Reality Check Vent Moment
If you're lucky you don't know this piece of work. It makes a lot of statements, from a philosophical perspective, on how human beings manufacture and interpret reality in their minds. At least on the good side it recognises that every part of reality that you experience is a manufactured experience, down to you. However, it expresses it at great tedious length and overcomplication. You'd be better off reading Dorothy Rowe's Guide To Life, as that deals with it from a psychological and day to day point of view that makes much more overt sense. Anyhoo, Baudrillard makes a statement about hyper-realities (his term) which are composed of components that have no real world referents. These things have a weird life of their own in the fervid imaginations of the chattering classes. For example, The Simpsons. They are cartoon entities who do not refer to any actual real person (not talking about the special guest spots). And any characters in any work of fiction. and etc. My memory of his point here fades into obscurity but I got the impression from the chap on the radio that this was a Very Dangerous Kind Of Thing that might lead to Personal Delusions and A Fall Into Perfidy and Sin and Losing Touch with Reality.
No mention here of other hyperreal objects which are apparently Beyond Question: god, nations, culture, social norms to name but a few on the top of the charts. No. Only some hyperreal objects are threatening and scary - the ones that individuals are mostly in control of (albeit within highly restricted limits most of the time). Mostly people only get their knickers in a twist about the ones which threaten to show that the chart toppers (above) might be less than real, or merely fabrications one could choose to believe in, as compared to say believing in the lore of World of Warcraft and spending hours a day trying to save Azeroth by being a paladin who smites evil and aids the needy. At least in Azeroth you can see the futility of your efforts very speedily (world state never changes, bad guys today, bad guys tomorrow, same old scripts because none of them know that they're just hyperreal avatars - at least the computer generated ones don't).
And to drag back from another digression they made a further point about the crafting of avatars, implying that the internet is a dangerous place where people could hide behind created facades to fool each other.
What world are these people living in where that doesn't happen every day? Human beings are a constant stream of constructed facades, which is the chief cause of all their psychological agonies (pushing them towards religion, drink, MMOs and etc to escape). Some say there even is no You, just the little engine that makes up the story of you and the world. Yes, religion at its best does offer a genuine freedom from the pain of inauthenticity by providing a safe context in which to be oneself, but nothing can free you from living in a world which trades on appearances and confidence tricks (or genuine confidence of course). Relgions and MMOs and Facebook are full of the stuff. The best thing about the latter is that this is entirely the point and therefore obvious, and therefore to anyone with two braincells, rendered rather harmless. The insidiousness of making claims to be above roleplays and egogames, social norms and to be presenting a hyperreality which is anything but a construct isn't nearly as well observed when it's done face to face in the apparently healthy (correct/pure/well intentioned) world of normal physical human contacts. Or in academic canons. Or in institutions. Or in any place where lots of people have all their status invested in a hyperreal world which has been reified (made into a real thing, like the Velveteen Rabbit) by common acceptance of the dorks, sorry, general public, of whom I'm expected to be a member.
I'm just amazed. Context Blindness Much?
And now back to writing about impossible worlds...
What amazes me continually about