This is a transcript that has been generated by YouTube. There are likely some errors and problems with spacing. It is unfortunate, but I simply do not have the time to fix all of the errors. However, I do believe that it is important to give people another way of accessing the information. 

Here is an audio link to the episode: Episode 2


welcome to the neutral ground podcast
i'm your humble host joe meyer
so today we're going to take a deep dive
into modernism
and if there are two words that can best
sum up
this major historical movement that
takes place roughly between the late
19th century and
just prior to the beginning of world war
ii
it's probably
kurtz's final words from
joseph conrad's novella the heart of
darkness
the horror
the horror
yeah
this is not a particularly
happy
movement quite honestly
but it's a very important one for us to
consider and learn from because as i
mentioned in the first episode of this
podcast it's my belief that our current
historical movement
very closely aligns itself
with modernism
which is why i'm i'm calling our
movement here and others refer to this
as well
i think neo-modernism
best sums up
our current state of culture our current
state of time here
so where do we begin well actually the
first place i want to begin is by
clarifying some language
you might hear me every so often
make a mistake and it is a mistake and
refer to this time period as modernity
that's actually incorrect
modernity refers to
roughly
the changing of the world after 1500 or
so
where we enter into what many scholars
refer to as the modern world
and so
modernity is technically any time after
again that roughly 1500 mark or so so
we're in modernity right now actually
modernism is the correct name for the
actual
movement that takes place for the
collection of beliefs and ideas that
come out of that movement as well
again between roughly the late 19th
century and just prior to world war ii
so if you hear me saying modernity is
please forgive me it's a slip up and i
should not be making it
i'll do my best to avoid that today
so
how do we characterize
modernism
well
for me modernism is best characterized
as a kind of
redefining
or kind of maybe a better way is a re
reconceptualization
and an attempt to reconstitute the human
being
against the
well i'll just come out and say it
against the horrors
of the modernization of the world
again doesn't this sound wonderful yeah
so
what exactly is so horrible about this
well
you have within this
major movement you have quite a few
different sub movements
and events that take place
for example you've got the flapper age
right think of
the works of f scott's fitzgerald
often considered high energy
often considered kind of a almost a
wasteful time as well
in terms of wasteful spending
and then that leads of course to the
panic and the crash
and you have economic depression
think of the works of steinbeck of mice
and men the grapes of wrath
you also have the harlem renaissance
again a time of great energy
think of the works of langston hughes
and you also have
the defining
event of
i almost said modernity
you have the defining event of modernism
which is
world war one
and of course you can think of the works
of hemingway here a farewell to arms
and even afterwards you've got the sun
also rises
now if that's not enough
you also have
a loss of
a religious
sense
what i mean by that is
it's not just that they were grappling
with the idea that nietzsche brought
forward of
god is dead which by the way there's a
lot more to nietzsche and his whole god
is dead thing we'll talk about that in a
separate episode of the podcast but it's
not just that they were trying to
grapple with
the loss of god
the issue is
they were trying to also grapple with
the loss of the value structure
that came with judeo christianity
that had such a profound effect
of giving order
to society and to a large extent meaning
as well
we also have modern psychology being
born out of modernism
with freud and jung so you have
psychoanalytic study
for a great number of
mood disorders that appear in modernism
and
what were some of the things that the
human psyche was grappling with well in
addition to that loss of god structure
you also have this
this bifurcating effect of yearning or
being pulled
toward fragmentation
everything seemed to be dispersed and
fragmented the human species was
fragmented quite a bit and yet also this
yearning for reunification
and that created a kind of longing
in the human being in the human mind
and perhaps the best way to describe it
is the way that critic sanjay bahun
beautifully states in the book modernism
and
melancholia modernist nostalgia if such
existed
was a melancholic nostalgia
a rebellious struggle with an unknowable
lost object and the sometimes
debilitating symptoms it is left in its
trace
a combat which as in every good
psychoanalytic tale
binds the repressed trace of the past
the aberrations of the present
and the unpredictable future
all that to essentially say
there's a type of
nostalgia involved here
and oftentimes we tend to look at
nostalgia as a very positive thing and
it can be right
if it's if it's held in the
right place
what i mean by that is nostalgia is
great for a brief moment in time
however if you are living
in
nostalgia it can be quite debilitating
to the psyche because it means
you're disconnecting from the present
and denying yourself
a future
and that's somewhat what was happening
here in modernism because of this
simultaneous fragmentation
and longing for reunification
but there's also
the best way i can describe it is
something of a heart of darkness
here in modernism as well there's a
shadow that looms over it
and a stench of death and forlorn-ness
all around
we often call the generation that lived
in this time the greatest generation
and with good reason
although given the chance i'm sure they
would have rather been born either a
time before or a time after modernism
but make no mistake about it
the greatest generation
was forged out of modernism
and out of the difficulties that it had
to deal with
so i've painted a pretty happy picture
so far right
okay let's deal with some good here what
can be good
in a time period where so many things
have gone wrong where we've seen so much
destruction and so much
horror
where do you look for good
the answer is you find pockets of
goodness
and you hold on to them
small gestures
like holding hands or sharing a smile or
a laugh
goodness in modernism becomes very small
very controlled
and it's not something that lasts
it's something that the people
of modernism know
is very fleeting
and it's understandable when you think
of again those major events
that happen at the time
great depression world war one
you can't help but feel
the oppressive weight of these
horrible events and so
what is there to be exuberant
about
not much
so you don't necessarily look hard to
find good
you don't search for it
but when you do it's usually something
that's very small and controlled
but you're quite grateful for it
and that is something that we seem to
have lost
quite a bit today
is being grateful
for our small pockets of goodness
okay so have i sufficiently bummed you
out yet
no good you're still listening excellent
so let's take a look at some modernist
literature actually
and let's unpack what's going on in
these
great pieces of literature here i've got
three things for you
for today we're going to take a look at
t.s eliot's love song of j alfred proof
rock
which is published in 1920
we're going to take a look at a section
of stephen crane's the red badge of
courage which is published in 1895
and then we're going to take a look at a
piece of literature that technically
speaking
was published
during
post-modernism in 1953
however i would argue that it resides in
this kind of neutral space
it has
strong elements of
modernism to it
and strong elements of postmodernism and
so that'll be a nice text for us to use
as a transition between modernism and
postmodernism
and that's flannery o'connor's
a good man is hard to find published in
1953. so
here's what i'm gonna do i'm gonna read
sections of the two
the two ladder pieces red badge of
courage and
a good man it's hard to find but i'm
gonna read the entire poem of the love
song of j alfred proofrock
and as i do so
i want you to practice some of that
active listening that we talked about in
the first episode of the podcast
i want you to
listen to what i'm saying
and when a thought strikes you
don't be afraid to pause
pause the podcast
and let it hit you a little bit
think about what is being said and think
about its utility
for today
i have a couple of different sections of
the poem that we're going to look at
together but
really give yourself an opportunity here
to practice
just sort of listening
and enjoying literature again because
it's a wonderful poem
okay here we go
let us go then you and i
when the evening is spread out against
the sky like a patient etherized upon a
table
let us go through certain half deserted
streets the muttering retreats of
restless nights in one night cheap
hotels
and sawdust restaurants with oyster
shells streets that follow like a
tedious argument of insidious intent
to lead you to an overwhelming question
oh do not ask
what is it
let us go and make our visit
in the room the women come and go
talking of michelangelo
the yellow fog that rubs its back upon
the window panes the yellow smoke that
rubs its muzzle on the window panes
licked its tongue into the corners of
the evening
lingered upon the pools that stand in
drains let fall upon its back the soot
that falls from chimneys slipped by the
terrace made a sudden leap
and seeing that it was a soft october
night curled once about the house
and fell asleep
and indeed there will be time for the
yellow smoke that slides along the
street rubbing its back upon the window
panes there will be time there will be
time
to prepare a face to meet the faces that
you meet
will be time to murder and create in
time for all the works and days of hands
that lift and drop a question on your
plate
time for you and time for me
and time yet for a hundred in decisions
and for a hundred visions and revisions
before the taking of toast and tea
in the room the women come and go
talking of michelangelo
and indeed there will be time
to wonder do i dare and
do i dare
time to turn back and descend the stair
with a bald spot in the middle of my
hair
they will say how his hair is growing
thin
my morning coat my collar mounting
firmly to the chin my necktie rich and
modest but asserted by a simple pin
they will say but how his arms and legs
are thin
[Music]
do i dare disturb the universe
in a minute there is time for decisions
and revisions which a minute will
reverse
for i have known them all already known
them all
have known the evenings mornings
afternoons i have measured out my life
with coffee spoons
i know the voice is dying with a dying
fall beneath the music from a farther
room
so how should i presume
and i've known the eyes already known
them all the eyes that fix you in a
formulated phrase
and when i am formulated sprawling on a
pin when i impinge and wriggling on the
wall then how should i begin to spit out
all the butt ends of my days and ways
and how should i presume
and i have known the arms already known
them all
arms that are braceleted in white and
bare but in the lamplight down with
light brown hair
is it perfume from a dress that makes me
so digress
arms that lie along a table or rap about
a shawl
and should i then presume
and how should i begin
shall i say i have gone at dusk through
narrow streets and watched the smoke
that rises from the pipes of lonely men
in shirt sleeves leaning out of windows
i should have been a pair of ragged
claws
scuttling across the floors of silent
seas
and the afternoon the evening sleeps so
peacefully
smoothed by long fingers asleep tired or
it malingers stretched on the floor here
beside you and me
should i after tea and cakes and ices
have the strength to force the moment to
its crisis but though i have wept and
fasted wept and prayed though i have
seen my head grown slightly bald brought
in upon a platter i am no prophet
and here's no great matter
i have seen the moment of my greatness
flicker
and i have seen the eternal footmen
hold my coat and snicker and in short i
was afraid
and would it have been worth it after
all after the cups the marmalade the tea
among the porcelain among some talk of
you and me
would it have been worthwhile to have
bitten off the matter with a smile to
have squeezed the universe into a ball
to roll it towards some overwhelming
question to say i am lazarus come from
the dead come back to tell you all
i shall tell you all
if one settling a pillow by her head
should say
that is not what i meant at all
that is not it at all
and would it have been worth it after
all would it have been worthwhile after
the sunsets and the door yards and the
sprinkled streets after the novels after
the teacups after the skirts that trail
along the floor and this
and so much more
it is impossible to say just what i mean
but as if a magic lantern through the
nerves and patterns on a screen would it
have been worthwhile if one settling a
pillow or throwing off a shawl
and turning toward the window should say
that is not it at all
that is not what i meant at all
no i am not prince hamlet nor was meant
to be am an attendant lord one that will
do to swell up progress start a scene or
two advise the prince no doubt an easy
tool deferential glad to be of use
politic cautious and meticulous full of
high sentence but a bit obtuse
at times indeed almost ridiculous almost
at times the fool
i grow old
i grow old
i shall wear the bottoms of my trousers
rolled
shall i part my hair behind
do i dare to eat a peach i shall wear
white flannel trousers and walk upon the
beach
i have heard the mermaids singing each
to each
i do not think they will sing to me
i have seen them riding seaward on the
waves combing the white hair of the
waves blown back when the wind blows the
water white and black
we have lingered in the chambers of the
sea by sea girls wreathed with seaweed
red and brown till human voices wake us
and we drown
so
what do you think
what thoughts popped into your mind as
you heard this any particular lines
stood out to you
well let me walk through some of these
sections with you a little bit here so
we can develop some meaning that we can
use for even today as well
the first section that i want to look at
here
is actually when the speaker says i am
lazarus come back from the dead come
back to tell you all i shall tell you
all
of course if you're familiar with the
reference here the illusion here lazarus
is from the bible
and lazarus of course is raised from the
dead by jesus so
lazarus has a kind of cosmological
knowledge that we should all be
interested in right
if you could meet lazarus then he tells
you i come back from the dead i have
something to tell you you would think
that we would all want to listen right
we'd want to hear this information tell
us lazarus what is the afterlife
like
and yet instead
you get this image
of someone simply pulling a pillow up to
their head
and lying down almost and saying that is
not what i meant at all
that is not it at all
this kind of dismissiveness
of grand knowledge
of deep knowledge of cosmological
knowledge
and it reminds me
of when i first heard
that scientists had cracked the human
genome
i can very specifically remember
learning this information and there were
people around me at the time
and i kind of said
hey wow that's pretty that's pretty
amazing you know we've been
working on this for quite a while and
this really could lead to some
really great
medical breakthroughs right that can
help a lot of people and i remember just
the feeling that
nobody really cared
like it wasn't really that big of a deal
picture a kind of like twitter feed
almost thing right so you've got like
kim kardashian comes out with new
line of clothing
we've broken the human genome
lebron james scores 32 points
in a finals game
and not to take anything away
from
kim kardashian and lebron james but
that middle part there
of cracking the human genome
is a big deal
and yet in some sense news in general or
information in general has all become
mixed together
and somehow equaled
by this massive
machine that we've created
and not just social media media even
before that in general was was heading
that route
we've made it so that all information
seems to be equal
and so
we can't find ways to share
in great information it's become more
difficult than ever even though we have
more access to information than we've
ever had
we're so fragmented again similar to
modernism
fragmentation
we're so fragmented that we can't find
ways to connect with each other for
big news
you know matters that are
of great concern to all of humanity
there's also the part of the poem where
the speaker sort of continually asks do
i dare
do i dare or not dare to do something do
i disturb the universe
the speaker says what a fantastic idea
right
do i disturb the universe
there's a problem
of action
in this poem and loss of heroism or loss
of vitality here right
one of the saddest sections
but the most one of the most profound
ones is toward the very end when the
speaker says i have heard the mermaids
sing
i do not think they will sing for me
of course mermaids
come from a lot of folk tale stories
and they usually represent sexuality
vigor excitement and temptation
but more than anything there there's
also
they represent temptation
from your fate
from your glory they'll pull you
off of your path your destiny
will the speaker
be pulled from
his path of destiny
no
because the mermaids no longer recognize
him
as a vital force
and we need
no matter what age we are we need
to preserve a kind of vital force
a sense of of destiny a sense of
adventure
a path
toward
purpose
there are two things that you can never
lose
as long as you're alive on this world
you cannot lose hope
and you cannot lose purpose
there's also this
line that's easy to gloss over
where the speaker says i measure out my
life in coffee spoons
and it's a great line because
it's about
how even our
ceremonies at times
are ceremonial acts which are supposed
to be ceremonies are supposed to be
about sacredness about rites of passage
big deals
and yet i know for myself
i have my morning routine which has
become a kind of ceremony something that
i can't live without
where i get up i use the restroom and
then i go and i make my coffee
and i measure out my life
coffee spoons
and i think of my poor wife who
gets the most unromantic grunt of
existence from me prior to my first cup
of coffee in the morning
and so there's a kind of
loss a loss of adventure in thinking
about our everyday
modern ceremonies
you know i'm not
going out and
hunting a mythical beast i'm just making
coffee
it's kind of a sad
a sad thought and this is again some of
the
some of what the
individuals in modernism were lacking
were this kind of ceremonial connections
to humanity
especially with the loss of religion
that usually provided that kind of
ceremonious
the ceremonious reading of humanity or a
ceremonious rites of passage in that way
we also see the extreme disconnect
between humanity
through a lack of language
to be able to successfully convey
feeling or meaning
you hear the speaker say it is
impossible to say what i mean
and you hear the people say that is not
what i mean
well that is not what i meant at all
and so what happens to human beings if
we
cannot use language to successfully
convey
how we feel
think of this how many times today
do you hear someone say you know you
just don't understand you're not me
oftentimes that can create a kind of
frustrating connection between the two
individuals the one who is saying you
don't understand me
and the one who's standing there
who wants to understand the other person
actually
so where is the failure in that
we have to accept the fact that it could
be that the individual
really does not have
access to sufficient language to express
their feelings
in which case all the other person can
do is actually accept
that disconnect
now that's a pretty horrific thing to
think about isn't it
but you can see how
that insufficient language to represent
a feeling can create the kind of
fragmentation that we talked about
throughout this episode in terms of the
modernist
fragmentation but also you can see how
again in neo-modernism in today
how this insufficient language
to express how we how we're feeling
about ourselves
a feeling of insufficient language to
express our sacred self-narrative that
we
tend to create in neo-modernism
how that adds
to the fragmentation that we feel even
today
because you never actually achieve
genuine connections and genuine
understandings with each other
okay let's move on to our next piece of
modernist literature and that is stephen
cranes the red badge of courage
if you've never read the novel
it's about a young man named henry
fleming
and henry wants nothing more than to
join the union army in the civil war and
test his might in battle to earn his
glory
now crane
uses a lot of homeric language meaning
homer from
ancient greek the orator who gives us
the iliad and the odyssey
he uses a lot of homer
in a sense to show that this is
something that is almost built into our
very dna
that there's a kind of yearning to go to
battle
and to test ourselves
with our life on the line
and what i want to show with this
novel here is that
in modernism
there's a kind of rethinking
of what it means to be heroic
and you'll understand i think once we
put it all into
proper perspective here
why
modernist thinkers thought that we might
need
to reconceptualize
heroism
the first thing i want to do here though
is i actually want to read
a very brief section from the iliad
itself from homer in order to set the
scene properly for red badge of courage
so the iliad is an epic poem
of the trojan war
but more specifically they kind of tell
you in the very opening line
of the of the iliad what it's really
about and that is
sing omuse of the rage of peleo's son
achilles
in many ways the epic poem is a story of
rage
not simply the rage of achilles but
there's plenty of rage to go around in
the epic but nonetheless
achilles the great greek warrior
finds himself at one point with a choice
to make
and he's given that choice by his mother
the goddess fetus
and here's what we read in the iliad
achilles tells us
my mother thedis a moving silver grace
tells me two fates sweep me onto my
death
if i stay here and fight i'll never
return home but my glory will be undying
forever
if i return home to my dear fatherland
my glory is lost but my life will be
long
and death that ends all will not catch
me soon
okay so achilles sees two paths in front
of him if he stays and fights the
trojans
he will gain tremendous glory and glory
in the ancient greek world
was not
riches
it was a sustainable narrative that
could outlive
your mortality so if he stays in fights
he'll have you know a great victory and
of course you know if you've read it he
fights the great trojan hero hector and
defeats him
but if he goes back home if he chooses
not to fight he's going to have a long
prosperous life
a domestic life
but he won't have
the glory of that sustainable
narrative
of course achilles stays and fights
hector and wins and gives back the body
after he takes it and disgraces it to
hector's father king priyam
and then achilles is eventually
shot in the
achilles heel good job by paris hector's
brother
and so
we are to this day
still singing the story of achilles
whereas we're not singing the story of
achilles the farmer
so it's interesting how homer
fits this into he makes the
he makes this come to life of course by
telling us the story of achilles we are
in fact
sustaining his glory here
well henry from the red badge of courage
also has this
path in front of him
and it's henry's mother who also gives
him in a sense this option
between the two
and there's a beautiful part here where
the narrator of the story tells us
what henry's mother is thinking
when she's told that he already enlisted
behind her back
the narrator tells us
she could calmly
give him meaning henry many hundreds of
reasons
why he was a vastly more importance on
the farm
than on the field of battle
now listen to that language again for a
second
many hundreds of reasons
crane could have easily
said something like hundreds of reasons
or thousands of reasons or many reasons
but listen to just the cadence of that
again
she could calmly give him
many hundreds of reasons
you can hear crane trying to raise the
level of his language here to an epic
level
to create this kind of cadence to show
just how important
this moment is
and more than that
it's not that she can just give him
henry important reasons that there were
vastly
more important
reasons for him to stay on the farm
you see again when you think about the
major events of modernism
the extreme amount of pain suffering and
death
the loss
of so many
families so many individuals
it's easy to understand why in modernism
you have a kind of reconceptualization
of heroism being
a domestic one
rather than see your loved one
go out and fight and die
there is something about the importance
of keeping the family together
now that's not to take away
from
the importance of war sometimes
it's simply
something that we
can understand
and so you have this reconceptualization
of the
that there's heroism
in domestic life
and the hope of course in that what we
can take away from it
is that when you
are home and doing the best that you can
to be a good member of your family
there is something there to take pride
in
you are getting your medal tested in
trying to be a good
parent
good child a good sibling
there is glory
in that
now finally here i want to take a look
at
a section from
flannery o'connor's a good man is hard
to find
and again
this is published in 1953 which
technically
puts it
in post-modernism however there are very
modern elements to it
and if you've never read the story
before
i am going to spoil it a bit here
but i will just tell you
great literature
is never spoiled
it doesn't matter if you know the ending
the path reading it right the actual
journey that happens when you read it
that's the beauty
so if you've never read it you should
read it
it's quite an interesting text i'll just
kind of sum it up as best as i can
by saying there's a family
and it's got a husband a wife
and one little girl and one little boy
they're probably around nine and 11 i
think they give the ages but i can't
remember it off the top of my head and
there's also a grandmother as well
who's the mother of the husband
and the grandmother is a
bit self-centered
bit of a scatterbrained
individual and she's able to trick the
family
in a sense
in going on a trip to go see this house
that she
remembers as a child so you've got again
that longing that we talked about
earlier for reunification the kind of
melancholy
nostalgia
and
on this trip
which turns out
she has the wrong house
she doesn't remember it correctly
on this trip the family gets into a car
accident and they get kind of
trapped in a ditch
now all the while that this is happening
there is a killer on the loose
called the misfit
and sure enough
as they're trapped in this ditch a car
shows up
three gentlemen and they get up and i
mean they get out of the car and they
say help those people out of that ditch
and they help them out and then the
grandmother says oh i never met i
recognize you you're the misfit and
you're like oh
granny
why did you do that
and the two gentlemen who are with the
misfit they take the
mother and daughter
and then the husband and son
out into the woods
and they kill them
and you're just left with
the grandmother speaking to the misfit
and the grandmother is trying everything
that she can to convince the misfit that
he's a good man
and that he comes from good blood
and he doesn't have to kill her
and there's a religious element here to
the story that doesn't often get
discussed
with as much attention as it as it
probably should or isn't given as much
attention as it should
because it tells us a lot
about how the misfit becomes
what he is so let me just read a couple
of sections here of the very end
finally she found herself saying
jesus
jesus
meaning jesus will help you
but the way she was saying it it sounded
as if she might be cursing
yes some the misfits said as if he
agreed
jesus shown everything off balance it
was the same case with him as with me
except he hadn't committed any crime and
they could prove i had committed one
because they had the papers on me
of course he said
they never shown me my papers that's why
i signed myself now i said long ago you
get a signature and sign everything you
do and keep a copy of it
then you'll know what you've done and
you can hold up the crime to the
punishment and see do they match
and in the end you'll have something to
prove you ain't been treated right
i call myself the misfit he said
because i can't make what all i've done
wrong fit what all i've gone through and
punishment
so let's stop there for a second
in this brief section you're seeing
you're seeing the convergence in a sense
between modernism and to a degree
post-modernism
in modernism you do have
a turning away from institutions
a kind of distrust
and the misfit here is saying
the institution the justice
system couldn't really prove to me
that what i had done deserved
the kind of punishment that i received
there's this kind of imbalance in the
world
again a kind of
disconnect if you will
and then he continues
he says
jesus was the only one that ever raised
the dead the misfit continued
and he shouldn't have done it
he's shown everything off balance
if he did what he said then it's nothing
for you to do but throw away everything
and follow him and if he didn't
then it's nothing for you to do but
enjoy the few minutes you got left the
best way you can
by killing somebody or burning down his
house or doing some other meanness to
him
no pleasure but meanness
he said
and his voice had become almost a snarl
think about this for a second right that
longing for
reunification that loss of
of religion
that takes place in modernism
the problem
and nietzsche again
he sort of saw this from the beginning
the problem is
when you kill off
that sacredness of god
you have to
put something in its place
at least
in order to make up for the loss of
values that come with it
and here you can you can actually see
the misfit there's there's a a part in
the story where the misfit says if i
could have been there
if i could have just seen it
and he's referring to the fact that if
he were
born
when jesus walked the earth
and could have just
seen it himself
he could be religious he could believe
he would
he would be
good
and of course if you're familiar with
the bible at all you're thinking
well
there's your doubting thomas story right
thomas had to see
in order to believe it and jesus tells
him blessed are those who believe
who haven't seen
the misfit is searching
for that kind of belief
that kind of transcendence
something greater than the structure of
flesh and bone and humanity
and when he can't find it
the only thing that can
that can fill that void of feeling is
actually to do harm
to do evil
in some ways because that seems i think
more natural
than to do good
steve pinkerton the scholar
talks about this kind of idea a bit in
his book blasphemous modernism
and
he kind of says although most scholars
tend to focus on the disconnect and
modernism between the individual and
religion there's still this yearning for
transcendence that i spoke about right
and
what pinkerton talks about essentially
is that there's also this yearning to be
both loved and chastised
by a godfather figure to blaspheme
because that
blaspheming
is in a sense still a recognition
of a kind of divine structure in place
of a kind of value
system in place
because by the end of modernism all that
is left is mankind
and who is more untrustworthy than
mankind
and that will lead us into the
skepticism
of postmodernism
so what can we take away from modernism
well
no matter how bad things might seem in
the world
there is good
there is hope
this neo-modernist world that we live in
currently has many of the same character
traits as modernism
fragmentation the yearning to redefine
what it means to be human
which is why we are feverishly
developing our sacred narratives of the
self
in order to establish and find meaning
in an increasingly mechanized world
modernism also shows us that language
has been fragmented before as it is now
where it seems like everything we say
today is either insufficient to explain
our feelings or it's whisked away by the
people who like in elliot's poem
say that is not what i meant at all
that is not it at
all there are still
connections that need to be made
between humans that need to be
strengthened
bolstered and
maintained perhaps the most pressing
thing that we learned from modernism is
that you cannot simply throw aside the
importance of sacredness
that we need transcendence in order to
believe in something greater than
ourselves
however we have to make sure that we are
indeed transcending ourselves and not
simply worshiping ourselves
mankind often makes a poor choice for a
deity
finally i would say we've learned to get
the heck out of modernism as quickly as
possible
because it's not exactly a place you
should want to be
so for next time let's move out of
modernism
and enter into post-modernism
a movement that is
um
interesting
to say the least
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