The Old Man Was My Friend
by Molly Lambert
So like, Jean Baudrillard died. So he’s all “dead” now. Link to his wikipedia entry or something please because I don’t feel like explaining all of his obscure theories that I owe whatever the fuck thousand dollars for learning about in the sturdy brick classrooms of New England.
The New York Times obit is one of the most brutal I’ve ever seen, ending on the note “then again, maybe all his work was total bullshit,” which is pretty cold to put in the guy’s fucking obit. It’s not like it’s an opinions piece.
Baudrillard is most well-known for inspiring Brother and Sister Wachoski to make The Matrix. Baudrillard says they misinterpreted his texts completely. I say he was a cranky old French intellectual who doesn’t fully understand “Keanu Reeves.”
The idea that we’re not living in “reality” because we have Disneyland is bullshit. Like people in Ancient Greece didn’t have temples? What is the point of architecture if not to provide shelter from reality? This is another thing about Baudrillard. His philosophy walks the line between “I am so smart you are having trouble understanding me because my broad platitudes sound initially nonsensical” and “WHOAAAA I’M SOOOO HIGH.”
Japanese architect nerd theme park “Site of Reversible Destiny.”
You all know about my fear of circus horror but I’ve had to clarify for some people that it extends into carnival horror and magic show horror. I realized today that this included carnival dark rides, which are of course, super terrifying because they are so janky.
I’ve never actually been on one of these rides, I’ve just seen them replicated so many times in media. What’s that I hear?
Oh, It’s Baudrillard’s ghost telling me to go fuck myself. Well how about this JEAN?
In the seventies they were filming The Six Million Dollar Man in Long Beach, shooting a scene in the “Laff in the Dark” (shivers) carnival haunted house ride. While trying to position a mannequin of a hanged man, the arm snapped off with a bone in it. Turned out to be a real corpse that had been floating through carnivals, belonging to a failed train robber.
What am I saying? I’m saying that history has always been surreal, with or without photographic images. I’m not mad that I can learn shit all the time off of wikipedia, or see photos of people I want to know. This is why I am glad we’ll die out soon though. Whatever generation is born into robots will just be like “whatever, robots” just like this new one is all like “whatever, internet.”
Who needs to stop and worry that images are making us unable to feel real sensations? Do you like Phil Collins? (“Of course, I’ve got two ears and a heart.” – 30 rock)
But even though we remember what it was like before the internet, does it really matter? There’s never any going back so what’s the point in being nostalgic for the golden age of reality. We have YouTube now. It’s so so so real. Painfully real.
Molly Lambert is a senior contributor at this recording.
this ric flair picture reminds me of a funny ric flair story. You have to understand that before I became your willing blogger, I learned everything there was to know about a lot of things, including wrestling. Flair was adopted by a Jewish family when he was very young. They didn’t really understand him, but they loved him. Anyway, his dad was a doctor. Flair was legendary for wrestling night after night and partying with very little space in between. One night Flair felt horrible. He called up his dad. “I think I’m dying,” he said. His father said, “When was the last time you slept?” Flair tried to remember. It had been over a week.