Antilibrary

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Posts Tagged ‘Simulacra and Simulations

Hyperreality and Democracy

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Adam Elkus

I have been planning to re-read Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulations (a key part of my Quantum Library), so I perked up when Struggles With Philosophy analyzed the debates as a form of hyperreality:

Can the Presidential Debates be called debates? The key to understanding a hyperreal society, in the Baudrillard sense, is to trace how that what we called the ‘real’ is being replaced with simulations. To call the 7th October debate a ‘town hall’ debate is an attempt to hide its reality as a Television event. It is not a ‘town hall’ debate, in the traditional sense; it is the replacement of ‘debating’ with the simulation of debate. Someone maybe should have told this to John McCain. His performance was more suited to a ‘real’ debate than a television debate.

John McCain’s pacing and movements indicated that he believed he was performing in an actual town hall, rather than a televised, staged event designed to recreate the imagined intimacy of small-town America. This gets to the heart of the obsession with forms of what is viewed as “authentic” (e.g. white, blue collar, and rural) America that the candidates and the media express with their constant fulminations over “Joe Sixpack” and the now-infamous “Joe the Plumber.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Adam Elkus

October 16, 2008 at 10:52 pm