narrative no different from any other then there is no benefit to basing a decision on facts and evidence rather than on misconstrued religious texts taken out of context or cherry-picking data which suits your pre-determined position.
Dwelling on science a moment longer: a scientist has his or her theory tested by examination of the real world in a way which is not required of other fantasies to which postmodernism gives equal value. If the observed world does not match the theory, it is rejected in favour of a better one. This critical activity is impossible in a postmodern world as one of the foundational concepts of science – the modernist ideas of progress and improvement – is attacked in the very name of the movement.
After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the non-existence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it, ‘I refute it thus.’
James Boswell, 1791, The Life of Samuel Johnson
With certainty and structure removed from the picture, there is no basis for comparison or evaluation.
Only in a postmodern world could we debate the relative merits Miguel Cervantes’ Don Quixote and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight without arriving at the blinding obvious conclusion. Readers have found value and meaning in Don Quixote for over four hundred years while we all know Twilight will be in the remainder bins outside low-rent supermarkets within a matter of months. Some things have inherent value; some things do not. Some things are good; some things are not.
A thing’s value can be examined, evaluated and critiqued. It is not only useless but in some cased downright evil to pretend otherwise. In a post-modern world, we’d call them “inter-generational romantic relationships” and say they’re a form of sexual self-expression as equal and valid as any other. In the real world, we call it pedophilia.
Living in an “eternal present” sucks ass.
If everything is always already written then everything is nothing more than the (chance?) combination of pre-existing elements. There is no reason to look outside of the present for meaning or examples. It’s all right here, right now.
We certainly wouldn’t want to privilege the past by looking to history for examples of how people reacted to situations similar to those in which we find ourselves to see how events turned out for them. At it’s most extreme, that is nothing more than invoking the myth of the Golden Age. It’s definitely toying with the deposed grand narrative of progress and the idea that with effort the future can be better than the past.
Post-modernism is an infantile, defeatist, dis-engaging and de-powering philosophy which results in nothing more than a society of drooling idiots watching the world flash by swirl of shapes and colours, unable to think beyond the immediate moment or find meaning in anything other than their current emotional state.