Archive for the ‘postmodern explained’ Category

maybe i can just buy her a drink…

In postmodern explained on 07/17/2006 at 9:26 am
Recently in one of our posts one of commenters was kind enough to respond to a request by presenting a phrase as being ‘non sequitur..’, and it brought to our attention an unfortunate malaise here at our own McGill University ‘ghetto’ where it seems one is constantly pressured to have to remember to speak gobbledygook, jargon, aka abracadabra, double talk, gibberish, jabberwocky, mumbo jumbo, incomprehensible or pompous jargon of Universitas/Academia in order to impress and flaunt the not-who-we-are-but-how-we-sound-saying-what-we-say to keep up with the joneses fearlessly flaunting letters after their name… bsmbaphdmacumlaude.. strung together and spoken fast it sounds disengagingly postmodern, relevant and vaguely insulting all at same time.

As keen observer of cutting edge sociocultural trends, it would be remiss of us if we at brainwashcafe did not in fact have a great interest in reporting to you that there seems to be a disturbing trend towards behavioral decontructive postmodernism in everydaylife around our cafe. Much like American Idol, posturing is now as important as talent when it comes to the fashionable cool intelligentsia crowd. This would not be so pertinent if it weren’t for the fact that some of this f.c.i. sect also are disconcertingly attractive and undeniably sexy. Sigh.
So, in the interest of contributing to all that we believe to be topical and insightful, here then is a quick guide to how to speak properly in order to not only survive the cocktail party circuit, but thrive and cruise that hotty at the SAME time.

First, you must remember that speaking plain talk is NOT the way go. Just repeat over and over the mantra words in your brainspace; obfuscate and obscure. For example, let us imagine you encounter a hot ‘target’ and intend on saying something like,”Umm, you know, I think we should all really try to listen to the views of other people outside of our society in order to learn about biases that influence us“. This may sound honest but is impossibly dull. More importantly, ineffective. You will not go far. Instead, replace “views” with “voices” or better, “vocalities”, or even better, “multivocalities”. Add an adjective like “intercontextual”, and now we are talking. “People outside” is also no go. Try “postcolonial extemporized”, and don’t forget to add the ‘s’ to make “peoples” not ‘people’. Everything counts. To speak postmodern buzzspeak properly you must nurture nuanced vocabulary of biases besides the familiar isms.. racism, sexism, catechism etc. For example, solifidianism (doctrine that faith alone will ensure salvation) will do just fine. Finally “influence us” sounds too plain vanilla. Remember, utilize words that obfuscate and obscure. For example,”mediate our insouciant identities” might do. So put the whole thing together and we have “Hmm..You know, we should really listen to the intercontextual, multivocalities of postcolonial extemporized peoples outside of society in order to learn about the solifidianistic biases that mediate our insouciant identities”. Now that sends shivers down my spine. You definitely had me at “intercontextual”.

Of course you cannot be going around memorizing long obscure lines out of context, so you must cultivate an extensive subset of wordtools and suffixes, prefixes.. and remind yourself at all times that saying the wrong thing is perfectly fine as long as you say it the right way.
You want to say something like, “This place is fascinating”. This is a good thought, but, of course, a non-starter. Rather than “place”, be creative. “The indelible post-glacier gleam of counter intuitive anti architectural contemporaneity” is promising. Try to be more postmodern and always when you can, introduce ambiguity with usage of linked phrases like, “ambivalent/seductivity”. Now namedrop a few iconic figures vague enough to ensure no one had the time or the inclination to read and therefore will sound important. Obscure (there again) Game Theorists are best when in doubt. Augustin Cournot is excellent since he has written a great deal of obsolete and difficult material about special case of duopoly concepts that is a restricted version of the Nash equilibrium. Now string all that together add hyphens and inject critical ‘anti-‘ and ‘post-‘ and we get “Does it seem to you also that this post-glacier gleam of counter intuitive and paradoxically anti-architectural contemporaneity is engaging us to compare an altogether disconcertingly familiar ambivalent seductivity, one exemplified in a neutered Cournotian discourse of ingrained impartiality?”. A conversation stopper. You can go for that pivotal kiss at this moment.

There is always a risk. You may run into someone bright enough to actually ask you what the hell are you talking about. This risk must be carefully confronted head on. Always give the querier the impression that they have missed the point, and nonchalantly say “You know, the inherent instability of your query leaves us with several contradictorily layered choices whose interconnectivity cannot express the logocentric coherency and help that you obviously require. I can only say that reality is more uneven and your misrepresentations more untrustworthy than we have resources here to explore”. Pass that bottle of Chateau Margaux please.

My apologies and thanks to the author of a brief essay on ‘Postmodernism’ read some time ago, whose name nor work can be traced at this time due to my feeble memory and passage of time, and on whose writing the thematic material of this article is ‘deconstructed’ 🙂 Lisa