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By Jean Baudrillard

“The number of wild, frequently hilarious postcards from his journey to the US comprises the various year’s most unusual and lovely writing.”—New Statesman and Society

In this, his so much obtainable and evocative e-book, France’s top thinker of postmodernism takes to the freeways in a suite of traveler’s stories from the land of hyperreality.

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And it works. With this smile Reagan obtains a much wider consensus than any that could be achieved by a Kennedy with mere reason or political intelligence. The recourse to a pure form of compliment, be it animal or infantile, is much more successful and the whole American population comes together in this toothpaste effect. No idea - not even the nation’s moral values in their entirety - could ever have produced such a result. Reagan’s credibility is exactly equal to his transparency and the nullity of his smile.

Neither masculine nor feminine, but not homosexual either. Boy George, Michael Jackson, David Bowie. . Whereas the idols of the previous generation were explosive figures of sex and pleasure, these new idols pose for everyone the question of the play of difference and their own lack of definition. They are exceptional figures. For want of an identity, most of them have gone in search of a ‘gender model’, a generic formula. Some kind of differentiating feature has to be found, so why not look for it in fashion .

He says: I lack nothing, therefore I shall not eat. With the overweight person, it is the opposite: he refuses fullness, repletion. He says: I lack everything, so I will eat anything at all. The anorexic staves off lack by emptiness, the overweight person staves off fullness by excess. Both are homeopathic final solutions, solutions by extermination. The jogger has yet another solution. In a sense, he spews himself out; he doesn’t merely expend his energy in his running, he vomits it. He has to attain the ecstasy of fatigue, the ‘high’ of mechanical annihilation, just as the anorexic aims for the ‘high’ of organic annihilation, the ecstasy of the emptybody and the obese individual seeks the high of dimensional annihilation: the ecstasy of the full body.

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Categories: Social Philosophy