By Jean Baudrillard
'Since de Toqueville, French thinkers were fascinated about the USA. but if it involves mysterious paradoxes and lyrical complexity no French highbrow suits Jean Baudrillard in considering the recent World... [He] has turn into a sharp-shooting Lone Ranger of the post-Marxist left." -- big apple occasions "The choice of wild, frequently hilarious postcards from his journey to the United States includes a number of the year's so much orignal and gorgeous writing." -- New Statesman and Society " ... sometimes provocative and in general infuriating ... the US is full of perceptive, virtually poetic observations." -- Rolling Stone "A mix of loopy notions and dead-on insights, the USA is a precious (and voluable) photo of what Mr. Baudrillard calls 'the merely closing primitive society' -- ours." -- ny instances ebook assessment
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Thus the freeways do not de-nature the city or the landscape; they simply pass through it and unravel it without altering the desert character of this particular metropolis. And they are ideally suited to the only truly profound pleasure, that of keeping on the move. To the person who knows the American freeways, their signs read like a litany. ’ This ‘must exit’ has always struck me as a sign of destiny. I have got to go, to expel myself from this paradise, leave this providential highway which leads nowhere, but keeps me in touch with everyone.
Save our souls - phobic society. Low tar. Low energy. Low calories. Low sex. Low speed - anorexic society. Curiously, in this world where everything is available in profusion, everything has to be saved and economized. The obsession of a young society, concerned to protect its future? The impression given is rather that of a sense of threat, all the more insidious for being groundless. It is profusion which creates an hallucination of a sort of backfiring into shortage and penury, which has to be averted by homeopathic discipline.
This is not narcissism and it is wrong to abuse that term to describe the effect. What develops around the video or stereo culture is not a narcissistic imaginary, but an effect of frantic self-referentiality, a short-circuit which immediately hooks up like with like, and, in so doing, emphasizes their surface intensity and deeper meaninglessness. This is the special effect of our times. The ecstasy of the polaroid is of the same order: to hold the object and its image almost simultaneously as if the conception of light of ancient physics or metaphysics, in which each object was thought to secrete doubles or negatives of itself that we pick up with our eyes, has become a reality.
America by Jean Baudrillard