Friday, August 14, 2009

Shock Claim: Modern Collective Actually More Postmodern Than Modern.

SAT 15TH AUGUST 2009 –
Erratic celebrity demographic analyst Dr Phil Warner has stunned the world of surf academia with a puzzling essay published last week in respected grown-ups journal Quadrant.

Dr Warner postulates that Modern Collective – a band of talented young surfers and filmmakers – has evolved beyond Modernism into the-harder-to-define-creative genre of Postmodernism.

Controversially, Warner argues that the instant Modern Collective came into being, Postmodernism's ironic shadow began to fall over the plucky troupe.

“Surely even coupling the words 'Modern' and 'Collective' is sheer Postmodernism in itself” Warner writes in his typically ill-informed manner.

For the uninitiated, Modernism is broadly defined as a rejection of the immediate past – thumbing its nose at the the certainty of accepted thinking. It's a self-conscious genre of artistic expression, where the process – the act of creation – is as important as the work itself.

“In these respects, the modus operandi of Modernism suits Modern Collective down to the ground” Warner continues in a rare moment of clarity. “These athletes are light years ahead of the pack, and combined with Filmmaker Neville's deft touch there's daylight between the Collective and the rest.”

“Interestingly though, the moment a breakaway flourishes, it becomes a target of sorts, and all manner of counter-dynamics come in to play. A sense of world-weariness and irony infuses the moment.

“Surf magazine forums play host to increasingly vitriolic commentary – a reaction on the part of the everyman, perhaps, who sheds admiration for envy and soon drifts to disdain.

“The young athletes in question are simply doing what any 20 year old with cash and talent would do, yet through the merciless prism of new media – the generic rage of the bedroom-bound forum-hound – the perceived line between rebel and establishment blurs.

“Though their personality has not changed a jot, the anti-hero is soon regarded as a bit of a dick. A customised wetsuit that might have once seemed subversive is now the affectation of a dandy and a fop.”

Midway through his ill-conceived essay, Dr Warner appears to abandon structured prose for a more stream-of-consciousness approach.

“The kids can't win: they're ridiculed for wearing anything remotely fashionable; for wandering into country cafes with sticker-covered laptops; for ordering their eggs benedict; for preferring an onshore ruffle; even for innocently mentioning a creative ambition or two, and – God forbid – referring to surfing their brains out as 'work'.

“Cornered, the Collective scramble for ever rarified territories of fuck-you-we-do-what-we-want – getting inked, tossing money like so much toilet paper away to incredulous croupiers, jaded binges ... possibly white-anting a dignified middle age down the line.”

Dr Warner, possibly writing in a state of drug-induced psychosis towards the end of his essay, continues:

“Look close into the eyes of these acrobatic darlings and you see the haunted clouds of Modernism and Post Modernism colliding in a perfect storm. Or, to borrow a metaphor from politically unsound fable Little Black Sambo, these conflicting genres are the two fighting tigers – who chase eachother's tails, faster and faster, incessantly until they melt into butter.”

For his closing argument, Warner goes on to compare Modern Collective with the Angry Penguins – an Australian breakaway literary and artistic movement of the 40s, the first two seasons of Desperate Housewives, and seminal '70s American music outfit Grand Funk Railroad, (which explains the photo back up the top, if the reader has made it this far).

No comments:

Post a Comment