Postmodernism, Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism

Two guys are sitting in a movie theater.

They’re watching something ‘inspired by actual events.’

One of them can’t stop crying. Loudly and horribly, like his mother just died.

The other one feels uncomfortable and tries to intervene.

“You know, things didn’t happen that way in reality. There was no love story. There was no attractive protagonist faced with a moral dilemma. Yes, a lot of people died, but in a way that was more like disgusting, less meaningful to your personal experience, with fewer implicit criticisms of the moral failings of your culture as a whole. It’s only a movie, bro.”

The one guy looks up, angrily wiping the tears from his eyeballs.

“I KNOW that. What do you think I am, an idiot?”

“You just seem awfully upset.”

“I AM awfully upset. “I wish they,” he gestures at the screen, “would hurry up and get it over with already.”

“Well, why don’t you walk out?”

He rolls his eyes and wearily slouches deeper into his seat. “Because. They’ll just be playing this out there, too.”

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8 Responses to “Postmodernism, Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism”

  1. So are movies getting more realistic, or is reality getting less attractive, moral and meaningful?

    Speaking of the relationship between cinematic reality and “real” reality, I just put up some summary observations on Patrick’s book.

  2. carolime Says:

    what movie did you see? bro.

  3. this is good, or at least its good about something not good. Sort of Kundera-ish. This might be a good style for the internet, a nice variation from circumlocutions of arguing stuff via citations from difficult books. Could also slot into speach from pulpit. Kundera was maybe too tied into 80s liberalism to really influence much after, for fashion reasons as much as anything, but the style worked, at least I thought so.

  4. traxus4420 Says:

    thanks everyone.

    i’ve been thinking about actually blogging again. maybe in a week or two.

    my exposure to kundera is limited to the movie version of ‘unbearable lightness of being’ with daniel day-lewis. i got off a little on its sentimentality, which is kind of unusual for me, though it might’ve just been nykvist’s camera. i can’t figure out if i even like bergman really because of him.

    carolime, you’ve read some kundera, say something about it.

    ktis – yeah i glanced at your review, wanted to say something about it but now it’s looking like it will go unsaid. the comment interview is interesting, both in itself and as a concept. sometimes i wonder if the long virtual afterlife of patrick’s book has anything to do with it’s not having a major print run. the most obvious result is that the book has never had a poorly written review. though i feel like everyone unjustly leaves out the artwork.

  5. traxus4420 Says:

    oh yeah, this writing style is very internet-friendly and much more fun to play with than my hegel paperbacks. can’t take credit for it though. can kundera? google ‘sentegraph’ and see what you come up with.

  6. ‘unbearable lightness of being’ with daniel day-lewis.

    I haven’t seen. Maybe sort of casts it into a traditional narrative structure, awkwardly, like the film of Naked Lunch

    yeah, the sentegraph kid, Nero … very talented. Literature & life. I meant more the coldness of kundera’s style – as if he was presenting a mathematical demonstration of some point. The were modish books from 1992 basically popular because the proved that gentlemen of culture had a mediocre lifestyle in communist czechoslovakia. This cold, math lit quality wasn’t part of the appeal, in my opinion.

  7. carolime Says:

    i didn’t really think of kundera at first… i think this is a little more directed or linear– more focused maybe than i categorize his work. his stuff feels warmer/humaner, too, than this little episode, traxus.

    i think the sentegraph is a pretty powerful little gem to toss around; it makes everything so much more serious and thought provoking to line-break more frequently. the carriage returns are for deeeeeeeeep thouuuuuughts.

  8. yeah humane – but rather abstract

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