Thursday, March 08, 2007

Death of (another) philosopher

I'm sure that relatively few people will care about this passing.
I was just listening to podcast from the NPR program,Fresh Air, and discovered that the French post-modern philospher, Jean Baudrillard
(, had just recently died.

I can't say that I am sad, or disheartened. Rather, I am somewhat amused by his passing. He is yet another of my self-appointed intellectual mentors who has passed on.
Gone beyond, so to speak, the illusion, that is the life he had lived.

Call me what you will; but, I found his philosophy to be supremely influential upon my general worldview(along with Foucault, and Deleuze/Gauttari), and appreciate his contribution to the world, and human thought, in general.
I had always appreciated his willingness to tell the emperor(you, the reader) that not only did he(you) really have no clothes, but he wasn't even actually an emperor. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't consider Mssr. Baudrillard a nihilist. Far from it.
I actually consider him a comic, in a sense, perhaps in the most generous sense. He was a philosopher in the truest sense. But, in this day and age, philosphers are not needed by most people. So, instead, he, and his wrtings, were relegated to the backwaters of the media and inteligensia as the ramblings of an esoteric crank. Or, at worst, his messages were inscrutable, and thus irrelevant. I suppose that he might have appreciated the irony in that. I have a way with picking the winners...

For better or worse, I guess his most famous quote is from the film "The Matrix". It is the character Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburn( whom I loved in Apocalyspse Now) that states to that dumbass initiate, Neo, "Welcome to the desert of the real."
He died on my mother's fifty-ninth birthday.

You will be missed, funnyman.