I wanna write! Sing it with me … come on … no … OK. Well, my sister’s not twisted, but the sentiment works. Posting a picture to prove I am unrelated to Dee Snider would just be silly, like most of what’s on my mind right now. Such as? I’ve found through several examples that, once a person attaches the prefix “post” (opposite of the suffix, “the 1st”), I no longer understand. Punk? Got it. Post-punk? Huh? Hardcore? OK. Post-hardcore? What? So, I will prove one of two things, maybe both: 1) the prefix ‘post’ should go; and/or 2) I am a verbal curdmudgeon.

Post-modern, the easiest target of all. A thing is “modern” if it is up-to-date, current, and forward-looking, even if it looks over it’s shoulder for support. “Post-modern”, of course, is the thing after modern, making it the most up-to-date and, therefore, just plain modern. Do you see how this works? OK, I know post-modern has a much more complicated definition referring in large part to that which comes after the artistic period known as Modernism. Post-modernism is all about breaking the past into pieces and re-interpreting the pieces. So, a post-modern car is really just an auto parts store with mixed up parts labels.

Post-rock, not so easy. Post-rock takes its name from the presence of all the typical rock instrumentation and sounds, but without any of the rock song structure. You take a musical journey, sometimes from here to there, sometimes from here to slightly to the left of here. The sounds rise and fall, changing places, sprouting and shedding nuances. To me, that sounds like an unusual form of rock, not the thing that comes after rock. Give it a unique name — rockvolution, changey-soundy, semi-environmental noise — whatever, but don’t tag it as the sole inheritor of rock’s legacy.

Post-hardcore. This is where the pattern becomes obvious, but this, too, is where it all began for me. In the car, I listened to … And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, known to some as a post-hardcore band. Yes, the guitars were particularly aggressive and fast in a non-metallic way. Yes, the pace was mostly relentless. Sure, the subtlety was buried in a wall of noise. That just makes it good rock music and not the descendant of only one family member of the rock clan. It deserves its own name. Let’s not junior/senior this one.

With nothing better to write about (or with no time/energy to think real thoughts), I’ve taken issue with a prefix. Next up is the future subjunctive tense, if I were to be up for writing it. So, now you’re post-post. Feel better?

14 thoughts on “Post-everything

  1. No, not wrong. That whole post-modern thing always confuses me. Modern modern works almost as well, although __Modern__ Hit by a Car and Reconnected with Duct Tape probably works better. Or you could fill in the blank with Punk, Rock or Pop – although Post Pop is smoke, no? But the language needs some attention, so curmudgeon away!

  2. Oh my I’m so confused! If something is “post-[fill in the blank]” then isn’t it something new? Like wasn’t post-80’s “grunge”, and post-grunge “the boy band era”? It gets even more confusing when you do general genre instead of time periods I think. I just don’t know. I’m going to go have some ice cream post-commenting, and then post-ice cream I’m going to bed. Sigh…

Am I wrong?