THE REALITY-BASED COMMUNITY

‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.’ These words are from a brief but memorable conversation the journalist Ron Suskind had with Karl Rove, who was the chief political adviser and Machiavellian ‘teacher of tricks’ to the Bush dynasty. He had a way with words, and these particular ones […]

THE PHILOSOPHER WATCHING TV

The September 11th attack on Manhattan was the pseudo-event to usher in a new era. An epoch-making Baudrillardian simulation indeed, combining real slaughter and simulation, and where was the great philosopher of the simulacrum at the moment of precession? Glued to his television screen, like everyone else; held by the images and believing every word, […]

THE THIRD STORY

“08:37:52 BOSTON CENTER: Hi. Boston Center T.M.U. [Traffic Management Unit], we have a problem here. We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to, we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out. POWELL [Jeremy Powell, technical sergeant]: Is this real-world or exercise? BOSTON […]

IF I DON’T PHOTOGRAPH THIS

Ten years after Simulacra and Simulation, as the USA assembled a coalition to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait and geared up for Operation DESERT STORM, Jean Baudrillard published the first of a series of three essays: ‘The Gulf War Will Not Take Place’ (January 1991); followed by ‘The Gulf War is Not Taking Place’ (February […]

ENTER THE PSEUDO-GANG

Dissimulation has been at the heart of the terrorist tactic from the beginning. If you terrorise people, you will only solidify the political resistance against your aims — making it impossible for elected officials to entertain your demands. Terrorism, therefore, is not an effective tool, and terrorists rarely realise their aims. It is only effective […]

GLOBAL VILLAGE, GLOBAL THEATRE

Baudrillard was influenced by Marshal McLuhan, the great media savant of the 1960s and 70s, who was himself a creation of the media. McLuhan had already made a name for himself in academia, and was funded by the Ford Foundation to instigate seminars in Communications and Culture at Toronto University. At that point he became […]

THE DEATH OF GOD

What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed […]