The Paranoiac

Proverbs for Paranoids, 1: You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.
-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

The paranoid and the post-modern are necessarily opposed. For the average resident of the middle ages, there was a powerful and secret power dominating the globe, reaching its influence into every government and every organization. This power was god, and in the face of his omnipotence and omniscience, individual human beings were helpless. Humanity was doomed to go through life knowing an insignificant fraction of the truth.

Post-modernism rejects such a grand narrative underlying history. It refuses to accept the idea of order of any type, whether created by man or by something else. The world is not a vast and intricate plot, but rather a chaotic mess. Any order that is imposed on the world is an illusion of interpretation.

The paranoiac cannot exist in such a formless world. The paranoiac refuses to see the truth of coincidence and chance, and would rather impose even a malevolent oppressor. The paranoid impulse is reactionary. It reaches out wildly, as a man falling from a great height reaches his arms out to grab the air around him.

img: Bidibidobidiboo, Maurizio Cattelan, 1996