Hello First post and comments on my paper on Baudrillard...

Simulacra and Simulations…

This is intermediate paper to turn in based on the theories of Baudriallards Simulacra and Simulations first 43 pages and the movie The Truman Show…
again this is just english 104 paper i figured i can share with everyone, tell me what you think?? Give me a grade if youd like!

Again there maybe some grammer/spelling errors, thats fine what im looking for is the writting skills and that the litterature is in tact to keep the reader intreasted… thanks look forwards to hearing comments…

Everything is Nothing & Nothing is Everything

Ever have those moments where you feel like your life is like a movie? Or that array of odd things that seem to happen to you that make you feel like it was an orchestrated plan or some kind of joke? Well jokes on you, imagine that being the case, welcome to Seahaven where a reality show is being filmed about a man who doesn’t know it. “On the air, Unaware” the official tagline for The Truman Show a film staring Jim Carrey as Mr. Truman Burbank, a man without a cause. The idea is simple, Truman Burbank is raised in a hyper real town where all participates are dedicated to playing imaginary roles in a continuously running reality television show without ever revealing to Truman his world is all fake. With no time to air commercials sponsored products are the main topics discussed among the towns people & Truman. Surrounding Truman are a bunch of mini hidden cameras airing his every single action in detail. Causing a mass media attention, the show becomes a hit. Across the United States people were glued to the Truman Show waiting to see his next failure or achievement in the daily struggle of the average working man trying to get by. Jean Baudrillard, a well known French philosopher among other achievements, wrote a book called Simulacra and Simulations. In it he explains to us how his idea of a simulacra and simulation is comparable to world like Trumans. **** Baudrillard believes that we live in a society where we are supplied a form hyperrealism in which we believe is correct-reality. Numerous different outlets of sources are responsible for our belief in this hyperrealism, Mr. Baudrillard describes. Claiming that we have abandoned from our original reality and have replaced our conscious minds into a world that imitates what we are simulated to believe… our existing reality.*** Baudrillard had three main theories to support this idea, and Truman Burbank is the guinea pig.
Truman attempts to live the stereotypical superficial life, he drives decent car owns a nice suburban home with a housewife and the perfect neighbors, the ideal standard to the average American Dream. Centuries on would have approved of this lifestyle that Truman achieved to get. To his standards things couldn’t be any better, as long as it stayed consistent and stress less. The sun would shine then set, another day would go on and to Truman’s knowledge life in the small town of Seahaven couldn’t e better. Live to live, live to die… that was his complete circle. No other way out, death is inevitable and this he understood. Mr. Baudrillards first order of theory for simulacra is the pre-modern period. This refers to the target as being a simulated product of real life. When Truman wakes up in the mornings he does not stop to think whether or not his life is real, just like us.
“It is the reflection of a profound reality;
It masks and denatures a profound reality;
It masks the absence of a profound reality;
It has no relation to any reality whatsoever: it is its own pure simulacrum.” (Page 6).Baudrillard feels that those signs that prove of normal life are just the tools that are used to channel subliminal messages to convince us to keep processing. Baudrillard feels that in our current version of a hyper real world we are surrounded by symbols and signs that are suppose to remind us of existing life and all the superficial aspects that go along with it.
Truman lives in the small suburban town called Seahaven, located shore side this beautiful city is made up of well suited white collar workers with nothing else on their minds besides assisting in fooling Truman. The creator of the show, Christof (Ed Harris) made sure to go out of his way to prove to Truman that the life he lives is real. Truman’s world consists of relationships with friends & loved ones, artificial sunlight, a well trimmed front yard, nice economical friendly automobile, a back drop of the ocean and its vast body of water merging with the sky far across the shore, and a job that he really can not get fired from because the job doesn’t really exist. Friends/family, responsibilities and common everyday devices that we rely on the director made sure to replace everything that can be found in our real life and injected them into this hyper real town to make this simulacra as similar to our definition of reality. Little does he know that this goes hand and hand with Baudrillards second order of simulacra, the industrial revolution "Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, whereas all of Los Angeles and the America that surrounds it are no longer real, but belong to the hyperreal order and to the order of simulation” (Page 12). Baudrillards strong belief in the idea of reproduction such things as the weather climate, production of devices such as cars and phones even the reproduction of love is an example of how we let their impact in our life’s change the way we live. It dissolves commonalities that once existed as mortals. Baudrillard feels that the industrial revolution, the huge impact of our society via billboards, labels/logos and price maybe the cause of why our reality appears to lack originality. It simple goes with the grade school saying… “Monkey see, monkey do”.
In the city of Seahaven, Truman finds himself involved with several of people including women and friends in which he thought he can trust. Wedded to a stereotypical house wife, Truman finds discomfort and artificialness aiming from her direction for love. He also finds himself subjected to an average Joe when hr hangs out with his “best friend” who is also an actor assisting Truman into belief of this hyperrealism lifestyle Truman is so unfamiliar with. Truman even has an on/off relationship with yet another girl he met which sees him as a human not as a character. Instantly the girl begins to protest to Truman about his life and that his reality is not REALITY, but a simulacrum developed by television producers interested in the human mechanics behind a controlled environment. With a few studio mishaps Truman is let in on some curious evidence, like the scene where he walks into the congested street and controls all the vehicles, or the scene where he sits on the shore and a rain storm begins yet only one of the sprinklers functions turn on and track him around while the other sprinklers were beginning to turn on, or in the final scene where Truman faces his fear and hops on a boat to sail to furthest visible ocean point. It is this sense that Truman realizes that this world is fake. His boat reaches the edge and it pierces the studios backdrop of the blue skies. To right of the sail boat Truman notices flight of stairs blended into the backdrop, at the top is an embodied button camouflaged in blue with text reading “EXIT”. Instantaneously Truman presses the button and opens up a door to what would be assumed as the exit to the real world which we also live in, from what Truman knows he maybe exiting from a reality he’d prefer. “… Power is in essence no longer present except to conceal that there is no more power.” (Page 26) This would be an example of Baudrillard third and final order, associated with the post-modern age. He believes that in this phase the final order that we as humans have attempted to understand all that we can from our understanding of this world. We as humans roaming this blue planet we live in have accepted the fate that was chosen for us and that without any supernatural evidence of an alternative origin, our civilization is firmly following this simulacra life style established for us…the American Simulacra.
Baudrillard theories suggest that we have come so far from our origins that we officially resort to a hierarchy of power to tell us our past and fate. Jean Baudrillard also suggest that our minds operate off of the impact of visual aid and repetition and that our reality is that of such that was forced upon us subliminally. Truman Burbank was prime example of Baudrillards theories coming to life. A man made world created for a man with the intentions to watch him live life in a perfect reality while we strive to understand ours. Are we that different from Truman? Trying to determine what life is about? Or are we just a spirit living a hyperrealism that we can not see? Perhaps you are Truman Burbank, and we are all watching your show… On the air, Always Unaware.

Truman: [to an unseen Christof] Who are you?
Christof: [voice-over] I am The Creator - of a television show that gives hope and joy and inspiration to millions.
Truman: Then who am I?
Christof: You’re the star.
Truman: Was nothing real?
Christof: You were real. That’s what made you so good to watch.

-The Truman Show (1998)-


welcome to the boards… nice essay… you really tie the topics together in an entertaining and informative way… aside from mechanics, the paper looks good…


wow thanks for the great review, glad u enjoyed it I’m trying to major in journaisl! Well any other feed back? Anyone else? Cmon all these smart people only one willing to comment? Well again thanks for the comments

I’d place it at being worth a gander.

Granted, you are confined by the topic for the class, presumably, so I can’t really dock the topical comparison between the show and Baudrillard.

However, in so much as what it is; it’s alright.

I think the structure of your prose needs a fair amount of work, but I’m guessing you’re still only 18/19 so no doubt that will come in due course (nonetheless, keep it constantly in mind - the best advice is to read carefully).

As for the ideas, I wonder whether you’ve sold Baudrillard short a little by seeing the simulacra as a kind of false conciousness, as the inability of modern man to “see the truth”, as it were. Rather, to me, the simulacra is too real - hyperreality, Baudrillard calls it - an excess and not a lack (although I accept that Baudrillard does emphasise absence frequently). Consequently, it’s not a question of overturning the simulacra to reveal the real world hidden underneath, as is the case in, say, The Matrix (there is no Zion, no messianic hope for Baudrillard), but rather that, as you recognise with Truman, the simulation is the reality - Truman can go out into the “real world”, but he goes out as the Truman who was “created” by Christof. The best way to really get to grips with this idea is by setting it in its proper context, which for Baudrillard is semiology - the study of language as a system of exchange, which, because it is self-referential, is incredibly complex, and, moreover, is at one and the same time both the catalyst for a totalising symbology and the impossibility of creating a total picture of the world. I am not aware of an occasion where Baudrillard ever proposed a means by which we might escape that inherent tension (what philosophers call an aporia), and I would wager this was a conscious decision on his part, but it undoubdtedly left him exposed to accusations (or misreadings) of nihilism.

I don’t mean to be a party-pooper, but shouldn’t this go in the ‘Essays & Theses’ section? :-k

I don’t know much about Baudrillard, so after looking at your article went out and picked up The Perfect Crime to have a look at. So in the unlikely event that you want to wait a month, I’ll give my thoughts once getting through that an having a think about it. Thanks for posting your work, sorry I’m just not qualified to comment at the moment.

Baudrillard appears to be primarily concerned with the Pragmatics branch of semiotics.

The ideas tie together fairly well in the essay, but I question the use of the Truman character, the relation seems somewhat tenuous.

One of the primary concerns in Simulacra and Simulation is that as the watcher becomes the watched, the watcher’s current reality is supplanted, and that individual is painfully unawares, especially in the modern context.

The Truman character is given the knowledge that his hyperreality is a construct of intent, which seems directly antithetical to Baudrillard’s writing ~ the impact of hyperreality is actual, without the indiviudal’s awareness.

I definitely agree with matty that the placement of Baudrillard amongst nihilists is neither warranted or acceptable.

I agree that it is a radicalisation of the Baudrillardian thesis, but I suppose that, in a sense, is the role of art in the system of thought. Further to this, what would you take to be Baudrillard’s intent with respect to his analysis of the simulacra? Is he merely attempting to provide an explanation of the world or do you think he would have drawn socio-political consequences from it? In other words, do you think Baudrillard provided a means of overturning the simulacra and its attendant features or that he even considered this as a possibility?

Baudrillard is often austere in his language, and although I might be interpreting his writing in a manner that suits my mindset, he approaches cynicism.

Typically French, he has a forceful writing style but somewhat dry, I’ve never been really certain about his intent. Taking the context of the entire writing, it seems he thinks the current socio-political state is dangerous, simply due to the unobservant nature of humans/humans in societies, with regards to the heavily influencing socio-cultural/-political movements; tide beneath the tide, as it were. Attendant wouldn’t be something I would broadly ascribe to humans, especially as social animals.

In one sense he provided no mechanism(s) for suppressing/overturning the hyperreality; unless his intent was purely to announce and denounce its presence, and thereby make philosophical inquiry and observation the tools in themselves. Good line of questioning matty, well done. I’ll have to think on this more.

I think this is probably closest to the truth, and as you say it is fairly typical of French writers of that generation - indeed, that is exactly why I’ve spent so much time trying to come to terms with them!