Thinking about the "New Journalism" since hearing about the death of Hunter Thompson and the zombie-like undeath of Tom Wolfe has made me pretty angry at the arrogance of the whole "post-war" era. I mean, who did these people think they were to try to claim the labels "New" and "Modern" for themselves for all time?
"New" Journalism and the "New Left" are pretty much old hat at this point. "Modern" architecture looks chintzy and dated at this point, boring and conformist even in those rare cases it doesn't actully look like junk. Anything built since the, um, "modern" era ended gets labeled "Post-Modern" to establish a relationship, even when it's quite clear the architect wanted nothing to do with that Modern crap at all.
And how about intellectual "post-modernism" or "post-feminism?" What, they're claiming everything after the heydey of those movements, until the end of time, for themselves? Why can't they come up with a name based on what the movement believes in, rather than what it comes after? ("Deconstruction" instead of "Postmodern" for example, or "Subjective Journalism" for "the New Journalism.") I get the feeling these new modern thinkers really thought the world was about to end, and their ideas would be the last. Perhaps they saw themselves as the Seal of the Prophets or something.
Well, the world is not about to end, and we're not going to spend the next 5,000 years calling ourselves post-postmodern because the 1950s were such an important, crucial milestone for civilization. I find myself hoping Reconstruction comes soon to this post-intellectual, post-industrial, post-enlightened, er, post-society we live in. I'm not really advocating imprisoning anyone who won't sign a loyalty oath to an observable, testable reality where conclusions must be based on reasonable evidence and can be disputed by logic, but daydreaming about it certainly gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.
Does anybody else think "Reconstruction" has a nice ring to it? Hey, New Urbanists, you guys are cool and all but the name has to go. I think "Reconstruction" would be cool, "Smart Growth" is okay but kinda soft and fuzzy. You can stick with "Urbanism" if you must, but fifteen years on it just isn't "New" anymore. Okay? The present is transitory. Everything "New" is old again.