Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Multi-Perspectival Man Meets Modern-Man!

Originally posted on September 5, 2011

[Chapter 3: Previous episodes on August 29 and August 23]
In this episode, Modern-Man protests, “Of course there is truth! It is out there, And we can and will discover it. Truth is at least in theory accessible. Everything fits, or at least would fit together, if we were only clever enough. It has to! That has been a fundamental assumption of not just science, but reality. It is inconceivable to imagine that things do not fit together! It opens the cosmos to polytheism and chaos!”

Multi-Perspectival Man replies to Modern Man: “Tough. Conceive that the idea that a fully agreed-upon truth apart from time and place is impossible. That absolute truth is an illusion is not only possible, but more true than the idea that there is a truth. From our multiple perspectives, it seems obvious to us that there is no truth, only ideas that are relatively more or less true for this purpose or that context. I understand that this kind of attitude is anathema to true believers—an opening to nihilism and immorality and a breakdown in law and order—but, alas, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”

“Oh, there are a number of pseudo-truths,” he adds. These are superficial platitudes, like “that’s the way the cookie crumbles.” They seem indisputable but are in fact trivial.”

Multi-Perspectival Man’s sidekick, Postmodernist-Girl chimes in:  “Yeah, what law and order? Sure, some of law and order is wonderful, fair, civil, but lots of what folks call law and order is an imposition of coercive power by the wealthy and powerful on the poor and vulnerable. Much of law serves the forces of oppression and helps make the rich richer and the poor poorer.”

(She begins to froth at the mouth as she rants.) “Law and order sounds good, but it is more often used to legally disguise fraud and theft! It’s called law and order because it really is more fair and more protective of the vulnerable than what came before, which was raw feudalism and tyranny and boldfaced robbery with little or no attempt to justify its ethos of might makes right. Modern law and order makes a half-hearted attempt to rationalize the game and sometimes succeeds: The weak are at times protected from the predatory operations of the rich. And sometimes the not-so-rich are protected from the predatory operations of the poor but criminal. And yes, there are rich-but-criminals, but we shouldn’t try to name them. A few get caught but most don’t.  blah blah…”

Multi-Perspectival Man turns to Postmodernist-Girl: “Wait. To even bring this up misses the point, makes postmodernism into class warfare. It’s more refined than that, more philosophically academically rarefied.”

Post-modernist girl replies, empowered-ly (even though some might call her “uppity”: “No it isn’t. It’s down in the dirt political! But anyway, to use your theme, let’s realize that both are true, and more. It’s multi-perspectival!” (Both look at the audience as the background music swells to a chorus of dissonant chords shifts back into consonant tonics), “What a word!”

Next scene: Multi-Perspectival-Man comes flying through the sky and crashes through the wall: Stop! He yells at a startled (fill in the blank here). Pausing before grabbing the bad guy(s), he says: Wait a minute: Might it only seem like you’re bad guys? Might this whole scene be an expression of the imbalances of wealth and power within a culture in transition? Thus paralyzed by trying to take all points of view into consideration, he is immobilized by the bad guys who have no qualms about advocating for their own perspective, and continue with their depredations.

The scene, by the way, might not be a robbery in progress or some other obviously nefarious act; it might instead be a seminar in a local community college on any of a number of topics.

For the further adventures of Multi-Perspectival Man and Postmodernist-Girl, tune in next interval of the illusion of linear time and hear Multi-Perspectival Man say: “Which episode are we doing now?? I can’t find the script!”

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