We, by definition, live in a post-world. After not comprehending the world we walked into and trying to change it we’re left with the reaction of the people who came before us and the action of the people coming after us.
All generations grapple with the things too new for them to comprehend. Each generation decries the next generation for adopting behaviours that are a disgrace. Behaviours which will not prepare them for the world they imagined they would grow into. Not even the world they live in but the fantasy world they imagined and failed to live in. We’re all, in the end, the disappointment our fathers have in the world they failed to change.
After being raised on a steady diet of soap operas and vomit inducing saturday morning cartoons today’s mothers most accomplished endeavour is to control screen time and go back to an imagined past future where children play in the street and laugh gleefully in the sun. The fear of raising non social children incapable of dealing with other people is palpable in the people who themselves are non social and incapable of dealing with other people. Gen X’rs and early millennials spent countless hours by themselves, staring into a glowing tube that would make them blind and rot their brains. Yet, here we are. Baffled by our children’s addiction to youtube while we relax watching a movie. Sneering at memes while mindlessly quoting game show punch lines.
.the future is always coming
Interactive screen is today’s language as genx’s was video and is as incomprehensible to us as video was to genx’s parents. Boomers demonised TV as we today demonise screens and games. And the same way it wasn’t up to our parents to decide what our language would be it is not to us to decide what our children’s language is. It will be what they develop and collectively agree on. Culture moves on its own and leaves all men behind.
Elvis Presley dirtied the hearts and minds of young gentle pure white girls. The Doors forced people to consume drugs. Metallica encouraged people to dirty long hair mosh pitters. Nirvana glamourized depression. Armin van Buuren forced people to consume drugs (again). 50cent teaches us to objectify women and attain richness at all costs. Radio killed live performances. Video killed the radio star. TV rots brains. Games make people violent. All new things are by definition bad. Until they stop being new and become the normal. Smartphones, tablets and snapchat are new, they will just be the norm. Culture is moving faster than it used to, facebook is already old. The culture moving faster is not new either, it’s just new to us.
As it evolves culture rifts between the classical unmovable mass and the modern unstoppable force. The new generation experiments with new language and ideas and invariably fails. What’s left is the reinterpretation and transformation of the culture kernels into the post modern the garish modern behind. In turn, post modern becomes classical and a new modern pushes forward. At the end there’s always three groups of people, the parents who dominate the classical, the new adults who dominate the post modern and the inbetweens. The inbetweens were kept safe from the modern, didn’t live it, didn’t understand it and are doomed to live in their parents world as it evaporates before their eyes. The inbetweens were primed for a world that never existed.
The postmoderns control the medium and control the message. In a post truth world they understand the value of content and have a builtin intuition about what not to trust. The inbetweens follow 7 easy get rich tips the fat cats don’t want them to know, never eat bananas on tuesdays and avoid vaccines at all costs. A generation is coming into a world of fake news, youtube prank videos and deep fakes. Nothing is real anymore unless experienced first hand, if someone went to the trouble of putting it on the internet it must be false. We have nothing to give them on that respect, we will be forwarding absurd meme clipsto their collective eye roll. What we can give them is the value of the truth. In a world where everything can be faked truth is not the irrelevant, it needs to become the ultimate value. Either way, they will be as fooled by deep fakes as we are by soaps.
.the anti socials
Genx pastoral idillic running in verdant fields was actually sitting for 3 hours in front of the TV by ourselves and eventually going out to play in the street and sometimes throwing rocks at each other. There was no more socialising special sauce than in any generation. Our parents scolded us for spending too much time in front of a screen instead of going out and interacting and we scold our children for spending too much time in front of a screen instead of going out and socialising. Little do we know our children socialise much more than we ever did, they’re hypersocial. The currency for any teenager is social interaction and social cred and that’s what we invented the internet for. In the valley between hyper local social and global hyper social we fail to recognize either. The same way hyper local social led to banishments and unbearable shame global hyper social leads to global banishments and global shame. This is the dark side of social, not internet cults but being judged by a number far greater than Dunbar’s.
We’re always concerned about what ridicule our children expose to the world. We are terribly frightened they will never be able to find a job because the internet never forgets their drunken video streaking naked. In the future they are building everybody will have a drunken video streaking naked. Only weirdoes and old people won’t. We’re all too concerned about our imagined past future of gainful employment in office jobs to realize there’s no jobs in their future. Only ability to create new things.
.post modern work
This is easy subject to enunciate. There will be none. The only jobs not outsourced to machines will be the ones we can’t trust them with and the ones they can’t do. Eventually, only artists will have jobs. The postmodern artists are the ones who experimented modernity. Who immersed in videogames and 8 second clips in multiple screens. Creating the culture and the interfaces to the post modern world will be in their hands, not the inbetweens trained to be day traders in non existing floors.