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savannah jones

on 5 April 2011

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Transcript of Postmodernism

MY POSTMODERN LIFE BY: SAVANNAH JONES “A new social formation has emerged which is generated by random activities of lost individuals trying to make sense of the world and their place in it." Sue McGregor I desperately want to explain the previous quotation, but I will let minimalism take it’s place and not say anything at all. Initially, I wanted to write an excerpt of how my life is postmodern or modern. I actually did write an introduction of both sides, but I couldn't choose just one of them. After finishing the entire written part of the project, I concluded that I am only postmodern, or only modern. Yes, this is my future self talking to my former self. I wish to god you didn't put so much effort into your intros that you're not even using. Well, I suppose you can look at the two if you'd like, but only if you'd like. POSTMODERN INTRODUCTION Throughout talking about the postmodern unit in English class, I feel as if we have been challenged to examine ourselves as postmodernists living in a postmodern society. We have touched on modernity a little bit, but not as much in comparison to postmodernism. Being the person I am, I’ve always fought for the under dog. Even in conversation, or an argument, I pick the side that doesn’t have any weapons to battle with or shields to defend itself. I don’t know why this is, but it’s just the way I am. Due to this trait, and the lack of concentration on modernism, from the get go, I wanted to argue my life as a modernist. After making this decision, something didn’t sound right to me. By challenging the “meta-narrative” of this assignment, doesn’t that make me a postmodernist? A big aspiration for the everyday postmodernist is to be different. By wanting to bask in the glow of modernism, I am being completely contradictory. Who am I kidding? I’m a postmodernist. MODERN INTRODUCTION Maybe I’m not a postmodernist being postmodern by trying to be a modernist, but I am a modernist living in a postmodern world. Everything about this earth is postmodern. A straight forward modernist can get consumed by all the chaos around them, even tricking themselves into thinking their way of living is wrong. Maybe I am a boring modernist who desperately wishes to be someone I am not. The life of a postmodernist is one without rules or boundaries and is full of imagination. Who wouldn’t want that? This is the one time it's okay to be egotistic. This project is all about me and how my life relates to both postmodernism and modernism. FAMILY Family members, besides best friends, are the only people who will see you at your worst and still accept you with opening arms. This is not the case for everyone, but thank goodness it is the case for me. I have been blessed with one of the best families that anyone could ever ask for. My mother, otherwise known as Beverley Jones, is extremely kind-hearted and would do absolutely anything for me. By saying she would do anything for me, I mean she literally does everything for me. The average 18 year old knows how to cook, clean, and take care of their basic needs. As embarrassing as this sounds, I don’t know how to cook, do my own laundry, or many other basic household chores. I challenge the meta-narrative every single day when I bring my lunch made by my mother to school. I often get made fun of for my lack of independence, but it doesn’t bother me too much because the perks definitely make up for the embarrassment. As stated before, my family is very kind to one another, almost to the point of being too kind. My family suppresses all selfish emotions to help one another. A common argument in my moms side of the family is that we all do too much for each other. Michael Jessup says in his article that “Consumerism has had a profound effect on the family” (Jessup, 8).This statement applies to my bloodline because my family constantly feels the need to buy each other things to express their love. It’s not that they don’t show it or say it, but they want to express it in as many ways as they can. For example, as I was leaving for my trip to Halifax to see my sister, my mother was frantically searching for things that she could give my sisters fiances son. She was rummaging through my old books and toys and asking me what would be appropriate. After what she thought wasn’t enough things to give, she went out shopping for very pointless objects to give to show her kindheartedness. When I gave my sister the things to disperse, she looked at a frisbee my mom bought for Alex, the son, and thought it was for the dogs. She then looked at the dog toys that were actually for the dogs and questioned if the dogs actually needed them or would use them. My mother had the kindest intentions, but didn’t really think about the usability of the objects she bought. Common Face As A Result Of Mom's Gifts My family gets so worked up about money that it actually creates arguments and does more harm than good. Michael Jessup states that, “Postmodern consumerism destroys love” Jessup, 5). This applies to my family because we are so worked up about giving someone material goods, that we forget why we are doing it. My mother doesn’t drive anywhere that requires a highway to get there, so we rely on my Aunt Kay to do most of the driving. My aunt offers because she loves us and wants to help out. After the drive, my mom will always try to give her money for the help, but my aunt refuses to accept it. This simple transaction then turns into a big riot with everyone mad at each other. Another example is whenever my family goes out to eat. Everyone will offer to pay the bill, which leads into this big altercation. Although my family thinks they are doing a good dead, we are killing our love for one another with postmodern consumerism. MUSIC Music is an art that I extremely appreciate and is something that has helped me through some tough times. I can be considered a modernist in the sense that I think music, and art in general, can save the world. Here is a scene from the movie that depicts of views on art: "It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. And that's the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and... this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... and I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in. " I am constantly looking up new music because I’ve realized that there is an endless amount of good quality artists out in the world who I will never have enough time to experience. I want to try to be as musically rounded as possible before I leave this earth because I think it is one of the few things that brings unity and beauty to the world. Whenever I hear a beautiful song, I literally feel shakes run up my body. I normally don’t want to meet the musicians in person because then I realize that they aren’t Gods and are only normal people who sing and play instruments. I listen to a variety of different kinds of music. My ipod consists of a pastiche of artists who have a pastiche of genres into their music. One artist in particular by the name of Sufjan Stevens represents the previous statement very well: Unfortunately, after listening or looking at something for an extended period of time, the meaning can be lost. The following picture sums up my fear of listening or looking at a piece of artwork too often. FASHION
Over the past few years, I have had a love hate relationship with fashion. Sometimes I scavenge the latest magazines and websites for the latest trends, while at other times, I could care less. At the beginning of high school, it was always about the prices. If two tops looked identical, but one was cheaper than the other, I would often buy the most expensive one. I would associate the higher cost with higher quality, and I wanted to have what everyone else had. EW In Michael Jessup’s article, Truth: The First Casualty of Postmodern Consumerism, he states, “Lifestyle advertising is about differentiating oneself from the Joneses, not as in previous decades, keeping up with them” (4, Jessup). It’s nice to know that I wasn’t the only one trying to keep up with myself at the time, but like the quotation suggests, that is not the case anymore. I have stopped focusing on having what everyone else has, in an attempt to find originality. Unfortunately, so has everyone else. As Baudrillard stated, everything is a copy of a copy. This is why I think the so called hipster trend will come to an end sooner than later because a hipster is someone who wants to look different, but there are so many people trying to be hipsters, which is something each person in this stereotype fears. This brings me back to my first statement about my love hate relationship with fashion. I used to try so hard to be different, but once I realized it was impossible, I’ve lost a little bit of interest. I still find fashion a beautiful art, but maybe not as much as I used to. The postmodern irony of the situation has turned me off. This might be a little embarrassing, but I used to take fashion photographs for a website called lookbook. People give hypes for the pictures they gravitate towards. I actually did pretty well with a few looks and received around 70 hypes from different people around the world. I will admit that it did give me a little confidence and I will upload or look at pictures from time to time. http://lookbook.nu/savannahj EDUCATION
Learning new things and attending school has been the main focus of my 18 years on earth. When I was in elementary school, I always had the highest grades. I would try extensively to be the best that I could be. I even received the math award in grade six. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. In grade seven, I made the decision to join the french immersion program at Dalewood middle-school. Nobody in my family spoke french, so it was completely up to me to do well. Once the teachers started to speak fluent french in class, my marks dropped. There was nothing I could do about it either because learning a language comes with time. Finally, after receiving mediocre marks, I entered high school. At Sir Winston Churchill, I made the quick decision in grade nine that I wouldn’t put too much effort into my classes. If I got a good mark, then awesome. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have to do the class again so it wouldn’t matter. The single song, “In The End” by Linkin Park reassured me that my views were correct. I’m not quite sure if this has helped me in the long run or has hindered me, but at least the song let me know that if I fail at something, it doesn’t really matter. This belief pretty much continued all throughout high school. I kept telling myself that I would try to get good grade in grade twelve, but when grade twelve arrived, I went back to my old ways. I learned that in order to get accepted into the majority of programs at university, I would only need a 75 average. In semester one I received one 94, and two 85’s, so I believe that I am set and don’t really feel the need to try ridiculously hard. I haven’t completely always shared this belief, as I do remember sometimes trying to get extra marks, or studying all night. When I did try to get higher marks, I feel was when I received high marks to begin with, so i wanted to keep them up. Pressures from my family who wanted me to succeed and from other peers seeming to constantly receive high 90’s was probably my biggest push to get the marks I received. In Barry Burke’s article on Post-modernism and Post-modernity, he says “Any ideology or social theory justified human action as a means to progress or order was condemned as meaningless” (Burke, 3). According to this quotation, I have a post-modern philosophy on the world. I accept that now I am living now, and I will eventually die. I wish that I had the motivation to succeed, but I just don’t want something as much as the people I see around me. I look at people who have died in the past and realize that it doesn’t matter what they did in their lives, so why should it with mine? I’ve come to the conclusion that I can do anything with my life that I want. I don’t have to get an education if I don’t want to, but I know realistically that I do need one because I will need to make income in some way or another. My views on education is definitely challenging the meta-narrative because everyone around me tells me that my marks matter. I understand their opinions, but I don’t think they are right. It really depends on what you think is a need. I try not to value my self worth by my grades, which I think a lot of people do. I want to leave this part of the presentation with a rather cheesy teenager quotation that makes a lot of sense to me. FUTURE CAREER & MONEY As a grade twelve student, I have been bombarded with the pressure of choosing which university I want to attend and what career I should choose. This decision has been very difficult for me because there isn’t really a specific job that I find interesting. I have a lot of interests, but I have a hard time narrowing it down to just one thing. I live under the roof of my mother, so I don’t have to pay for much of anything. I have a job at Dairy Queen so I do get money here and there for working a few hours a week. I also receive 200 dollars from my father each month to pay for things that I want. My mother is not rich, but I have never felt financial insecurity because of the money I receive every month. Even though I do not live with my father, he is well off and I do reap some benefits. Due to the way I have been brought up, I don’t think I completely understand the value of money. Whenever I want something, I try not to let money stop me. Despite this belief, I actually don’t spend a lot of money on things though. This is not because I don’t want to see my balance in the bank dwindle, but because I believe everything is overpriced. It makes me so mad to see people working at a job they hate just to get by. This one documentary has really changed my perspective on the economy. It is an adult animation, my favorite genre, which by the way I don’t think gets enough credit, about how banks are running the economy and how it is almost impossible to live the ideal American dream. I highly recommend watching it if you get the chance: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/american-dream/ Sorry for my rant about money, but I thought it was necessary to explain my view of income in order for you to fully understand why I feel the way I do about my career choice. Back to my future career. My father is paying for my education, so maybe that is why I have not put much thought into what I want to be because I feel like I am directly not paying for my decision if it is a bad one. This might sound selfish, but I do think I can afford for my first year to take whatever courses I want to find out what I like. There is one program at University of Ontario Institute of Technology that I do find interesting above the rest. It is called game development and entrepreneurship. I have always been interested in video games. Some would say that is breaking a meta-narrative because most video game lovers are males. When I went to the UOIT open house, I was told that the ratio is 15:1, males to females. It is not so much that I enjoy playing video games, I do, but I really appreciate it as an art form. I feel like there are so many different elements that go into creating a game like computer programming, art and business. I find all of these traits very interesting, so I think this career could be a good fit for me. The only down side is that the program isn’t flexible, and there hasn’t been much research, because it is new, as to how employable it is. Due to the fact that I have been living at home, I really don’t know how much money I need in order to be satisfied with myself. I believe that I will be fine as long as I like my job, but people in the workforce have told me that I should really look into how much a job pays. In Dino Felluga’s analysis of Jean Baudrillard’s view of Postmodernity, he states, “We 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” (Baudrillard, 3). I feel as if everyone around me has adapted to this postmodern view of consumerism. I might just be trying to convince myself that I am not like that because I find it disgusting, but I won’t know how I really feel until I am out on my own. RELIGION Having the certain views I have in regards to succeeding and failing has left me at a confusion with religion. I grew up in a christian Anglican family, who believes in the Lord, but doesn’t exactly worship God as believers should. My aunt is the only person in my family who strongly believes in religion, but over the past few y (ears, she has stopped going to church. It has never been a regular event for my family to go to church, but we have attended and still do attend on special holidays like Easter and Christmas. I stopped believing in the idea of God living up in the sky around the age of twelve and have never really gone back to the idea. I am very envious of people who have found God and feel like they will go to heaven when they die. Having this belief would make life so much easier. Thinking that everything happens for a reason would make my life less stressful at difficult times. Unfortunately, I believe that everything is coincidence. Burke states, “It is quite easy to see how the rise of religious fundamentalism seems attractive to some people afraid that their world is being undermined.” I completely agree with this statement and wish that my postmodern mind would not see the world as a bunch of coincidences without meaning. In the same article he writes that “Post-modernity according to Zygmunt Bauman, does not seek to substitute one truth for another. It braces itself for a life without truths, standards and ideals” (Burke, 6). If Bauman is correct, I have a very postmodern mind in the sense that I believe no matter how hard we seek, we will never find truth. We must accept the world the way it is and stop trying to find meaning in our lives. Whenever something bad happens, you could almost say that I find it to be black humour. This postmodern technique, as I’m sure you already know, finds laughter in unfortunate situations. If anything bad happens to me, I tend to laugh, because it is the only thing that I can do. It might be a coping mechanism, but this postmodern technique does help me from time to time. Black Humour ASTROLOGY Astrology is a very confusing topic to categorize as postmodern or modern, especially considering how those definitions are considered to be very loose. In Sue McGregor’s article Postmodernism, Consumerism and A Culture of Peace, she states “Modern myths include supernatural and outer space” (McGregor, 2) If it is based on Sue McGregor, it can be said that astrology is not modern because it can be considered supernatural. On the contrary, astrology is based off of science and the stars, so it really depends on an individuals perception as to what they think astrology is. Having grown up with my mother, who is fascinated by astrology, I have become quite intrigued as well. I am not so much a believer of the everyday fortunes, as I am a believer of the descriptions of personalities based on the time of year someone was born. Having read countless descriptions of Capricorns, I think that I am very much my zodiac sign. Capricorns are associated with being practical, reserved, humorous and careful. I believe that I am all of those things. Whenever I want to know more about someone, I find out what sign they are. Sometimes it can be difficult to pick out what sign someone is because there can be different sides to one zodiac. For example, the typical Aquarius is someone who does not see boundaries, tries to shoot for the moon even if they know it might not be possible, and does not care about what people think. It might appear as if these traits are associated with someone who is loud and eccentric, they often do, but there are quiet Aquariuses too. It all depends with how someone is raised, but the hidden aspirations and views are commonly shared throughout people with the same zodiac sign. It could be argued that I find poiounmena in the month that someone is born. Being born in January means that I was born in January, but it really means that I was born with certain traits that will map out my life. WORKS CITED Baudrillard, Jean. “Simulacra and Simulations.” Stanford University Press. 1988. Web. 27 March 2011.
Burke, Barry. “Post-modernism and Post-modernity.” (2000). n.d. Web. 27 March 2011.

Felluga, Dino. “Modules on Baudrillard: On Post-modernity.” Introductory Guide to Critical Theory. 28 Nov 2003. Purdue U. 27 March 2011.

Jessup, Michael. “Truth: The First Casualty of Postmodern Consumerism.” Christian Scholar’s Review. XXX.3 (2001). 289-304. Web. 27 March 2011.

McGregor, Sue. “Postmodernism, Consumerism, and A Culture of Peace.” n.p., 3 October 2003. Web. 27 March 2011.

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