FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Postmodern Simulations and Modernist Convenient Truths

Trump conservatives manage both to embrace some tenants of postmodernity, primarily the truth-less void of Baudrillard’s simulations, while at the same time dismissing the ambiguous nature of postmodern identities. Instead they demand that the inherent truths of “traditional” gender and sex roles be upheld without question.

In a post-need based economy advertisers make their products stand out by establishing codes of meaning. When all pickup trucks fulfill the need trucks are supposed to fulfill, an effort must be made to elevate the truck brand itself, the idea invoked by it that is, above the utility value of the truck itself. This branding, a la Naomi Klein, very much applies to the news media outlets of the day. So the “Ford Truck man” may well also be the “Fox News man.” This begins as a matter of seeming preference, but over time comes to have great significance for the consumer. With the investment in one brand or another his very identity is at stake. Codes illuminate what one product or another is made to represent, and with great cunning, marketers are adept at exploiting prejudices and cultural boundaries.

Fox news has become the Ford F-150. CNN is a Honda Accord. MSNBC is a Toyota Prius. When deliberating your purchase there is no need to debate the utility, or truth-value as it may be, of one or the other. The decision is evident. To be the truck man is to be certain, unequivocal, steadfast, unwavering, proud, American, and most importantly, masculine. This is the emotional link that has come to bind a segment of the population to the network of American propaganda. Trump’s refrain of “fake news” is rewarding for the truck man highlighting what he already knows, that the other options are inadequate, even effeminate. The realness or fakeness of the news is not of issue, as the decision has already been made, and for reasons wholly unrelated to truth or untruth.

In this way advanced consumer culture has spearheaded the postmodern era. We are led to dutifully mold our sense of self from a range of consumer goods. But modernist essentialism makes a return in at least one strand of the Trump conservative brand. The realness of most things can be made up as you go, but gender roles and sexual identity must remain fixed. Here truth has no truthiness. Trump chastised his staff, women were supposed to look like women. North Carolina’s bathrooms must be bastions of the gender binary. Transgendered youth must go back to being the boys and girls God intended them to be. It is as if we’re living in the worst of modernity and the worst of the postmodern simultaneously.

More articles by:
June 21, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
Kurdish Women Protest After Being Told by Turkish-Backed Militias to Wear the Hijab
Ron Jacobs
Divest From the Business of Incarceration
W. T. Whitney
Angola in Louisiana: Proving Ground for Racialized Capitalism
Susan Babbitt
Assange and Truth: the Deeper (Harder) Issue
Kenn Orphan
Humanity vs. the Rule of Law
Mateo Pimentel
Why on Earth a Country of Laws and Borders?
Michael T. Klare
The Pentagon’s Provocative Encirclement of China
Howard Lisnoff
The Outrageous Level of Intolerance is Happening Everywhere!
Vijay Prashad
The People of India Stand With Palestine
RS Ahthion
Internment Camps for Child Migrants
Binoy Kampmark
Rocking the G7: Trump Stomps His Allies
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Lawrence Wittner
Getting Ready for Nuclear War
Dean Baker
When Both Men and Women Drop Out of the Labor Force, Why Do Economists Only Ask About Men?
Bruce Lerro
Big Brother Facebook: Drawing Down the Iron Curtain on Yankeedom
June 20, 2018
Henry Giroux
Trump’s War on Children is an act of State Terrorism
Bill Hackwell
Unprecedented Cruelty Against Immigrants and Their Children
Paul Atwood
“What? You Think We’re So Innocent?”
Nicola Perugini
The Palestinian Tipping Point
K.J. Noh
Destiny and Daring: South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s Impossible Journey Towards Peace
Gary Leupp
Jeff Sessions and St. Paul’s Clear and Wise Commands
M. G. Piety
On Speaking Small Truths to Power
Dave Lindorff
Some Straight Talk for Younger People on Social Security (and Medicare too)
George Wuerthner
The Public Value of Forests as Carbon Reserves
CJ Hopkins
Confession of a Putin-Nazi Denialist
David Schultz
Less Than Fundamental:  the Myth of Voting Rights in America
Rohullah Naderi
The West’s Over-Publicized Development Achievements in Afghanistan 
Dan Bacher
California Lacks Real Marine Protection as Offshore Drilling Expands in State Waters
Lori Hanson – Miguel Gomez
The Students of Nicaragua’s April Uprising
Russell Mokhiber
Are Corporations Behind Frivolous Lawsuits Against Corporations?
Michael Welton
Infusing Civil Society With Hope for a Better World
June 19, 2018
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
We Can Thank Top Union Officials for Trump
Lawrence Davidson
The Republican Party Falls Apart, the Democrats Get Stuck
Sheldon Richman
Trump, North Korea, and Iran
Richard Rubenstein
Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: a New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Protect Immigrant Rights; End the Crises That Drive Migration
Gary Leupp
Norway: Just Withdraw From NATO
Kristine Mattis
Nerd Culture, Adultolescence, and the Abdication of Social Priorities
Mike Garrity
The Forest Service Should Not be Above the Law
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight
Doug Rawlings
Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?
Kenneth Surin
2018 Electioneering in Appalachian Virginia
Nino Pagliccia
Chrystia Freeland Fails to See the Emerging Multipolar World
John Forte
Stuart Hall and Us
June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail