My Modernist Existential Alienation In Postmodern Society
18 September 2012
I'm probably the least fashionable man in contemporary society. The reason why I receive so many strange stares is due to my choice of clothing. My clothes are rather utilitarian, in many way quite communist. I'm not at all interested nor am I cognizant of current fashion and style trends. My clothes are around 5 years old, if not older. I don't dress according to how others do.
I don't know the names of popular songs nor of the recording artists. I don't watch TV except for the odd episode that people around me watch on their laptops. I hardly go to the cinema and am unaware of the most popular actors and movie stars. Talking to two Black Americans recently, I discovered the contemporary reality of popular life in the US these days. There are many words and terms which I've never heard of. In esscence, I've become an old man. I've lost track of society.
The paradox is that I'm more in touch with political trends and current events than most people. So while I'm on the pulse of current events, I'm clueless about about current society. I'm simply not interested.
This leads to Hermann Broch and two of his archetypes of Modernist man. In many ways I'm the Romantic von Pasenow. I'm alienated from the trends of the 21st century as he was of the 20th century. Indeed, this also calls to mind the song "Disco Dancer" from Devo. The world has devolved around me. I feel my grasp on the reality I know slipping away.
But as always my life is underscored by the paradox. I'm also the Anarchist Esch, Broch's second archetype of Modernist man. I'm so angry and embittered regarding the state of the world. I understand that the world is one giant prison. I'm stuck within the prison along with everybody else. What's maddening is the feeling that I'm one of the few who sees the bars and barbed wire all around while the majority are oblivious. Hence, I'm the Romantic Anarchist.
The Postmodernists are so blind! Every Postmodernist I've met is ignorant of Mondernist literature. Karl Kraus and Hermann Broch are completely unknown to the Postmodernists. The Postmodernists aren't even interested in Kraus and Broch simply because they're "white European males". Even worse, they are "white European Austrian males". Fools! But in the final analysis I'm isolated.
In any event reality will soon come knocking hard and furious. Then the masses that are the asses will go bump. Bumpity bump bump.