POST-MODERNISM… STILL NOT A THING! HULK’S RESPONSE TO SAM STRANGE

SAM STRANGE IS A MYSTERIOUS INTERNET PERSONALITY AND FREQUENT BADASS DIGEST CONTRIBUTOR WHO CLAIMS TO HAVE MADE MOVIES AND WRITES ABOUT THE EXPERIENCES.  IT/HE’S HILARIOUS.

HE ALSO HAS A BLOG. AND ON THIS BLOG HE RECENTLY WROTE A GREAT RESPONSE TO HULK’S POST MODERNISM… NOT A THING! ESSAY. RATHER THAN BE OBTUSE AND PASTE HIS WHOLE ARTICLE, YOU SHOULD CLICK AND READ IT. IT NOT HULK-SIZED (HE HAVE THE SOUL OF WIT… YOU KNOW, BREVITY… UNLIKE HULK). BUT BASICALLY HE BROACH THE SUBJECT AND PUT FORTH EXAMPLES THAT BEST CHARACTERIZE WHAT POST-MODERNISM REALLY MEANS. IT REALLY WELL-PUT AND HULK WAS TRYING TO WRITE A COMMENT, BUT FAILED FOR SOME REASON. BUT THIS ACTUALLY GOOD BECAUSE THE COMMENT WORKS BETTER AS A “PART TWO” TO THE ORIGINAL POST. SO HERE WE GO.

THE FOLLOWING IS HULK’S LETTER OF RESPONSE:

HELLO MR. STRANGE. HULK THANK FOR THE GREAT RESPONSE. THIS IS SORT OF THE EXACT KIND OF DISCUSSION HULK WAS LOOKING FOR GOING. IN OUR CORRESPONDENCE, HULK PROMISED A SHORT ANSWER… THAT SO HERE’S THE BEST TRY.

HULK SUPPOSES THE PROBLEM IS ULTIMATELY IN THE WORD AND NOT YOUR ASSESSMENT.

WHAT YOU SPEAK OF IS, INDEED, ACCURATE AS BEING LIKELY OUTSIDE THE DEFINITION OF TRADITIONAL MODERNISM. THOUGH HULK ARGUES SELF-REFERENTIALISM ISN’T OUTSIDE THE MODERNIST TEXT (JUST LIKE THE QWANTZ CARTOON’S STATEMENT ON POST-MODERNISM), BUT HULK UNDERSTAND WHY THIS IDEA NOT SO POPULAR. STILL, IF HULK HAD TO BOIL IT DOWN INTO A SIMPLE SENTENCE IT WOULD BE THE FOLLOWING, “POST-MODERNISM IS NOT OUTSIDE THE TEXT OF MODERNISM.” HECK, PUT IT THAT WAY AND IT SOUNDS FAIRLY STRAIGHT-FORWARD.

BUT THERE IS A LARGER WAY THAT YOU ARE, OF COURSE, RIGHT. WHAT SHAKESPEARE WAS DOING LATE CAREER, PARTICULARLY WITH YOUR GREAT CYMBELINE EXAMPLE AND HULK’S EXAMPLE OF SHAKESPEARE PLAYING PROSPERO… WELL IF THOSE THINGS AREN’T CLOSE TO WHAT WE CONSIDER “POST-MODERN” THAN HULK DOESN’T KNOW WHAT ELSE COULD BE.

SO THE PROBLEM JUST COMES BACK TO THE DAMN WORD ITSELF: “POST-MODERN.” UGH. PERHAPS IT JUST AS SIMPLE AS HULK THINKING THE WORD JUST NO GOOD. A WORD HAS TO MEAN SOMETHING AND IT, QUITE FRANKLY, JUST DOESN’T CONVEY INFORMATION CORRECTLY FOR HULK TO THINK IT HAS ANY PRACTICAL USE. EVEN IN THE HIGHEST-BROW ACADEMIC CONVERSATION, IN ORDER TO USE THE WORD YOU HAVE TO DEFINE HOW YOU USING IT BEFORE USING IT. AND THAT HULK’S PROBLEM, REALLY. IT NOT CONVEYING INFORMATION CORRECTLY.

ITS AN ARGUMENT HULK HAS ALL THE TIME. WORDS HAVE TO MEAN SOMETHING THAT CLEAR. AND HULK TOTALLY AWARE THAT PART OF POST-MODERNISM IMPLIES THE INHERENT LACK OF CLARITY, BUT THERE’S A RELFEXIVE WAY THAT WORKS WHICH HULK FINDS DOWNRIGHT PREHISTORIC. MEANING WHAT POST-MODERNISM DOESN’T REALIZE IS THAT IT IS PRECISELY THE HUMAN INCLINATION TO STRIVE FORWARD AND USE WORDS TO DEFINE, COMMUNICATE, AND MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD PRECISELY BECAUSE NOT UNDERSTANDING THINGS IS THE FIRST OBSTACLE IN SURVIVAL. THUS CLARITY AND UNDERSTANDING ARE NOT ONLY IMPORTANT BUT A PART OF OUR NATURAL INSTINCT (A PRETTY DAMN OBVIOUS ONE AT THAT IF HULK SAY SO HULK-SELF). WE USE WORDS AS THE MOST BASIC PART OF STEPPING OUT OF THE PRIMORDIAL SLIME. MEANING THE PRESENCE OF A LACK OF OBJECTIVE TRUTH IS JUST AS OBVIOUS, MAKING THE VERY BASIC PURSUIT OF SOME KIND OF OBJECTIVE TRUTH, LIKE HAVING A SINGLE WORD FOR “MOTHER” OR “IRRIGATION,” SO DAMN INTRINSIC TO OUR VERY NATURE. HECK COMING WITH THESE WORDS ACTUALLY DOES ALL OF SOCIETIES’ HEAVY LIFTING IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT. AND WHAT’S MADDENING ABOUT POST-MODERNISM IS THAT NOT ONLY DOES THE THEORY ITSELF NOT REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS, BUT THE WORD FOR THE THEORY RUNS COUNTER TO IT.

HULK GUESS HULK IS ACTUALLY CALLING POST-MODERNISM (NOT AS YOU QUALIFY IT, BUT AS HULK DOES) INHUMAN.

SO WHAT WOULD HULK CALL WHAT SHAKESPEARE WAS DOING?

HULK ARGUE USING PLAIN OLD “META” NOT ONLY SUFFICES BUT JUST PLAIN WORKS BETTER.

FOR ONE, IT’S SPECIFIC. PEOPLE UNFORTUNATELY USE THE WORD META TO IMPLY SOME SORTA JERK-OFF MENTALITY, BUT HULK NOT THINK THAT THE CASE AT ALL. CAUSE ALL META MEANS IS SELF-AWARENESS, WHETHER ONE THAT INFORMS THE NARRATIVE OR IS EVEN INCLUDED IN THE NARRATIVE. BUT IT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU STATE, AND UNLIKE USING “POST-MODERNISM” MEANS ONLY WHAT YOU MEAN. AND HULK ARGUE SELF-AWARENESS AND META BEEN A PART OF ART SINCE THE BEGINNING REALLY (THE WORD META IS GREEK, AND THEY ACTUALLY USED IT HOW WE USE IT. WHICH IS PRETTY NEAT IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT).

FOR EXAMPLE, IF WE GOING DOWN THIS CLARITY ROUTE YOU CAN SAY “COMMUNITY” IS RATHER META AND HULK WOULD UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN. IF YOU SAID COMMUNITY IS RATHER POST-MODERN AT TIMES, HULK WOULDN’T. AND THAT’S NOT JUST BECAUSE HULK NOT ON THE POST-MODERN TRAIN, BUT BECAUSE THE WORD SO MUCH LESS CLEAR… AND THAT’S THE THING ABOUT WORD CHOICE.

AND BEYOND ALL THIS, MAYBE IT MEANS HULK HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THE BROADNESS OF MOST TREND DESIGNATION. MODERNISM MAY BE JUST AS UNFAIR AND POST-MODERNISM TO THE ARTISTS IT DESCRIBES. BUT IF HULK WAS MORE LENIENT ON TRENDS… WELL… MAYBE HULK COULD SAY POST-MODERNISM REFLECTS A LARGE TREND OF SHIFTING MODERNIST ABSTRACT STYLE TO A LARGELY META ONE … YOU KNOW WHAT… HULK ACTUALLY KINDA HAPPY WITH THAT TO BE HONEST. BUT STILL, HULK PRETTY SURE THAT NOT WHAT REALLY HAPPENING.

IT ALSO RUNS CONTRARY TO SOMETHING HULK ALMOST SAID IN THE LAST EASSY. BECAUSE HULK WANTED TO END THE ESSAY ON THE BAMFORD JOKE, DIDN’T GET TO SAY THE FOLLOWING: “SO IF HULK BELIEVES ALL WORDS SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE EXPLAINED IN A SINGLE SENTENCE, HERE’S HULK’S SUPER-DICKISH DEFINITION: POST-MODERNISM IS THE POORLY CONCEIVED ACADEMIC THEORY THAT TRIES (AND FAILS) TO COMBINE SEVERAL MODERNIST STYLINGS INTO A COHERENT SINGULAR TREND, THUS DISAPPOINTING SEVERAL LATE-PERIOD MODERNISTS TRYING TO COME WITH TO GRIPS WITH THE FACT THEY’VE GONE AS FAR AS THEY COULD GO WITH A CENTURY OLD TREND INSTEAD OF A DECADE OLD ONE.

… YEAH. THAT WOULD BE SUPER-DICKISH. AND ALSO PRETTY UNFAIR. SO HULK WILL SCRATCH THAT.

HULK’S ARGUMENT PRETTY MUCH COME DOWN TO USEFULNESS. HULK FEEL YOU COULD MAKE WHAT SHAKESPEARE WAS DOING SO MUCH MORE CLEAR BY USING THE WORD META, OR DISCUSSING IT IN OTHER TERMS, WITHOUT EVER INVITING THE WORD POST-MODERN INTO THE DISCUSSION. BECAUSE PART OF THE PROBLEM WITH POST-MODERNISM IS THAT WHEN WE BRING IT UP, WE ARE SUDDENLY DISCUSSING POST-MODERNISM (AND ALL THE PROBLEMS THAT GO WITH IT) INSTEAD OF THE POINT OF WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT. MEANING POST-MODERNISM IS SADLY, ONLY A CONVERSATION ABOUT POST-MODERNISM.

AND PERHAPS THE MOST TELLING THING IS THAT AS SOON “THE SIMPSONS” WENT POST-MODERN IT WAS ESSENTIALLY THEIR DEATH KNEEL… BOO THAT.

CHEERS MON FRER,

<3HULK

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