UNCERTAIN TIMES

  These are uncertain times. So everyone keeps saying. “In these uncertain times…” “In these times of great uncertainty…” Uncertain times — and yet so predictable. So predicted.  Two years ago, on 27th April 2018, vaccine Messiah and ‘strategic philanthropist’ Bill Gates, invited to deliver the Shattuck Lecture in Boston, Massachusetts, warned that we were […]

ūtland

It’s not very common in conversation, not in its original sense at least. People stick to ‘weird’, which is a whole other story, coming from Old English wyrð, meaning fate or destiny. You generally only see it when some hack journalist  has been detailed to put down the latest outbreak of truth from behind the curtain. Such […]

PYROTECHNICS

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, 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 1991); […]

THE DEATH OF GOD

‘Never resist a sentence you like,’ wrote Baudrillard in Cool Memories (1990), and his incandescent style overflows with irresistible sentences. If you interrogate them, however — which is perhaps to ‘misread’ Baudrillard — you find that his beautiful paradoxes mask assumptions and transitions which must be explicit in a valid argument.  Take, for example, the […]

PASSENGERS

TELEVISION, STARS, AND THE SADNESS OF ASTRONAUTS “We set out to explore the moon and instead discovered the Earth.” — William Anders, Apollo 8 astronaut. Television — or at least, the image dissection technology at the core of it —was invented by Philo T Farnsworth II in 1927, but it did not bring him much […]

THE STRANGE CASE OF DOCTOR LOVELOCK

OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE CO2   James Lovelock is the much honoured British scientist famous for a beautiful and irresistible idea known as the Gaia hypothesis. Lovelock is a self-made man in the best tradition of scientists of a previous age. His parents were poor, and he financed his own […]

THE FABULOUS PANTHER

OF CATS AND CONSPIRACIES  The Orpheus Pavement (detail) “The idea of leopards still living in Europe is very powerful. Every year a new and ferocious creature turns up in England, one that exists only in newspaper columns, vividly imprecise eyewitness reports, blurry photographs of black pussy cats and our eternal appetite for monsters: the Beast […]

McLUHAN IN MANHATTAN

“The tactic of the terrorist model is to provoke a surplus of reality and to make the whole system collapse under it.” — Jean Baudrillard, The Spirit of Terrorism (2002). ∆ Baudrillard’s work is coolly psychedelic, giving us the same sense of dizzying replication that we love in doppelgänger stories and much science fiction. He was […]

THE MEMORY HOLE

My first real encounter with the Thought Police.  This essay, part of a series applying Jean Baudrillard’s simulation theory to contemporary events, has been suppressed by WordPress. The piece evoked a series of mass-shootings in 2011-12, viewing them in the light of the document usually referred to as The Report from Iron Mountain. It sketched a timeline of […]

SACRAMENT, MALEFICE, SORCERY

The Disappearance of Jean Baudrillard “Abstraction today is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes […]