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Postmodernism

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Braden Bartoshewski

on 11 January 2013

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Transcript of Postmodernism

Finally As demonstrated in my presentation, after a great deal of research and contemplation I would consider my life to be postmodern. It follows the techniques and possesses the elements of Black Humour and Playfulness, Consumerism, Pastiche, Simulation, Technoculture, Expectations and Challenging Meta Narratives.
Postmodernists do not use every technique or theme that were mentioned in the research on this subject matter. There could be additional features that were not mentioned here but it is an overview of my concept of what post-modernism means to me and how it relates to my life, today. Black Humour and Playfulness My Postmodern Life
By: Braden Bartoshewski Black humour is a type of humour where topics which would generally be off limits are used for entertainment purposes. Whether used in jokes, videos, pictures and so on, it uses the type of content which you almost feel bad for laughing at. This sort of humour plays a major part in my life, it is the style that I use most of the time with my close friends. This is the kind of comedy that makes me really laugh and I can most relate to. To me, there is nothing funnier than pushing the limits of decency, as long as there is no disrespect and no one is getting hurt. I tend to use this kind of humour when I am with people that I am closest to; such as good friends, because I know where the limits are and how far I can go without upsetting anyone. With black humour, even though it's all in fun and only jokes, they can still be offensive to people, which you have to be careful about. Expectations Another postmodern element in my life is expectations; this is evident with regards to things such as schooling, and family life. With schooling there are many expectations placed on myself, from society, my parents and even myself. Society expects me to continue education after secondary school, with almost anything you do today you need some sort of post secondary education. The days are gone where you could go get a good paying job straight out of high school without going to College or University first. This is stated in Burkes article, he said that we live in a post-industrial society where the jobs are white collar and University professionals will rule. My parents also have expectations for me to go to school. I understand that they want me to get a good job so that I can live a good life, however, it does put a lot of pressure on me and on us, as kids and students today. Not only do my parents expect me to go to school, but I also expect myself to get good grades to get into a good school. This expectation to succeed creates a lot of pressure from a fairly young age. I will still be seventeen years old when I leave home to go to University and am expected to know what I want to do with the rest of my life, along with all of my peers. Challenging Meta Narratives A big part of what makes myself who I am would be my attitude of challenging meta narratives or grand narratives. I have never been one to just accept what people tell me, I have to find out for myself. Although my whole life is basically based on challenging ideas, there are a few which are more major than others. One of these would be accepting what people tell you. Although I respect my elders it does not mean that I just take what they tell me as the gospel truth. This is especially true if they tell me I cannot do something. I know that some people may be more familiar with somethings in life than myself, however, I do not think that it means I shouldn't experience and learn about things for myself. I have a difficult time accepting that what people say is the one and only answer. I am always looking for a new way to do something. If someone tells me I can't do something it only makes me want to do it more, so I can prove them wrong. One more grand narrative I challenge would be that you should always accept help, this is another big one for me. I know that sometimes in life everyone needs help, however it kills me having to ask for help. I always want to try and do everything on my own, there is nothing greater than the feeling of completing something on your own. I know that you don't need to prove to anyone that you are capable of doing things, but I feel the need to prove this to myself, which is why I like being so independent. I also try to challenge what society thinks is the correct option. With this I mean how society thinks I am so supposed to act, I don't think that I am rude, however ,I do say and do some things which some people may not always like, I challenge what is normal by most people's standards. Simulation Simulation plays another large role in my life, in virtually everything I do. It can be seen in everything from social networking to video games, and in everyday communication. Simulation is very evident with social networking; I use Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. These are two forms of communication which are essentially a simulation of actually talking to people. You can say anything you want to without it needing any form of legitimacy. This type of communication simulates actually being with the person and talking to them. It is no longer real human contact, only a simulation. Another prime example of simulation in my life comes from YouTube, the videos on YouTube are simulations of real life events. I find myself on YouTube constantly, always finding new videos to entertain myself with. I even make some videos, so I am theoretically simulating the real in my own life. Simulation can be found everywhere, in everything. Pastiche Pastiche is a technique of combining or pasting together different elements. I find this extremely relevant in my life, in everything from who I am as a person to who my friends are. My personality is pieced together from many different areas. I think that it's difficult to classify me as one type of person, such as jock, nerd, artist, and so on. I cannot think of a one word answer to adequately describe myself. I enjoy playing sports, but I also like to learn and do well in school, I also love to play guitar and listen to music. When it comes to sports I like all different types from team sports; such as hockey, baseball and lacrosse, to extreme sports such as snowboarding and biking. I am sort of all over the map. In school I don't think I can pick a favorite subject, I enjoy writing, but equally like the challenges in math and science, and love the activeness in physical education. My iTunes library is composed of everything from classic rock to rap, country, folk, etc. There is no certain genre of music which I prefer over another. Instead, it is simply pieced together with a bit of everything. Just like me. I am a complex composition of my innate make-up and my environment in which I have become who I am and evolve into who I will be. By combining my elements I continue to be a work in progress. Consumerism A large part of today's society is based on image. Like many others, I find myself being fueled by the need to have the newest, greatest thing on the market. This applies to all aspects of my life, whether it be clothing, electronics, sports equipment, etc. I believe that what people have defines who they are, they may not want the nicest things or maybe they do, but it all tells a story about who the person is. However, you cannot solely judge someone on their belongings, as many factors can affect this. I personally work, so that I can save for school, however, I also spend some money as a reward to myself. I try not to be pulled into companies' schemes to sell you their newest products, but there are things which I admit they do sell me on. I may not need a professional level camera, but I sure want one. I don't need a top level hockey stick, but through advertisement, I feel like I need one. I also find this phenomena quite dominant regarding my wardrobe. There could be two shirts of exactly the same quality and style, one branded and one not, and I feel confident that I would much prefer the named one, even with the added cost to it. I see celebrities wearing new items such as sunglasses, and suddenly I feel that I need to have those as well. My need to consume is fueled and controlled by the media and the image they make of it. I am essentially a puppet of what society has created. I try to think of myself as being different. I try to think that I'm not being influenced on what I choose to buy, after all it is truly my decision. However, the truth of it is that I am just like everyone else. I have been brainwashed into spending until I'm happy. Essentially I will never stop spending, as money can buy many things to make you happy. Truth be known, money really cannot buy you happiness. Technoculture Technoculture is the incorporation of technology into everyday life. This is very predominant in my life. My whole life seems to revolve around technology, it's how I wake up in the morning, how I entertain myself, it is the reason I am able to do this project. I constantly find myself using technology throughout the day, in the morning my phone is what wakes me up, I also use my phone to keep in touch with friends and family and entertain myself. I also use it to find out the latest news. Twitter is where I get the majority of my news from, whether it is sports related or national news. Technology keeps me in contact with people on the other side of the world, it allows me to talk face to face over web cam with my good friend in Austria, without technology this would not be possible. Technology allows for mass amounts of information to be accessed at any time by anyone around the world, thanks to the internet. This makes tasks such as research much easier, with resources like Wikipedia and Google, you can find almost anything you want within seconds. Advances in technology has lead to phones being more powerful than some computers. It amazes me that something that can fit in your pocket is now more powerful than something which took up rooms in past decades. Technoculture also indirectly affects almost everyone, everywhere in the world. The technology allows us to create and manufacture almost everything that we use in our daily lives, from the clothes we wear, to the cars we drive, it is all fueled by technology. Playfulness also plays a huge role in my life. The reason it is so important to me is that I like the idea of treating everything with a light attitude, and not taking life so seriously. I find myself using playfulness on a daily basis when talking to people, especially about serious topics. I try to use humour to relieve tension. Also, when people get upset with me I find that if I can make jokes about me screwing up, it usually makes the other person laugh and they are much easier going after that. It is also useful when attempting to cheer people up, the happier you are the happier the people around you seem to be. I think that life is long and you cannot be serious for all of it, so you might as well have some fun with it. I think that my playful attitude is one of the things that people like about me. This song, Wing$, by Macklemore, talks about consumerism, and how it starts within us as children and it is how we are raised. When listening to this the first time it made me realize for the first time that I am indeed a consumer influenced by the media Another video I found was a musical parody of how consumerism affects people. I found it very easy to relate to and quite humorous which is why I included it. My group of friends is also pieced together with interesting combinations. I have my sports friends who I have known for most of my life through the connection of different sports. I also have the friends I used to go to school with in elementary school. From there it goes on to my friends from high school. All of these groups of friends are separate groupings of people. They stick with each other and we all have our common interests, which vary depending on the people. There is a together in commonness and yet a separateness, in an interesting and unique blend of individualization yet commonality. My sports friends enjoy things like hockey and lacrosse for example, while some others may enjoy music more than sports. I enjoy the mix of people that I can associate with. I do not like when things stay the same for too long, so this keeps everything fresh. The familiarity of old friends brings a sense of security and the new people bring growth into my ever evolving life. At The Beginning My name is Braden Bartoshewski, I am 17 years old and I like many different things in life. I didn't even know what postmodernism was until a few weeks ago. However, the more I learned about it, the more I realized that my life could easily be classified as postmodern. I will take you on a journey through the elements that illustrate the postmodern aspects of my life. These points include: black humour and playfulness, consumerism, pastiche, simulation, technoculture, expectations, and challenging meta narratives. Another way that my life is involved with simulation is with video games. All video games are simulations of real life experiences, whether it be sports related, action based or anything else, it is all simulation. I enjoy playing video games such as Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Forza and NHL. Call of Duty simulates the experience of war. Suddenly anyone can feel like they are in the military, feeling like they are actually fighting. With the improvements in graphic quality over the years, the simulation just keeps getting more realistic. Another game which has very realistic simulations is Forza, a racing game. The game uses the models of each and every car, based on their real life performance, to make it seem as close to the real thing as it can get. The way cars can handle, perform and look is all down to the spec, you no longer need hundreds of thousands of dollars to drive a Ferrari, all you have to do is put in the disc and away you go. I also use a special wheel and pedal set to simulate real life even further, it feels like you are actually in the car racing around the streets, all in the safety of your house. Sports games are also very popular, what kid hasn't wanted to play in the NHL? Well now you can, as games keep progressing it keeps getting more realistic. You can even play as a General Manager of a team, or start your way up from the minors as your own player. You can simulate the career of a pro hockey player with the click of a few buttons. An example of this can be seen with music, I don't listen to something just because it's the new popular song, I listen to things that I personally like, I don't care what people think about that. Another example can be seen with curse words, some people are completely against the use of swear words, however I personally challenge this. I think that there are times and places they shouldn't be used, but I don't have a problem with them for the most part, I use them on a daily basis, not that I try to offend people it is just the way I act. But just because I use them does not make them all right, there are words which I don't think should be said regardless of the situation. This ties in with the fact that I challenge that everyone is supposed to be one way, that they can't have multiple sides, I don't think that someone is just what most people see, there's always more to them. Personally i find this true with myself, there are always exceptions to what I feel just like there are two sides to a coin, just because I think that this is how something should be, does not mean that the other side doesn't have good things to it. For example I play hockey and lacrosse, these are normally considered manly sports, guys are expected to be big and tough, and I think that I am to a point. But at the same time there is a softer side of me. This can also be seen as challenging male stereotypes, just because I am a guy doesn't mean I can't have feelings, just because I play lacrosse doesn't mean I can't also be in the fashion show, these things don't make us less of a man. I don't think that men should be classified as being one type, because most of them aren't but they try to live up to this because it is what us as society thinks is right. I feel that this picture shows that I challenge what people think is right or wrong. Here I am flipping off my friend because he purposely hit me with the water in a puddle. He knows that I am only kidding around but this shows that I am not afraid to show people how I feel. Another meta narrative which is challenged in my life is the nuclear family, although I have two parents and a brother, it isn't necessarily a nuclear family. This is shown in a sense that all my life both of my parents have worked, my mom works two jobs, seven days a week, instead of being a stay at home mom who takes care of the kids like a nuclear family. Also my brother who is seven years older than me moved away to school when I was still decently young, which caused a big change in the family, it was no longer the four of us. Another expectation in my life is to try and have everything laid out and to have a plan, but I have a lot of temporal distortion in my life. I try to plan ahead for things so that I have an idea of how things are going to go, but most of my life lies in the moment decisions. I don't do things in a particular order, it is all how I feel at the time. This is demonstrated with something like homework, some people do it when they get home from school, others later in the night, I'm sort of all over the map with it, it all depends on how my day went and what I feel like at the time. "A major problem we have is trying to find a useful definition of post-modernism. Most definitions are hopelessly vague and often inconsistent with each other." (Barry Burke)
I found this statement to be true. From the beginning of my research into postmodernism, it was very difficult to wrap my head around the idea of what it actually was. It was only after a great deal of reading that I feel I finally understand it. In Burke's article he said that according to Daniel Bell "we now live in a 'knowledge society' run by University-trained professionals and a technical elite whereas before we lived in an industrial society run by industrialists and employers." (Barry Burke) I think this is slowly starting to take place in society as more and more jobs require a University degree. This is part of the big push to go to University, it creates a lot of expectations like I stated earlier. The disillusion is that even with the University degree, we will not be guaranteed these good paying jobs. Dino Felluga said that "we therefore no longer acquire goods because of real needs but because of desires that are increasingly defined by commercials and commercialized images, which keep us at one step removed from the reality of our bodies or of the world around us." (Dino Felluga) As I already discussed, this is called consumerism; we see products promoted in commercials and we feel like we need them. We truly believe that the sports equipment will help us to play better. This can be easily accomplished by advertisers by using celebrities to promote products. For example, if I see my favorite hockey player using a new stick then suddenly I want to have the same one. "Postmodernism then is the critique of grand narratives, the awareness that such narratives serve to mask the contradictions and instablilities that are inherent in any social organization or practice." (Mary Klages) "It is no longer a question of a false representation of reality, but of concealing the fact that the real is no longer the real" (Jean Baudrilliard) "In postmodern societies, anything which is not able to be translated into a form recognizable and storable by a computer will cease to be knowledge" (Mary Klages) Works Cited Burke, Barry. "Post-modernism and Post-modernity." . N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan 2013. Michael, Jessup. "Truth: The First Casualty of Postmodern Consumerism." . Christian Scholar's Review, n.d. Web. 10 Jan 2013. Jean, Baudrillard, and Poster Mark , eds. "Simulacra and Simulations." . Stanford University Press, n.d. Web. 10 Jan 2013. Jean, Lyohtard. "The Postmodern Condition A Report on Knowledge." . Manchester University Press, n.d. Web. 10 Jan 2013. Dino, Felluga. "Modules on Baudrillard: On Postmodernity." . N.p.. Web. 10 Jan 2013. Mary, Klages. "Postmodernism From: Literary Theory: A Guide for the Perplexed." . Continuum Press, n.d. Web. 10 Jan 2013.
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