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the problem is i think post-modernism
has to a large extent run its course
David Foster Wallace is known for being
one of the most influential writers in
recent history before taking his own
life in 2008 he decried the negative
effects post-modernism had on his
generation post-modernism is a very
wide-ranging term used to analyze our
world that emerged in the nineteen
fifties and sixties it rejected the
grand narratives that exists in
modernism things like there's one true
God history is progress and peace on
earth in postmodern thought there is no
scientific philosophical or religious
truth which will explain everything for
it lacks that optimism instead
everything is understood on a micro
level knowledge and truth are contextual
and constructed reality only comes into
existence through our interpretations of
what the world needs to us individually
thus post-modernism is characterized by
self-referential ality such as a
character who knows their character in a
novel or film by moral relativism and by
cynicism and irony with that in mind
here's Wallace again that the problem
though is now is that a lot of the
sticks of post-modernism irony cynicism
irreverence are now part of whatever it
is that's enervating in the culture
itself right
Wallace's biggest concern was with the
dominant cultural force of television
which he believed had become too
saturated with these postmodern
characteristics TVs response to dumb and
overly sentimental sitcoms was ironing
TV shows began criticizing themselves
for being dumb TV shows can't be
happening we have to see this movie dude
is great about the isn't that good
anyway and then what are you talking
about love carrots in film and animation
up crabby
it's hard to criticize a show that
criticizes itself first shows became
more self-referential and
in short they took nothing seriously and
there's a problem with this in Wallace's
mind irony has no redemptive qualities
in and of itself it can point out
problems and deconstruct things but it
offers no solution
it's like a rebel to throwing a tyrant
only to become a better tyrant
take for example seinfeld ironic
critique of the sitcom every character
is very human problems are laid bare but
they're presented as unsolvable whereas
earlier more sugary sitcoms might offer
a solution through family friends or
hobbies seinfeld gives you nothing
that's not a redeeming formula it's a
cynical one family guys use of irony is
slightly different but no more redeeming
it makes ironic connections to history
celebrity stereotypes you name it he
cares more about the number of
connections that can make rather than
providing any lessons or challenging any
principles with them
it simply uses irony to reassure us of
our knowledge of cultural discourse
you've got saturday night lives
deconstruction of cynicism arrested
development superficial relationships
it's always sunny is irredeemable
characters and in Wallace's time all of
these shows the ironic mode shows up in
advertising all the time here 20 ads
making fun of themselves for being ads
hello I'm an actor I've been paid eight
thousand dollars to tell you how great
nor net is compared to other banks to
Wallace TVs unabashed self-deprecation
and deconstruction of our culture the
idea that everything is fabricated was
corrosive to the soul hip cynical
transcendence of sentiment is really
some kind of fear of being really human
he thought we'd find a solution in
shifting televisions overall tone away
from one of cynical irony to one of
sincerity and no doubt this terminal
shift is occurring in some spheres of
pop culture and has been for the last
decade it's due in part to david foster
wallace himself and likely to a general
cultural shift away from cynicism in
general it's interesting to see how this
total shift has affected TV comedies
some of comedies greatest tools are
characteristically post
so how these combined with sincerity to
change American humor
it all starts in $MONTH 2006 with the
office then in $MONTH 2009 the tonal
shift towards sincerity continued with
community modern family and Parks and
Recreation they all have similarities to
the postmodern predecessors but instead
of the blank parody of family guide the
superficiality of arrested development
or the cynicism of seinfeld they have a
they have redeeming characters who have
a sincere yearning for meaning and human
the office is full of redemptive people
looking for human affirmation any
ironing the show is balanced with Ernest
take for example Jim and Pam's romantic
chemistry their connection relies on a
hyper awareness and mutual ironic
detachment from the office
it's not just irony for irony sake it
has that addition of a sincere human
relationship attached to it
indeed rarely does the show use irony at
the expense of a character ever in one
episode a recently dumped and he tries
to talk jimmy out of being with Pam and
Jim response to him
ironically so scared all right things
are going on and you're coming out with
almost no knowledge of course adjuster
opinion on this
Andy Reid's Jim's ironic comment as
sincere and for the rest of the day
believes he's genuinely taking on all of
jim's emotional troubles even though
Jim's perfectly happy with his
relationship at the end of the episode
one of andy's co-workers reveals the
joke i think Jim is messing with you but
instead of judging or belittling Andy
for the postmodern crime of being naive
in the face of irony
Jim uses the occasion to teach Andy a
sincere lesson that's not that Apple you
and angela is a bummer and I know that
you don't think you're going to find
someone else but you will I promise you
you will
Jim's ironic stance ends with in
delivering a sentiment upholding
American romantic ideals much like the
office community balances it's pop
culture references and ironic moments
with characters who sincerely desire
human connection the title of the show
tells us this out right
it's about how and why we come together
and form communities with other people
and even when it parodies and
deconstructs tvtropes like the jock it
so in an uplifting way turning the
all-star quarterback into one of the
most caring people on the show and
despite its frequent cynicism community
tells us that no matter how isolated and
alone you may think you are we need
other people around us in order to
it doesn't matter if it's a bunch of
outcasts they can still come together
through their shared similarities in the
ways they conflict with each other as
well the show at its core believes in
common human dignity and communal
it's a sincere anti nihilistic message
you won't get from these shows then
there's parks and recreation which
contains very few postmodern
characteristics you won't find the show
making fun of itself there's no meta
it avoids a cynical tone entirely
ultimately it's a show about good people
trying to do good things
Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson have an
entirely different idea of civic duty
you have the hope and naiveté of
government and body then Leslie and the
pessimism and deconstruction of
government embodied in wrong
this relationship is right for a sort of
seinfeld and resentment and cynicism but
rotten Leslie have a mutual respect for
each other and they have a good
both are awesome both are flawed and the
show constantly goes back and forth
between them without taking the side
Andy and April are very similar both are
great but one is ultra sincere and the
other cynical we see every characters
ideology but never fully embrace or
discredit their stance sure the show is
about bureaucratic conflict but it's
also about how disparate people in a
town connect the show's overall tone
that cynical thinking isn't the smartest
or coolest makes a dramatic shift away
from post-modernism this wave of
earnestness and TV comedy shows no sign
of slowing down part of the reason jon
stewart was successful for so long was
that he had an unwavering sincerity
behind the irony in the daily shell two
of his major successors understand that
balance the best shows of our age aren't
finding the humor in the gaps that have
developed between people they find the
humor in the absurd and awkward attempts
by people trying to bridge those gaps
they want to show us that humans can
have real connections and sincerity for
each other it's not impossible it's just
really fucking hard postmodern thought
with its deconstruction of every
thing in its emphasis on individual
interpretation leads us down a road of
narcissism cynicism and detachment to
fix it we need not appeal to something
as abstract or dangerous as the grand
narratives of modernism to feel less
lonely it's perhaps this non-ideological
pursuit of getting along of striving to
have strong communal integrity valuing
others for their human dignity
unabashedly enjoying the things we find
to be awesome and as David Foster
Wallace would say making it ok to be
unavoidably sentimental and naive and
grown and generally pathetic that might
help us find a greater sense of meaning
and optimism in our lives
these shows tell us that strict
adherence to cynicism isn't all that
smart or cool and that perhaps we learn
more about what it means to be human
by embracing life and the different
people around us everyone thank you so
much for watching I had an absolute
blast making that video I don't always
make videos like that i like to make
comedy content as well but i try to keep
the quality as high as possible on my
channel and if that is something you
would like to support i have a patreon
page where you can go and pledged three
dollars or one dollar really any amount
helps me create more content i would
really like to make videos full-time so
any support
I'm very appreciative for and yeah come
back next Thursday for another video


David Foster Wallace - The Problem with Irony

458 タグ追加 保存
Elisa 2019 年 7 月 28 日 に公開


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