- From Jay Owens': The Age of Post-Authenticity and the Ironic Truths of Meme Culture
Nonetheless, the kind of truth in play is changing form: emotional and moral truths are in ascendance over straightforward, factual claims. Truth becomes plural, and thereby highly contested: global warming, 9/11, or Obama’s birthplace are all treated as matters of cultural allegiance over fact, as traditionally understood. “By my reckoning, the solidly reality-based are a minority, maybe a third of us but almost certainly fewer than half,” writer Kurt Andersen posits. Electorates in the U.S. and Europe are polarising along value-driven lines — order and authority vs. openness and change. Building the coalitions of support needed to tackle the grand challenges we face this century will require a profound upgrade to our political and cultural leaders’ empathic and reconciliation skills.
This is a placeholder to say that there are (at least) two things missing from this essay
“How memes in their emergence, development, transformation, and resurgence are imbued with a semantically Black mode of improvisation and revitalization,” and the importance of “excavating the blackness in memes (even ones that don’t seem so black)” — as Laur M. Jackson argues for in ‘The Blackness of the Meme Movement’ in Model View Culture, March 2016.