Baudrillard and 911

Jean Baudrillard:

I’ll place the link and the rest of the article here later, but I don’t know how many people told me this – though perhaps not quite this way. I think it goes right to the heart of a kind of waiting, a waiting that comes from the death of God. We have not yet come, have we?

Geez, reading Baudrillard makes you feel apocolyptic.


I just got a Baudrillard for beginners book…
I can’t say I understand it all but he seems to
point toward things having less significance than we think they have.
I find his view sort of elementary…trite, even, making light of things
people take very seriously…like the death of family members.

It’s hard for me to understand what you mean by trite here. On death or the death of family members, I think he makes some valid points. We hide from it. The very significance of death is made both more significant in that we now see it as something that should be important to us in its absence (a non-event event) and less significant in that our motivations for feeling what we do is often commodified. We no longer smell death – literally.

I’ve drifted away from Baudrillard over the years but I still think a lot of what he says strikes home. A friend of mine related a story of being with her boyfriend one night and, at one point, he blurted out, “I love you” whereas they both started giggling. It felt like watching a movie, she said.

Are these blocks to intimacy? When real things become surreal don’t then the reality is an added bonus, not significantly different from the movie itself – as Baudrillard points out in this quote. When this happens isn’t it easier to thrust aside reality as if it were a movie?

In this same article, Baudrillard says that at some level we wanted 911 to happen. We wanted it to happen. Francis Fukuyama says he’s talking about Europeans against Americans but I think he means the West as a whole. What 911 does is fulfill, if only for a moment, the idea that ‘something happens’ without any work on our part. This, to me, is the ultimate reasoning behind boredom. Boredom is the state of waiting for something to happen when you don’t want to make something happen (to attempt would involve risk).