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My Postmodern Life

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Sarah Marshall

on 4 June 2012

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Transcript of My Postmodern Life

My Postmodern Life Sarah Marshall Postmodern Articles McGregor Klages Burke Baudrillard Lyotard Postmodernism you ask? What is postmodernism? Well, MY LIFE. How?

A little thing called... METANARRATIVES Society has a stereotypical image of a woman. Some one who can cook up a storm, enjoys baking Christmas cookies, and can keep a house clean like no one else can. A women is motherly, and takes care of all the laundry. She is always "picture perfect". They need to be provided for, and taken care of. Women have a good sense of taste and style and are very fragile and gentle. Every Man's Women The Breaking Of Anyone who has ever met me, knows this is probably the exact opposite of who I am.

“Postmodernism then is the critique of grand narratives, the awareness that such narratives serve to mask the contradictions and instabilities that are inherent in any social organization or practice. In other words, every attempt to create “order” always demands the creation of an equal amount of “disorder” (Klages 4). A women? That's basically forgein language to me. I do not cook or bake. Ask me the score of last nights game, I can do. Ask me how to cook spaghetti, you're out of luck. I don't even cook for myself, so why in the world would I cook for anybody else.
Cleaning is also not my area of interest. I like a clean room, but if someone else made a mess in the kitchen, it's not my problem. Same goes with laundry. I'm seventeen years old and have never done a load of laundry in my entire life. I wouldn't call myself a feminist, but I don't need a strong, protective man to define me either. I hit the gym when I can, and could probably lift more weight than half of the guys at my school. I've been playing guitar since I was seven and could shred more solos than any guitar player that I know. Ask me to hangout on a Sunday? Not happening. That day is devoted to watching football. I'm not your average soap-opera watching woman. Football takes up the majority of my television watching.
I've played sports all my life, and I am not afraid to get a black eye from an elbow to the face in basketball, or to get knocked over playing soccer. I've been playing soccer on a co-ed team for the past three years. I also enjoy the occasional ski or run.

I'm also not considered an "ideal" woman because I love to eat. I eat healthy when I can, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't fall for a Big Mac or half price chicken wings more than occasionally. The Teenager Teenagers in general are viewed as delinquents. We drink, smoke, experiment with drugs, vandalize, leave messes in public, and party whenever possible.
Teenage girls specifically, are seen as drama-starters. We gossip, spread rumors, and isolate other girls from our groups. Teenage girls are moody and hormonal, and talk about boys all the time. Teenagers copy every little thing from their friends and think every fight is the end of the world. “Grand narrative (what one has always been told and taken for granted) means the collection of “modern ideas” we have come to know that profoundly affect the way society is organized, our roles in that society, and the power relationships between institutions in that society” (McGregor 2). Teenagers do have a role in society and represent a certain group of people. However our role is not always viewed as positive, and quite often teenagers are grouped together into a negative aspect of society. This metanarrative may prove true for some people out there, but definitely not for me in any way. I don't drink at all. I've had a sip here and there but I can honestly say I have no interest in drinking. I've never in my life taken any kind of drug, and will never even experiment with marijuana or anything else. I have a horrible conscience, and therefore could never steal or vandalize anything without bawling my eyes out and turning myself in ten minutes later. Sure, I've been to a party or two in my lifetime, but that's it. I by no means party whenever I get the opportunity, and would much rather stay home and watch a movie.

I am a girl, and I do get moody and temperamental at times, but so do boys! Men do the exact same thing, but woman get blamed more because of "the time of the month". Believe it or not, our conversations do not always consist of boys. The main topics of conversation with me and my friends currently are university and exams!

Society has this perceived image of what a teenager is, and what they do when they're with their friends. I'm sure there is a few teenagers out there that fit this stereotype, but I am not one. Just because I've heard that a serial killer was thirty, does not make me believe every thirty year old is a serial killer. Society has too many negative expectations of teenagers, and I go against every single one. “Popular culture postmodernism is defined as being preoccupied with the idea of novelty and is fascinated with the current (latest, most recent) with contemporary innovations, and with whatever happens to be in vogue” (McGregor 4). Technoculture Team blackberry or team iphone? Facebook or Twitter? Tumblr or Pinterest? Skype or MSN? Everyday a new software or version of software is created and updated. Communication is now at our fingertips, and we can reach almost anyone at any time from anywhere in the world.

“We have become dependent upon technology and industry and addicted to consumerism; we value competition in a free market economy as a good thing... These unintended side effects of modernization, merging with growing consumerism during the 1960s, have lead us to the emergence of postmodern thinking” (McGregor 2).

The majority of people in the world have come to depend upon technology for work, school, and even to stay in touch with friends and family. I'm able to follow my favourite celebrities on twitter to make me feel more involved in their lives. I've gotten to the point where I don't know my bestfriends birthdays without checking facebook to see the date. We now need our phones and computers to remind us of appointments, birthdays, special events and even as reminders to meet up with someone or to call our grandpa. According to our postmodern society, you do not exist or have any value if you are not apart of social networks such as facebook. Groups are now created for school projects, switching shifts at work, and even for providing information about prom and graduation. A facebook group was recently made for all grade 12 stduents at Sir Winston to give information about the graduation breakfast. What happens if you don't have facebook- such as my friend Anna? She wasn't able to find out about it, and she almost missed the date to pay because we forgot to tell her.

“Popular culture postmodernism embraces consumerism and claims that anyone who resists it is unable to come to grips with the paradigm shift that we are experiencing” (McGregor 4). My work, McDonald's, relies heavily upon the use of technology. All book-off requests and schedule posting is done online through a program called NTEX, and we even have a computer in our crew room for easy access to our files. All managerial work is filed away on computers and faxed between other McDonalds' daily. So what happens when NTEX, the program used for our schedules, breaks down? Complete chaos. When NTEX messes up, it causes a huge inconvenience for all employees. The fact that we have to take time out of our day to stop by work and check our schedule makes a lot of people angry. We almost always have people who forget to check the schedule and therefore don't show up for their shift. They claim they "didn't know they worked".

“In postmodern societies, anything which is not able to be translated into a form recognizable and storable by a computer—i.e. Anything that's not digitizable-- will cease to be knowledge” (Klages 4). Television also plays a huge role in many people's lives. My work availability for example, is shaped around the time of my favourite television shows so I'm home to watch them. One of the many reasons why I'm apprehensive to go away to school next year is because I won't have full access to a TV, and I'll miss some of my shows.

“Many postmodernists would argue that image is everything, image is reality. Real life is what we see on television, television becomes real life” (Burke).

Two specific television shows have actually pushed me into the career that I'm aiming for. "Flashpoint" and "48 hours Hard Evidence" are two criminal/ policing shows that began my interest in the criminal field of work. I don't have any family members involved in the legal system and I honestly don't believe that I would have developed an interest for this area of work, if not for those two shows. I've chosen to study Criminology& Victimology. Consumerism “Popular culture is obsessed with technology, mass communications, mass marketing, the therapeutic orientation, and conspicuous consumption- all tools for the propagation of newness, novelty, and consumerism” (McGregor 4). Why is a Mac so much better than a PC? Why are ipods the "norm" and mp3 players a joke? Don't they do the same thing?

My family and I are 100% a result of consumerism. Each year we spend thousands of dollars on material items that make us feel more in-the-loop and up-to-date with everyone else in our society. We always want the newest and the best of everything. I often allow myself to be defined by the things that I own. I recently just bought a $1300 (on sale) MacBook Pro. Why? Because "its the best". With the purchase of my macbook, I now have three personal computers. A desktop in my bedroom, a netbook laptop and now a macbook laptop. So why did I use all of my own money to buy a macbook? Because I needed a good computer for university. But why wasn't my netbook laptop a good computer?

Advertisements and companies are constantly telling me that an apple product is better than any other product. The high price must prove that it's the best.
I've had the computer for about a month now, and there is honestly not a big difference at all from my PC to the Mac. Sure the 3D effects are cool, but for practical use- its the same to me. I don't use any of the special editing software, imovie or iphoto that some people buy macbooks for.

I bought my macbook 100% based on consumerism and the need to have the best I can get. My whole family is also into this consumerism society as much as I am. We have 9 computers in our house (3 desktop and 6 laptops). Two days after I bought my macbook, my Dad bought an ipad. He also has an ipod touch that he never uses.
All four of us made the decision to stick to Blackberry, and we all own the new type of Blackberry Bold 9900.
Almost every room in our house has a TV, including the kitchen. This adds up to 7 TV's total. Who needs that many?! Technology isn't the only way in which I'm a consumer. The majority of our furniture in our house is from IKEA, including my bedroom set. IKEA has a modern style to their designs which my family loves. That, and the fact that everyone else loves IKEA too. I tend to buy clothing where it is most popular, and often don't pay attention to the price. American Eagle, Forever 21, and Arlies are just a few. I also buy name brands such as UnderArmour and Nike.
I'm sometimes willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a few pieces of clothing and shoes.

Although I don't find anything wrong with purchasing clothes from stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army- I personally don't go out of my way to shop at those locations. Black Humour “We are all unique and have our own distinctiveness but we also have much in common” (Burke 7). Black humour is when a serious topic such as death, rape or disease is joked about lightheartedly and sarcastically.

This is the definition of my sense of humour. I constantly visit websites such as 9gag and failblog, which are filled with black humour jokes.

These sites aren't for everyone because they sometimes take a sensitive topic and turn it into a joke.

I'm also able to watch death scenes in horror films and flat out laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation- while watching someone die on screen. Even the most current issues in the media, such as the man who was under the influence of bath salts (LSD) and attacked a homeless man, makes it way onto 9gag within days. This is very true in the case of black humour. Most of my friends have the same type of humour as I do, so we have a lot of inside jokes that aren't exactly considered nice.

For example, one of my friends likes a boy at our school that has no idea she exists. We nicknamed him "CP" which stands for "cancer patient" because a photo of him on facebook makes it look like he has cancer. Punk'd is a TV show that I often watch, where celebrities try and "punk" other celebrities. They have an outrageous event happen and have actors and props to try and make the other celebrity believe that what's happening is actually true. Some examples are:

-Made Justin Timberlake believe his house and possessions were being seized by the government for lack of payment
-Made Pete Wenz believe he accidentally derailed a train
-Made Taylor Swift believe she blew up a wedding yacht
-Made Cody Simpson believe he was walking in on a home robbery at his house

Sometimes the celebrities cry and are actually afraid of being arrested. The whole thing is a joke and they have no idea until the end. This is the kind of humour I live for, other people being upset or terrified because they have no idea its a joke. I find a lot of stand up comedy hilarious as well.
Dane cook is one of my favourites, and he often jokes about topics such as poor, poverty stricken children, disease and death. Pastiche Intertextuality Works Cited and Consulted Baudrillard, Jean. “Simulacra and Simulations.” Diss. Print.

Burke, Barry. “Post-modernism and Post-modernity.” Diss. Print.

Klages, Mary. “Postmodernism.” Diss. Print.

Lyotard, Jean- François. "The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge." Diss. Manchester University, 1984. Print.

McGregor, Sue. “Postmodernism, Consumerism, and A Culture of Peace.” Diss. Mount Saint Vincent, Print. <http://www.kon.org/archives/forum/13-2/mcgregor.pdf>. Not only do I borrow lines from movies and TV shows, but also a lot of my moral standpoints are influenced by these media outputs. I've learned at a young age from my favourite TV show "Boy Meets World", that not everyone is going to like you, but to push through and show them that your capable of whatever you put your mind to. I've learned a lot about friendships and family, and a lot about relationships. I watched as a group of friends grew up together and was able to experience all of their trials and tribulations along the way. This has influenced how I treat people today, and also my outlook on life in general. Baudrillard discusses the media culture phenomena by saying, "Contemporary media (television, film, magazines, billboards, the internet) are concerned not just with relaying information or stories but with interpreting our most private selves for us, making us approach each other and the world through the lens of these media images" (Baudrillard 2).

Intertextuality is when a form of media is taken and used in another form. Intertextuality is used on a daily basis within my group of friends. We constantly borrow lines and actions from a variety of movies, books and TV shows to communicate with each other in ways that others don't always understand- which incorporates postmodernism into my everyday life. We often draw lines from the movie, "The Hangover". “Totality, and stability, and order, Lyotard argues, are maintained in modern societies through the means of “grand narratives” or “master narratives”... Lyotard argues that all aspects of modern societies , including science as the primary form of knowledge, depend on these grand narratives. Postmodernism then is the critique of grand narratives” (Klages 3). I've noticed lately that I've been taking certain sayings from jokes off of 9gag, and using them in everyday conversations. It is completely unconscious, but I've been saying "le" instead of "the" a lot because of a line of comics often showed on 9gag. I've seen enough of them that they've seemed to have made their way into my sentences. Pastiche is the blending or mixture of different genres. Life in general consists of many different genres, from romance to tragedy, and from comedy to drama. Pastiche in the postmodern light is accepting the fact that every genre does not have to be equal. As said by Burke, "This relativism with everything being equivalent or anything going with anything sits uncomfortably in a world that can be quite frightening for those who hanker after an ordered world" (Burke 6). My life is sometimes a tragedy when a loved one passes away. Whether it's an aunt, grandmother, cousin or even a pet. Recently my family dog Bonnie passed away unexpectedly, and my life was in a complete upheaval for many weeks.
My life is sometimes a comedy when my friends and I take time to joke around and have a good time. It's safe to say that my life has been spent much more in a comedy then in a tragedy. My life is also sometimes a drama. Every family has their issues, so whether its a fight over how I work too much, or a big decision to make about university- there is never a lack of drama in my life. “Postmodernism, like modernism, follows most of these same ideas, rejecting boundaries between high and low forms of art, rejecting rigid genre distinctions, emphasizing pastiche, parody, bricolage, irony, and playfulness” (Klages 2).
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