I just learned today that the great French philosopher Jean Baudrillard passed away on March 6, 2007. I enjoyed reading his book Seduction, and I have quoted it several times on this blog. He savages the lies of desire and seduction, pointing out that pornography is a gigantic falsehood that fools and enslaves people to their desires, which can never truly be fulfilled.
Sex is funny that way. The desire can be satiated, but it will always come back. My old post on Beyonce Knowles was a key example, as was my one on Tyra Banks, on how the sign, the object of desire is unattainable. Baudrillard expressed these ideas far better than I ever could.
He was very controversial, claiming that the first Gulf War didn't happen because it was more like an arcade game than an actual war (okay I oversimplified his argument a lot there).
We are poorer for his loss. He was the last of the truly great philosopher that came to fame in the 1960s. Lacan died years ago. We lost Derrida a couple back, and now Baudrillard joins them.
Some people were convinced that he faked his death as a means of railing against the simulacra of postmodernity. Alas, if it was a ruse, it worked too well. He is dead.