Post-modernism: cutting ties with the past Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:06:56
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I. Introduction In the 1900s, mankind went through a drastic change, a change that is called, a revolution. With rapid industrialization, and more and more advanced technology, many found it difficult to cope with the fast-moving times. Here is when some of the most creative and poignant poets and artists were born. Long before industrialization even began to take its toll, they had an inkling as to what to expect. And here today, their predictions are alive and glaring in mans face. From this revolution, mankind is now moving into another vague stage of development, called post-modernism.

What would the world be like twenty years from now? Will man be a slave of his own trap of machines? Will he become robotic in his mind and actions, or will he break free, and use technology to his advantage rather than misuse it the way we do today? While the characteristics of postmodern life are sometimes difficult to grasp, most postmodern scholars [2] believe it to be an age where the technology would be at its highest. Life would be simple and defined, mechanical and robotic, with no higher purpose. II. Postmodernism and the Media

Many believe that the media has helped man move away from his own past. Many critics argue that media has helped sever ties with the past rather than help the future generations understand their history better. With technology making major leaps almost everyday, it is not surprising that most have stopped thinking about the past. The past is believed to be a time when man was in the Dark ages. Life was difficult and short, there were widespread crippling diseases and people were unhappy. But if one were to challenge the last claim, it is still widely existent.

The reason remains that even though technology and modernism has brought health and wealth, it has not brought happiness. Media defines our knowledge, advertising our likes and dislikes. In many developing countries, media plays the idealistic role of the one who enlightens [1]. But this is not the case here in the US. We are bombarded daily with facts and figures most can make no sense of. We are made to believe not what we want, but what the media or those behind it want. We are given information in a most disconnected and distant way, which makes the common man have not the slightest knowledge as to what is actually happening.

We are so used to watching war and plunder in the news, or worse still in movies that it does not seem grave any more. In fact, studies claim that children have been so influenced by violence on TV that they commit crimes without realizing or caring about what they are doing. Certain aspects or styles which are highlighted in the media are giving rise to a new generation with warped ideas, following not what their parents or grandparents taught them, but what the media teaches them. This rising counter culture is detrimental to our own history and civilization.

No doubt, we have learnt a lot through the media. In fact, this is clearly evident as even young children today know much more than children in the past ever did. They know about the world they live in, and are mentally better equipped to deal with dangers and problems unlike before. For example, almost every child knows about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They know about hurricane Katrina. Any important happening in the world is reported within minutes. Unlike before, today everyone is aware of what is happening in their country, and also in the rest of the world.

In fact, if we think about it, the world is run by how fast the media transmits information. Politics, stock markets, weather information, health issues, almost all are heavily dependent on the media. But then there are also certain disadvantages. In most countries, media tends to be biased, reporting just one side of the game. It moves so fast from one event to the other, that most have no time to think or analyze what is going on. Most of us believe what we are told, without even the hint of a doubt. But what has been most affected, or what critics say lost is our own culture.

Even till the last century, the world was full of diverse and often contending cultures. Each with their own religion, rituals, and social framework. People were identified with their culture. But today, we are one big blending culture, which often results in losing our own individual identities. When globalization began, people hailed it as a progressive, modern movement bringing people together. But now, with passing time, many are seeing a very different, unpleasant picture. Beautiful traditions and customs being crushed under the hip new culture of ipods and game-boys.

Little wonder that organizations are now working fast to preserve whatever thats left. This is exactly what most post-modern novelists claim: we are being molded into a nameless faceless generation following what we are told, not what we believe. We have learnt not to follow our instincts, and gradually, we are getting trapped in mans own created mess. A very large portion of what we find in the media today gives us very little emotional or intellectual inspiration [1]. Prior status of the media was just to give us information about what was going on, without any secondary opinion.

But this is the one factor that has undergone a great change in the past few decades. Every nation has its own news, with its own version. We are told just one side of the story; we are told what is right and what is wrong, and our own individual judgment is discouraged. Years ago, media was just an open platform with little political involvement. Today however, it is literally run by politics. The media has also been largely influenced by postmodern thought. Artists and poets contest against the emptiness of postmodern media. But it also brings forward a plurality of thoughts and cultures.

One can see all kinds of different cultures without having to say which is right or which is wrong. III. Conclusion The argument between media and its relation to postmodernism is a difficult one. In some cases, we see it promoting it, in others; it seems to be against it. But there is no doubt that we have not severed ties with our past.

Works Cited: 1. Suagstad, Andrea, Post-Modernism and the Media (Nov. 20, 200), Go Inside, retrieved from http://goinside. com/00/11/media. html 2. Wikipedia, Postmodernism, retrieved from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Postmodernism.

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