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Friday, 21 February 2014

Destruction porn

Here is a(nother) splendid and thoughtful post from The Plashing Vole (though his interest in fencing - as in l'escrime, not handling stolen goods - seems to have led him to write balestra for ballista).  I was thinking about Baudrillard myself, only yesterday, as it happens and pondering how the 24-hour news culture that he discussed leads to a sort of inversion of the usual historical narrative process.  normally one gets jumbled accounts from various sources, which are then gradually sifted and reassembled into a narrative, or more often several competing narratives.  In the instant transmission of pictures and stories, the simulacrum of reality that Baudrillard discussed, the story and the lesson are almost decided in advance, certainly they are already part of the 'information' received through the TV screen.  So, in a way, we have to take the historical narrative and then take it apart in order to arrive at the jumble of disparate sources and viewpoints.  Then, needless, to say, we put it back together in a different order.  Of course, even in other periods, historical sources are also interwoven with their own narratives and viewpoints, but it nevertheless seems to me that there is still some sort of crucial inversion, or at least (and perhaps better) reordering, of the process involved here.