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Ed Driscoll

The Completion Backward Principle

August 13th, 2013 - 12:32 pm

“In the globally connected and affluent world of the 21st century, we thankfully have evolved a long way from the elemental poverty, hunger, and ethnic, religious, and racial hatred that were mostly the norm of the world until the last century,” Victor Davis Hanson writes at NRO. “Yet who would know of such progress — and the great sacrifices made to achieve it — from the howls of our postmodern oppressed? In fact, the better life has become, the more victimized modern affluent Westerners seem to act:”

Our entire society is experiencing the sort of cultural devolution associated with the further decline from modernism to postmodernism. If a skilled modern artist like Picasso became famous by ignoring canons of classical representation, then postmodern hack successors were left with nothing much to rebel against, and so gave us crucifixes in urine bottles and excrement thrown onto pictures of Christ. If brilliant moderns like T. S. Eliot often abandoned strict rules of metrics, rhyme, and poetic diction that they had themselves mastered, postmodern mediocrities who could not distinguish an hexameter from a metaphor write out banal phrases, randomly slice and dice the lines, and call it poetry.

In the same way, our modern social critics suffer and agonize when the war to save redwoods becomes a battle over the possible decline of a bait fish, and iron chains hang next to plastic handcuffs.

You know what to do next.

Related: “This Is Not Rosa Parks,” James Taranto on “Oprah Winfrey’s Swiss adventure.”

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