Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Post-Modern Problem

We are moving more and more into what is being called the Post-Modern era. If Modernism (starting with the renaissance and moving through the Enlightment all the way up to the 20th) can be defined as the realization of an objective truth that all things must fall under. Post-Modernism (starting at the late 20th century) can be seen as an objective truth that is built up by the individual truth present in all things. Instead of having the Modernist umbrella in which all things fall under, post-modernity can be seen as the numerous spokes needed in order to hold up a wheel.

At its best Post-Modernism is inclusive as it affirms every individual's experience as part of a greater truth.

At its worst Post-Modernity can inspire the illusion that an individual's experience is the greater truth, or worse, that there is no greater truth.

We find Post-Modernity at its worst in a over tolerant generation of youth who cling to the catch phrase "whatever" as they come across people with a different way and view of life. Everyone's experience is valid experience of life -no matter what.

We find Post-Modernity at its worst in many people who claimed to have been abducted by Aliens confusing an emotional investment into the imagination/False Memories with reality and real memories. (Not to say that an abduction can't happen. Just that studies have proven that many of these experiences are generally caused by an over-active imagination.)

We find Post-Modernity at its worst in the cult of che and fidel. The reality of che and the negative experiences that many people had with che is out balanced by the subjective emotional response that many had with the movie "The Motorcycle Diaries." The suffering that goes under fidel is blinded by the idea that there is an equal distribution of wealth in Cuba -an idea that many third world countries find attractive and thus espouse without ever checking out the facts.

Moreover, I think it is safe to say that the emotional investment that many an alledged alien abductee uses to obscure reality, and the idea that ones perception of truth is indeed the whole truth, is the same symptom that plagues those who idolize the likes of che and fidel. The reality of Cuba today, the suffering the Cuban's experience takes a back seat to the emotions of an individual who idealizes a modicum of che's thought, or of fidels actions, and charges it with their feelings. In search of a savior they succumb to an appearance and make a fictious reality their own.

When this type of person is pressed, the presence of an objective truth is shaded to ones own understanding of the situtation. My truth is Truth. This personal and ultra-subjective understanding sometimes gets translated into the "spirit of a person." This is, however, more than fitting given that one who belongs to the cult of any image (not only che's) places an emotional investment on their ideal, or spirit, and ignores the history, or reality.

The cult of che/fidel is only the tip of the iceberg. And addressing, clarifing, and denouncing why a given person follows the likes of these losers over others: actual greats like MLK, Ghandi, and Romero is a must. Not only for Cuba, but for the future of our world. Post-Modernity is already present and it's not going away. Now, if the next 100 years are a Dark Ages or an Enlightment will depend on the rigor with which we seek, fight, and defend the existance of a greater truth. Will we succumb to the loss of a greater truth and delve further into a subjective relativism, or will we realize that the sum of every person's experience equals a greater truth.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for having an open mind, just not open to the point where our brains fall out.

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