How You See It and How You Don’t
Postmodernism is a social construct that affects our clear realities and therefore is able to change. With postmodernism there is no absolute truth. Postmodern thought seeks to deconstruct/ de- stabilize traditional paradigms or ways of thinking and once again, creating the idea that there is no “universal truth.” I believe Postmodernism becomes paradoxal as it describes a new understanding within a modernistic perspective that has not reached a postmodern theory, so in a sense we are within the modern trying to categorize it in the postmodern.
Jean Baudrillard emphasizes his article on simulations and hyperreality. His primary example is looking at Disneyland and how Walt Disney’s theme park covers up reality with imagination. Disneyland is made up of fictional characters, however, it resembles what is real what is not, but also what can be considered as real. Disneyland is not just a pace where children can roam free with their imagination, but also how adults escape time and enter a world of simulations. Baudrillard makes a key point about simulations that in order for Disneyland to continue functioning, simulations of simulations needs to exist.
Postmodernism is a tough word to define since it is not something concrete rather really vague. One can conclude that postmodernism refers to the thoughts and ideas out fourth in western ideas are primitive and need to progress. Mike Featherstone mentions how modernity came from the Renaissance era and that there is this debate between ancients and moderns. Featherstone states, “modernity is contrasted to the traditional order and implies the progressive economic and administrative rationalization and difference of the social world. ” In other words modernity differs from time-honored order.
I came across this illustration on Google, which I found represents how postmodern brings a new way of thinking, but to an extreme. This article depicts the debate of modernity versus postmodernism. The cartoon clearly brings up the issue of moral relativism. As I tried to explain I think there are universal truths. However we may be limited to our point of view, so we can only capture a part of reality. That does not make it the truth even if we believe it to be so. For example, no one can see the universe as a whole but we can see parts of it at a time. But we should not mistake that part with the whole. We should also be conscious of the limits of our consciousness and accept that others just like us are limited to their point of view and influenced by many subjective factors. We also may see the same image but process different parts of it, or even interpret the exact same aspects differently. What does not change is the image but rather how it is perceived. So reality does not change but rather its interpretation. This can be applied to many things. Post modernism promotes the idea that individuals can conceive the same reality in different ways. Which opens the door too much more abstract interpretations
The postmodern condition is able to morph into some other denotation when someone else criticizes it. Postmodernism is useful as a critique just as Marxism can be a useful critique within the social sciences, but if one becomes too much of a “true believer he or she slips away from the science and into the realm of poetry, art, imagination, or Disneyland (Baudrillard’s example). Even postmodernists look both ways before crossing a city street. Again, we should use its caveats about subjectivity to critique science and the roles of gender bias, institutional myopia, etc., but should not base our entire life on postmodernism.
 Modern and Post Modern, Mike Featherstone, pg. 425
Rosie, i found your blog very interesting, I have to say that I agree that Postmodernism is very hard to define but you did do a good job grasping an understanding of it. I'm also in agreement with you that we live in the modern, our own version of course, because what would we say twenty yeast from now that its Post post modernism? i think that is one of the issues with modernism. I like your cartoon and it is true you see things a different way that others and we may see the same thing differently. It's like that saying "the glass half empty" or "the glass half full".