The world’s first postmodern election
Postmodernism is a “flow of ultra-technological images in a consumerist hyperreality across a mediascape or mindscreen to which we can only passively surrender”.
It’s about there being no Grand Narrative, no unifying story, no dominant worldview. Space has shrunk, and we have a raging multiplicity of ethnicities, viewpoints, and cultures. Our world is a “carnival of colorful and contradictory worldviews”.
Sounds like the California recall election, doesn’t it! There’s 158 candidates! Forget the pundit predictions. No one has a clue what will happen.
Steve Lopez of the L.A. Times, sounding quite PoMo, says
“Stock up on refreshments, cancel all out-of-state travel plans and get the children away from the television. The summer blockbuster of our lives goes into statewide release today. Can Gov. Gray Davis hold off the Republican posse and a Democratic mutiny? Can a low-brow movie star jump from one grubby money-driven industry to another? Can we please televise a three-way debate with Larry Flynt, Bill Simon and Angelyne?”
The Sacramento Bee opines
“The recall campaign now underway will really be several campaigns in one. They will each operate in their own spheres but will also overlap with each other at times. Following it all, and analyzing it, will be extremely tricky. If itâ€™s a close race, I think the polls toward the end will be worthless. We have never been to this place before. The experts canâ€™t rely on the past to predict the future, this time.”
“California, the supposed land of good karma and joy-joy sunshine, just finished the nastiest week in its modern political history, complete with weeping congressmen, backstabbing politicians, a divorced parent using his children as weapons, and nude photos dredged from the past.
Prepare for more.”
There’s already serious fractures on the Right
CalBlog, a weblog of moderate Republican leanings says
Right now, I cannot find the words to adequately express my anger at Bill Simon for filing papers to run for governor. His decision to file was totally and completely stupid.”
Meanwhile, the hard Right already loathes Arnold.
“Conservatives going hard against Arnold
California Republicans won’t take long to figure out Arnold isn’t one of them. Rush is leading the charge.”
The fractures on the Left are apparent too
However the media isn’t talking about it yet. (They will, they will…) We have the Progressive bloc of Arianna / Camejo vs. the mainstream Democrat Cruz Bustamente. I expect Democratic pols to be howling “spoiler” at the Progressives ASAP, and the Progressives will be howling “fossils” back at them.
A PoMo election
U.S elections up until now invariably have a central Grand Theme – Democrats vs. Republicans. This election is different. It has many Themes, none of them central, all of them competing, overlapping. AND the election is happening in a vastly compressed time frame so the hyperreality of the media spectacle will be ever more pronounced. It’s already getting front page worldwide attention.
This is postmodernist heaven. The worlds first PoMo election.
(PoMo quotes from “Postmodernism for Beginners” – which is not at all for Dummies)