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Postmodern Moments

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For the most part, the people who chip their postmodern revelations into Adbusters’ "Postmodern Epiphanies" forum seem to be a little – or a lot – on the sad side.

One contributor from Alton, Ontario wrote: "Born in 1985, my youth fell into the crack between revolution and aftermath. I can neither participate in the former nor revel in the latter. To paraphrase the great postmodernist author Chuck Palahnuik: I have no war to fight, no Great Depression. My war is a spiritual one, my great depression is my life." Remind me never to go to Alton.

In amongst the purple teen prose, youthful angst and shameless navel gazing you do find little "pomo" pearls, observations so unsettling that you won’t enjoy life for about a week.

"People are stupid, and I am people," wrote one contributor from Minneapolis.

"After having my show booted from the Fringe Festival in Montreal because a corporate sponsor was offended by my show, I got pissed. Upon further investigation I learned that the word "fringe" is trademarked!!!" wrote another from Montreal.

"Our human resources department has been replaced by a computer program called HR Direct," wrote another from Salt Lake City.

"No matter what it says on the box, the treatment my wife puts on her hair is actually a Temporary and not a Permanent."

"The day my mom came home from the hair stylists (and said) ‘I got you some hair gel that makes your hair spiky and turns it blue.’ When rebellion is not only co-opted by corporations, but purchased by your parents, what’s the point?"

"I bought Adbusters on my Visa at Barnes and Noble in a strip mall."

Somewhere amongst these pomo gems I found one particular comment that spoke to me a little more personally by someone calling themselves "prolatareate."

"I live in Whistler," he or she wrote. "The culmination of everything that is evil manifests it’s self (sic) here in the guises of prozac-ian recreation… Somebody please help use (sic)…"

A post-modern epiphany is loosely defined as an extreme reaction to modern life by means of a sudden realization. One practitioner calls it a "harsh, knee-jerk response to nonconformity" in our surroundings. They don’t have to be logical or universal, but the connections and realizations we make seem glaring at the time.

I have pomo moments of my own from time to time, I just never really knew what to call them before.

For example, have you been following the trials and tribulations of Springer, the orphaned Killer Whale that was rescued from Puget Sound and reunited with its family group? It’s probably going to cost taxpayers $750,000, but what the heck – everyone got a warm fuzzy from the story.

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