I am Typing on a Computer...I am Typing on a Computer: Subjectivity and Baudrillard

Sharif Corinaldi

So much of Baudrillard's point deals with things as they are, and how we should or can treat them. Things copied lose some elements of themselves, things that imitate fall short of the original and are, by way of their existence, less real. We've seen or are currently participating in the resultant dialogue that springs from such a paradigm. Discussions concerned with filtering out and isolating the real often leave those involved (particularly me) frustrated and annoyed with the inadequacies of language.

Simply put, too much of our argument is about how Baudrillard sees and understands the world that he lives in and not enough about our own perception. Implicit in all of this term-tossing hulabaloo is a kind of trust in Baudrillard's point of view, a trust that places it above our own. Certainly, this is fine to a degree. After all, investigating the psychological constructs that he has shown us makes for interesting commentary, and by understanding the things of which he speaks we can often get an idea of some of the similarities that run from mind to mind. However, once we start talking about such abstractions as 'the real', and take ourselves seriously one might be justified in saying that we've gone too far. I'd like to draw some direction from the end of Katherine Angus's essay and try to add more to her point:

Baudrillard's is a constructed, artificial viewpoint of a late-twentieth-century Eurocentric human male intellectual, nothing more.

Make no mistake, he does an excellent job naming the things that he experiences, and certainly has a tidy enough mind to develop what he thinks is the real into his own Baudrillard land, but when we deal with his theories outside of this context we run into all sorts of problems. These problems are our own perceptions interfering with our own understanding of Baudrillard. We cannot completely agree with him, nor can we completely understand him because our real world is different from his. His claims of rampant simulation do not apply to some of us, in effect, we we don't get it, for whatever reason. Given this imbalance, how can we say that it is not Baudrillard that doesn't get what we're saying. All we an truly point out is a misunderstanding or even dispute of facts, placing both sides in different positions so far as some constructed concept is concerned. Granted, such a statement might seem plain, but we really must stop there, lest we make foolish leaps into assumption. At least, that's what I think.

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