Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fear of Death and Postmodernity..

Someone asked:

"Which is most characteristic of the zeitgeist of postmodernity:

incredulity toward metanarrative


the subjectification of epistemology?"

As many know, that is a classic argument..
but of course some readers have just tuned out...zzzzzzzzz

That's okay, some thrive on that kind of question (several even caught the reference to Lyotard).

If the question made no sense or bored you,
go ahead and literally tune out and watch this video instead.

However, if

you know the story behind the song, it may well address/answer the question (:

For the two of you who are left,

my immediate (half-teasing) answer..

which could be dead wrong or blinking spot on...


"Aren't they both the same thing?

Someone just stroked their beard and said:

"Yes...and aren't they both also, at heart,

the denial of death?:

For me, this dovetailed with two thoughts:

one (inevitably) a scripture
one (inevitably) a 77s reference.

Let's take those in reverse order, just because I love chiasm (it is a distraction from fear of death):

1) The 77s liner notes always beg to be read; their second record included the Ernest Becker quote from "Denial of Death":

"Modern man is drinking and drugging himself out of awareness..

or else he goes shopping..

which is the same thing."

Becker clarifies:

“Repression takes care of the complex symbol of death for most people.
But its disappearance doesn’t mean that the fear was never there.”

2)The Scriptural analysis, which of course covers humanity's plight...whether we are embedded in modernity, postmodernity...or any era:

"Since humans have flesh and blood,
Jesus too shared in their humanity
so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death {wow, another chiasm}
that is, the devil—
and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."
(Hebrews 2:14-15)

Our only fear, bottom line, is of death.

We talked last night in leadership class about
repression, projection and transference in the Body...based on the helpful book by Valerie McIntyre, "Sheep in Wolves' Clothing: How Unseen Need Destroys Friendship and Community and What to Do about It"

Everyone had a story.

Yet it seemed like every story about a fellow believer who acted out of woundedness, repression, projection and transference was at least in part motivated by denial/fear of death (They had cancer etc) and sexualized projection (or are those two the same thing?...see the third section here).

Guess we all are still dismantling the death-bomb..

Even though we should be/could be free of such fear. Bono:

"I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb…. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled.."

Read all about U2 and Dismantling the Death Bomb in my insane, unedited article here ..

But be warned (:

You may have problems with its

subjectification of epistemology.


incredulity toward its metanarrative


(Note, that inclusio reference to my opening question just made this whole blog post a chiasm),

Don't let it kill you..

Go shopping instead (“Shopping is politics,” Bono says) if you have to.

We apparently have the word “apocalypse“ all wrong. In its root meaning, it’s not about destruction or fortune telling; It’s about revealing; It’s what James Joyce calls an epiphany-the moment you realize your so-called love for the young lady, all your professions, all your dreams, and all your efforts to get her to notice you were the exercise of an unkind and obssesive vanity…The real world, within which you’ve lived and moved and had your being, has unveiled itself. It’s starting to come to you. You aren’t who you made yourself out to be. An apocalypse has occurred, or a revelation, if you prefer…Apocalyptic maximizes the reality of human suffering and folly before daring a word of hope. The hope has nowhere else to happen but the valley of the shadow of death. Is it any surprise that we often won’t know it when we see it?

-David Dark, “Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, The Simpsons and Other Pop Culture Icons”, p.10 (emphasis mine)

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