posted by March 13 at 14:12 PMon
My girl making a white friend in Macy’s:
The one concept that I took from Jean Baudrillard (who died early last week at the old age of 77), and I’m sure he got it from elsewhere, as concepts never have an actual origin but are always already from elsewhere, is reality-effects. What this means is that all human experience is mediated—there is no such thing as sense-certainty—and so what really matters is not reality as such but reality-effects: the effects that a human imaginary has on the real. This allows us to read all of human reality as a fiction with real-effects. Political fictions, be they imagined from the right or the left, have real effects. And it’s on the nature of these effects, there type and extent, that one must judge a work political or social fiction. (Fiction can also be understood as ideology.) As for Baudrillard’s concept (or password) of the virtual, it’s of zero use to us because all has always been virtual. What we have never known is that the real does not exist for us as anything but efficacious or inefficacious, strong or weak effects. Also simulacrum, the virtual in its hyper form, such as Disneyland, has been with us from the beginning of human time. In fact, the first persecution of Christians, 68 AD, resulted from a theme park that the emperor Nero wanted to build in a part of Rome he burnt to the ground (the imaginary: the theme park; the reality-effect: the persecution of Christians—the imaginary: the apocalypse; the reality-effect: the persecution of Christians). Simulacrum is the weakest version of Marx’s commodity fetish, Lukacs’ reification, Benjamin’s phantasmagoria, and Debord’s spectacle.