11 November 2008

The end of plain-vanilla history

The future will be eclectic. To expand on American political writer Francis Fukuyama’s declaration, the history of mono-styles, of singular visions, of discernibly unified movements, is at an end. Postmodernity is the final word, despite the actual term’s vanity and irony. After all, both ‘modern’ and ‘postmodern’ are relative terms. To a person living at any point of human history, his contemporary age would be modern and anything succeeding it would be, naturally, postmodern. In the excitement of concept promotion, it is easy to forget that the terms we contrive are simply for the sake of convenient reference and categorization. Order imposed on Chaos. Humanity administering a dose of reassurance and psychic comfort to itself.

No doubt in the future some intellectual with conceptual gas to burn will concoct a new (and equally ridiculous) label as postmodernity’s replacement. Let us hope that it will be more imaginative than current flaccid examples like ‘post-postmodern’ (those demonstrating such repugnant conceptual laziness are perpetrators of an intellectual crime and should be punished with a lobotomy, sans anesthesia). Still, the characteristics of postmodernity (and postmodernism), both the good and the regrettable, will outlast any succession of strutting pretenders. Human civilization from now on will always be a mixed bag of thoughts and their materialization, a hyper-pastiche of ideas, an oceanic collage of forms. Variety will proliferate and with it the potency of Chaos will forever test the limits of Order trying to contain it.


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