J. Morgan and Foucault: tragic Target shoppers.
J. morgan's definition of a post-modernist is someone who lives in a post-modern society, and his definition of a post-modern society is, roughly, where there are Targets, and one can "shop" for metanarratives.
What the hell's a metanarrative?
Wikipedia defines it as "a global or totalizing cultural narrative schema which orders and explains knowledge and experience." I'll localize that and say that it's a psychological construct which dictates decisions--from who you can marry, to where you can live or travel, to what you do for a living, to whether the bread and wine are really the body of Christ, etc.
It matters less for j. morgan than it does for me how fully people still operate under metanarratives. The fact, for him, is that we don't have to be psychologically bound the way that people in other societies are, or the way people in past societies were. That's what's important. That's what's post-modern. QED. The consequences of this shift (what we've lost and what we've gained) are still up for grabs.
In discussing this j. morgan and I divided everyone on the planet into 3 camps: post-moderns, Papua New Guineans, and Scrantonites. (Note: these camps are not made to be definitive and final; there are exceptions; this is just a framework for discussion.)
Post-moderns are those like J. morgan and Foucault who have stood under the bright lights of Target and appropriated modernism properly: recognizing the signs of the age, like Pascal, Nietzsche, Henry Adams, or Lyotard. Papua New Guineans are those who still manage, in 2006, to have an honest-to-goodness metanarrative. (We're referring to tribal groups.) Scrantonites, the most problematic of the 3 camps, are those on whom metanarratives still have a grip. They might be promiscuous; they might have a MySpace page; they might shop at Walmart; they might live in a Penthouse in Manhattan; they might cut you from their bloated budgets like sharpened knives through Chicken McNuggets. When it comes down to it, though, many if not all of their decisions are still dictated by a metanarrative, like Catholicism, or being a West Virginia coal miner, or Buddhism, or neofascism, or the 1980s.
My objection: how do you fit the Scrantonites into J. morgan's structuralist approach?