Sometimes I feel equal amounts of nostalgia and utter terror when I ponder how today truth is sacked, destroyed, replaced with nothingness and we just keep on keeping on as if nothing happened, as if someone told a really offensive joke, but you’re ignoring it in order not to create too tense a situation, and slowly but surely all those offensive jokes stack, creep up on you, and make you unsure whether or not they contained some kernel of truth. It’s moments like that when I have this cathartic instinct that, in fact, nothing is being eroded, there never was any truth to anything, that nothing of value is being lost, because all there ever was is beauty (or love, really, call it what you want) and we project all kinds of desires onto beauty, like being real, being true, being innocent, being pure, being absolutely unique, and just about anything imagineable. It’s these kind of ambiguities that keep my mind restless and always paranoid, on edge, it’s our thoughts that make us (sometimes deliberately) fall into trapholes in order for us to see, experience, the dungeon that is consciousness.
I have an App called ‘Relaxio’ which I like very much. It has few functions: There is a choice of permanent sound effects, which you can mix and adjust to your liking. It features rain, chatter, forests, wind, rivers, oceans, thunderstorms, trains, Pink and Brown noise and many others. It is best enjoyed with in-ears or noise cancellation, Ironically. In light of Baudrilliards ‘Simulacra and Simulation’ I’ve finally managed to put in words what is similarly so pleasing yet uncanny about this App.
First off, a simulation, according to B’s definition, necessitates the death of the real. What is real about rain? Its form and visual, which is removed. It’s tactility, raindrops on our skin, its temperature, its rate. Its locality, it being bound in space and time. The smell that it carries. Its sound, most importantly, ever changing, ever depending on the surroundings. Those things that are real, all of them, are stripped away by the App. It leaves a naked, empty, simulated rain. Not even its sound, the main point of the simulation, is like that of real rain. It is a short snippet, removed from its worldly context, surgically, and looped infinitely. It is missing all of the real, which has instead been replaced by the operational mechanism of the simulation. “Meaning, truth, the real cannot appear except locally, in a restricted horizon, they are partial objects, partial effects of the mirror and of equivalence.”
Reading Simulacra and Simulations has spooked me the fuck out. Constantly I am seeing new simulations inmy own life flash before my third eye. When you realize that certain narratives, ideas, indicators, models, shape the way you think, what way to retaliate is there? How do we even strike back? Or is it simply navel-gazing, wanting-to-see, wanting this book to be meaningful? Can’t you view practically everything through the lense of Simulacra and Simulation? Lately I’ve had an epiphany about porno, based on really just a short sentence, a snippet of an undeveloped idea. It develops, grows roots, until it is steadfast implanted in my mind. I can’t share it, precisely because it sent a shiver down my spine and revealed some things that I might not be ready to deal with.. yet:
The pleasure of an excess of meaning, when the bar of the sign falls below the usual waterline of meaning: the nonsignifier is exalted by the camera angle. There one sees what the real never was (but “as if you were there”), without the distance that gives us perspectival space and depth vision (but “more real than nature”). Pleasure in the microscopic simulation that allows the real to pass into the hyperreal. (This is also somewhat the case in porno, which is fascinating more on a metaphysical than on a sexual level.)
Get it? Well, you don’t have to. Half this book is indecypherable for a small light like moi. Oddly enough it feels like his ideas still stick, like one can suck all the meaning out of a passage without understanding half of it. Maybe that is his forte, too, to convey ideas not solely based on concise language, but based on something that goes beyond feelings, a sort of inherent understanding of concepts we have internalized subconsciously, but cannot explain with our conscious mind. Seldom has a book manage to both captivate and influence me. Still, I remain critical. Still, I re-read every passage, and sometimes declare them overtly wordy bullshit. Mental masturbation with no trajectory or body. It’s a conflicting read. You can be sure that in the future, there will be more Baudrilliard, hopefully next time it’ll be something substantial, an Essay perhaps, and not another directionless ramble.