Nothing in the Monologue

“The monologue means nothing to me” Elliot Smith in Can’t Make a Sound

I thought this was such a thought provoking insightful line in one of Elliot Smith’s songs. Something I’ve been mulling over this past year is this whole modernism clash with post-modernism. While, admittedly much of it is over my head, I do agree that post-modernism has brought to light very honest and real holes in modernist thought. And I think post-modernism has much to teach us. For one thing, I’m grateful that it’s bringing more relevance into the structure of community. In brief, modernism worked in propositional truths and understood things at an individualistic level, while post-modernism pushes against that with a communal understanding of truth and reality. So truth is shaped and born out of a community, rather than something someone else once believed.

So with that said, I think Elliot Smith’s line is the cry of our generation. Many of them want to be engaged with, not just told what to do. To them, monologue means nothing and dialogue means everything. I offer no solutions or prescriptions, but merely wanted to pose a thought that I hope will bring fruitful interaction with this emerging post-modern generation. And maybe I’m missing the whole boat here and we’ve all moved beyond post-modernism onto something else, in which case, I’ll catch up with you guys later…

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