Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
He argued that spectacle is crucial in creating our view of events - things do not happen if they are not seen.

He gained notoriety for his 1991 book The Gulf War Did Not Take Place and again a decade later for describing the 9/11 attacks as a "dark fantasy".


To be honest, he sounds like a bit of a dick.

/doesn't have too much time for postmodernism
 

nomos

Administrator
boomnoise said:
Jean Baudrillard Did Not Die

they keep doing that. he was one of those people whose work never grabbed me in a big way but who i was glad was there doing his thing. oddly though, i was scrounging around for one of his essays just last night.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
rest in peace. but...

I think the integrity of his work is sometimes lacking. many volumes consist entirely of vague, non-descript, self indulgent and insusbtantial noodling - such as Cool Memories.

also, I side with those who consider him to be a pop philosopher who not only haven't much to say, but errors dangerously on the side of complacency and entirely giving in to the power - he sometimes seem to argue for complete abandoning oneself in the spectacle. I think trendy European intellectual fascination with Las Vegas is very, very silly.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
A pet hate of mine in philosophy is this super-subjective "if no-one saw it, it didn't happen" line of thinking, which this guy seems to embody (from what it says about him on the Wiki page*, anyway). The idea that conscious observers somehow project 'reality' onto the world. I find this idea sophomoric, childish and ridiculously anthropocentric - taken to an extreme, it's the logic of a retarded kid playing hide-and-seek who simply shuts his eyes because he believes this renders him invisible.

*Edit: my mistake, I meant the BBC news article
 
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matt b

Indexing all opinion
A pet hate of mine in philosophy is this super-subjective "if no-one saw it, it didn't happen" line of thinking, which this guy seems to embody (from what it says about him on the Wiki page, anyway). The idea that conscious observers somehow project 'reality' onto the world. I find this idea sophomoric, childish and ridiculously anthropocentric - taken to an extreme, it's the logic of a retarded kid playing hide-and-seek who simply shuts his eyes because he believes this renders him invisible.

its the logic of a disillusioned ex-marxist
 

old goriot

Well-known member
note to self: don't leave behind a bunch of humourous phrases that can be applied to me when i'm gone.

So long as you are not one of the most conceited, foul human beings to ever stalk the halls of academia, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Baudrillard hovers just above Ann Coulter in my estimations of human worth. (I generally don't bash the newly deceased, but it's not like Baudrillard ever showed a shred of respect for the dead)
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
So long as you are not one of the most conceited, foul human beings to ever stalk the halls of academia, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Baudrillard hovers just above Ann Coulter in my estimations of human worth. (I generally don't bash the newly deceased, but it's not like Baudrillard ever showed a shred of respect for the dead)

The main difference being, I never fucked Jean Baudrillard in the ass, hard:

http://ifuckedanncoulterintheasshard.blogspot.com/
 

k-punk

Spectres of Mark
A pet hate of mine in philosophy is this super-subjective "if no-one saw it, it didn't happen" line of thinking, which this guy seems to embody (from what it says about him on the Wiki page, anyway). The idea that conscious observers somehow project 'reality' onto the world. I find this idea sophomoric, childish and ridiculously anthropocentric - taken to an extreme, it's the logic of a retarded kid playing hide-and-seek who simply shuts his eyes because he believes this renders him invisible.

Your disdain for solipsism is creditable; it's a pity that the caricature above bears no relationship to anything Baudrillard wrote; more alarmingly, I can't see how you've derived it from the Wikipedia entry, either.

Baudrillard famously wrote against the subject, for one thing.

The 'if no-one saw it, it didn't happen' position is not one entertained by Baudrillard. He argued that, increasingly, things only happen BECAUSE they are, or will be, seen. The media gaze instigates pseudo-events, 'happenings' which would never take place unless they were filmed or reported. Who can seriously gainsay this, in an age of ubiquitous PR and spin - activities, which, as we well know, dominate military logic as much as anything else? Terrorism, too, is unthinkable outside the media responses it seeks to evoke.

Baudrillard's prescience is astonshing. For instance, he understood, way back in the 70s, the implications that 'reality TV' would have for media and entertainment...
 

k-punk

Spectres of Mark
And calling Baudrillard a 'postmodernist' is like calling Marx a 'capitalist'. Just because he analysed what others called the 'postmodern condition' - he rarely used the term 'postmodern' himself - does not imply that he approved of that condition.
 

old goriot

Well-known member
No? What about Symbolic Exchange and Death, then, which is in part about the denigration - or ghettoization - of the dead in Western culture?


Haven't read it.. In all honesty I probably won't. I'll take your word for it, although I find it kind of difficult to conceptualize a way in which the dead are denigrated in Western culture.
 
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zhao

there are no accidents
calling Baudrillard a 'postmodernist' is like calling Marx a 'capitalist'.

come now, that's really way too much of a stretch.

it's probably safe to say that any philospher who spends an unhealthy amount of time thinking about and praising Las Vegas can be categorized as a post-modernist. I don't think he merely analyzed what other post-modernists did, his world view embodied core po mo concepts - privileging the spectacle over the self for instance in his concept of the super-real.

whats more he wasn't even a rigorous post modernist (like Derrida/deconstruction). his project (if he really had one) seems flimsy and frivolous.
 

nomos

Administrator
Has a link ever been noted between his words on NYC graffiti in Symbolic Exchange and Death and Rammellzee's 'Ikonic Treatise'? This is why I was looking for 'The Order of Simulacra' the other night. Baudrillard fumbles a bit with his American graffiti examples ('graffiti has no content, no message') but the germ of Ikonoklast Panzerism - militaristic deployment of chrono-politically encoded letter forms - seems to be there. I've wondered if this ended up feeding into Ramm's theorisation of Wild Style to any degree.
 
N

nomadologist

Guest
All theorists of the virtual are NOT necessarily "post-modernists." Frankly, I expected more of people here than what I'm reading--reminds me of the New York Times' Derrida obituary. "Post-modernism" is a term that gets bandied about carelessly and just plain INCORRECTLY in ways that annoy me to no end, all too often here.

And solipsism has little to do with Baudrillard's notions re the Real collapsing into our models thereof. THAT sort of reading is sophomoric, if anything is.

Zhao, I'm surprised that someone who likes Virilio as much as you seem to could take these issues with Baudrillard.

I think it's obvious that some of the conditions to which his work is written in response have evolved over time, it's in no way "obvious" that he was frivolous or out-of-touch--his work (if you've read any) prophesied the digital age in ways few others (even the hypertext theorists/authors) did.

At least do the man the honor of not talking about his work if you haven't read it.
 
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N

nomadologist

Guest
The 'if no-one saw it, it didn't happen' position is not one entertained by Baudrillard. He argued that, increasingly, things only happen BECAUSE they are, or will be, seen.

Exactly--Baudrillard takes the radical position that "the Gulf War never happened" in order to *critique* to corrosive effects of capitalism-cum-solipsism--i.e. the way information became infotainment, the way the war ended up happening with very little reference to terra firma. When he says the war "never happened", he means it only happened virtually, in 2-D on screens, as digital newsreel, in the training camps full of soldiers who may never set foot on desert ground at video game consoles learning how to deploy missiles.

If it does not frighten you how abstract the Gulf War was in terms of its happening with precious little reference to a real enemy in real time using actual combatants, then you are far less critical of our "post-modern" condition than Baudrillard is...
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Your disdain for solipsism is creditable; it's a pity that the caricature above bears no relationship to anything Baudrillard wrote; more alarmingly, I can't see how you've derived it from the Wikipedia entry, either.

Baudrillard famously wrote against the subject, for one thing.

The 'if no-one saw it, it didn't happen' position is not one entertained by Baudrillard. He argued that, increasingly, things only happen BECAUSE they are, or will be, seen.

I got that from the BBC article: "He argued that spectacle is crucial in creating our view of events - things do not happen if they are not seen." If that's not what he thought, then it's their fault for misrepresenting him, not mine for reading it.

And saying "things only happen BECAUSE they are, or will be, seen" seems pretty anthopocentric to me, unless you give a much more rigorous definition of 'things'. As for the idea that "the media gaze instigates pseudo-events, 'happenings' which would never take place unless they were filmed or reported" - well, sure, people have always played up to the camera, this isn't new. Neither is it universally true - I hardly think the Congolese have spent the past ten years butchering each other for the benefit of the developed world's media gaze, especially given the scandalously small amount of attention being paid to the conflict.
 
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N

nomadologist

Guest
whats more he wasn't even a rigorous post modernist (like Derrida/deconstruction).

can we declare a moratorium on the use of the term "post-modernism" until everyone on dissensus reads Lyotard "On the Post-Modern Condition." please?
 
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