What I immediately liked about Baudrillard is that he really sticks it to some of the other theorists that we have been reading. It seems that he has a problem with the way “the real” is not only duplicated and repeated but what exactly is now considered “the real”. Saussure and Jameson are under attack when Baudrillard explains on 1733 that   “It is no longer a question of imitation, nor of reduplication, nor even of parody.  It is rather a question of substituting signs of the real for the real itself” (1733). When I saw parody thrown in there I knew he was sharpening a dagger just for Jameson.

In the world we live in today it is really hard to say what is real and what is not. From the television, news, movies, and film to the very people you associate with on a usual basis. Out of all these elements what is constituted as “real”.  Is our day to day life “real” to someone who lives with an indigenous tribe deep in the rain-forests? And does their life seem real to us? But I think Baudrillard wants to look more at where the concept of the real originates from and how media today has warped our sense of the real and has contributed to the “hyper-real’ that we live in today.

Before I got to far off topic I decided to consult the good ol’ Barry book. On page page 87 Barry explains that “Baudrillard  is associated with what is usually known as ‘the loss of the real’, which is the view that in contemporary life the pervasive influence of images from film, TV, and advertising has led to a loss of the distinction between real and imagined, reality and illusion, surface and depth.  The result is a culture of ‘hyperreality’, in which distinctions between these are eroded.”  This basically led right up to the question “but what if a sign is not an index of an underlying reality but mearly of other signs?”  This is when I looked right into the mirror and realized that I was the exact instrument of reproducing the memory of past signs in media form and relating it to new ones. Ryan C. and I are by far the most guilty of doing so and we may have warped your precious developing minds with our continual entertainment/media  memory references. As I look back on my old blogs I see references to numerous TV shows and movies that helped sum up a point or idea I was trying to explain. South Park, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Die Hard, American Idol, The Matrix, The Hamburglar, etc…Its all the same. Baudrillard would have my head for this.

But what else am I supposed to be referencing? Would he be happy with references from Shakespeare, The Bible, ancient Greek writings, Egyptian hieroglyphics? But aren’t these just reproductions of signs from our past in a different media form? Or would he rather have me just keep my mouth shut and ideas relevant to the topic at hand and not some obscure reference that just happens to be more socially known then the ladder.

Baudrillard says on page 1733 ““The real is produced from miniaturised units, from matrices, memory banks and command models– and with these it can be reproduced an indefinite number of times.” The point Im trying to make is where does the line get drawn? If the reality we live in is a hyperreality the at what point was there just reality? Or has it always been this way?

Advertisements