Due to technological limitations that I have not imposed on myself-- they are systemic-- I was unable to save this video to my computer's "downloads" folder. But in the continuum of protest against racism and police brutality, that has now reached my own town, Clarksdale, in the Mississippi Delta,
this action in Jackson, Mississippi needs being shown to all of you, not as a granule, a mere byte among the megabytes, but as another example of Mississippians' rightful solidarity with all the people from Atlanta to Seattle, from New York to Los Angeles, in the insistence that the militarization of America's numerous jurisdictions of law enforcement (locals, sheriffs, state police we know, but who has counted all the other state and federal authorities?) must end.
We the People do not need our leaders to be arming police with military equipment against US citizens. Even we who do not often protest in the streets do not want militarized platoons, companies, battalions-- brigades-- ordered to deploy against our fellow citizens.
I'm 71, and the majority of those in the streets would be my grandchildren. The millennials. Unenviably, they are the generation that has grown up completely under the aegis of the post-post-modern Computer Age, which, though enabling googleplexes of increased communication of raw information real or fake, has separated people one from the other.
They use the machine. How many times have you seen pictures of dozens of highschoolers or hipsters sitting around during school break, or in an outdoor bistro, ticky-ticking on their little electronic familiars, separated from each other though physically proximate? WE use and obey the machine. We are behaviorally modified.
Post-post-modern, I said. What's that mean, you ask?
Modernists, of which I am one, believe that there are expressions of human thought-- art, and its evaluation, politics, and its evaluation, to name two-- that have intrinsic human value, and ought to be maintained, not forgotten, but learned by succeeding generations over the continuity of human existence. I always point to William Shakespeare's works as an example of art for which this principle has been recognized by most of the human species.
And the correlative principle is that it takes training, and the will to be trained, to be a responsible evaluator that ought to be listened to seriously.
Some would counter that this is an elitist principle, but think about it: if you wanted to stop a virus from spreading through the world unchecked and killing millions, maybe 10s or 100s of millions, of people in the US and worldwide, would you not take the word of professionals who had studied the facets of diseases, epidemics and pandemics all their adult lives over the ignorant blithering of someone who suggested you could drink or inject chlorine bleach, or shine a bright light through the human body, to kill a coronavirus?
The person that blithered thus is a perfect example of the post-modern principle that each and every individual is qualified to be his or her own evaluator of this object or that, whether the objects are created in 3-D or written, and whether or not the individual has ever done any focused study of the phenomena he or she presumes to evaluate for significance or lasting value.
In a post-modern world, audial creations on which no real instrument was played, and on many of which no real human voice was used-- techno-- are as valid, as full of beauty and expression of humanity, as a Beethoven work, Beatles songs, Ravi Shankar ragas, or Mississippi country blues. You don't really have to study techno, there's no history to it, and you don't have to have spent decades learning your craft, either to make it or evaluate it.
Yet there is still enthusiasm both by the diminishing percentage of learned students, and the increasing percentage of unlearned yawpers, to evaluate the same expressions of art, social life, and especially political thought and action. People may disagree about what they like or deplore, but there is still pretty much an understanding that it is possible for a thing to have value lasting into the indeterminate future.
Post-post-modernism is the next anti-human-consciousness step: in a post-post-modern world, and a post-post-modern mind, NOTHING qualifies as having lasting significance or value. Only the present has any real importance. As Daniel Bell once said, we have come to "the end of history."
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