Baudrillard’s History

So I’m here to talk about everyone’s favorite Post-modernist: JEAN BAUDRILLARD! WOOO! Such a cute little Frenchman he is. No, I’m not here to talk about the hyperreal. That is an interesting topic though and probably can be applied to some of the things I will say here…who knows. Also, there’s probably a book somewhere on this…I’m just afraid to touch or even look at it.

So where does the power of historical events come from? Do they come from the events themselves or from their memories in the heads of future generations? Where does their VALUE come from, if I can use that word (hopefully a reoccurring theme in this blog is the use of value in different ways to try to be “Decreatice”). Based on my very limited readings of Baudrillard I would say that he would say that, depending on the event, it could be either or and maybe even both. However, once again, this is pretty much based off of my experience with two or three of his essays, so who knows where I’m going and if it is anywhere close to a true destination (Also I have never taken a historiography class in my life, but I do know that “Historiography” is a good Mountain Goats song).

Let’s start with the one that might be the more accepted definition of history’s source of power; that it is through the event itself that it’s power is derived.

—-Sorry, need to rant about something completely different, enjoy it though.—-

So I’m currently looking at a movie preview that offers both Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis. What the fuck are you doing Hollywood? Let Bruce Willis die of natural causes already..or just from Demi Moore’s ice cold grip on his heart and mind through the use of Ashton Kuthcer as her boy-toy. Just let him succumb to his wounds. He deserves your respect  for simply agreeing to be a part of four Die Hard movies and about forty other movies that have a John McClain type character. Just let the one trick pony die, or have a veterinarian give a false prognosis of a broken leg so you can just mercy kill him. Let Bruce die…not the good one…he was Born to Run and will be viable until he starts singing “Baby, we were born to wheel/use a walker/take a million tiny steps to move six feet.”

OK. Now on to Morgan, who is honestly one of the best comedic stars on television with 30 Rock. I’m OK with this one, but it makes the entire thing look like that Eddie Murphy-Owen Wilson movie about spies in which they sucked and I wanted to insert a tiny spy-bomb into my eye and let it explode. Aren’t we done with buddy cop satires Hollywood? Haven’t you learned your lesson? Are you really hoping that the old folks who still love Willis and the younger crowd that love Morgan on 30 Rock will really show out to this?

Here’s the answer. THEY WON’T. Old people and young people have a longer history than the Red Sox and Yankees, than Dan Sargent and the divine, than the Stay Puft guy and fire / the Ghostbusters. You might get the young, stupid crowd who haven’t seen any movie from the Lethal Weapon series and thanks for that. Did you get Willis to be anti-semitic for the production time at least to give it the same feel? I understand, Hollywood. It’s hard being you. People are tired of paying so much to watch a movie that they can get off a pirated website. I know…now hush hush, don’t cry. Every little thing will be ok. ONCE YOU STOP PUTTING OUT THE SAME MOVIE EVERY FIVE YEARS WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE. Hell even James Cameron knows that in order to do that right you at least need to do something different with the shooting of the film or its production. Recycling is great for the environment, but it absolutely kills culture.

—-End of rant. Thank you—-

And we’re back to Baudrillard and the blog post that probably sounds mostly like a fucking college intro to Post-modernism essay. I’m going to try to liven it up. Maybe. I don’t know if I can.

Well history comes from the power of the event itself, you know? The events immediate and long-term effects and shit like that. Well this bitch be saying that is somewhat true. Baudrillard is more focused on actual power instead of history’s power source. In his essay on 9/11, he states, in so many words, that the power of something isn’t fully realized until all of that power is gone. He states that the US did not know its economic, political and military prowess until that first tower came crumbling down to the earth. Can we say that this is the sort of thing that makes history? It is somewhat Hegelian (also I have a very limited background with Hegel, but I think this is an OK way of putting it, tell me if I’m wrong smarties) in that through this sort of power destruction we enter a new era of history; a new historical cycle. I know that Hegel said that these cycles are brought upon by keystone people, but maybe the keystone people in bringing in a new era of history, that of terror and fear, were those that hijacked the planes (please no fucking 9/11 conspiracy theorists…I hate with such fiery rage).

So is history brought on by this power? Or is the true power of history not understood until future generations? Baudrillard argues that in his essay Holocaust that it is the memory, or, really, the lack of memory that shows the power of an historical event. This is sort of where his ideas on the hyperreal come in. Since we forget about the true events that occur within our past and we can no longer attach a physical entity to them, we are dealing entirely with memory and digitized images/video/audio/etc. We are basing our true and honest knowledge off of these things that no one living can truly identify with or authorize. Is authorization important? Not sure. With history, it is generally accepted that within the digital age of photography, video and other mediums, the truth can be slightly altered, but not enough to flip history. [I think, this is where a lack of knowledge about historiography is hurting me in any point I try to make] However, by basing our knowledge of this, we are no longer experiencing the real, at least in Baudrillard’s view.

But this is somewhat besides the point, since Baudrillard believes that the power of the Holocaust comes with forgetting the things that occurred in that time period. Sort of a doomed to repeat it idea. Which somewhat ties back into his entire idea about the knowledge of power deriving from the destruction of said power. Does Baudrillard believe in the sort of binary learning and knowledge idea that I talked about in a previous post? I’m not sure, but it seems like he is sold on that method’s application to power’s knowledge.

So what do we have now? I don’t really know. I guess this is how I am ending pretty much every blog post; with no direction or definitive knowledge fleshed out from the writing. But this is how I work I guess. It sometimes leads to a better understanding later down the line for me, but I think its good because it allows for some discussion. Who knows.



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2 responses to “Baudrillard’s History

  1. jawsforjesus


    S. E. R. G. E. A. N. T.



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