“Fat, brown, femme, ugly and unlovable” Caleb Luna ostensibly blames whitey for his misery and perceived oppression. I write “perceived” because I simply cannot recall an instance in human history where “oppression” involved free speech and morbid obesity.
The obvious answer to Caleb’s misery can be found in a mirror. Seriously, you’ve gotta be a real dumpster fire to be too weird for Austin-fucking-Texas.
Alexander McNabb did an excellent job responding to Caleb’s article, pointing out the futility of the whole thing. I wanted to take things further. I want to drive home for my readers what truly makes this man so repugnant and unlovable.
Let’s explore some definitions and ideas first.
“Postmodernity” is a word we’ve bandied about on this site for a while. We criticize it, we point it out, we associate it with groups and ideas. It’s a sort of self-defeating skepticism and deconstruction of all things that make modern society possible. This especially includes human action; the goal is for everyone to give up.
What most of us miss is the realization that postmodernity is reactionary. It’s purpose was and still is to react to and combat the perceived evils of a successful human civilization. This is one reason TRS has drifted away from the reactionary label: to a degree we already exist in a reactionary world, and to that degree it sucks.
When you begin to see postmodernity as reaction, you also begin to wonder if certain “right wingers” and “promoters of tradition” actually promote the same leftist deconstruction by urging us to “enjoy/accelerate the decline” or “ride the tiger.” I don’t think you’re going to accomplish a better world by signing a suicide pact with tumblr.
McNabb refers to Luna’s article as “postmodern identity politics.” This is both true and false. That’s because even though this fat freako clumsily attempts to assert an identity, identity cannot be constructed out of deconstruction. That’s like spending your way out of debt or fucking your way out of AIDS.
Detached from any traditional norm or cultural context, identity is reduced to menu items at a restaurant… Which I’m sure Caleb is quite comfortable with.
The early Postmodern thinkers had the agency necessary to deal with critique and nihilism, not to take it too far, to keep things in context. They approached it with a degree of respect, even a healthy fear. Without a Big Other, something outside holding one in place, this thinking renders one paralyzed.
Thanks to egalitarian democracy, minority scholarships and the liberal arts bubble, we get to see the wonderful horrors this sort of thinking can do to an over-educated underclass.
Let’s examine how Caleb Luna damns himself by damning others, and how totally ironic it is.
Fat Boy has completely removed himself from the equation. To begin with, he doesn’t have an identity, he identifies with words. That’s an important distinction. Even those words he admits could be “exclusionary” and lacking any value. Oopsie, he done up and nihilated himself.
This may be my white, cis, male privilege speaking, but I would prefer to be ugly or oppressed than to be nothing.
Fat Boy has built for himself a conflict that cannot be resolved. Because he can’t even identity the conflict. All Luna seems to know with any certainty is that he isn’t getting laid, and that something is preventing that. He blames whitey, but how in the world can he know such a thing when he doesn’t even know himself? How can he know anything, for that matter? Even his own words are exclusionary and oppressive.
His very narrative is one of utter powerlessness, utter paralysis. He is not writing a manifesto or critique, but an obituary.
This man is his own hell. And that’s the meaning of Postmodernism, Charlie Brown.