In Memory of Jean Baudrillard

Jean?BaudrillardREPRESENTATION: The sign and the real are equivalent
Although Jean Baudrillard passed away, he lives on through the memories of his family and “The Precession of the Simulacra,” a theory bequeathed to his readers. Sadly, as is the nature of death announcements, Baudrillard has since become a representation of himself in the eyes of the public.

SIMULATION: Substituting signs of the real for the real itself
So, who initially broke this story? Why is that singular point of view the only representation we have in every publication? Where has personal interest and diversity dissappeared to? Reporters have become a mere sign of reality, a hyper-reality in the field of Associated Press style “journalism.” By way of news masquerading as authentic journalism, the story is systematically categorized, distilled down to a passage with carbon copy capability, and identically catalogued in each and every publication across the planet:

BBC News
The International Herald Tribune
Reutors.com
ABC News
– And on and on…

Note the ridiculous post script on Reuters’ carbon copy article: “Copyright 2007 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.” What?

SIMULACRA: Simulation envelopes the whole edifice of representation as itself a simulacrum
Capitalism and the lack of true governance of the FCC have allowed our varied sources of news to merge into a select few corporate interests. How amazing that the general public believes news media is fair and balanced, particularly because Fox Network says so. Without diversity, this cannot be true. Media, as it exists today, is limited in scope.

How beautifully ironic that this?simulation must divulge itself, particularly under the guise of “reporting” on the very man who revealed the truth:

Baudrillard argued that mass media and modern consumerist society had built up such a complex structure of symbols and simulated experience that it was no longer possible to comprehend reality as it might actually exist. (Yahoo News: Asia)

Another fine example says:

Baudrillard focused his work on how our consciousness interacts with reality and fantasy, creating from them a copy world he called hyper-reality. He said that mass media led to hyper-reality becoming a dominant force in today’s world. (BBC.com)

And there we have it. Diverse journalism is not real. Mass media is the culprit, as it summarizes Baudrillard’s existence in miniature, giving little reverence to his vital human essence or the intricacy of his theory. France’s Liberation daily is the only publication that offered a 3 page spread in honor of the man.

REST IN PEACE?
Museums will probably seal Baudrillard’s thoughtful notes in airtight, acid-free folders to be filed?away once they’ve been copied for display. As he says, “the duplication is sufficient to render both artificial” (1738). He will be studied far into future generations and his past will be perceived as their own.

Perhaps somewhere in the ether, Dear Jean Baudrillard, you will know that I respect you as an authentic human being. Your past is your own, as is that of Rameses, and I am willing to let you rest, in the sacred secret of your grave, as you return to the earth from which you came. May paradise look nothing like Disneyland.

Comments

  1. I thought your blog was great! You were able to touch on a lot of areas discussed in Baudrillard’s argument while applying it to today’s society. I too actually used the idea of the news casters. I thought that they worked perfectly with the idea of simulation and the narrow minded point of view when it comes to variety and creativity. Also your example of carbon copy capability, works perfectly with the argument, which again gave me even further insight about the argument. Personally, your discussion about simularcra was really helpful. I was struggling with connecting the ideas portrayed through the argument to the entire picture. Thanks!! Wonderful job!!

  2. Kimmy

    The inclusion of the newspaper quotes struck me funny. I don?t think that they knew what they were saying when they printed the article, hanging themselves for the public to witness. But, who know if they general public just nodded their heads and moved on anyway. I don?t understand what you mean, Baudrillard being his own representation. So, do you mean that b/c the media is reporting on him, he is put into this simulation cycle and eventually his theory will lose any and all true meaning? I think you mean that they didn?t? pay enough tribute to his work during in his obituary, therefore skewing the whole of his work. The public only comes away with a taste of who he is. Anything less than the whole truth is nothing like the truth.

  3. Hey Mikey,
    I hear what you’re saying, but representation and simulation are two seperate things. In the articles, Baudrillard is “represented” by his own definition: “The sign and the real are equivalent.” My point on simulation doesn’t come in until the news media reflects a journalistic simulation of a type of journailsm that no longer exists. (That part, I admit, needs further exploration but, sadly, I am out of time.) I do hope that clarifies your question somewhat.

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