continent. maps a topology of unstable confluences and ranges across new thinking, traversing interstices and alternate directions in culture, theory, biopolitics and art.
Issue 2.2 / 2012:

"The Precession of Simulacra" by Jean Baudrillard, Translated from English into American

Sean Joseph Patrick Carney

continent. 2.2 (2012): 99–135

Originally appeared in Baudrillard’s Simulations and Simulacra, 1981. This adaptation is based on an English translation by Paul Foss and Paul Patton.

Baudrillard

What a cutie

 

 

boot

Precession of Simulacra

You think you understand the fucking real, man? Try this shit on for size:

“The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none.
The simulacrum is true.”
Ecclesiastes

BOOM. Fucking truth bomb. You’re like, “What’s a simulacrum?” It’s Latin for copying shit. Like painting pictures of God, V-Card Mary, the Holy Fucking Ghost. Except that I’m gonna be the first to say that maybe those copies end up turning into their own reality, one that you might even call “hyperreal.” Oh, and I might also point out that this is because there is no God.

Is that too much to handle? Then you’re fucked, because right about now, I’m gonna let you know that the quote up above from Ecclesiastes ISN’T EVEN IN THE FUCKING BIBLE. The lesson here is to be skeptical or be a dumbass. Just because I wrote it doesn’t mean shit.

Lez get started.

The best story ever told about simulation is by this guy Jorge Luis Borges—an Argentine with a taste for blood and liberalism in general. “Fuck the Nazis,” he said over and over again. “Everybody’s kind of a Jew anyways.” Borges wrote this super short story in 1946 called “On Exactitude in Science” (what?). In it, this fucking empire is so obsessed with maps or some shit that they make this huge ass map that is actually completely a 1:1 scale with the real world. It ends up being so big that it just covers the whole territory like a pelty moss of pubic hair. The map crumbles, yada yada yada, and you’re like, “Is this real life?” I don’t know. The point is that the map became the real to these idiots. It’s worth noting that Borges made up some fucking dude (or chick?) named Suarez Miranda and lied that it was really written by that person. Talk about layers, right? And Borges stole the entire idea for the short story from Lewis “The Industrial Revolution’s Marilyn Manson” Carroll. All I’m saying is, it’s fucking dense. What I’m getting at here is that this story is a lot more like the way we live now than you might care to believe. All we’re left with is the slutty allure of second-order simulacra (simulacra is two or more simulacrums). More on this “second-order” nonsense later.

In today’s world, the idea of something being abstract has nothing to do with it being a copy of something else or like a mirror of it. Simulation isn’t about pretending to be a real place, a person, or even a thing at all. It’s now like “models of reality” that aren’t even based on any reality to begin with—that’s what I meant when I said “hyperreal” earlier. So, it’s not like there’s a country and then a map is made to represent it or to be its legacy or anything. From here on out, it’s the map that precedes the territory. The PRECESSION OF SIMULACRA. Note: it’s not the PROCESSION OF SIMULACRA—that’d be a parade of photocopies marching down the goddamn street. Naw, it’s map or copy now that makes a place real first. If that Borges story was happening right now, instead of the map slowly disappearing and confusing us, it’d be the land itself disappearing and confusing us. The ghost of real places, not of maps, are peppered all over the fucking place, in those deserts that aren’t part of the empire, but part of us, or something.

desert

THE DESERT OF THE REAL ITSELF

Fuck The Matrix. I invented that shit.

You know what? Even when we switch that Borges story around so it’s the real that disintegrated and not the map, the story’s fucking stupid. The only thing left is the long and drawn out metaphor of this fake ass empire. Because today, the same motherfuckers who are always trying to flex their power and take over other countries and people try day in and day out to make the reality that we experience line up nicely with their models of simulation. It’s not a question about maps or territory though. Something’s gone, right? That something is the charm that used to exist between a noun and a representation of the noun. That something is the difference between a map and a territory, the thing that makes the map like a work of art and the territory like a real place. The difference disappeared because simulation nowadays is not a mirror of the real world or broad in its mission—it’s totally nuclear and genetic, which means that the way it is formed is not obvious like a drawing, but is more like fake ass DNA. It’s in everything and impossible to spot! There’s no longer a real thing and the concept of that thing as two different pieces. Metaphysics is fucked. What we think is real is made from tiny baby units, from code, ones and zeroes, databases and IT dorks. Reality can be reproduced a trillion times if some ponytailed jabrony with HTML experience wants it to be. And you can forget about reality now being something rational, because there’s nothing rational to measure it against. It’s basically operational—readymade reality, if you will. It’s just not fucking real, OK? It’s hyperreal, the result of a giant cancer that eats up everything in a hyperspace that doesn’t have an atmosphere. Michael Crichton might have been onto something.

So now that we’re in this space where nothing is real, simulation begins by murdering the shit out of anything that references the real world. And what’s worse, all we’re left with is a system of signs which are even more gooey than meaning itself. A sign that represents a concept now represents everything associated with that concept. The Heinz logo isn’t just ketchup, it’s also mustard, mayo, and ranch. Signs aren’t reproductions of real things, mirror images of real things, or even a joke about a real thing. Those real things are gone now, completely replaced by signs being pumped out of the ultra-machine—they are a concept, the opposite of the concept, and everything inbefuckingtween. The ultra-machine doesn’t have to make anything real ever again. Shit that it makes doesn’t die either, we just figure it’ll keep on happening, like styrofoam or electronic music. What are we left with? This shitty circle of fake life that most of us don’t even realize is fake because we’re so fucking stupid all the time.

 

 

The Holy Image Doesn't Mean Shit Anymore

 

Let me toss an idea at you...

To “dissimulate” is to pretend like you don’t have something that you do. An example of this would be not disclosing that you’ve got herpes to somebody you take home for a one night stand.

To “simulate” is to pretend to have what you don’t. For instance, with that same one night stand, it would be to pretend that you’re a lawyer with shit tons of bank throbbage by paying for all her drinks with your credit card and acting cool like it’s a debit card.

debit card

One suggests a presence of something, the other, the absence of something. But it’s honestly more complicated than that, because simulating isn’t just pretending. Let’s say you pretend like you’re really sick to get out of seeing somebody who is visiting town that you kind of don’t like. You get in bed, act all gross and sick, and you end up seriously producing some of the symptoms because you’re acting so hard. So, pretending or dissimulating might mean you’re full of shit, but it doesn’t like challenge reality. The difference, to somebody who knows the drill, is still clear; it’s just being masked. But full-blown simulation, not just simply pretending, threatens the difference between true and false because you start to like “be sick,” catch my drift? If you’re simulating being sick you’ll end up producing some “true” symptoms—so it’s like, are you sick or not sick? You can’t be treated medically now as either sick or not. Psychology and medicine can’t do shit at this point because if all it takes is intentionally showing some symptoms for them to come about, doesn’t that kind of mean that maybe every sickness could be faked? And if that’s the case, doesn’t that mean that maybe the jury is still out on science? That’s an Arrested Development reference, if you’re not on my level. If it can’t determine if you’re really sick or not, then it doesn’t mean shit.

Psychosomatics, which means the relationship between the mind and the body, not just a word in a song by The Prodigy, gets pretty sketchy when thinking about illnesses. If we think about this like Freud or something, you could say that the symptom being exhibited moves from being organic to being unconscious. And somehow this makes it more true, I think, which seems like total bullshit. Because why should simulation stop at the portals of the unconscious? The work of the unconscious seems like it could be produced just like any other symptom in classic medicine. Think about how dreams fucking happen.

When somebody goes to court for murdering the balls out of somebody and pulls the old “I’m cray cray” defense, the court has somebody called an alienist (which sounds way cooler than it actually is) to determine whether or not the person is indeed cray cray or not. Supposedly, says the alienist, there are a bunch of symptoms that happen in a particular order to push somebody to being fully batshit, and most stupid criminals aren’t smart enough to know that. When they fuck it up, the alienist goes, “No way. This dude is totally sane.” But they established that shit in 1865 or something to try to preserve the truth principle, which by now is completely fucking absent. That creepy ass ghost we call simulation has itself murdered the balls out of truth, reference and maybe even objectivity. What is science to do when somebody can just act loco and then they’re loco? IDK, and neither do you. Don’t even get me started on psychoanalysis here.

What does the army do with simulators? Well, once they’ve identified one, they punch them in the butt and say, “Fuck you, faker.” But are they actually good at identifying people and punching them in the butt? I don’t think that they are that good anymore. Pretending to be gay? Sick? Crazy? Whatevs. Even psychologists in the military won’t full on say somebody’s 100% gay or 100% having flat feet—they could be wrong, and psychologists, ESPECIALLY military psychologists, do not like to be wrong. So, it’s kind of like, “OK, he can be gay,” or maybe it’s like, “OK, that guy is straight if he says so.” Think about this: basically all lunatics are simulating in one way or another, which is freaky as shit. It flies in the face of classical reason, yeah? Yeah. In this day and age, everything is wackadoo and the truth is drowning big time.

Now, there are other things in the world besides medicine and armies. Let’s talk about church. Some high and mighty fuck once said, “I forbade any simulacrum in the temples because the divinity that breathes life into nature cannot be represented.” He meant, no pictures of God because you don’t even know how to draw him. I’d like to challenge him by replying, “The fuck I don’t.” Listen, what happens to divine shit when it’s made into a visual icon, when it is multiplied and copied? Does it stay as tough? As holy? Or, does it get butt raped so fucking hard that it’s molested into straight simulacra shooting off goddamn cock braggadocio all over your face?

Have you ever heard of the Iconoclasts? They got off on destroying images of God. And at first you’re like, “Well, they didn’t want to pervert His Holiness by making Him depicted by some dude.” NOT TRUE. What the Iconoclasts really feared was that when these simulacra were put into the world, it wasn’t that they’d make God less cool, but they might actually suggest that there never was a God to begin with! Hear me now, motherfucker: there is no God. He’s like the biggest simulacrum ever. If Iconoclasts really believed that images of God made him into some form of visual witchery or made him gross to us, they wouldn’t have fucking cared at all. You see, even batshit crazy religious bros can live with a perverted idea of their Creator—what fucked them up hard was that the pictures of God didn’t actually mask anything or make anything gross. Because these weren’t pictures “of” something like the ones that you take with a camera. Pictures of God aren’t simulations, they’re simulacra. The difference is that a perfect simulacra hides the fact that there is no original to begin with. Does this make sense? Yeah it fucking does. So, they killed images of God because they were scared the images in the first place actually killed God by pointing out that He’s totes fake.

You read books and shit and people say that the Iconoclasts hated images. Naw, bitch. The Iconoclasts were the only people who fucking got the actual power of images. The Iconoclaters, the people who made the pictures, thought these were images of Bible shit so that illiterate masses could finally understand the stories. Those idiots didn’t realize that all making pictures did was show us that they weren’t pictures of shit. Oh, wait—what if the Iconoclaters were actually super fucking modern? You ever think of that? Like, because underneath these pictures of God or whatever, they’d already killed Him. Yeah, suck on that. I bet they were in on a big game where they knew they were killing Him, but were like, “This is tight. Nobody gets it and we’re the raddest.” This is the same thing the Mars Volta thinks every time that they put out a new record.

Mars Volta

OMG. They're like a Latin Led Zepplein.

The Jesuits, who are like the Mars Volta of religion, actually based all of their politics on the disappearance of God. They liked to mess with people’s consciences—POOF—God disappears and all of a sudden He turns into political power. Shit just got real, huh? Behind all those old pictures of God, besides the back of the painting and the wall, is the ghostly shadow of politics. Yup.

Maybe what’s always been at risk is that images are murderous motherfuckers. Images just can’t be representations of the Real with a capital R, buddy. You can’t get them to agree on shit. All Western religious faith, or faith in general, was stupid because the dumbass masses believed that a picture of God could give somebody the divine orgasm of spiritual connection. An idea like that requires the actual existence of God as the cashier in a holy transaction. Well, guess what—God quit Safeway about a year ago and now you have to use that self checkout thing that seriously ends up taking twice as long as having somebody do it for you. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that if you can make a picture of God, then God ain’t shit to begin with. The feeling the first time you carve a chick out is real, but you can’t fucking draw that. If you could, it’d be pretend. Just like God. What you end up with now is this big Human Centipede of fake shit where simulacra eat each other’s poop and then poop it into other simulacra’s mouths and the poop goes around and around.

Human Centipede

Double You Tee Fuck

There you have it—simulation is totally opposite of representation, OK? Representation starts from the idea that a sign of something can communicate how real that something is. This idea is fucking retarded, but at least it’s kind of honest. Simulation, on the other hand, takes that silly and goofy idea of the two being equal as its starting point but doesn’t even give a shit if that real something ever existed in the first place. If representation and simulation were in a fight, representation would fight for the good of the original and be mad at simulation for trying to kill it. Simulation though would do a flash kick (where you light your foot on fire and do a backflip kick to the opponent’s face) and then smother representation so hard it would die out in a choke hold because simulation has no reason to live. And you can’t kill a man with nothing to live for, because he is already dead. I think that is from a Cohen brothers film, but I am not sure.

It’s not like there is just representation and simulation though. There are, oh, I don’t know, let’s say four phases of an image. That sounds like a good number. Here they are:

1. It’s a reflection of a basic reality (a photo of your girlfriend)
2. It perverts a basic reality (you airbrush her and make her tits bigger in Photoshop)
3. It masks the absence of a basic reality (you never dated this bitch but use the photo to lie to people that she’s your girlfriend, saying she lives in a different state because it’s unlikely that anybody will be able to confirm or dispute this)
4. It bears no relation to any reality whatsoever (you drew her with Google SketchUp)

In #1, the picture is a “good” one—it does indeed show something that exists and isn’t really trying to fuck with anybody. In #2, it’s getting kind of “evil” because you’re starting to lie to people with the picture. In #3, it is pretty much just “playing” at being a picture of somebody that you are dating—it’s bad, but kind of cool because it’s a little bit like you’re a magician. By the time that you get to #4 though, it has nothing at all to do with appearances; it’s straight up simulation. Got it?

Remember earlier when I talked about dissimulation? Well, there’s this serious turning point that happens when the picture that dissimulates something (that this girl is your GF) actually dissimulates that there is nothing (it’s not even a real girl, whether she’s yours or not). Again, #1 at least kind of is about truth. As you get into #2 though, you start sliding down the path of simulacra and simulation—when it’s no longer clear if this girl is your girlfriend, then keeps on sliding down to the point where I’m gonna be like, “Does this bitch even exist, dude?”

model

Oh, by the way, this is my girlfriend. Seriously.

When there’s nothing real, then you REALLY can say shit is nostalgic. Because yearning for the past is yearning for something that’s not real. You don’t even remember it correctly, so how the fuck can it be real? Welcome to the spiral of half-truth, pretend realness and total trifling fake shit. The world pretends like everything is documented and archived, this giant like bank of truth—maybe it’s the internet, IDK—but what’s really happening is that we’re losing track of anything real at all because of all of that documentation. We start thinking of the documentation as what actually happened instead of what happened. This is fucked. We’re freaking the fuck out about this without even knowing about it, so we make all types of material shit. Do these objects make our lives more real? If you said yes, you’re fucking stupid. Today, we’re in a weird place that is hyperreal. Do you know what a deterrent is? It’s like the threat of punishment that keeps people from doing crazy shit. Having everything be fake is kind of like a deterrent to trying to get down to the real, man. Because what are you gonna use to get to the real? Probably some stupid fake fucking device like a digital camera. And what are you gonna have then? A digital picture of something, idiot. Talk about a double-ended dildo in your reality holes.

Damy Winehouse

"Damy Winehirst" Whatever.

 

 

The Third Pharaoh of Egypt, or Pink Fucking Resurrection

 

 

Ethnology is a type of “science” or “anthropology” that looks at research other people did and compares it against research that more other people did to compare cultures and try to make up some shit about what it all means. In 1971, ethnology just about died. Why? Because the Philippine government decided to return a bunch of Tasaday people, who’d lived for eight hundred fucking years without meeting modern civilization before being plucked out of the jungle, back to their natural habitat. They did this because the anthropologists who’d yanked them out of the jungle noticed that as soon as they were shown modern civilization, they died inside. It was like when you take a mummy out of a pyramid and open up his dank coffin to the air and he immediately starts turning to mush.

Addendum from the Ghost of Jean Baudrillard:
I’d also like to point out here that there are a fuckton of people who are pretty thoroughly convinced that the whole Tasaday tribe was invented and amounts to a huge hoax. While it’s entirely possible that this is the case, when I was writing this work originally, nobody had really told me that this was likely all faked. So, let’s suspend our disbelief and imagine that they were totally legit. I mean, I really, really used them as a central fucking metaphor to this entire chapter of my book and it would be really inconvenient for me if I personally was duped by a simulation while I’m up here on my fucking horse criticizing the shit out of it. Is that OK with you?


Yes? OK, then let’s continue…

If ethnology wants to live, whatever it’s studying has to die. But the thing that it’s studying gets a kind of revenge in this scenario. “Science wants to study us? Fuck science. We’ll just die.”

All science is like this. If you want to study something, you have to accept that you’re going to end up killing it. Art critics do this every time they talk about virtually anything. In Greek mythology, I guess there was this musician named Orpheus who could play the shit out of his flute to the point that people would like openly weep. This is not unlike Latin American fans at a Morrissey concert. Anyway, his wife got bitten by a bunch of vipers (rad) and she fucking died. He played this really sad song and all the gods were like, “Let’s give him a second chance.” So he cruises down to the underworld and wows the gatekeepers with his mournful tune and they decide he can have his wife back on one condition: she can follow him out of the underworld, but if he turns around and looks at her, the fucking deal is off. Orpheus gets all the way back to the regular world and panics, turns around and looks at her, but she is like barely still in the underworld and disappears. Science is like Orpheus because it, uh, turns around too soon.

orpheus

Oh, wook at dis witto Gweek bebe. Po Owpheus is wiwwy sad because da wuv of his wife is foweva in da Undawoold.

The ethnologists saw this shit coming and thought they could put the Tasaday back into the jungle before they “died” died. They figured that they’d close them off from modern people again. It’d be a bummer for their scientific research, but it seemed like the right thing to do—the Tasady would be safe again. This isn’t a question about some kind of sacrifice, especially since science never sacrifices itself. Science always murders. Instead, this is a simulated sacrifice of their objects of study. Like they really cared about the Tasaday. They stuck them in the jungle so that they’d be frozen in time there, always available in case somebody ever wanted to scoot back in there and check to make sure that they were real. All the data had been recorded, so the reality principle of science was still safe. Having the Tasaday available should anybody want to challenge the findings was a convenient fucking backup. Lots of people who are into science end up doing a sort of anti-ethnology by distancing themselves from the subject. Somehow, it makes white dudes feel less like they’re guilty of anything exploitative. What those buttfuckers don’t realize though is that now their whole science this is a fiction. Whoa, ha ha, that’s totally like Science Fiction! I didn’t even mean to make that pun. This shit writes itself.

Sending the Tasaday back to the jungle then allows ethnologists to pretty much assume all fucking native peoples since the dawn of, I guess native peoples, were just like the Tasaday. It’s science trying to be all generous, like they just needed to peep these jungle fuckers for a few minutes and plop them back so that they wouldn’t have to keep doing it. How nice of them. And here, I thought scientists were just a bunch of dicks. Oh, wait, JK. Scientists are dicks.

Of course, we might as well just refer to the Tasaday, the “savages” science reamed, as already being dead. They’re now just a fake reference point for a fake brand of fake science. There’s a town in France called Le Creusot that is, for all intents and purposes, now basically dead in a similar way to the Tasaday. You see, it used to be a fully functioning mining town, but is now dominated by big ass companies that produce grips of metal. And for some fucking reason beyond me, tourists flock here to see a non-operational steam hammer that’s been obsolete for a long ass time. It’s like some kind of living (read: dead) museum where all the inhabitants and their day-to-day lives are some kind of industrial porn for the masses. Hey, Le Creusot, Le Jerk Store called, they’re running out of you. Ethnology is now totally separate from science—it’s like some fourth-dimensional aura that we can’t even see just sitting on its ass making data studies on every living thing. Just looking and judging, being stupid. And it turns us all into caricatures of ourselves. We’re all fucking Tasaday Indians now, man. All simulations of people trying to live, getting skeezed on the regs by the all-knowing fuck-eye of ethnology.

bad logo

Nice logo, retards. Totally legible.

We’ve all become specimens, catch my drift? Call it ethnology or anti-ethnology, it won’t matter. You, dear reader, are forever buttfucked. You’d be a jackass to think that you can only find ethnology by looking at “savages.” It’s everywhere. It’s bubbling relentlessly in White America, in every metropolis you’ve ever even heard of. Everything is documented, archived, analyzed, and then artificially revived as if it’s the real deal in a world of pure simulation. This fucking LSD trip, this fake reality, this blackmail by the “real,” this murder of history and every symbol ever created, might have started when we began cataloguing native peoples, but has since spread like the Clap into all Western societies. Japan, while certainly in the east, counts as a Western society because they have iPhones and fucking vending machines.

mNm

I just don’t see myself represented in his lyrics.

While all of this clusterfuck is going on, we learn though from ethnology its one true lesson—the secret that kills it. That secret, my friend, is the VENGEANCE OF THE DEAD. I can’t believe that Burzum never wrote a song about this.

The way that science confines an object is really no different than the way that we lock up crazy people or shove the dead into the ground. And just like how all societies are fucked by realizing what their reflection actually looks like, science is also fucked by its own objects of studies. You’d think that science was in control, man, but you’d be wrong. Really, the object of study is in control because as soon as you start to study it, it just fucking dies. What other response could it offer to such a dead and mean investigation?

Nothing changes at all when a society tries to break the “mirror of madness.” When we close mental asylums or try to let crazy people have their moment to speak, it doesn’t save anything. Identifying the differences between the sane and the crazy doesn’t fix that shit, and trying to treat crazies like they’re normal is just stupid. Same thing goes for scientists who try to be all progressive and act like they know that they can’t be objective. The scientist doesn’t save a fucking object of study by being all, “Listen, I know that we have our differences and that I am not in a place to judge you, but let me take a look anyway.” Jesus Fucking Christ. The ethnology bug has already spread into everything. By denying it, we end up with anti-ethnology, which is just as fucking retarded. All that anti-ethnology does is push into the world fake differences that only serve to hide the fact that this entire fucking planet has gone savage, bro. Total devastation. Total death.

When you try to save an original by making a copy, you make both of them artificial. Everybody knows about the cave paintings in Lascaux, those fancy doodles by cultures from way back when who colored buffalo, guts and other primitive shit all over the walls. People visiting the caves started to breathe too much, which started to ruin the artwork on the walls. So what did modern society come up with? They build a fucking replica 500 meters (which are a little bit bigger than yards) away. You can now visit the caves and peep through a tiny hole at the original, then take a tour of the replica. It is impossible to describe how retarded this is. Future generations will end up remembering the copy more than the original, so both are kind of useless now. Bands covering songs has more or less the exact same effect. The first time I ever heard a live recording of Dave Matthews Band doing “All Along the Watchtower,” I pretty much decided that I suddenly hated the shit out of Bob Dylan.

Have you ever heard of Rameses II? Fucking epic pharaoh from Egypt whose mummified corpse was totes preserved for forty centuries just by being hidden in a goddamned temple. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t see it. All of science and technology flipped the fuck out after realizing that it’d be left to rot in the basement of a museum, scared to death that they couldn’t preserve what ancient people had been able to. Here’s the catch though: Rameses II, the actual dude, doesn’t mean shit to us. Let’s be honest here. But his mummy, now that has some street value because it is what guarantees that accumulation actually means something (which it doesn’t). Our whole world would fucking implode if we couldn’t stockpile the shit out of everything from the past out in plain view, for fat Americans to gawk at while they visit places that they don’t know shit about. That’s why we dig pharaohs out of their tombs, it’s fucking History Porn. What the fuck point is there in this? Are we going to like give them military honors or something? Do we actually believe that Rameses II gives half a fuck what Bob Miller and his rotund wife from Grand Rapids, MI thought about him? Poor bastard is getting eaten not only by worms, but by science itself. What preserved Rameses II throughout all of those years was the secrecy of the body, that it was hidden from sight. His people had mastered the art of preservation, which might be thought of as a mastery of the total cycle of death. It seems like we actually know better than to try to use our stupid modern science to save the corpse, to give something visible to the world. Maybe what we’ve missed conceptually though was that the whole fucking reason his people embalmed him in the first place was to make permanent something that was invisible. His spirit? IDK, I’m not a fucking Egyptian.

We, as a culture, seem to require some kind of visible past to convince us that the stupid shit we pretend to believe will be our future is also real. You know that saying, “History repeats itself” that people say on the news? They’re fucking idiots. It does not, that literally doesn’t make sense. They brought Rameses II to the Orly Airport in fucking France and made a giant deal out of it like it was a party. Was it because he was such a good fucking maniac army dude? Maybe sort of, but not really. It’s mostly because we’re jealous of a past that isn’t ours. Our solution seems to be to make it ours. Why the fuck would you bring an Egyptian pharaoh to fucking France?

Rameses II fascinates us just as Native Americans fascinated Christians. “Wait, these loin-cloth wearing screedlers have never heard of Jesus??” At that very moment, when Christians came to the New World and met people who had never heard of this amazing Caucasian who for some reason lived in the Middle East, something insane happened. They realized that this meant one of two things: they could actually think critically and realize that if the Native Americans hadn’t heard of Jesus, it was probably because some fucking Europeans made the stories up in the first place, or they could just murder the fuck out of the Native Americans and get rid of any evidence that challenged their stupid ass religion. And the ones that they didn’t murder physically, they converted to Christianity, which pretty much ensures that they’ll be more or less dead in terms of being entertaining at future parties.

injuns

“Quick! Somebody murder these savage bitches before they complicate our relationship with the Divine Creator.” –A Pilgrim

So, it would have been enough to destroy Rameses II just by yanking him out of the crypt. That ensured that he’d be thrown into a museum. Mummies don’t decay because of worms, dude, they decay from being transplanted from a place where as symbols they represent a kind of eternity to a place where Mr. and Mrs. Miller drool over their bones. We commit an insane amount of violence against everything that we don’t already know. We have come to hate the foundations of the human race because they don’t align with what we do now.

Museums are artificial reality. Deal with it. There is a museum in New York called the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park. The actual cloister (a big fucking courtyard, basically) of St-Michel de Cuxa, along with many others, was reassembled brick by brick in the 1930s here for who the fuck knows why. And in the 1980s, the museum announced that it was going to return the whole thing, at a cost of Jesus Christ That’s a Fuckton of Dollars, to its original site. WHY WAS IT MOVED IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU FUCKING GOMERS? And we’re all supposed to applaud this, which is identical to science returning its specimen to the wild. Guess what—the cloister and the savage are already dead. Moving the cloister back to its original site is even stupider than having moved it off-site in the first place. It somehow becomes even more artificial in its original place. This is a total simulacrum, where the idea of it even referencing anything whatsoever is completely ridiculous. This is exactly like the part in Wayne’s World where Wayne and Garth are about to shoot their first corporately-sponsored episode and the producers have reproduced the basement from Wayne’s parents’ house exactly in a television studio and Garth looks down from the sound booth at it and goes, “Guys, it’s like we’re looking at Wayne’s basement, only it’s not Wayne’s basement.”

Garth

Seriously though, did Dana Carvey die?

It should have just stayed in New York. At least there it wasn’t fooling anybody. It’s not like anybody ever wandered into the Cloisters Museum and was like, “Fuck! Medieval Europeans lived here???” With it back in its original site, it’s like some gross hallucination of a historical location. Get a clue, Cloisters. Junior varsity shit.

This is a lot like how Americans brag about having brought the number of Native Americans in the present day to more than there were before they genocided their asses. Wow, gold star you fucking murderous racists. The Native American, in the truest sense of the term, is long fucking gone, courtesy of smallpox-laced blankets, epic amounts of rape, and the introduction of the American diet to the reservation. And this dumb number, this indication of a population, is talked about as some kind of huge success. “Civilization was able to make more Native Americans than they ever could on their own.” What a fucking joke. And, it’s pretty rude to boot. Just like everything else American, the Native Americans are now totally overproduced. It’s the auto-tuning of a minority group. To quote the only rapper to rewrite history without a pen, “Y’all been T-Paining too long.” Native Americans knew their own limitations in terms of population and acted accordingly. Unrestricted growth now just pushes them more and more towards a symbolic extermination.

We live in a universe that always seems similar to some other reality that once existed before it. Everything is duplicated just by being around in the first place. Unlike in a fairy tale though, this doesn’t mean that death is assured for all. Most things in the world now don’t even have the capacity to die. They’re shinier and more colorful than in days of old. Everybody smiling ear to ear, looking fucking realer than real. Like a fucking funeral photo.

apple worship

Have you seen that Tumblr meme where this is matched up with the monkeys from 2001? Fucking LOLZ.

 

 

Hyperreal and Imaginary

 

 

Want to know what is the perfect example of all of the tangled orders of simulation? Disneyland, dude, fucking Disneyland. To begin with, it’s a giant theater act of a grip of illusions: pirates, the future, the American West, etc. And this imaginary world is supposed to be what makes Disneyland itself so successful. But I’ll be the first to say that what actually makes so many people go to Disneyland is the fact that it’s a miniature version of everything that is spectacular and that is fucking gross and wrong about America. You park your car, you wait in a bunch of lines, then you leave feeling like an abandoned idiot. The whole “fantasy” element though isn’t in the various rides or attractions, it’s in the mass of fat jackasses wandering through, all pretending it’s great together. All of the shiny gadgets, the cotton candy, the teenagers in character suits posing with your children for pictures, they are all simply there to help lube up the social atmosphere that gives the park its fantasy power. When you compare what it feels like inside of Disneyland to the very parking lot that you return as you leave, that asphalt stretch filled with cars is nothing short of a fucking concentration camp. Yes, I am drawing a parallel between Hitler’s murder farms and the parking lot at Disneyland. If you can’t take the heat, eat a bag of dicks. The whole orgy of silliness inside is actually just a stupid, intentional maze that leads you back to where you started: your ridiculous automobile. The irony of the fact that a man who is now frozen started this stupid land of frozen childishness is not lost on me. When they thaw out Walt Disney’s corpse, I’m gonna punch him in the fucking throat.

You could pretty much just visit Disneyland as an outsider and completely understand all that is America. All American social values are amplified here to 11. They’re displayed in miniature form, like comics that tell you what is important and why. Everything is completely frozen in time and made easy to swallow. Essentially, Disneyland is designed to help you to digest the American way of life, to compliment American values like they’re something special, and to make car culture sexy—it should be noted that all of these things are totally unrelated to the reality of the world. But what’s more important to remember is that Disneyland is a kind of third-order simulation. It’s supposed to exist to hide the fact that it is not a miniature of anything at all. It’s not a representation of America as it pretends to be, because the rest of America isn’t fucking real anyway. Los Angeles, to say the least, is a hyperreality. It’s not a question anymore about whether or not Disneyland faithfully tries to represent America or not, because there is no America left to try to represent.

Disneyland’s imaginary aspects aren’t true or false. They’re just deterrents that are used to make us forget that the whole country surrounding it is a fiction. The reason that Disneyland is set up to look like it is a children’s paradise is to make us somehow believe that outside of it, adults are doing actual work and living real adult lives. Well, childishness is fucking everywhere. You know it, I know it. What is truly disgusting are the adults that go there and act like children to convince themselves that they don’t do that all day every day in their own lives.

barfbro

Nobody walks in LA.

Another interesting thing to think about is that Disneyland is not the only ridiculous fake world in the Los Angeles area. They have a ton of these stupid parks. Don’t even get me started on movie studios. The only mystery to Los Angeles is what the fuck it actually is. IMO, it’s just a pulsing, circular network of fakeness. It’s a huge city in so many ways, but has no actual space or dimension. Los Angeles requires all of these absurd attractions to distract everyone from the fact that it is less grounded in reality than the fantastical movies that they shoot there. What a bunch of fucking idiots.

 

 

The Political Formula, or A Song of Bullshit

 

 

Watergate. You remember this. Nixon. Wiretaps in the plants. Deepthroat. All that jazz. Watergate was the exact same fucking thing as Disneyland—an imaginary thing whose only purpose is to distract us from the fact that every last thing is now imaginary. But where Disneyland is a fictional magic land, Watergate is instead a “scandal.” The real scandal beneath the surface is that there is no difference between facts and bullshit. Both the CIA and the journalists from the Washington Post who broke the story use the same tactics. What Watergate did was create a fiction moral compass of sorts. All politics are permanently buttfucked, but if we occasionally point fingers at some buttfucker who is doing some serious buttfucking, it creates this sense that there are less serious degrees of buttfucking and even possibly regular, wholesome vagfucking.

When we cry, “Scandal!” at something, we’re like giving a serious high-five to the idea of the law. Watergate’s amazing success is that it was able to convince all of you fucking idiots that it was an actual scandal. Y’all got drunk on that shit and probably ended up being busted for public urination in New York City and had to pay a lawyer $450 to fucking show up for you at court because a while ago when they were cleaning the place up, they decided that they’d make urinating in public a super inconvenient charge and say that you couldn’t plead guilty by mail so if you live in a different state and can’t make the court date, you have to hire a jerk to be there in your place. Broken window theory. No peeing in public theory. Fucking Giuliani. Is that even how you spell Giuliani? I don’t fucking care.

What I’m getting at here is that when Watergate happened, it injected this huge sense of political morality all over the fucking globe. My buddy Pierre Bourdieu once said, “The specific character of every relation of force is to dissimulate itself as such, and to acquire all its force only because it is so dissimulated.” Meaning: political power gets strength by acting like it’s for the common good, when in actuality it is for the common BAD. Ever heard that phrase before? No, you haven’t. Because I just fucking invented it right now while typing. All fucking power is like this. Chew on this: money, which as a thing is just plain immoral, can only function behind a giant orgy of morality. Anybody who keeps that orgy of morality going by pointing fingers and calling others immoral immediately makes money all the more powerful. This is why those two journalists who wrote about Watergate are total Chaunceys.

And yet, this is still just a formula of ideology, am I right? Let’s think about my pal Bourdieu again here. When he said “relation of force,” he’s talking about the fact that C.R.E.A.M. If you don’t know what that means, go fuck yourself. But saying that money is king, calling it bad, he’s making himself a Chauncey just like those journalists! He’s just puking and eating up a fictional moral order. This order that believes in a truth of morality is soaked in violence so much that the concept of force means nothing whatsoever. It’s all in our heads, bro.

Money basically asks us to believe that it’s rational, or to complain about it and say that it’s irrational. What we’re missing is that money isn’t either one of those things. It masks the fact that those concepts no longer exist. In days of yore, money was supposed to conceal scandals. Today, all it does is hide the fact that there aren’t scandals at all.

Watergate is not a scandal. We have to say this over and over again, you see, so that maybe people will stop calling it a scandal, reinforcing a fictional moral standard. People are flipping the fuck out about this because they’re scared shitless that we might actually see the reality of what capitalism is: a cruel, ferocious, and immoral system. Now, THAT’S what I call “scandalous!” Even super-leftists don’t account for this. The idiots. Capitalism DGAF about you or any idea that you have regarding how it can be positive if not abused. It is a clusterfuck of brutality, nothing more. So when an “enlightened” person tries to criticize capitalism for abusing people or pets, they’re being Chaunceys. Whining about how capitalism needs reform so that it can serve the society that uses it is totally retarded. Oh yeah, capitalism totally owes something to society. NOT. This is what make sure that there will never be a real revolution in a capitalist society—everyone, even the fucking anarchists, secretly hopes that it might even out and that class systems will blur and they’ll be able to buy a hybrid car to drive to Rainbow Gatherings on the regs.

There’s never been a “contract” between money and society. It’s sorcery, damn it. It is actually a full-blown challenge to rational society and should be treated as such. It’s not a scandal that we should complain about by citing moral standards, it’s a challenge we need to face according to the laws of symbols. Remember what I said earlier about what symbols of God really do? Good, now use your brain and connect the metaphor.

 

 

Imagine a Drawing of Negativity by MC Escher

 

 

Check it: Watergate was a trap set up by a power system to catch those that might challenge the system’s power or relevance. It was a simulation of scandal so that the fiction of morality versus scandal could continue to thrive. There are people who claim that “Deepthroat” the informant was actually a Republican who gave information to the journalists because he didn’t like Richard Nixon, using them as pawns to his own ends. IDK, why the fuck not? All possible conspiracy theories are possible, yes? But this one is pointless to even care about because the Left is constantly sabotaging itself a million times better than the Right could even hope to do by their own dirty deeds. You just said, “Done dirt cheap” in your head, didn’t you? Fucking AC/DC. Is there a lightning bolt key on some keyboards? I wonder how they type up their press releases to accurately reflect the way they stylize their name. While the Left does the Right’s job for them, the same thing occurs in reverse. So all conspiracy theories about who is manipulating whom are also pointless. Manipulation isn’t black and white, it’s like a weird grey jelly that morphs and constantly changes shape, getting goo all over everything. Whether you’re actively manipulating someone or unknowingly being manipulated yourself, you’ve got the goo on you. Could we even get back to a concrete political reality? Maybe, but probably not. The fact that some people believe that we have a political system with Left and Right in reality means that we’re fucked beyond belief already. None of this stuff matters, because none of it is real.

campaign

No, I don’t.

Let’s think about a bombing in Italy, for example. Is it the result of leftist extremists? Or, is it the result of right-wing provocation? Shit, maybe it’s the result of centrists so that the left and right start to look crazy and their own shitty political party might seem appealing to the masses. Who knows? Perhaps it’s the result of the fucking police so that the public gets scared and likes them more because they want to be protected. All of these are true in some sense. And stating the facts about which specific people actually planted the bomb isn’t going to change the fact that people are going to read the situation directly from their own political standpoint. So, those facts, don’t actually offer an objective understanding of the situation at all. The logic of today is the logic of simulation, so facts or reason mean zero. Simulation now precedes reality. Therefore, it fucking dictates all of the spiraling responses to a given event. Something happens, and everybody has their own opinion on it, and each of those idiots thinks that they’re experiencing reality, so in effect, everybody’s opinions or perspectives are basically true. This is the kind of short-circuit that simulation uses to keep us all from understanding that it is not reality. We can’t agree on shit, so we’re not even able to rationally discuss something that physically happened in the world. This is a gross little spiral that just keeps on happening, and nobody is doing anything about it.

spiral

This spiral isn’t gross, it’s fucking “transcendent.”

Communists attack socialists in the media and say that the socialists want to destroy the Union of the Left. Then, the communists say that the reason that the socialist party doesn’t respond to the accusations is because they are secretly the more radical political party and all of their work is totally secret. I’m going to go ahead and say that the communists attack publicly because they don’t really want to be in power. This raises a few questions: Do they not want power because it would kind of be lame to be a Leftist with power? It’s kind of antithetical to their whole underdog thing, right? Or maybe they just don’t want it because they think power in general is bad? That super-famous Italian communist Enrico Berlinguer used to

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