Samiam-ish wrote:Baudrillard has another essay on 9/11 called “Requiem for the Twin Towers”.
I found a version here: http://bit.ly/wr2im2 (via Google Books) and have taken some simple observations from it.
Early in the essay he describes the Towers as:Perfect parallelepipeds, standing over 1,300 feet tall, on a square base. Perfectly balanced, blind communicating vessels [...] The fact that there were two of them signifies the end of artificial reference. If there had only been one, monopoly would not have been perfectly embodied. Only the doubling of the sign truly puts an end to what it designates.
These words made me realise something else – The Twin Towers could also represent a giant sans serif ‘11’ in the New York skyline. Something I’d never considered before.
Samiam-ish wrote:The other thing I’d like to point out is Baudrillard’s final paragraph in his ‘Requiem...’ essay.... although the two towers have disappeared, they have not been annihilated. Even in their pulverized state they have left behind an intense awareness of their presence. No one who knew them can cease imagining them and the imprint they made on the skyline from all points of the city. Their end in the definitive material space has borne them off into a definitive imaginary space. By the grace of terrorism, the World Trade Center has become the world’s most beautiful building – the eight wonder of the world!
Anybody else feel he's trying just a little too hard here?
We are simplifIed by technical manipulation.
And this simplifIcation goes off on a crazy course when we reach digital manipulation.
What becomes at this point of the ventriloquacity of Evil? It is the same with the radicalism of yore: when it deserts the individual, reconciled with himself and homogenized by the good offices of the digital, and when all critical thinking has disappeared, radicalism passes into things. The ventriloquacity of Evil passes into technology itself.
For duality can be neither eliminated nor liquidated - it is the rule of the game, the rule of a kind of inviolable pact that seals the reversibility of things.
If their own duplicity deserts human beings, then the roles are reversed: it is the machine that goes gaga, that falters and becomes perverse, diabolic, ventriloquous. The duplicity merrily goes over to the other side.
If subjective irony disappears - and it disappears in the play of the digital - then irony becomes
objective. Or it becomes silence.
nonhocapito wrote:That's very interesting, pdgalles, food for thought about Baudrillard. But to tell you the truth, I make no excuses for these intellectuals who, supposedly, have grasped the truth about (to simplify) simulation and fakery, and yet find these very convoluted, ironic ways to tell us about it.
For the same reason I am curious about your opinion on Delillo's "falling man". If I had to believe Delillo to be somehow genuine and legit in his desire to transpire the artificiality of the "falling man" theme in the popular consumption of 9/11, then I'd also have to conclude that he is doing a very poor job at it.
Because his book is clearly read as a description of dramatic, real events, and I am sure that not one of his readers has seen in his words an ironic description of faked reality.
But these times, these issues, call for clear messages and adamant speeches. Otherwise, in my opinion, even silence is better than this alleged and impenetrable irony that becomes like a pat on the back for very intelligent, very cowardly men --with too much to lose.
An ironic twist was the release of the film just prior to President Clinton's sex scandal and the subsequent bombing of terrorists strongholds in Africa.
Then we walked slowly back to the dorm and listened to Norgene Azamanian tell the story of his name.
"A lot of people take it for a girl's name. But it's no such thing. It comes from Norge refrigerators and from my uncle, Captain Gene Kinney. How it all came about, my being called Norgene, makes for a real interesting story. You see, everybody in my mother's family going back for generations, man or woman, always had a Christian name of just one syllable. Nobody knows how it started but at some point along the line they decided they'd keep it going. So I go and get born and it comes time to name me. Now it just so happens there was an old Norge refrigerator out on the back porch waiting to get thrown away. It also happens that my daddy wasn't too happy about the syllable thing, it being his belief that the bible carries a warning against onesyllable names, Cain being his brother's slayer. And finally there was the amazing coincidence that my uncle Gene Kinney was on leave and coming over to visit so he could see the new baby, which was me, and so he could get in on the naming of it to be sure the family tradition would be carried out. How all these different factors resulted in the name Norgene is the whole crux of the story."
"Very good," Bing said. "But first tell us how you got Azamanian."
pdgalles wrote:It's okay to disagree with me - you may be one of the few who can critique my views, as acceptance of media simulations and knowledge of Baudrillard/DeLillo is required!
pdgalles wrote:If you dislike Baudrillard/DeLillo's convoluted irony, how about some in your face De Niro irony?
World War III is raging - or so the millions of people crammed in their underground tanks believe. For fifteen years, subterranean humanity has been fed on daily broadcasts of a never-ending nuclear destruction, sustained by a belief in the all powerful Protector. But up on Earth's surface, a different kind of reality reigns. East and West are at peace. Across the planet, an elite corps of expert hoaxers live in vast private demesnes -- repayment for their services in preserving the great lie. Until, one day, a tanker emerges and discovers the path to the most sinister truth of all...
orkneylad wrote:"The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth–it is the truth which conceals that there is none.
The simulacrum is true."
"The way you say some things. I actually believe you. I think you're serious. Then it hits me that something's not right.
I had accomplished nothing all those months and so I decided to enroll at the University of Miami. It wasn't a bad place. Repetition gave way to the beginnings of simplicity. (A preparation thus for Texas) I wanted badly to stay. I liked playing football and I knew that by this time I'd have trouble finding another school that would take me. But I had to leave. It started with a book, an immense volume about the possibilities of nuclear war - assigned reading for a course I was taking in modes of disaster technology. The problem was simple and terrible: I enjoyed the book. I liked reading about the deaths of tens of millions of people. I liked dwelling on the destruction of great cities. Five to twenty million dead. Fifty to a hundred million dead. Ninety percent population loss. Seattle wiped out by mistake. Moscow demolished. Airbursts over every SAC base in Europe. I liked to think of huge buildings toppling, of firestorms, of bridges collapsing, survivors roaming the charred countryside. Carbon 14 and strontium 90. Escalation ladder and subcrisis situation. Titan, Spartan, Poseidon. People burned and unable to breathe. People being evacuated from doomed cities. People diseased and starving. Two hundred thousand bodies decomposing on the roads outside Chicago. I read several chapters twice. Pleasure in the contemplation of millions dying and dead. I became fascinated by words and phrases like thermal hurricane, overkill, circular error probability, postattack environment, stark deterrence, doserate contours, killratio, spasm war. Pleasure in these words. They were extremely effective, I thought, whispering shyly of cycles of destruction so great that the language of past world wars became laughable, the wars themselves somewhat naive. A thrill almost sensual accompanied the reading of this book. What was wrong with me? Had I gone mad? Did others feel as I did? I became seriously depressed. Yet I went to the library and got more books on the subject. Some of these had been published well after the original volume and things were much more uptodate. Old weapons vanished. Megatonnage soared. New concepts appeared-the rationality of irrationality, hostage cities, orbital attacks. I became more fascinated, more depressed, and finally I left Coral Gables and went back home to my room and to the official team photo of the Detroit Lions. It seemed the only thing to do. My mother brought lunch upstairs. I took the dog for walks.
pdgalles wrote:orkneylad wrote:"The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth–it is the truth which conceals that there is none.
The simulacrum is true."
Baudrillard invented that quote - oh the irony.
pdgalles wrote:DeLillo ... had no doubt built up a loyal following who were very familiar with his style of writing, which I consider he intends not to be taken seriously due to his lead characters often narcissistic views on life. So, as far as I have read DeLillo (still in progress), his work has always been associated with irony.
(1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage;
(2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof);
(3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation.
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