Geraldo, Eat Your Avant-Pop Heart Out

JENNY JONES: Boy, we have a show for you today! Recently, the University of Virginia philosopher Richard Rorty made the stunning declaration that nobody has “the foggiest idea” what postmodernism means.
JENNY JONES: Tell us how you think postmodernism affected your career as a novelist.

ALEX: I disavowed writing that contained real ideas or any real passion. My work became disjunctive, facetious and nihilistic. It was all blank parody, irony enveloped in more irony. It merely recapitulated the pernicious banality of television and advertising. I found myself indiscriminately incorporating any and all kinds of pop kitsch and shlock. (He begins to weep again.)

JENNY JONES: And this spilled over into your personal life?

ALEX: It was impossible for me to experience life with any emotional intensity. I couldn’t control the irony anymore. I perceived my own feelings as if they were in quotes. I italicized everything and everyone. It became impossible for me to appraise the quality of anything. To me everything was equivalent-the Brandenburg Concertos and the Lysol jingle had the same value. (He breaks down, sobbing.)

JENNY JONES: Now, you’re involved in a lawsuit, aren’t you?

ALEX: Yes. I’m suing the Modern Language Association. —Geraldo, Eat Your Avant-Pop Heart OutNYT [originally])