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February 28, 2024 - @560.17 (what is this?)
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Author Topic: What is Meta-Modern? And is the Web Revival it?  (Read 232 times)
Melooon
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« on: January 17, 2024 @670.59 »

I encountered the word "metamodern" yesterday (Though it seems to mostly have been popular around 2020) and while I've never been particularly interested in defining words like this, after trying to figure it out it sounds an awful lot like the web revival.

To summarise some loose definitions there seems to be:

Super Old! - Its the Flinstones, no one really has any ideas whatsoever, but getting food and walking seems like a pretty big deal! Imagine the sounds of the sea and bears in the night.

Classical/Ancient - Its a mix of discovery and violence; amazing things happen but at huge human cost. Its confused and diverse and it deals with its darkness by often being incredibly beautiful. Imagine music being invented but a person dies each time a musical note is played.

Traditional - It's a worldview where everything stays the same and everyone knows their place, there is a strong sense of faith and contentment in regularity. Imagine a farmer playing the same pleasant song as their parents did.

Modern - It's a world view where progress is everything and progress leads to the betterment of all mankind; it puts its faith in large institutions and authority. Imagine a pleasant song playing in a pleasant scene in a movie that everyone sees.

Post-Modern - Counter-culture, and it's quite cynical, in this mindset, progress was a lie created by authorities, no one has authority and everything is deconstructed and protested against (that sounds very negative, but it has a lot of good outcomes too). Everyone puts their faith in themselves. Imagine a movie where a pleasant song is playing while everyone is being killed; the movie is banned for under 18s (but they prob sneak in to watch it)

Meta-Modern - It is no longer cynical, it recognises the faults of past ideas, but also recognises the good parts. It believes in progress again but understands it's more complicated and nuanced than modernism thought. It recognises that things need to be deconstructed the way post-modernism does, but it also understands they need to be put back together again afterwards. It sees the value in traditions and respects them, but also sees the need to not let them hold people back or oppress them. Imagine a pleasant song playing in a pleasant part of a video game, but you know there are still many risky quests to do.

It sounds right anyway! But I definitely don't have a philosophy degree, so maybe someone who does will be able to chime in and let me know if I've understood correctly.

I don't think this changes anything for me, but it's nice to understand how the rest of the world is thinking and know some fancy new words  :ok:
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ThunderPerfectWitchcraft
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2024 @706.85 »

Hi Melooon.
I would like to say that I don't agree to your definitions of Modernism and Postmodernism to begin with.

Modernism is, for me, the result of a overcoming of religious and hierarchical believes, and a result of enlightenment as a social movement. The individual is taking the place of the former authorities, and uses its mind and intellect to recognize and control with its world. ("Harold Bloom is winning through benignes where Odysseus won through violence").

Postmodernism is taking this one step further: The recognition of modernism is recognized as a construction, and the individual might interact with its world, but can not control it since it is subject to dynamics that it interacts with are often just out of its scope. Time, place, and everything else is at least questioned, as they are a result of the subjective recognition. The critic of it being cynical is as old as the postmodern classics, but - in my opinion - naught. I've never read a attack on and lament about the status quo as sharp and sad as Gravity's Rainbow, and if you read it with open eyes, you will recognize a deep humanism that isn't shallower than that of the modern literature; there is place for love, longing, etc. etc. beside all the gruesomeness that is in there.

Metamodernism claims that both is linked in the 21th century; I say that it was linked before. If you read carefully, both Wolf and Joyce somewhat dissolved time and place, and Pynchon already linked back to the humanist ideal that he - however - sees both damaged and endangered. In my opinion, Metamodernism merely tries to link what was really always linked anyways.

However, I've neither a degree in Phil, nor in cultural studies or art, and someone who has might be able to tear me to pieces over this post ;). But I'd absolutely agree that the board here is postmodernist or - if you prefer it - metamodernist.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2024 @733.99 by ThunderPerfectWitchcraft » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2024 @728.31 »

I think we agree on modernism! But I would say the individual you're describing is also the institution and authority - the institution is the great artist, the great scientist, the person with a philosophy degree that might be able to tear your post apart  :ok:

As far as post-modernism, I've never found anyone who can agree on a definition for it, so Im happy to accept that yours is different to mine. I think the only way I can understand what is post-modern, is to identify cultural objects that I see as post-modern - Ferris Bulers Day Off, Bitcoin, certain presidents, David Bowie, Nirvana, Home VHS, among many other things; I doubt I can fully explain why those things express post-modern values to me!

As for meta-modern, I don't think it begins spontaneously so I'd say you are right in that its roots go back very far, it's always been present or hinted at to a certain extent.

Buutt what may be more interesting than the definition for me is which is dominant and why; in the 50s, despite post-modern stuff being alive and rapidly growing, modernism was by far the most relevant and defining force of the era. In the 80s the same was true for post-modernism; so what I'm looking for now is indications that meta-modernism might be the cultural definition of this era.

That important to me simply because I wanna understand the world and my place in it  :eyes:
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ThunderPerfectWitchcraft
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2024 @736.50 »

I think that where the individual is the great artist/scientist/x, the modernism somewhat failed ;). In its ideal state, the individual is the everybody.

And I absolutely agree that all the lines are unsharp. All presidents of the last 50 years were pre-modern (as relicts from a pre-modern time), modern (in the values they wrote onto their banners) and postmodern (as factual beings that were present and reigned in the US and in Europe and Asia, and exist as echoes until now) at the same time.

Edited my post while you posted. Removed the edit and posting it here, now - I believe it somewhat fits-

removed for now

This is touching some pretty fierce subjects. Hope that's okay.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2024 @745.65 by ThunderPerfectWitchcraft » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2024 @760.21 »

removed for now

This is touching some pretty fierce subjects. Hope that's okay.

Paraphrasing myself from the moderators' chat but it seems relevant:

This is a tough line right? It's a really interesting subject, and It's relevant to everyone; its part of our pop-culture, its in our movies, our history, our everyday lives. So its part of the art we make, the sites we build and the games we play.

Yet almost always this kinda of discussion gets into territory that scares people out of a discussion; Im always second guess myself mentioning the dreded phrase "post-modernism" because somehow it seems to turn into a conversation ender when it should be a conversation beginer.

I think one of the web revivals' unsolved challenges is creating discussions that can be both approachable and whimsical, yet still include the heavy thinking of the past.

Im gonna be horrible and turn this whole comment back around to my original question.. But I think I hope that meta-modernism could be a way to answer that very question. To invent whimsical philosophy, and playful depth, a space for meaning that can really include everyone who wants to be included :defrag:
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ThunderPerfectWitchcraft
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2024 @786.23 »

Its a tough line.
I believe that taking apart in the debates about the world (and partaking in the world) requires some resistance about the colder, more gruesome aspects; a person or community who can't spell them out or acknowledge them can't work towards a change; it is thus limited to its reduced dream-world, and there is nothing per-se unethical about this. But I also believe that art - if it is indeed to change the world - must be able to lay the finger right into the wound. And this is - in my opinion - true for the web revival and metamodernism alike (with the latter actively targeting such issues; but with the price of being perceived as cold/cynical/dark/sad, but with at least some political potency as a turnover). I believe that both directions are open to the web revival scene, and I believe that both fields - point of political activism and a somewhat safe dream world - can exist there, but not at the identical place.
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Melooon
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2024 @799.31 »

point of political activism and a somewhat safe dream world - can exist there, but not at the identical place
I think, against any reason or fair argument; I have to believe that they can and do exist in identical places :drat: Maybe that requires a different kind of activism, a different kind of dream and a different kind of humanity - but I know it's out there somewhere  :defrag:
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ThunderPerfectWitchcraft
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2024 @831.44 »

I wish you all the best. I will, for now, stick to this place no matter to what of the poles the journey goes as I'm fine with either way ;).
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