Explain why the idea of 'postmodernism' might be considered controversial?
Postmodernism is difficult to define, because to define it would go against the rules of post modernity; that no definite terms, boundaries, or absolute truths exist. Postmodernism is a concept that is applied in media texts where audiences are now prepared to accept a media text may not be true to reality, and the techniques used to make this departure from realism. Postmodernism is a label given to texts that question the boundaries, self reflexivity, irony and the constructs of that media. When one is to question, "is that right?" and then postmodernism to reply with "what is right and what is wrong"
Postmodernism can be questioned as controversial due to the boundaries postmodernism breach. An example of this would be one of the texts i have studied, Kick-Ass. Kick-Ass is a movie based on a graphic novel (comic book) where a average joe teenager believes you don't need super powers to be a super hero, straight away you can argue that, yes you do need super power else you're going to go into a situation and come off hurt or dead without a super power. Kick-Ass is a postmodern film due to its inter textual references to other media texts, they include; spider man, superman and batman etc. We can see these inter textual references throughout the film, Big daddy looking similar to Batman, the opening scene with the music and introduction same as Superman and the street Kick-ass lives on is similar to spider mans street. The most obvious controversial point of the film Kick-ass is Hit girl. Hit girl is a young girl, 12/13 who is Big daddy's daughter and partner in cutting down in crime within New York, as if that was not controversial enough, a young girl fighting bad people who have possession of guns, Hit girl also swears a lot, including the words 'Fuck' and 'Cunts' along side other swear words, Therefore blurring the boundaries. Critics questioned whether it was acceptable for a young girl to be using such words and violence within the movie, saying it was not right, whereas others liked how it blurred the line of what is right and what is not right. In addition Hit girl is considered to come under as a binary opposite in the scene where she saves the male hero's, stereotypically, it is usually the male cast members who come off as the hero's and save the day, however in this movie Hit Girl is the true hero who saves lives, a young girl who should still be being taught at school, instead she is roaming the streets for bad guys.
Inglourious Basterds is another text i have studied that falls into the topic of postmodernism. Inglourious Basterds is a film that blurs the boundaries of reality and hyper reality, the obvious example of this is the way Hitler is killed in the movie, in reality, Hitler committed suicide because he had realised defeat in the war, whereas the hyper reality in the film, Hitler is killed by some American Jews, which in it self is controversial because one of Hitlers 'policies' was that all jews were bad and they were therefore murdered, in addition it makes Americans look like the heroes and the whole story as a fairytale because it is not what truly happened. Inglourious Basterds has numerous postmodern elements within the film, whether it be having a film within the film (need to find inner film name here) or whether it be that Quentin Tarantino, the director shows part of the set to remind the audience that they are in fact watching a film and that it is hyper reality and not reality, starting to be common throughout films.
During the film First Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) asks of his team to bring back at the end of the mission, 100 nazi scalps which signifys killing of the nazis as a sport to them, to an audience can be deemed as over the top and a bit too much, but it can connote the hatred towards the nazi's and what they stood for.
Recently i have studied how postmodernism can be within the music industry, and i have learned that it has had a massive impact on the music industry, whether it be people releasing a wider variety of stuff due to the wider range of audiences or the music videos being released becomming more simpler. A good example of artists like this would be Lady Gaga and Kanye west, both somewhat postmodern in there music and the music videos and in fact their lives. Lady gaga has gone from releaseing music about the paparazzi and dressing up in all meat, whether it is to get across a message or to just be different. Kanye west has incorporated postmodern elements within his work and using different technology to make his music, an example of this would be when he uses a sampler in the 'Runaway' song, where he puts already created samples of words onto the sampler and when he presses a specfic key it would do that sound/word, creating the sound there and then by just repeating the samples.
With more people not caring what is cool and uncool, therefore the death of uncool being abanised due to everyone having there own specific likings and sound, people are open to a wider range of music, which therefore opens the artists and opportunity to new sounds and artists to break through, in addition creating even more genres within genres. in addition improving the music industry.
In conclusion Postmodernism can be considered controversial due to it blurring the boundaries of reality and hyper reality, however with people considering postmodern as controversial, postmodernism is therefore being successful by making them think whether it is or is not, because they are then questioning texts and thinking even further into the media texts, considering the inter textuality, hyper reality and the blurring of boundaries.