‘Postmodernist thought represents a source of wisdom that knows our modernist impulses always crave simple, sure answers. But it keeps finding ways to tell us, sometimes gently, sometimes annoyingly, sometimes rather arrogantly that no matter how much we do want such answers – or reliable metanarratives, etc. – we can’t have them, because they so often don’t exist. Having that, a postmodernist understanding advises us, just is not the nature of reality. So if you wanted to make a music video of postmodernist theory, it could look something like the “The Making of Frozen.”
If you have never checked out the “making of” feature that is included among the extras on many DVDs, they typically are documentaries that present viewers with footage from its shooting and comments from the filmmakers on their making of the film. But here is what you will see if you watch that special feature on the DVD of Disney’s extremely popular Frozen: Actors Josh Gad and Jonathan Groff, who do voices of major characters in the animated film, appear on a studio lot in khakis, sweater vests, and bow ties. They begin singing, “This is the making of Frozen. People want to know what filmmakers do. People want to go behind scenes of the movie.” They continue to sing as they begin dancing about the lot, hallways, offices, sets, a writers’ room. “How did we make, how did we make, how did we make Frozen?” goes the chorus.
Partway through they are joined by actress Kristen Bell, another of the film’s voices: “This is the making of Frozen. It’s time to take you on the path that we took. People want to know, people want to know, people want to know about Frozen.” The energetic dancing and lively lyrics continue – “La-la, la-la, yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah, scoobedy-boobedy, doodle-oodle-oodle-oodle-ooh! Ooh-ooh! Ooh-ooh!” – as they are joined by a growing throng of extras in the procession. After about two and a half minutes of that, they all wind up in a screening room and settle into the seats as if about to watch a film, raising their arms skyward in unison as they ascend into a final rousing chorus of, “How did we make, how did we make, how did we make Frozen? People want to know, people want to know, people want to know.”
Then abruptly, all drop their arms to their sides and blurt together: “We don’t know!” They all fall back into their seats in silent resignation for a moment, then Bell and the extras start filing off screen. Groff gazes into space. Gad begins to check his phone. And that is where it ends.
Indeed, people do want to know so many things. And postmodernist theory maintains that we accept all sorts of explanations – sometimes really grand ones referred to as metanarratives – that ultimately can’t tell us what we want to know. It is in that spirit that this chapter elaborates on the useful insights and understandings that commercial football and postmodernism offer for thinking about each other, useful in reaching practical insights into the slippery mysteries of the human condition.’
How Postmodernism Explains Football and Football Explains Postmodernism © Robert L. Kerr 2015