A Post-Modernist De Gustibus

By Mark McIntire

Welcome to the Wonderful, Wide, World of Post-modernism! We finally made it. As post-modernists, we finally figured it all out: Nothing is Real. Nothing is True. Nothing is Good. And, nothing is Beautiful. Unless, of course you think it is. And we're not quite sure about that either. Or are we? Relax. Have some marijuana. Have some cocaine. Have an abortion. Buy a Lexus. Put a crucifix in a bottle of piss. Go to Hawaii. Invite your friends. Have an orgy. If it feels good, then it is good. There is no reality, truth, goodness or beauty. These are merely thoughts. We are all just organisms that 'react' to 'stimuli'. Your reaction is just as sound as anyone else's. Have some more marijuana.

Remain calm. Don't get excited. Wear Birkenstocks.

Above all don't have thoughts. Have feelings. Thoughts are confusing and filled with difficulty. Why be confused with difficulties? It will make you feel bad. Don't you want to feel good? Then, don't think, just feel. Do you feel tired? Then stay home. Relax. Have some cocaine. You'll feel better.

Remain calm. Have sex with a stranger. Drive a Volvo station-wagon. Put lots of bumper-stickers on it to express what you feel. Have a candle-light vigil for something.

If you're a man, then become a woman. If you're a woman, then become a man. Then you'll understand that there are no men and there are no women. We're all just 'persons'. We're all the same. We have no differences. Logic is a coercive and repressive pack of lies. Be diverse. Differences are the result of thoughts, and thoughts are confusing and difficult. You don't want to be confused with difficulties do you? Have some LSD. Try this pill. Everything is simple. Listen to some Rap.

Remain calm. Get in touch with your feelings. Tell a lie. After all, if it's true to you, then it is true, but just to you. Be vague. Better yet, be ambiguous.

It's not your fault. You're just reacting to stimuli. Nothing you do, or did, is ever bad or good for that matter. It's all these stimuli that make you feel that you've been bad or good. Multinational corporations stimulate you to feel good or bad. It's not your fault. It's all these swirling stimuli. So, just change the stimuli. Have a drink. Have another. Invite your friends. Be diverse. Read Newsweek or Time. Look at the pictures. Hallucinate. Vote for Hillary.

Above all, remain calm. Bash a corporation. Bash them all. Defend Michael Jackson.

Do you feel there are some nasty people in other countries trying to kill you? Relax. Have some X. There are no countries. There are no nasty people. There are no patriots or terrorists. There are no national allegiances, just disturbing and confusing thoughts about allegiances. These are just 'reactive' thoughts you are having to some 'stimuli'. How did the stimuli get there? No one knows. More importantly, no one can ever know, thanks to post-modernism. It's like asking " Who painted the roses red?" No one did. They are just 'red'. It's all just the result of being stimulated. What 'roses'? What 'red'? And, what is 'is' by the way?

Remain calm. Don't think. You'll only confuse yourself. Blame the corporations. Marry your cat.

But stimulated by what? Does not 'stimulated' imply something that stimulates? And if there is something that stimulates, then that something must be real? And if that something that stimulates is real, then might it be knowable? And if it is knowable, then might it be good or bad. And if it could be good or bad, then might it actually be beautiful or ugly?

Have some morphine. Remain calm. Hallucinate. Watch Oprah Winfrey.

Oh, there you go, thinking again. Having thoughts will only confuse you and fill you with difficulties. Worse still would be for you to take those thoughts and formulate an 'argument' An 'argument' is a whole mess of thoughts that will really confuse you if you try to understand it. Now, you might compile a 'bibliography' of books and articles that you have never read. A bibliography is a whole mess of 'stimuli' that confused other people with difficulties. And, you might offer that in place of an argument, because then you would not have to have a thought, let alone an argument. And, everyone would be stimulated to like you because you are a brilliant post-modernist thinker. So, have some more drugs. Relax. Nothing is Real. Nothing is True. Nothing is Good. And, certainly nothing is beautiful.

How are you feeling now? Better?

But there's just one thing that vexes me. If these brilliant post-modernists have figured it all out, then just exactly how did they figure it all out if, as they claim, nothing is real, true, good or beautiful (note no caps...my only concession to post-modernism)?

Oh! You're hopeless! It's the evil corporations. De gustibus non disputandum est. ("In matters of feelings, there is no real dispute.")1.

---Mark McIntire

October 1, 2003

1. translation mine

---Cordially, Mark McIntire Professor of Philosophy Santa Barbara City College