Sunday, March 18, 2007


Baudrillard is dead. The prophet of simulation is dead. But in the age of simulacrum and simulation, can one really die? Baudrillard is a mere image now, but was he (or we) ever more than an image shimmering in the desert of the real?

…because Baudrillard knows that nature is the first simulator of the simulacrum:

"Snow no longer falls from on high. It lands only at those venues designated as winter resorts" (Cool Memories).

…and that because theory has become inseparable from anything and everything, oh how sweet the days of alienation and critical distance…

"For us everything is predictable: we have extraordinary analytical means but no situation to analyse. We live theoretically well beyond our means: hence our deep melancholy" (The Transparency of Evil).

"Every event today is virtually inconsequential, open to all possible interpretations, none of which could determine its meaning" (Fatal Strategies)


"Popular fame is what we should all aspire to. Nothing will ever match the distracted gaze of the woman serving in the butcher’s who has seen you on television" (Cool Memories).

…because Baudrillard always believed in not believing in a world before the word, in the beginning was the word:

As to whether language is the trace of the imperfection of the world, no story better demonstrates this than John's. Up until the age of 16, John, a happy and handsome youth, gifted in every sense, had never spoken. He had never uttered a single word until the day when, suddenly, at tea-time, he said: "I would like a little sugar." His ecstatic mother cried out: "But, John, you speak! Why didn't you ever say anything?" And John replied, "Until now, everything was perfect” (The Perfect Crime)

…because Schopenhauer’s all is will has become digital; the white ontology of boredom still remains inscribed in the screen eyes of our fading reflections…

Stuck for hours on the motorway with his family, a tourist declares: `Well, you know, we're on holiday. Here or the beach, what does it matter?' The need to be nowhere - this is what drives the hordes out on to the roads. And nowhere means anywhere but home. It's the same with work and leisure: drudgery in the one place, drudgery in the other. The moment of freedom comes in moving from one drudgery to another. And if you go away, it isn't to wipe out the effects of the eight daily hours of forced labour, but to compensate for not being forced to work twenty-four hours a day, as the higher executives do - people who have no need of holidays” (Cool memories IV)

….because Baudrillard is Camus’ Sisyphus revisited for the mediatic age:

Ants, too, must know that God is dead, since they engage in such frantic activity. Is it to avoid internal revolts and boredom that they have developed such a relent­less programme (not too different, perhaps, from the human race)? Have they developed a cult of the absurd or some crazed ritual for turning life and its mean­ing to their own perverse ends? Have they invented a perfect model of cloning, the only way of guaranteeing the eternity of a species and solving the problem of indi­vidual existence? A wonderful hypothesis, but how can we know? Let them speak, on walking around these ants, let them confess! What is their message? Yet they just go enormous distances to bring back things that are actually plentiful on the anthill (in this, too, they are not so different from the human race)” (Cool memories IV)

And last but not least, because Cioran is his bittersweet simulacrum, minus the either or choice between reality and illusion:

Like the disabled child who sued his mother for not having worn her safety belt, when she was pregnant, in the crash which left him disabled, soon all children will be able to sue their parents for having brought them into the world” (Cool Memories IV)

Baudrillard for ever….we won’t miss you, you are the age...