Monday, May 23, 2005

The Denaissance

I loved this piece in the OBSERVER BLOG today ,

The Denaissance starts here

The blog was very taken with Peter Watson's comment piece in the newspaper yesterday asserting that the late 20th Century and beginning of the 21st have been poor for good new ideas.

We flatter ourselves to think that we live in interesting times, Watson suggests. In fact, we just live in hectic times. Not the same thing at all. He concludes:

The sheer lack of fundamental innovation now may explain the tenacity of traditional religion and why contemporary art seems so flat, banal and repetitive.

Apparently our times compare poorly to, for example, 1050-1250AD or 1750-1950AD -periods of real upheaval and intellectual ferment. It is an interesting thesis and one that deserves to be explored on the blog.

It is, we have decided, time for a new movement. Something to fire the imagination. A new school, like Romanticism or Modernism, that can be applied across the spectrum of human endeavour. But since we are not clever enough to come up with something entirely independent, we thought we might be able to cobble one together with some sticky-backed plastic, a few prefixes and suffixes and a little something from the intellectual dressing up cupboard.

And because it's Monday, and Monday is unofficial list day on the Observer blog, we thing we ought to present our results in that hallowed form. So here are ...

The top 10 new movements not yet invented but sure to rock the world in the 21st Century.

1. Denaissance - The undoing of the Renaissance. People reject all aspirations to emulate the cultural achievements of antiquity, or for that matter 16th Century Europe, and take refuge in blinkered Mediaeval certainty.

2. Neo-Luddism - Combining hostility to technology in the workplace as embodied in the apocryphal figure of Ned Ludd, but retaining it and worshipping it in the sphere of private life. So, for example, it is OK to have a mobile phone, but it is illegal for work to call you on it.

3. Obscurism - The inevitable backlash to our current obsession with celebrity. Complete anonymity will come to be regarded as the supreme moral virtue. Obscurist artists and writers will produce great works, but no-one will know about it.

4. Post-Ageism - Because of demographic changes in society, combined with constant vilification of young people in the media, old age becomes incredibly fashionable. Youth is despised and comes to be seen as physically repulsive. New plastic surgery techniques to artifically wrinkle skin become very popular.

5. Post-Conservatism - Conservatives realise that so much has gradually changed and evolved since they started being conservative that to get back to where they started they will have to become radical revolutionaries.

6. Masculism - Like Feminism, except instead of formulating a coherent analysis of the power structure in society the proponents just make lists of things in society they like and dislike the most.

7. Groucho-Marxism - Class struggle with a sense of humour.

8. Post-itism - A theory proposing that all worthwhile human endeavour is most accurately expressed on little yellow bits of paper with an adhesive strip on the back.

9. Neo-nlightism - A theory proposing that all worthwhile human endeavour is most accurately expressed in lurid coloured bright lights on Broadway. A schismatic movement focuses on Piccadilly Circus.

10. Schmism - A theory proposing that all worthwhile human endeavour is most accurately expressed by repeating key words and inserting 'schm' as the first syllable. For example: 'Shakespeare? schmakespeare!' 'Capitalism? schmapitalism!'

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