SNL and its Metamodern Moment

Who saw the SNL sketch last night?…..a classic Metamodern moment. This sketch making fun of the effect Baby Boomer Trump’s immoral status has had on America is the perfect example of the new Millennial Generation’s rejection of their parent’s Postmodern corrupt world through the use of classic conflicting Metamodern views.
Modernism was from 1900-1965

Postmodernism was from 1965-2010

Metamodernism is now
In the Metamodern view in America, Postmodern rebellion against Postmodernism’s sins is mixed with the new Modern hope that American society can build a unified moral America for all people free of drugs, bigotry, hate, and corruption. Yet it is a movement that is stuck, contradicting itself, conflicted with ability to judge those sins without affecting change. Thats exactly what the SNL skit portrayed last night. Thats Metamodernism.
Mythologically this pattern – like so much of the shifts seen in America culture today – show how we are both changing our morality as a society and yet continually questioning its crimes and lack of Humanity. But it also shows how, as we move from the rugged individualism of the Baby Boomers Postmodern world into the new groupthink cultural oneness of the new Modernism of the Millennials we are trapped in this bipolar world of conflict between them.
The immoral horrors of 50 years of drugs, sex, harassment, racism, and bigotry thats now rising to the top in American culture is a final reckoning generationally between the two movements. As the counterculture generation starts to fade into history, the younger generation now question their poster-child, Donald Trump, and the legions of white immoral men at the top of our business and political systems.
The SNL skit reflects both the questioning of it and yet the inability to birth the new Modernism needed to reject it completely. Seeing no judgements against these people nor ability to enact change against the drug, sex, and rock and roll generation quite yet, younger Americans will remain trapped in that twilight Metamodern world between Postmodern and New Modern. And all our films and art forms like SNL reflect that splintered confusion.
 What I see eventually happening after Trump leaves office is a full force final rejection of Postmodernism’s 50 years of Me Generation BS and a NEW Modern embrace of multicultural American unity on a scale not seen since the 1930’s in America. The desire in the younger kids to join the country as one over the needs of the spiritually driven individual will be strong, creating an America very different from the one we have all been used to since 1965 when Baby Boomer Postmodern angst took over.
The advantages to the new Modernism the kids today in their 20’s desire will be an America that embraces the Rights of all cultures and people, no matter what their beliefs, skin color, sex, or disability. In that new Modern America my son will certainly thrive. The final rejection of Trump and those old racist ideals will finally die. Postmodernism will die, too.
But Metamodern’s downsides, as Ive mentioned, will be a new “authoritarian America” in which the unified America rejects some individual freedoms, not through government and laws imposed, but the new expectations and social pressure to conform found in the new Millennial society.
Some creativity and spirituality will be lost….all hallmarks of the Baby Boomers. Star Wars movies wont move us as we will have lost the symbol of the rebellious hero and free-wheeling adventurer moment, those archetypes no longer understood by a society that demands we all walk together again as one in the new Modernism moment.
But a new investment in Religion is coming. Better government that serves all people is coming. A questioning of the role of making money free of regulation versus betterment of all citizens through realistic tax systems is coming from the new Modernistic Millennials. An embrace of multiculturalism is finally coming. And a respect for science, climate change, and technology is finally coming for America post-Trump. Trump’s rejection of it will spur its enthusiastic return.
Im happy and relieved to see the new morality the younger generations are bringing back in America after Trump. Its coming folks……believe me. But there is sadness for the tragedy of the past 50 years, the drugs, the crimes, the violence. But sadness for some loss of artistic freedom, invention, and spirituality the Postmodern Boomers gave us that may never come again. And I have fear for the loss of originality and risk taking in our film, our books, and our fiction in the years ahead. There will be spiritual loss in the new Modern World thats coming, I fear.
But the Metamodern moment is here…..finally asking questions about the past. It is the hallmark moment that finally rejects the views of our parent’s troubled past….. a younger generation who now struggle to build the new 1950’s Modernism from the ruins of America’s recent past.

– the author


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