PostModern Blues

My resistance to post-modernists is huge. Partly because I think they make the dissident movements effete by their convenient generalizations. Partly also because I don’t see the vagueness as clearly as they do. Either of us has to be less intelligent to perceive the halos. Let me be the one, then.
In the meantime, I found Stuart Hall in his “On postmodernism and articulation: An interview with Sturat Hall”, (ed. Lawrence Grossberg) say this about Baudrillard. How very accurate. Did I tell you how much I love this man, Hall, who refuses to be a mere legend.

“Let’s take Baudrillard’s argument about representation and the implosion of meaning.This seems to rest upon an assumption of the sheer facticity of things: things are just what is seen on the surface. They don’t mean or signify anything. They cannot be ‘read’. We are beyond reading, language. meaning. . . . I think Baudrillard’s position has become a kind of super-realism, taken to the nth degree. It says that, in the process of recognizing the real, there is nothing except what is immediately there on the surface. … But there is all the difference in the world between the assertion that there is no one final, absolute meaning – no ultimate signified, only the endlessly sliding chain of signofication, and, on the other hand, the assertion that meaning does not exist. … Therefore, I don’t agree with Baudrillard that representation is at an end because the cultural codes have become pluralized. I think we are in a period of the infinite multiplicity of codings, which is different. We have all become, historically, fantastically codable encoding agents. We are in the middle of this multiplicity of readings and discourses and that has produced new forms of self-consciousness and reflexivity.”
(from Journal of Communication Inquiry (1986), 10(2), 45-60)

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Author: Saswat Pattanayak

Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Photographer, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black power comrade, Peacenik, Anti-capitalist, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite…

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