I’ve written a bit about modernity over the past couple of years, and in fact, I think the entire QNUW project at this point could be defined as a reaction against it. But the concept is a tricky one, because it’s a term for the very air we breathe in contemporary society. And it’s not something as simplistically defined as “the present day” or even “the present operation of things,” since those would imply that modernity is a definition related to a period of time rather than a term that applies to specific systems of ideologies. Continue reading “What is Modernity?”
The world of Blade Runner asks a lot of its audience. At once futuristic, abstract, and startlingly familiar, the newest installment injects audiences into a dream-like expressionistic landscape populated by replicants, holograms, AI, dazzling architecture, and the occasional human being. Surprisingly, 2049 manages to explore themes of humanity, companionship, and the relationship between the sexes that most science fiction stories leave either completely untouched or woefully underdeveloped.
This general analysis does contain spoilers. Continue reading “Blade Runner 2049 Is No More Sexist Than Feminism Has Asked It To Be”
Take a trip into downtown Baltimore sometime, see the sights, brave the traffic, and dodge the ragtag collection of pedestrians and street cops that mob the crisscrossing byways. Find your way over to Johns Hopkins University, and located on campus is the Baltimore Museum of Art—a somewhat impressive structure informed by the Roman-style panache of American architect John Russel Pope. It’s not an unattractive building by any means, at least from certain angles, but step into its eastern shadow and it ceases to look Roman at all, verging more on brutalism than anything else. But we’ll get to that later. Continue reading “An Afternoon at the Baltimore Museum of Art”
What, exactly, is poetry? The Modern world has no answer to that question, just as it has no answer to what, exactly, a novel is, or what, exactly, a symphony is, or what, exactly, a portrait is. In each case, it has made room for appeals to the old forms of artwork accessible as nostalgic throw-backs to a period which its denizens barely understand; such appeals, however, are inescapably marred by irony, pompousness, and frequently border on kitsch. Continue reading “A Few Brief Words on Poetry”