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“There Are No Consequences” . . . Are There?
ean Baudrillard passed away in Paris
one day after the Scooter verdict.
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.
“All of our values are simulated,” he told The New York Times in 2005. “What is freedom? We have a choice between buying one car or buying another car? It’s a simulation of freedom.”
ewis Carroll likely welcomes the company. Although many misunderstood Baudrillard (the Times unhelpfully dwells on The Matrix films), how rare it is for someone to see their theories vindicated on the world historical stage.
It's fitting that the ultimate male-bonding/romantic militarist story, Sparta's stand against the Persians comes to the screen as '300'. This doomed defiance is reverently invoked across the years, particularly from a related subset — from many in the American Movement military porn enthusiast community to the Corporal losing an entire army on Volga. Baudrillard would have appreciated transforming the already derivative comic book '300' into the completely non-existant realm of CGI effects.
00” the movie could be the apotheosis of hyperreal imagining — it's current state of the art. Kid movies aside — you know the kind — fare designed specifically to replace cell-based animation with inside jokes as a sop to adults, Hollywood's CGI worlds in general, well, suck. And it is not just the specific actors. The latest Star Wars movies are too easy to cite because they were awful in so many ways. But others have failed, too — “Sky Captain”, “Final Fantasy”, “UltaViolet”, “Aeon Flux”, the last two Matrix movies. Now matter how compelling or awesome the initial CGI visions, no matter who is acting, after about 10 minutes a weariness sets in. The imagination rebels against mere pixels. Making matters worse, CGI is now available for everything. Special effects are no longer special.
Do politics follow our social imaginations? If so, what does a CGI imaginative cul de sac presage? Perhaps it is limited to flaws in that particular tool — CGI — and not against hyperreality per se
. American Idol, for example, with its equally synthentic and hyperreal narratives remains a ratings juggernaut. As do stories about Britney's head shavings and the Anna Nicole Smith saga.
Tags: Hyper reality
, Jean Baudrillard
, Frank Miller
“Jean Baudrillard passed away in Paris one day after the Scooter verdict.”
What a great opening for a blog post. LOL - Did you happen to catch Tweet tonight. This is not a an exact quote, but he said something like this: 'they [projecting his own 'self'] don't like Hillary but they cannot grasp it, that' why they are looking for a LEADER like Rudy. They are the Daddy [Tweet cry for help] party.'
So Matthews is very much against Hillary for fake reason and for Rudy for fake reasons. He cannot even admit to himself that he is a Republican - he has to project that on undecided Republican voters. He is the ultimate post Capitalist alienated man. Overpaid , and drained of his sense of reality.
The CGI genre is not one that we have much to say about - We saw the Matrix and we were somewhat underwhelmed and we're sort of wondering how truly authentic was much of the raving we heard. But we think the problem with CGI is that many of the most creative people are working on the story delivery mechanism and not the story.
It would be as if Penguin Classics determined what book to call classic by studing the paper stock and printing fonts that were used in the original printing and then just issuing books with similar paper stock and fonts, but with little regard to what was actually written on the page. That makes little sense - but we're just musing.
We tried very hard to block out the Anna Nicole stuff - (we guessed it would last forever and that it would be drag on many levels) - but some of it would seep thru and it was sad because the media had turned everything about it into a commodity that you had to remind yourself that that real people with real families and feelings were caught up in that. It came up in conversation after the first couple of days or so we were not actually sure if anyone actually died because we just heard derivative comments about it - wherein subjectivity was shorn. And later we found a number of people who had said they heard so much about the case but they were confused if she had died or was killed or was hiding.
People are often shocked that Bush was able (with help from Hayes & Co.) to make people think Saddam attack us on 9-11. But the fact is that it's just not surprising. Wars have to compete for peoples attention with bug spray ads, and all sorts of other product claims - where real products try to adopt a mystical glow, unlikes hypereal products like the The Intel that Led to War, try to give an impression of reality.
Consequences: Pat Buchanan seems to admire Vladimir Putin. Most journalists don't like Putin because the many who cross paths with him meet with unfortune. Maybe Pat's admiration of such consequential man is part of his rebellion against the world Baudrillard's described.
“Gossip is pervasive on Wikipedia. Many entries read like the National Enquirer. For example, Wikipedia's entry on Nina Totenberg states, ”She married H. David Reines, a trauma physician, in 2000. On their honeymoon, he treated her for severe injuries after she was hit by a boat propeller while swimming." That sounds just like the National Enquirer, and reflects a bias towards gossip. Conservapedia avoids gossip and vulgarity, just as a true encyclopedia does.
Examples of Bias In Wikipedia
What would Baudrillard make of the idea of someone turning on their computer, clicking on a button that says “news,” and then seeing a headline that says, “Speaker Confesses.” Then the person clicks on the audio to hear about Gingrich, who is no longer in office and who is currently pretending not to run for President, confess in a very humbling way to personal misbehaivor in front of a moral authority that he may have doubts about - Namely Dr. Dobson (is he a doctor?) and Dobson's audience. Gingrich pretending to be sorry, so he can improve his chances for votes for an office he pretends not to really want.
Somewhat related to out lack of enthusiasm for CGI and other story telling gadgets, we note this recent except from Clive James on Slate:
“Macaulay's review of hapless poetaster
Robert Montgomery is the classic analysis of the naturally bad writer who gets everything wrong because he is sensitive enough on the question of style to attempt to lift his means of expression above the ordinary. When Montgomery evoked a river that ”meanders level with its fount,“ Macaulay pointed out that a river level with its fount can't even flow, let alone meander. Macaulay had uncovered the connection between the inability to notice and the inability to transcribe: the double deficiency that Montgomery's highfalutin diction was invented to conceal.”
If you adjust the variables - too much emphasis on prose style to too much emphasis on the latest effects, etc. It's along the same lines as the point we tried to makes earlier. The NYT review of 300 is interesting.
The VDH inspired storytellers have an inability to notice - so to speak - and that inability to notice translates into limitations on their ability to convey ( “transcribe” ) a story - their highfalutin CGI techn is the same problem of highfalutin diction, though that would surprise them.
Kolberg By The Big Gulp Generation
Showgirls for D'Souza. Unbelievably funny. This is a Ted Haggard movie, a rorschach test into the repressed contemporary Movement sociological id. The Warlord is an afterthought at best.
Fear of the vaginal is in every frame. Along with Greenwich Village, swarthy people from Compton, and genetic mutants. In fact, everything is undone because of a mutant AND sexual temptation. Talk about the need to deny essence.
Just transpose Gneisenau with a Scottish Leonidas.
Ridley Scott should call his lawyers immediately. Not only do they steal gratuitiously from Gladiator scene after scene, they even try and steal the score for entire scenes.
My guess is that there will be many creative drinking games to evolve from this silly venture.
“Only a war against Saddam Hussein will decisively restore the awe that protects Amercan interests abroad and citizens at home. We've been running from this fight for ten years. In the Middle East, everybody knows it. We're the only ones deluding ourselves.”
~Reuel Marc Gerecht
There might be some growth in the coming years in both supply and demand for this new genre of subliterate xenophobic/vulvaphobic cartoon war movies - what with Pelosi closing in from the west and HRC closing from the east, withdrawl from Iraq abroad, Joe Kennedy/Chavez brigands on the rise at home, and the persecution of Scooter. Surel a the level of anxiety and reaction will rise at home.
AMEX should figure out a way for people to be an ETF that will broadly reflect the rise of this market segment.
“We'll use the innards of our adversaries to grease the treads of our tanks.”
Correction - That was not a Lord Black original - But was Black alluding to Patton. The Telegraph was imprecise in its attribution and we sensed it was a bit off key for a Black original.
In fairness to Black, he does have an original modifcation -innards - and adaption of the quote - He made it fit his line of the case in Chicago. Btw, everyone is raanging their artillery and the “braying, hideous, tricoteuses” have been setting themselves about the guillotine. Fitz is not trying the case, which is good for Black, but bad for ratings. Is Court TV covering this case?
“An endomorphic, shameless gadfly, poseur... and confidence trickster. He [Robert Maxwell] deferred the hour of reckoning by his leonine perseverance at mendacious bluster and outright theft.”
~Lord Black (1993)
Good point, Patton is a bit too kinetic and unadorned for Black. Don't know if it is going to be on Court TV. Corporate governance and fraud, even on this massive scale, tends to be too abstract for American demographics. Lady Black's escapades without graphic involvement in the charges can't help, too.
Unfortunately, a local divorce case involving revenge vandalism of the co-owened towing company might be deemed better programming. Although that might be in Conrad's interest, it would probably gall him intensely that “They” passed over him yet again for the tawdry doings of the Third Estate.
When this whole Lord Black thing was just starting up with Breeden report and chock-a-block with betrayal and neocons and Dr. K and the Lady, we mentioned to someone in the biz that we thought that it would get some heavy coverage and maybe a number of film versions. But they pointed out that there has been a dumbing down since the 80s - as hard as that seems, but that celebrity magazines and celebrity pop culture now make US and People from the 80s look like cross between Fortune and Partisan Review by comparison. Witness the recent AN Smith stuff and the fact that Tweety is at the upper demographic end.
If it were up to us, we'd do it as a cartoon. We've been trying to come up with imitation Blackism but it's tough because he is pretty original, if inspired a lot by Carlyle - Some of his insults are cross between the Duke of Cornwall in Lear and a 19th centurey British physcian.
The indictment - which is online (U.S. V. Black) and is about seventy pages, is actually pretty understanable - Basically it's all about Black et al. agreeing to certain special , though understandable, provisions in corp. governance when they became Important People in a Delaware Corporation. Then this will lead to the SEC problems too. But the way International was structured - with the minority shareholders with the 10-1 voting rights meant that Black and Co. had to do everything for teh benefit of Hollinger International - but when when money left International to go to Holligener Inc. which was mostly owned by Ravelston (which just pled guilty) it had to hurt International in a material way.
So violation was built to the very structure - and this led to the reporting discrepencies. Just as the very nature of the Cheney-setup almost made it inevitable that it would have to lie when asked about leaks. In both case - it seems that those who saw themselves as great men wanted to clear away what they saw as cobwebs.
It's entirely possible that Black will be declared not guilty - it's not likely, but possible. He's innocent till proven otherwise and he just might be popular with the jury, but then again, he may not (this is what most suspect).
Black's coporate structure was a bit like one of those Russian dolls - Inside the Conrad was the Ravelston Doll, and inside that was a Hollinger Inc doll, and inside that doll was a Hollinger International doll. But what made it so weird is that , unlike the Russian dolls gettting smaller, each doll inside the Black structure was bigger than what contained it.
I see the postmodernists and Baudrillard as sort of a Marxist cultural studies analogue to netwar, 4GW, global guerrillas, Van Creveld, and new medievalism. If you haven't read his book on 9/11, you should. Very illuminating.
“Here`s my theory. My theory is that men are rooting around for a reason to be against Hillary, and they’re going to spend the next year trying to find out why they want to be against her because they want to be against her. And they’re looking for reasons to be for Rudy. I think people always try to figure out how they can sell the guy they want to sell. They want Rudy to be a hero because they want a hero like Rudy. And they have this problem with Hillary, and I can’t quite figure it out. But it seems to be emerging and I can’t explain it.”
~Chris Matthews 3-8-07
(Irony unnintend and his grating lack
of self-awareness is iredeemable)
The Iranians should be encouraged.
First, Israel/AEI/Sparta/Dubya/Leonidas are betayed by diseased ephors and fail. The Iranians apparently don't realize that they WIN the battle in history.
Second, Miller and Snyder, beyond inverting Spartan pederasty to Athens (where the Spartan prediliction was legendary), also erased Athenian leadership in determining the strategy and later naval triumph at Salamis.
As you note, mission accomplished in many ways.