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Showing posts from January, 2021

I FEEL IT COMING TOGETHER [280]

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The situation doesn’t normally arise when you feel like alluding to Susan Sontag’s essay “Against Interpretation” in an article about an online comic created by your sister, but sometimes you would rather talk about how good something is, rather than dissect it until you know how good something was before you killed it. Sontag’s essay ends, “in place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art,” and my intention here is only to tell you why you should read Layla Spence’s “Ill Fame” [ https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/ill-fame/list?title_no=382596&page=1 ]. Set in and around an island, “Ill Fame” centres on Frankie and Rhys, who have found a life together, but only in their human forms – Frankie is a seal, and daughter of King Augustus, while Rhys is a crow, and the King’s messenger. When Thomas Reid, an envoy for the Land King, comes with Caritas, a snake that can see the future, with an offer of help, lives will be changed. I initially attributed the title “Ill Fame” to Franki

ALL ABOUT THE LOVE AGAIN [279]

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A Donald Trump cake delivered to Trump Tower, New York, ahead of 2016 election festivities. When Joe Biden finally took over as the 46 th President of the United States, it was at 5pm GMT, meaning I listened to his speech on the way home from work. That evening, and through the following day, I felt very distracted, almost like I felt anxious about having much less to feel anxious about. Hearing a politician sincerely recognise the problems besetting the nation they must now guide, promise to address them, and pledge to lead on behalf of all their people, and not just those that voted for them, reminds you these actions are meant to be fundamental to being a leader - it is just nice hearing from someone that actually wants to do the job. I can now understand what Barack Obama meant about the “audacity of hope”: democracy standing defiant, and in splendid progress, despite the events of two weeks before, and of the previous four years. The attempted coup on the US Capitol buildin

NO MORE FREE STEPS TO HEAVEN [278]

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From the notes I made in 2002, I can see that the first place I came across postmodernism that delineated its concepts most easily for me to dive into them was a book by Tim Woods, “Beginning Postmodernism,” published by Manchester University Press, a second edition of which has been published since I first read it. As dry as most academic books can be, for such a book to write about its subject in a way that makes you feel excited about it is extremely valuable. It was certainly enough for me two write ten A4 pages of notes from it, since rendered moot by my actually buying a copy of the book – I can only assume the original library copy was once I was able to take home . The notes I made start by explaining that postmodernism is: “a knowing modernism, a self-reflexive modernism, a knowing modernism that doesn’t agonise about itself. Postmodernism does what modernism does, only in a celebratory way, rather than repentant way. Thus, instead of lamenting the loss of the past, the

DON’T FORGET YOUR BOOKS [277]

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Childhood is meant to the happiest time of your life. I believe mine should always be ahead of me, but the time I spent working for my degree in film studies, from 2001 to 2004, is definitely up there. I was more aware of the world than in childhood, but still without the responsibility – everywhere was open, especially my mind. The person I am today was formed then – curious, sceptic, and voracious for knowledge. I just need to feel like I need to know more about, well, anything and everything - I may have the degree, but the research never stopped. I had never before properly examined why I became interested in postmodernism and postmodernity during this febrile time but, fortunately, my degree notes and other things from the time have all been splendidly preserved. I have four lever-arch folders for my degree notes, and another one for all the other subjects I picked up along the way, along with a further wire-bound notebook. I did not realise I essentially had two projects on the

AND YOU MAY ASK YOURSELF [276]

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Memphis “Big Sur” sofa by Peter Shire Judging from what I have read, we already appear to know how the year 2021 will unfold. A new normal is coming, and when it is unlocked, we must be ready to make up for lost time, and to take up new opportunities. As we breathe out, politics and economics can settle, as the United States gains a president that wants to do the job, and the United Kingdom trades from outside the European single market for the first time since 1973. With these long-standing conundrums solved for now, and with shops back open, the indignant heat of social media may simmer down. Why make your own New Year’s resolutions when the whole world is changing? This year could be the latest chapter of renaissance and progress. Especially after a year blighted by disease, it is natural to embrace this hope - it is the grand narrative we all share. But for someone that has written as much as I have about postmodernism – the broad artistic social and philosophical movement that,