My thanks to Pat Miller for this concise, creative excerpt. In it he tries to answer the question “What is Postmodernism?” in a fresh way.
“If reality itself is a mini-narrative constructed from personal experience and belief, then meaning cannot exist on a large scale. Grandiose, all-encompassing meaning requires equally grand mega-narratives. The greatest religious, philosophical, and political thinkers drafted the mega-narratives within which we live today. Yet culture often clashes with these ideas and asks “yes, but…” Loving Jesus is great, but why shouldn’t everyone go to heaven? Consumerism is dandy, but what if there’s more to life than just buying things? Communism is swell, but what if I don’t want to start a war?
With inexhaustible “yes, but…” questions, postmodernism aims to snuff and overburden the gatekeepers of knowledge, steal their keys, make copies and pass them out to everyone free of charge. Eventually, postmodernism bought the most breathtaking Xerox machine ever imagined, and made copies of every word written. Then it built a library for every person, and said “This is the house of your truth, take this lighter and scanner, burn that with which you disagree, and copy that which you love. Then, know in your heart that this is truth of equal value to the truth next door, and truth universes away.”
In this way meaning lost it’s structure and it’s house. If each library is created equal, then it’s truth must be equal. Its truth is separate from all other truth, and it’s meaning is different from all other meanings. Its voice is loud, but no louder than anyone elses. In miserable failure, the old gatekeepers wept at the foot of the gates of wisdom. This is the postmodern epic of reality.”