[iDC] Some thoughts on Jean Baudrillard

Tamiko Thiel tamiko at alum.mit.edu
Tue Mar 13 14:09:59 EDT 2007

I think the reason why Baudrillard provokes such a love/hate response is 
that at one level his analyses are absolutely right. On the other hand 
he made things too easy for himself by leaving his analysis at the stage 
of "nothing has any meaning any more and no one can do anything about 
it" which was completely easy for him to say - and for that matter 
legitimate for the role he chose for himself.

On the other hand for all the rest of us, who at some point in our own 
lives made the decision to devote ourselves to CREATING meaning - 
DESPITE a situation which admittedly sometimes seems hopeless for 
exactly the reasons he mentions - he gives no help for proceeding on 
without succumbing to depression and suicidal tendencies. And Nature has 
provided human beings (at least the ones without suicidal tendencies) 
with a genetic predisposition to continue on seeking meaning.

Baudrillard gave a talk at the Academy of Fine Arts here in Munich while 
I was a student there. He did his standard brilliant talk, after which 
we all shrugged our shoulders, turned away and got back to work.

- Tamiko Thiel

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