Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Jean Baudrillard, 77, Critic and Theorist of Hyperreality, Dies

One of his better known theories postulates that we live in a world where simulated feelings and experiences have replaced the real thing. This seductive “hyperreality,” where shopping malls, amusement parks and mass-produced images from the news, television shows and films dominate, is drained of authenticity and meaning. Since illusion reigns, he counseled people to give up the search for reality...He was also a fierce critic of consumer culture in which people bought objects not out of genuine need but because of the status and meaning they bestowed. ...more

2 comments:

Mark said...

Baudrillard's idea of hyperreality can be extended to the idea of America as a free society. To wit: the range of acceptable opinion on political issues is so narrow that any truly innovative ideas outside the mainstream (i.e. the majority of the population's support of universal healthcare)are ignored by the mainstream media and derided as ridiculous and unworkable by politicians. The only "choice" presented to the people is between slightly different variations of the systems supported by the elite. Completely illusory.

portinexile said...

Indeed. And deep down, most people know they are trapped in this guilded prison cell, even if they can't verbalize it. Hence the drift towards narcotization [by drugs, t.v., consumerism, fundamentalism, militarism, ...] to numb the existential pain. God help us all if/when there is another '911' - i fear Chris Hedges is on the money about the likelihood of totalitarianism in the wake of such...