Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Future for America

America does not have the ability to govern itself, the citizens of the united stated have never even chosen a president. So how can there be a future. When one of the most qualified candidates lost the election to someone who has no political knowledge what so ever.

Rural America felt forgotten, Clinton spent most of her time campaigning in the big cities. Trump's speeches played on the emotions of the people in rural areas. Ethos and tearing down an opponent is what is left of the American Rhetoric, not a government pushing issues on facts and current events.

People will say get over it, that we chose him as our president. But that is far from the truth, he did not win the popular vote, and up until last night people were hopeful that there would be a big number of faithless electors.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Creating a Fake Identity in a Post Modern World

You can find anyone through social media these days, and how could that be a bad thing? Social media has given us ways to connect with so many people in a variety of different ways. People can spew out their opinions on anything through Twitter, share a picture for a short time on Snapchat, put basically anything on Facebook, upload picture to Instagram and videos to YouTube. 

And yeah, staying connected is great. But social media only shows the highlights of people's lives. We see images of friends, friends of friends, the people that you never talk to but you always pass in the hallways, celebrities promoting brands and their own images, and companies promoting themselves. Which is okay, but eventually people think that the highlights is that person's everyday life. 

But, as a social species we need validation, so we try to compete with every single image that comes our way. Some people don't feel this need, they're perfectly fine with who they are. Others post anything wanting to get the most comments, the most likes, the most views, or even the most shares. They only share their best to their own friends and followers and the cycle just continues on.

People  begin to make themselves up to be greater than they actually are. Can we truthfully even know someone through social media? Because while people are not exactly lying, we are not showing our daily life either. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Living in our Man Made World

In this day in age it is hard to go anywhere without seeing electronics, advertisements, music or magazines with way to skinny girls on them. In seeing this it is hard for you not to ask how much do these things control our lives and influence what we do. In this time we are still living in a postmodern world.

In America self image has become less about who you are and more about how you look. Instead of self image being about what you want to be it has been mutilated into a lifestyle of what everyone else wants you to be. And, because of this America and it’s youth are hurting themselves just fit into a stereotype that they can never be. As a women in America from a young age you are taught what to be. Growing up all you see is women in magazines and t.v shows skinny as sticks telling you to be just like them, and that they got there beauty naturally. But what society doesn't tell you is that these women either work out 24/7 or bodies are cropped into perfection onto a computer. In our postmodern world we use these false images to guide how much we eat and how we should exercise.

We also use celebrities as a guide on how to spend our lives. Through a variety of advertisements. In commercials we see the singers and actors advertising things like clothes and beauty products. So, we spend a lot of our money on things that are over priced making actors and companies rich while we try to feed into the man made stereotypes of coolness. another way that media controls us is by music. famous singers flaunt their money, girls and cars in front of our faces telling us this is what we are suppose to be. we are suppose to act a certain way to get to this fictional promised land where we get everything we dream of.

And as naive easily influenced human being we try to reach for it posting our lives on social media as evidence that we are getting further in our lives than everyone else. we grasp at straw, like and follows to prove that we are as popular and making our way to somewhere we never get to.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Post Modernism in Today's Culture

We live in a post modern society. This is largely because of technology and social media. Today, it is so easy to lie or make something up on social media, that you can never really tell what the "truth" is. Post modernism explores this idea that people's perception of what the truth is can be so easily altered. A very good example of this is Magritte's "This Is Not a Pipe." 

Image result for magritte this is not a pipe

This piece makes you reconsider what the truth is. Is the object that we associate with the word pipe really a pipe? This piece seems so simple at first glance, but when you stop to really think about it, it poses a very existential question. I think this is essentially what post modernism is.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Postmodernism in American Culture

Postmodernism is prominent in American culture in 2016.  Technology has given people easy access to different cultures from celebrities to everyday people. Nowadays, people are able to show their experiences and culture all over social media, which gives everyone a chance to see more than their own perspective. Social media lets people express their ideas of what makes something "art," and it allows people to admire others works of art. 

There is no longer one standard of what makes something better or worse because it is all based on opinion. Although there can be ads showing the "best" things to wear or do, people are always trying to achieve something even better or different. Specifically, celebrities and artists are known to break away from what is usually done, making their own idea of art. Before, there were standards and everyone followed the rules and what was to be expected of them. In our culture, it is important to be an individual and have unique opinions and actions. The control that people have over their lives is what shows how much of a postmodern world we live in.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Postmodernism expressed in music

             Postmodern art is often created using bold colors and lots of repetition, the beautiful thing about the art that is created in this period is it is open to interpretation. Thousands or even millions of people can all view the exact same work of art and all see it in a different way depending on the kind of person they are.  The art that continues to be created can be seen through so many different lenses. Any factors that make people different may change the way that people view any work of art, whether it is a song, a painting, or a photograph. People will spend years following and devouring every shred of information about an artist's life to try and find the deepest and seemingly most truthful meaning behind their art.  Ironically though, sometimes people can take the artwork to an entirely new level and create a meaning that resonates with them more so than the artist. For example when Chance the Rapper released his third mix tape, coloring book, people thought it was symbolic of his rise to super stardom.  People theorized that Chance was looking up at all of the people who were seen as more popular than him after the release of his first mix tape, then after his rise in popularity after the release of his second mix tape, he was on the same level of popularity as some of the most well known names in hip hop. Then after the release of his most recent project, he was looking down on his former competition laughing at how much he has risen and is now one of the most popular names in his field. But in all actuality the photos were seemingly chosen at random, as the cover for Acid Rap was simply a photo of Chance and a Fan he seemed to like a lot.  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Political Rhetoric in America Over Time

Political rhetoric over time in america over time. One thing that hasn’t changed is its presence. It has always been a major part of the American political system, and is used as a form of convincing voters who to vote for. It has always been used, but in different ways. In the early years of political rhetoric in America, it was used as a means to convince voters to vote for somebody, and was usually in the form of speeches. Once debating became a major part of American politics, rhetoric, and its role, started to change. The rhetoric turned from self-endorsement to attacks upon your opponent. People shifted towards attacking their opponent, in an effort to make the voters not like them. Since the debates began airing on tv, the attacks had to become more personal, to touch on the people at home, who would feel distanced from what is actually occurring. During the recent election, the attacks have even become more personal, especially with Donald Trump. He is very aggressively attacking Hillary, and insulting her personally. It has turned more towards attacking another person’s personalities, not their policies, which it used to be. It has also become less of telling the truth, and has become more about telling falsehoods about your opponent.

The Current State of American Politics

The United States of America was founded on people having the same opinion of Britain, and how it was limiting their freedom. The political scene began as people split in views, each side, or party, had their own idea of what was best for the country. The two major parties, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans disagreed on many different idea, however they were still able to cooperate together, and work out their differences for the betterment of the country. As time progressed, the parties changed, but emerged two political views, the Liberals and the Conservatives. The opinion of who was better was commonly based on location, as the Liberals were more urban and city populations, while the rural and small suburban populations fell under the conservative supporter group. People began to become more divided, and the parties began to be counter-productive, as they would only allow things that they wanted to happen to happen. It has escalated to a point where opposing parties just will not allow anything to happen on the floor of the congress room. The reliance of anything getting passed is whether the majority was from the party that proposed the bill. The current American political system is based more on differences than similarities, which was not what the original political system was based upon. The system has turned from one of the best, and a role model, to a role model of what NOT to do.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Postmodernism in 2016

We are in an age of postmodernism. Our culture is constantly being redefined by the common people and celebrities alike. Technology and the expansion of the internet has fertilized the growth of postmodernism in our society. Any person has readily available exposure to cultures and people who live different lives than them. Seeing different people and understanding how their lives are different than yours lets you see things in your own life from different perspectives. This aspect of postmodernism in our society lets people think about what makes art and how to see things from multiple perspectives.

In this day and age everyone wants their own image. Celebrities attempt to distinguish themselves as individuals, be that by having the most outrageous outfits, the most bizarre hair, or the strangest outfits. 

People in our society who represent themselves differently than others make people think about what they consider to be fashion or style. They have to define art for their own life. The beauty of postmodernism in our society is that every one can have their own ideas of what art is what art is in their culture.

The presence of postmodernism in our society broadens the experience end cultural exposure each person has. People are more unique and stand apart from each other in postmodern societies. Every person creates their own interpretations of the world around them.

The Post in Postmodern

Post- a Latin prefix, meaning "behind" or "after." Therefore the definition of postmodernism should be a time after the modern age. But this sparks the question, when was this world modern? Do different regions of our globe experience a modern age while others are ahead or behind? Once postmodernism is supposedly reached, what more is there? This is why it's so difficult to grasp the concepts displayed in postmodern works, they redefine reality and one's personal truths. It's hard to see how can something be 'after modern' when it's unclear what was modern in the first place. These questions without answers seems to be the purpose of postmodern work. Making the viewer think of a deeper meaning that may or may not even exist. This 'post' in postmodernism could be interpreted as the aftermath of looking at postmodern art or stories. Either way, the complex questions and contradicting answers perfectly summarize the true affects of postmodernism without a defined modernism.

Postmodernism and how it affects us today

 The idea of postmodernism is that we cannot trust any ideology because it created through the human mind and therefore is a human creation. Living in a postmodern era has defined who we all are. It affects each and every one us in ways we don't even realize. The world today has outlets like the internet and an expansive media to tell us what is their truth is. In this era of information it is difficult to understand what is real and what is constructed by our society.

Postmodernism is at play when we scroll through articles on the internet telling us what is the best thing to wear, or where we should be in our lives. Even though there are millions of people telling us what to do we can form our own opinions on things. There are many people telling us that this is what is supposed to do but postmodernism allows us to choose freely among these, without violating any principle. Before postmodernism, people were expected to do certain things, act certain ways and be certain people because that is what our society expects us to do. In postmodernism, however, there us distrust in any ideology or grand ideas, so people are expected to choose according to their own desires not that of others.

We live in a society that our own decisions are already made for us. Society tells us how to live and postmodernism shows us that we can take control of our lives again. We need to analyze our culture to project the best parts.


Postmodernism in a Modern World

As our society inevitably becomes more developed, we see schools of thought, especially newer ones, become more applicable and relevant than ever before. Specifically, the ideas that the postmodern movement supplied us with in the late 20th century are nearly impossible to avoid today.

The postmodernist movement is not restricted to the confines of art, although it may seem like that when the credibility and the subjectivity of the idea of art is questioned. Nor is it only confined to literature and thought. Postmodernism manages to encompass all aspects of life, only becoming more relevant now, especially with the limitless ability of the media, especially social media.

While we are expanding the reign of postmodernism in our lives by simply just becoming a more socially and commercially focused society, we are also subconsciously being affected by it regardless of whether accept that notion. Postmodernism isn't just art anymore, it's an amalgam of  paradoxes, spirituality, accepting what we deny, and realizations of ourselves and of the world that are borderline epiphinac.

Mainstream social media is an great influence on the masses today because of how it allows us to filter and negotiate all points of one's life. Because life is not abstract and simplistic, (as post-modernistic art so often is,) social media allows us to break lives down into a series of moments that become still frames and snapshots of our lives that everyone can see. But is that our life? That is what a postmodern way of thinking helps us detect.

In our 21st century lives, filled with awesome technology and unprecedented social freedoms, we still have this urge to create our "ideal life" and to be the "real us." What this actually means is unclear; what determines something being better than something, or more ideal?

Postmodernism only becomes more apt when we, either as a society or as individuals, try to deny its impact on every aspect of our lives today. No doubt, that studying postmodern way of thought and influence on society leaves us with more questions than answers, but isn't that the point?

Glasses Help You See More Than You Think

What is art? When someone says “art museum” what is the first thing you think of? A wall of oil paintings? A room filled with high standing marble statues and stained glass? If you asked this question to one hundred people, odds are you’d get a lot of the same answers. One thing’s for sure, at least. I doubt anyone would respond with “one pair of glasses just sitting there on a hardwood floor.”

That is because this is a piece of postmodern art: defined as a body of art movements that sought to contradict some aspects of modernism or some aspects that emerged or developed in its aftermath, postmodern art has a goal, and that goal is to get you to think. Many might reject a pair of glasses on the floor as a work of art, but it is precisely the objective of postmodern art to get the consumer to challenge what they think they know. Much of this can be accomplished through strange works of art.

One thing’s for sure, and that is that a work of art like this will leave you asking questions. Questions that were triggered using one piece of art, but that could eventually encompass more and more works of art until you find yourself questioning the very definition of art itself.

Postmodernism is changing the way we view the world one pair of glasses, blank canvas, or piece of balled up paper at a time.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ask My Grandma About Kanye West

As Americans, music is a large part of our culture and every day lives. Because of the advertisements thrown around and the other social media platforms artists are able to take advantage of, it has become nearly impossible to not be influenced to some small degree by most famous music artists, even if you do not personally choose to consume their work. Not only does society group us based on the music we choose to listen to, the lyrics of the music we choose to listen to or are exposed to by existing further groups us and gives us an idea of how we are supposed to behave if we consider ourselves part of the target audience of the artist. The artist themselves can choose to portray an image on other forms of social media that conflicts with the message of their music.

Because of this wider platform of influence, being a musician and a consumer of music has become a more involved experience. The first thing that effects your identity as a listener is generally the lyrics of the song. If you have purchased the music of an artist, they are someone you admire or even strive to be like. To hear them singing about, for example, heartbreak or break ups, can make the listener feel as though they desire to relate to the emotions they think the lyrics are supposed to evoke and fit themselves into the category of someone who has had their heart broken or has had a relationship, etc. It is easy to let the emotions that an artists puts into their lyrics and albums feel like your own emotions in an attempt to connect with the artist on a deeper level. This desperation to be relatable and belong to a group shapes life experiences through emotions and how they control a person's outlook on life and their treatment of others.

How the artist portrays themselves in other forms of social media and if that message is compatible with that of their music can, almost to a greater extent, effect a person's identity. If an artist sings, for example, about loving their body the way it is but then chooses to use photoshop in their Instagram photos and send the opposite message, that women must adjust themselves to appeal to others and be accepted, it can also take a toll of someone's identity. Because, as a society, we have begun to lean more towards the more visual forms of media, how an artist portrays themselves on a visual level is extremely influential. Because so much is shared on these platforms, we often know everything about our favorite singers down to their favorite clothing brands or the foods they eat the most. Seeing the small details of the every day life of someone you idolize can shape the decisions you make in their everyday life as you sub-consciously or even consciously try to be like them.

It is also through these other forms of social media that the influence of singers and their art reaches a greater range of people. My grandma can tell you about Kanye West and his family drama, but cannot name a single one of his songs. Living in a postmodern world with images and ideas constantly circulating through our lives allows artists musicians, who should effect our identity the most through their lyrics, to reach us from greater and more influential platforms outside of the focus of their profession.

Postmodern Lens on Marisol's Last Supper

Marisol Escobar, otherwise known as simply Marisol, was an artist of the early pop-art era whose work truly reflects postmodern principles on many different levels. The piece shown above is one of her more famous works, Self Portrait looking at the Last Supper. This work is a take on Leonardo da Vinci's classic painting of Jesus' Last Supper. The concept of the piece itself is very postmodern, but the medium in which the art is created as well as the commentary and discussion it sparks align Marisol's work with postmodern ideals on many levels. 

Though not shown in the first image, the second very clearly shows a figure of Marisol observing the last supper, detached from the other figures but still an integral part of the artwork. Marisol turns the idea of a self-portrait on its head. The focus is no longer herself but her relationship to other figures and to art. The self-portrait is about Marisol's opinion and thought even though those concepts aren't visible in the work. 

This remodeled idea of a self-portrait is postmodern. It questions what a self-portrait is and what is important. Is the self important, or is the way that the self interacts with the world. If a person thinks this "doesn't qualify" as a self portrait, why is that so? What is the significance of observing Marisol's observation? The fact that she references a previous piece of art forces the viewer to wonder what impact art has on their identity. All of these questions fall into the postmodern umbrella of meta-analysis of creative works.

The art is created from wood sculpture, with the exception of Jesus who sits at the center of the table, stable stoic and carved from stone. The bodies of the apostles are made from plywood sheets, continuous and connected, while their heads sit detached on top. The heads aren't aligned with the bodies. Some of the heads are intricately carved, while others are outlined and covered with paint, just like the bodies. 

In her choice of material and presentation, Marisol again deploys postmodern ideals. She forces the viewer to question what they consider to be "finished" or "attractive" art. She purposefully represents the human body in a misshapen and uneven form to pose the question of what humanity is, how it is viewed, and how it should be represented. Making Jesus out of stone also raises many questions about religion and belief systems. Are they worth anything? What do they mean? If Jesus is supposed to be compassionate, why is he made out of the most unfeeling material? It forces you to reconsider both the importance of religious figures as well as symbolism that society has pre-identified for art. (eg. why does stone automatically equal cold and insensitive?)

Marisol herself lived a postmodern lifestyle. She dropped her last name, Escobar, as a way to escape the patriarchal identity that society forced upon her, to make herself visible in a new and truer light. She was a postmodernist, and certainly a postmodern artist. Her creative use of materials and the way they fit together as well as her redefined concept of a self-portrait build off the postmodern ideas of how image, media, and the past create our identities and our perceptions. Self Portrait Looking at the the Last Supper is just one example of Marisol's truly postmodern perspective on art and life as a whole. 

Facts in a Postmodern Age

The way people receive their facts has radically changed to become more and more postmodern. With so many different opinions on the web, the way companies release ads, and the way we receive these facts are much different from what they used to be. This means that there is no longer any clear idea shared by many about what is right or wrong.

Essentially, for an idea to be modern, there has to be a clear option of something shared among everyone. For an idea to be postmodern, there will be many different interpretations between different people. For example, you could say that this very post is postmodern, as there are most likely different posts online that counteract this very statement. Is this true? It this idea i'm putting forth really the truth?

Before the internet or TV, facts and news were shared through talk. Thus, this singular idea was shared through an entire community. The entire community shared the belief about whether something was true or false. But now that your idea can be seen by the entire world, what is really true or false anymore? Many facts as well are made us for a persons benefit. Companies may post true or false information just to help them in some way or form. I can almost guarantee that some of the new articles seen online were false this election, trying to promote the author's side of things.

For all you know, this entire article could be made up just to increase my grade...

Postmodernism good or bad

       By living in a postmodern society we see postmodernism in everything, from social media, TV ads or shows, and fashion. With our generation being so big on social media it allows us to see many different art forms that can inspire us, like the selfie or artistic shots of the city from a skyscraper. Also people often show off their outfits on social media which are a form of fashion that can inspire a whole group of people 

      Postmodernism is all around us but we don't pay attention because it is all around us and we only pay attention to what catches out eye by our interest. Art is in TV commercials or movies covers, they are in advertisement and flyers but it is not looked at as art due to its platform. Just because it is not in a museum or gallery does not mean its not art, that only means it's not critiqued as bad or people don't over think the meaning of it. 
      This art form has allowed society to see many different forms of art and form an opinion. But that opinion may be overlooked because it may not be based on what's thought of as a real piece of art. Our society has allowed people to be different and express their art all over but it may have taken away the ability to be unique because of how often we see art on social media or just around us. 

This is Not a Blog Post

I think postmodernism is an interesting way to go about art. It can be a very deep, thought provoking, expressive, and even beautiful art form, that is if you aren't me. I can appreciate the amount of work it takes to come up with something and express it in a piece of artwork, but I feel that i'm not good enough at analyzing art to truly appreciate it. Too much of the meaning flies over my head, but that itself if one of the beauties of postmodern art. You don't need to comprehend what the artist was saying, or even understand it at all for that matter. The fact that most of the pieces can tell something at all, whilst also managing to look good is the true strength of the art form.

Well, because most of the intricate meanings of postmodern art elude me, I went searching for something with a meaning I could understand, while also being simpler than most of the other postmodern works I have seen. I came across this sculpture by two guys, Dan Single and George Gorrow, from Sydney Australia made. Dan was a graffiti artist and George was a poet; the two teamed up and formed a fashion company named Ksubi. The sculpture was documented in a book they made called "Sign of the Times," which is what I will be referring to the sculpture as from now on. Here it is: 

This sculpture is of a man's hand holding up a peace sign, or at least attempting to. Much to the hand's dismay his middle and pointer have been cut off. This has quite the profound meaning. The hand is either trying to offer peace and it has been rejected by someone else, or whoever is offering the peace isn't really looking for peace. I'd guess the latter, due to the face that the man's hand is coming out of some kind of suit and undershirt, eluding to some kind of importance or high class. I believe that this sculpture is about corporate deception, or something even higher like government deception.

Overall postmodern art is kind of confusing and enigmatic to me, but the best part of it is how even if the intended meaning is greater than me, I can still try to appreciate it.


What is art? If you check the dictionary (which is an inane way to define something so subjective) you'd find a definition along the lines of "something beautiful or visually appealing" but that definition should frankly just be tossed out immediately. Ignoring the postmodern movement, there are pieces of art, that are universally regarded as art, that are not beautiful. This is maybe an unpopular opinion but let's take La Guernica by Picasso as an example.
 This is an ugly painting, at least it is to me. Picasso never intended for it to be beautiful, it's meant to capture the pain the people of Guernica felt after a series of bombings during World War II. The figures are distorted and the agony is unmistakable, if you were to find beauty in this painting, twisted beauty is about as far as you could go. But it doesn't have to be beautiful because it has meaning. I'm tempted to say that art derives meaning from the viewer, but just because some 12 year old might look at this painting and get nothing out of it, it's not disqualified as art. So then maybe it derives meaning from the artist.

Image result for invisible art warhol

This is "Invisible Sculpture" by Andy Warhol. The piece in question is not the white box, but what's resting on top of it: nothing. I remember getting into an discussion with a friend of mine after stumbling upon an article saying a similar piece, a blank white, floor to ceiling canvas, had been sold for quite a bit of money. The piece was also titled "invisible" and at the time I thought it was completely idiotic somebody would pay good money for a solid white stretched canvas. It was soon pointed out to me that I was maybe thinking about it too simplistically. When my friend saw the painting, or lack thereof, he was reminded of a child's imaginary friend. Invisible to the surrounding world, but the child could see them clearly. Maybe that's all art is. It derives meaning from those who can appreciate it and see its value. Whether or not everybody can see its value is irrelevant.
I in no way pretend to be an authority on what is or is not art but this definition works for me. I'll admit, it feels like a pretentious answer, but honestly isn't "what is art?" kind of a pretentious question?

Living in postmodern America impacts how we've have grown up. It impacts how we see ourself and others, it impacts things so complex as the uncontrollable thoughts that cross our mind. We don't realize it, but everything around us, the people, the internet, the media, it effects everything we call our own. 

Do we truly like a certain article of clothing? Or is it just that a person we think is pretty wore it and now we unconsciously like it. But what makes that girl pretty in the first place? Ever sense we were born we've been fed descriptions and images of what a girl or guy is suppose to look like. So is what we think is truly our own opinion, truly ours? Because if ever sense we were born we've never been given a real chance to just look at something, with no background knowledge at all, and just say how we feel about it, or what it makes us think of. 

All of our thoughts, judgments, and opinions our based off of someone else's, whether it's disagreeing with someone or agreeing, it's never truly our own. I don't think that we ever will truly get to have a completely genuine experience, of our very own unbiased opinion on anything because the world we live in will always have something to say about it before we do. 

So once you except the fact that your opinions aren't truly your own, you must try to swallow the fact that truth itself is a relative term. If all of our thoughts aren't our own, then who truly decides what is true and what isn't. 

All in all, the postmodern society we live in, forces us to be okay with ultimate uncertainty, as there is no way to ever truly know what are solely our own ideas. Every single little thing we see or hear impacts how we see the world whether we realize it or not. 

You're Not Perfect in The Eyes of The World

Postmodernism is the theories of how people see art differently. In our lives today we are surrounded by this, that we are subconsciously affected by it. Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, there is some form of postmodernism. In these ads, and pictures is where we “find” ourselves, and determine who we are, and how we should look.

One example of this can be seen in TV ads. An ad for a certain medicine to cure psoriasis depicts happy, energetic adults who have been cured of this ailment. In the ad, as these people are doing youthful things, the words “Let the real you shine through!” are played in the background. These words make those who suffer from the disease feel as if they are not them self with coping with the disease, and therefore demote them. In actuality, we should applaud these people for having to cope with this issue.

Another example of this can be seen through social media. In today's world, you can open an app, and instantly find pictures of models. With these pictures you begin to judge yourself, and it makes you want to change in order to be more like these pictures. Instead of focusing on one's individuality, one focuses on how to be more like everyone else.

Is It Art?

What is art? What qualifies as art? These questions are inspired by a new postmodernist perspective. Postmodern art is art that critiques art. Many people have difficulty accepting that some postmodern masterpieces are in fact art. Take for example, a blank white canvas or a, seemly irrelevant, crumpled paper ball. Many people today would reject either as any form of art, postmodern art challenges this.

Although postmodern art can be made for different reasons, it is mainly created to challenge simple understandings of the world. It is created to challenge the viewer's previous perspectives on various subjects. In some cases postmodern art forces the audience to question their perspectives on art itself. The artist sometimes intends to leave the viewer with questions that extend from one piece of artwork to the entire definition of art. A blank canvas or crumpled ball of paper will surely encourage the audience to question whether it can be considered art or not and this is exactly what the artist intended. These postmodern works propose that art does not have to be extraordinary, beautiful and expensive to be considered art but rather that with the correct perspective, everyday objects can be art. Postmodernism is changing the world's perspective on art.

The Reality in Commercials

Postmodernism battles with the image of truth, reality and how to perceive different things in society. This MAC cosmetic commercial represents postmodernism in two ways. The first way it represents postmodernism is because of the fact that it is portraying how we should look. This commercial is selling a product that will enhance our visual appearance and make us look more appealing. In society today, looks are very important. You need to look a certain way or you are not “normal” and do not fit in. By telling us to buy this lipstick to enhance our lips and face, this is feeding into the idea that the image we see in media is reality. So many opinions and views are put into the media in the postmodern era, and they should not define our reality. This artificial image from the media of what we should look like has become so important in our lives and tells us the new reality of what is normal and fake.

The second way this commercial represents postmodernism is the visual aspect of it. This commercial is full of abstract and different visuals that are not common or normal to see in a commercial or art. This commercial’s use of color, movement and shapes expresses an idea that is a contradiction to the “normal’ art we have seen. This abstract form of art breaks the classic art mold that was formed many years ago.

Postmodernism is portrayed in many types of media and influences our everyday lives. It ultimately has a great impact on who we are. Because there are so many "truths" or opinions are being thrown at us, we need to filter them out and make up the definition of who we actually are. Being aware of all of the images that are thrown at us is important in finding ourselves today.

Memes in a Postmodern World

There is no single way to define postmodernism, but it is safe to say that almost everything I read, see, consume, or create is done in  a postmodernist fashion. Ideas about culture and the ways it is conveyed in media are the basis for today's American society. Whether addressing race, politics, religion, or just about any topic that has somewhat relevance there is always some sort of comedic joke or ironic twist on the internet. What is especially interesting is the way internet “memes” have taken over social media and created widespread phenomenon. Internet memes are truly an example of how our postmodern world addresses serious and some not so serious topics.

Memes can be many different things; gifs, text posts, images, and are all frantically widespread throughout all platforms on social media. Memes have a way of taking very serious, edgy, and provocative topics and making light jokes out of them, relatable to all. For example the news and reality of the new President elect has hit America hard, and created controversy and tension all throughout society. In response, a popular strand of Joe Biden memes have take over the internet. These Biden memes all have a common running joke about how Biden is going to sabotage Trump before leaving office. The joke of this meme is that Biden is sabotaging in a childlike and cute manner. Whether Biden is planning on hitting Trump with a football, loosening the screws in the presidential chair, or how he is going to change the wifi password to “I love Mexicans”, the memes reflect the way Americans are dealing with the turmoil and confusion of the new changes that are going to take over political life.
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Comedy and jokes in society have become more cruel, scrutinizing, and harshly honest. Arguably, this boldness in joking is just another reflection on how our postmodern society is completely different than ever before. Jokes and comedy are another way people mask themselves in a society that looks down upon outward emotion and expressing feelings. Adolescents, especially males, are conditioned in society to not express emotion and simply to deal with problems themselves. Joking is a mechanism for dealing with society’s new ideals. It is easy to laugh at a meme about race, politics, religion, etc.. rather than to actually think and deal with the actual topics personally

These dramatic changes in comedy and satire are a reflection on how our postmodern society operate and thrives. Provocative and outrageous internet posts not only help people in a postmodern society cope with change and immense problems, but they also offer an escape from the harshness and realness of real life. Memes also reflect the way people have become desensitized to topics and learned to laugh at topics that perhaps should not be joked around about. Next time that you see a funny internet post or meme, take minute to examine why you think it is so funny. Is it the silliness of it? Or is it the intense and real honesty that it conveys?

Postmodernism In Media

Postmodernism is the general ideologies and theories of how people view different types of art forms. We view postmodern material constantly in our daily lives without even realizing it. Everywhere you look you will find some type of art form that you are unconsciously forming an opinion on or trying to find the meaning behind. Especially in today's media.

For example when you are scrolling through any type of social media you are seeing millions of images of how life is supposed to be, what you should look like, how to dress, and what you need to do to have a good time. As we look through images like this we are shoving all of these pictures in our head and then later comparing reality to what we see in media. The distinction between reality and media has become extremely blurred.

Postmodernism has allowed us to take all of these things we see in media and help us to form our own opinions on what we like and what we don't like. It allows us to choose what TV shows we watch, what kind of music we listen to, and just how you want to represent yourself in society. It helps us to form parts of our identity or at least the version of our self we want to show others.

Overall postmodernism in media has both helped and hurt out society today. We are very lucky to be able to view any type of art form anytime we want through the media. But the things we view can also change our outlook on life in negative aspects.

How Relevant is Postmodernism

Postmodernism is something that we see in our everyday lives, whether or not we notice it. The thing about postmodernism is that it isn't something that we do in our lives, it is our lives. What we do with ourselves how we want to be viewed by other people is completely up to the individual. What postmodernism does is it allows the average person to break free of the strict standards of society and make their own path to living.

Originally, the term postmodernism would refer to art or abstract art. What seems to be the case now is that postmodernism has spread into a lifestyle than a concept. People today will do anything and everything to stand out, which is the opposite of how it used to be. Back before the 1920's, people were all trying to fit into what an acceptable person would be. But, in the modern age, everyone wants to feel like a snowflake, like there's nothing exactly like you. The strict guidelines of society have now withered away, creating a prime example of what people today don't want to become.

We also see postmodernism in politics. The style of politics that we know now, with all of the arguing and personal attacks, was not always the way of politics. Even all of the TV broadcasting and the insane amount of viewership was not as immensely high even just a few years ago. This shows that even politicians want to be something new, or just something that is better than what America had previously.

Another way postmodernism is represented in society is through education. The education system in America used to be a lot more strict and un-enjoyable than it is today. Just imagine what it would be like to go to Fenwick, sort of like that. There used to be strict dress codes with no talking in class, only one gender in each school. Now a days, we take school for granted, complaining about anything that we get the chance to complain about. Meanwhile, the school system as a whole has developed exceptionally well from what it used to be pre-postmodernism.

Postmodernism has given people the true freedom of choice, whether it be what they wear, their profession, or the type of music they listen to. And people like to choose for themselves. It gives them a sense of power and even control on their life. The idea has gotten rid of strict ideologies and has opened up the world for new interpretation. Postmodernism is a way of life and has extended society into what it is today.

Postmodernism in America

If you look around our world today, their are many different examples of Postmodernism.  If you look specifically at the news and how truth is established in our society and in earlier eras you can see this.  Most news shows, specifically ones that talk about politics, show people debating a point with opposite view points and a mediator in the middle of it.  There is often little attempt to decide what is ultimately correct or to call someone out when the things they are saying false information.   This seen in political interviews when someone is asking another politician a question.  Most politicians take whatever question they are asked and shift their response to benefit them even if what they are saying is wrong.  Before the Postmodern era there was a specific standard and fixed ideologies and theories. Their is no longer a gold standard of truth that people are looking for, their are just many different versions of the truth.  Instead of a strict interpretation of truth and ideologies, we now see looser interpretations.   Everybody interprets information differently and have different interpretations on what the truth really is.  In our Postmodern society people are able to interpret information and see things in different ways rather than being told what is right or wrong.

Postmodernism has allowed people to turn away from ideologies and theories that you need to follow.  It has allowed people to interpret information rather than being told how to interpret it.  You no longer have to follow strict guidelines, you can create your own ideologies and theories.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Postmodernism in My Life

Postmodernism has at its heart general distrusts of grand theories and ideologies, thus accepting that all knowledge is constructed in people’s minds and is not true reality. However, reality is in the eye of the beholder and one cannot claim that their reality is superior to that of another because these are solely human creations. This theory accurately explains the religious and educational aspects of my life.

Postmodernism creates a new tolerance with religion because it means never questioning the authority of another religion. On the flip side, however, it declares that no one religion can claim itself the bearer of the truth, because after all, the reality is in the eye of who which perceives it. This claim goes against my entire childhood because I went to a Catholic grade school, where I learned that following Catholic ideologies and God’s words was the only correct way to live my life. However, in my high school experience, I have run into the postmodern philosophy and it has run completely counter to Scripture and virtually challenges every biblical truth that was pounded into my head for 8 years. The postmodern ideology on religion now correctly explains my life because at OPRF I have entered into a new kind of social sphere, where acceptance of all kinds of people is more widespread than I have ever experienced in the past. Everyone’s reality is accepted because people are free to equally interpret the idea of reality.

Ideally, in postmodern education, it is believed that teachers are no longer the transmitters of information, but rather facilitate children’s construction of their own knowledge. However, teachers cannot avoid imposing their own moral values on their students. This makes it important that teachers promote good values, as their students absorb this information and use it to are construct their identities and their own personal opinions. Again, going back to my grade school education, lessons were taught at us and we were not given the opportunity to create our own knowledge, However, this postmodern theory accurately explains my educational experience at OPRF because teachers speak with a more vague tone, allowing students to interpret information how it fits in their mind. The best example of the intellectual freedom I’ve experienced at OPRF is the presidential election. During the presidential election, it would have been easy for my teachers to talk down a certain candidate and promote the one they supported. However, my teachers were unbiased while educating my classes on each candidate and did not express their personal opinions, allowing students to create their own position based on the knowledge relayed by our teachers.

Postmodernism ideology is a better fit for society because society as well as individuals progress when people are given the power to choose and attain their own goals. Many people would claim that postmodernism does not affect their daily lives, however its ideas shape our culture through art and commodities without us even recognizing it. Looking at it in retrospect, I realize that postmodernism has drastically affected my perspective and my daily life in the few years from grade school to high school.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Is the Internet Loosening Our Grip on the Truth?

By the title of this article alone, my attention was peaked as a reader. It seemed like a relatively new and controversial topic, one worth discussing and paying attention to now more than ever.

Today, the vast majority of people’s primary source of information about the world around us, current events, and general facts is the internet. Especially with this past election, everyone jumped to their phones or laptops to get the cliff notes from a speech, to fact-check a candidate, or, on election day, to stay updated on which candidate won which states as well as their growing number of electoral votes.

Now most Americans understand that many things posted on the internet may not be completely or at all true. However it is quite a difficult distinction to make in the moment you are reading “news”, especially if the thing that may not be true is exactly what you wanted to hear. Many people like to pretend that they are reading only facts whenever what they are reading lines up well with what they want to believe.

All in all, I would say that I agree with the argument that this article is making. It is becoming increasingly harder to find unbiased and untweaked news online, and I do not see this issue getting resolved in the future. If anything, it will likely get worse. Now more than ever, it is important to try and think about the things you read online before accepting them unconditionally. Learning to question things that you are being told are facts is becoming an increasingly more valuable skill to have.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Where has America Gone?

This presidential election was crucial for how America will move in the next upcoming years. We need someone who truly knows where the county is going and what to do in times of crisis.However, in my opinion I do not believe that the person that was elected is the best candidate for the job. If i'm being completely honest, I am not really that surprised that Trump won on Tuesday. I didn't stay up to watch the whole thing but I knew once he had won Ohio that he won and Florida was soon to follow.

Now I don't support Trump and I do not justify his actions and the comments he's made about different individuals in America. In fact I think it's sickening to think that someone who mocks people with disabilities, degrades women, and who lies about half the things he's done is becoming our next president. To top it all off I never truly got to hear his plans for how and what he would do to lead America in the right direction. Although, that could also be said the same for Hillary considering all the attacking at each other that was going on.

Still though I am no where near surprised at the fact that Trump won the election on Tuesday night/ Wednesday morning. It's the way Trump appealed to the specific audience that he was speaking to at the time. He used pathos and ethos to appeal to the Americans that voted for him in a way that really made the public think. I mean think about it some Americans are sick and tired of how things are with our political system. They think it's too old, corrupt, and outdated and they say it's time for an upgrade, but just because it's an upgrade doesn't mean its better. The reason only politicians get elected is because they know how the system works best. Yes I agree that something needs to go in there and shake up and essentially destroy the system but at the same time I do not think that Donald Trump is the right man or woman to do it.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The future of politics is on a decline

For this to be my first presidential campaign season I followed, it certainly left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The most important position in our country should be taken seriously and not be distracted by drama in one's personal life, it should mainly be focused on the benefit one can do for the country.

This current season honestly felt like a joke, it was unreal from Trump mocking a disabled reporter to his “locker room talk”. The truth of the matter is, I know more about Trump’s drama and scandals that I know about his actual presidential plan. Although I would like to give him all the blame for being such an outrageous candidate I can’t because it wouldn’t be true, our society can be blamed for this also for publicizing everything they see and hear.

Nowadays things go public and viral in hours and once it does it stays relevant for days. For example Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails have lasted all the way until election day. Our society has a tendency to focus on the bad more than the good in people, and that showed in politics because most of the ads that aired were attack ads.

Our society takes away from the actual learning of presidential plans and only focus on a candidate's character, and I believe that is what people base their votes on. I am honestly scared for the future of politics especially if Donald Trump is elected because a man who makes statement that he does should not be allowed to run a nation of all different kinds of races.

What Do We Do Now?

I still can't really believe Tuesday happened. While results were coming in, my phone wouldn't stop buzzing. Most of the messages I'd received were from three very close friends of mine, all of whom are minorities. I got texts from a friend of mine in Indiana who just couldn't believe what was going on. He had been afraid he would get "the gay zapped out of him" if his family found out he wasn't straight, since, as governor, Mike Pence supported conversion therapy, and now he's the VP. My friend in Philadelphia, the daughter of a eastern European immigrant, was horrified to see her state turn red and cried when she realized what the stock market crashing was going to do to her college fund. Another friend of mine, who lives just a block away from me and is a member of the LGBT community, showed up at my house while votes were being tallied in Michigan and just layed across my couch, trying not to freak out.

When I came to school on Wednesday it didn't seem like anybody else could believe what had happened either. I know people that didn't show up to school because they didn't feel emotionally equipped to get through the day. I know a lot of people who broke down crying in the halls because they were afraid of a Trump presidency. I felt like I might cry too for a good portion of the day. This election meant so much. We could have elected our first female president and continued the work of the Obama administration, but so many people just weren't excited by that. Now we have Trump and Pence. They could make the US an enemy of NATO, Roe v Wade could potentially get repealed, and they could start a war that we are now the perfect age to get drafted for. I'm scared. I'm scared for my friends and I'm scared for our future as a country. But I feel a little better now than I did Tuesday night.

I walked into my 5th period class on Wednesday feeling, like all my classmates, kinda lifeless. The teacher who taught this particular class had told us back in September that she'd already booked her flight to go see Hillary Clinton's inauguration. She'd made a deal with a friend of hers from college that if a female president ever got elected in their lifetimes, they'd go and see her get sworn in, together. I'd been wanting to go to her class all day, I just wanted to know what she would say to us about the election. She ended up telling us that she was devastated, but things are never bad forever. As young people, we are going to be responsible for turning things around and making progress in the right direction. Our job right now is to figure out how to make that difference, work at it, and "don't let the bastards get you down".

There's been a lot of talk online about leaving the country or protesting, but there's nothing to protest and moving to Canada won't change anything. Donald Trump will be our 45th president, there's nothing to be done about that now. What we can do is channel all the anger and frustration people are feeling into something more productive. Organizing and having our voices heard isn't going to be an issue, just look at the protests that have taken place in every major city this past week. I urge you not to wallow in defeat for too long. A little while is okay, by all means, cry if you feel like crying. But by January 20th, if Trump's policies still make your stomach churn and you're not doing something about it, that's on you. I'll even make it easier for you to figure out what it is you can do, I've attached links to a number of organizations that will need support through the next four years at the bottom of this post. Donate, volunteer, protest every law you feel is unjust, and don't forget to vote in the midterms and in 2020, but more than anything, be safe and don't let the bastards get you down.

Planned Parenthood
Black Lives Matter (Chicago Chapter)
Anti Defamation League (Chicago Chapter)
American Civil Liberties Union
Council On American-Islamic Relations
Local LGBT Volunteer Opportunities 

A Trump Presidency

Donald Trump's election surprised me, I was amazed that he actually won the election. I didn't feel as terrible as I thought I would. I think my mind was at ease because of his excellent acceptance speech.

His acceptance speech is hopefully an example of how he will lead. He used pathos throughout his campaign to sway voters in his direction. He used hateful rhetoric to polarize voters to only vote for him. Hopefully he only used that pathos to get elected and he will now be a moderate president who might lead us in a good direction.

During his speech he changed his opinion on Hillary Clinton on a dime. In previous speeches he has personally insulted her, but in his acceptance speech he is praising her. This is an example of Trump using positive ethos for himself and Hillary. When he praises Hillary, it makes him seem like a humble winner, which is unexpected considering his personality. Praising Hillary also makes his victory seem even more impressive, which makes him seem like a more qualified candidate.

Donald Trump may not be a great president, but the only thing we as citizens can do is try to steer him in the right direction. He may not listen but we must try.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Speech that's Hard to Accept

Donald Trump has been elected as the 45th President of the United States. Americans have not hidden their overwhelming feelings of excitement or horror, as many have been peacefully protesting for days. Some haven't even bothered to watch his acceptance speech, which he gave at around 3 am that election night. He opens with congratulating his opponent Hillary Clinton on her "very, very hard-fought campaign". Knowing Trump's, it seems this is a form of ethos to make him seem as though he is respectful and feels Clinton was a fair rival.

Then the speech continues as Trump says how he plans to move this country forward as President. He states,"It is a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds, and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people -- and serve the people it will." This is promoting pathos in his audience, both those who have fought with and against him. He desires trust and to reassure those who don't trust him that he is thinking of their safety and well being anyways. 

Finally, he thanks and acknowledges a lot of people and organizations with a lot of logos. Chris Christie, Jeff Sessions, RNC, and his own Vice President Mike Pence. 

I don't support Donald Trump, as a human being and I probably won't support him as a president either. But as a 16 year old girl, all I feel I can do is be optimistic. If I was shown this speech a month ago and was told it was by Trump, I wouldn't believe it. And I still don't fully believe all the goals he described and the respect he gave in his speech were genuine. Yet as a country, we voted for him and elected him as our President. Now we must come together, stand our ground, and hope this wasn't a grave mistake.