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March 20, 2007
Jean Baudrillard: How To Disappear Completely1
is spent in an alternative media world from most, so I am often unaware of
major "events" that normative values say I should be interested in. I
must say I have never suffered any harm or diminishing of richness in my life
due to this. Quite the contrary. However, this happy oblivion did mean that I
was unaware immediately of Jean Baudrillard's objective disappearance from the
world, which newspapers report to have happened March 6, 2007.
non-appearance at a conference last summer2
I had assumed already that he was gone. In his absence he left a paper,
"On Disappearing", one of the more sublime efforts he has achieved,
certainly beyond my meager attempts at understanding. So thankfully there was
an expert panel to provide multiple paths into and out of the text.
I never met Baudrillard and would have had nothing to say if I had.
A positive nothing. I know this because I once met J.G. Ballard, who has had a
profound influence on my life. I could not say anything to him that would not
have diminished the silence with words. Though, raised always to be polite, I
believe I did spoil things with a "thank you".
In this way the quotidian is used to mark time where otherwise rich
stillness might fall. A lack of noise is traditionally seen to signify
quietude, quietus and death. But there is nothing richer than a silence which
one experiences intently. Death is a silence in which no-one listens. I strive
to not mourn those who have gone to that literal utopia, that ou topos
in which silence itself does not exist.
So, thank you Jean Baudrillard, for giving me the perspective from
which I may spoil this page with words that know their own limitations.
2 Engaging Baudrillard: An International Conference.
Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom, September 4-6, 2006. I gave a paper
(with thanks to Alan Shapiro) at this conference: “Time and reality die in
spectacle: Doctor Who As The Perfect Crime”.