[printer friendly version ]

ISSN: 1705-6411

Volume 4, Number 3 (October, 2007).

Special Issue: Remembering Baudrillard

Constantly Shifting Reality 1


(Richard is Retired Website)


            I had barely finished reading Jean Baudrillard’s obituary in the New York Times when I ran across what seems an apt example of Baudrillard’s complaints about culture. Harry Potter is naked in Equus! So we poor viewers see Daniel Radcliffe transform from this:                     Into this:



            Reality is synthetic, our perceptions become the creation of media, Harry Potter (tie and jacket with glasses) is Alan Strang (naked, screaming, violent) with no transition and with no trouble. This fluidity and the willingness of viewers to accept this fluidity is ably expressed by Ophelia Oates, 14, who saw the play over the weekend telling the Times: “you can’t be Harry Potter forever.”

            Hardly forever – fewer than 10 hours on screen has Radcliffe played Potter. Easy just to forget, even though your impression is that Radcliffe was Harry Potter (simply referred to as HP by those on the inside) “forever”. Baudrillard would find any distinction between these two characters meaningless, I suppose. Both are simulacra, distracting us from the truth that neither really exist. Simulacrum, through, can be dangerous. Remember Agent Smith in the Matrix – characters can turn on their masters. And think of Spock, completely enveloping Leonard Nimoy’s real personality. Nimoy had to write a book to remind everyone that he was not Spock!



© richardisretired.wordpress.com



1 This article originally appeared on the website Richard is Retired on March 8, 2007: http://richardisretired.wordpress.com/2007/03/08/3-7-wednesday/

© International Journal of Baudrillard Studies (2007)

[Main Page]   [Contents]   [Editorial Board]   [Submissions]