‘Watching the president’s Christmas message produces this necropolar, white-mass sensation. Seeing the video broadcast of the Christmas service in the cathedral itself, with these pathetic screens and the young worshippers slumped around them here and there, you tell yourself that God and religion deserved better. Deserved to die, yes, but not this. However, watching the presidential figure and his sonorous inanity, you tell yourself that here at least you got what you deserved. Chirac is useless – that goes without saying – but so are we all…Uselessness of this kind has no origin: it exists immediately, reciprocally; like a shared secret, you savour it implicitly – with its warm bitterness – particularly in these cold snaps, as the very essence of the social bond. Sanctioned by that other interactive uselessness – the uselessness of the screen.’
In this stimulating collection of journalistic essays, Jean Baudrillard delves into a host of subjects, ranging from those of his familiar stomping ground (virtual reality, Disney, television) to topics further afield, such as children’s rights, holocaust revisionism, AIDS, Formula One racing, mad cow disease and cloning. These intriguing articles demonstrate the true range of Baudrillard’s thought and the versatility of the concepts that founded his philosophy.
Series Overview: Verso’s esteemed Radical Thinkers series brings together seminal works of philosophy and theory, featuring the leading thinkers in the radical critical tradition. Now in its eighth set, the series includes 96 books and has sold over 300,000 copies so far.
Jean Baudrillard (1929–2007) began teaching sociology at the Université de Paris-X in 1966. He retired from academia in 1987 to write books and travel until his death in 2007. His many works include Simulations and Simulacra, America, The Perfect Crime, The System of Objects, Passwords, The Transparency of Evil, The Spirit of Terrorism, and Fragments, among others.