Reading Analysis of City of Rhetoric: What is The Postmodern Public?

If we lived in a world of republicanism or liberalism, we would follow certain principles and daily procedures outlined in the fundamentals of these beliefs. But then, we would only be subjected to the limitations and bounds that these concrete definitions present. Currently, we live in a society where people go beyond the fact that our world is made up of concrete laws and create unimaginable things to create a world with more change and possibilities.  In his City of Rhetoric, David Fleming creates a compelling argument about a space we supposedly live in today known as the “Postmodern Space”(29).  According to Fleming, this space occurred somewhere in the last half of the 20th century. With the “invention of the microchip in 1959, the Kennedy assassination in 1963, or the 1972 demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe public housing in St. Louis”(29), Fleming shows us that this space is something out of the ordinary bounds of principle. He shows us that this space is made up of an imminently flexible ideas all unified in an attempt for a largely supported change.  So unified and associated, this postmodern space is so vast that Fleming refers to it as a network of unified, yet interchangeable parts all working together to construct a public that has the power to change anything. Specifically, this space Fleming writes about, is a space that engenders the mentality that anyone can create a reality different from the contemporary thought, or simply that anyone can do anything they desire. As fleming puts it “As theorists and teachers we have moved away from the cultural models… towards models of discontinuity, juxtaposition, and hybridization”(29). He describes the postmodern space or public as a sort of revolution to the orthodox  idea of life, where what you were told or taught is the only possibility. David fleming creates a description of a world without any bounds, a world where change is praised and encouraged. Frankly, I believe he describes the modern world we live in today, a world which has grown and advanced from the past. A past where people would die with a small cold to today where colds are a one week nuisance. Today is the postmodern space where new organs are made from single cells in order to save a person’s life. Turning away from medicine, today is a world where most people do not worry about getting hot water, or waiting a week for an urgent message to get to their significant other. Fleming gives us a world where we can step outside of the box to believe in ourselves to indeed make a change, more specifically a change for the good.