[rumori] simulacra nation

Boster, Bob [rumori] simulacra nation
Fri, 9 Oct 1998 09:04:00 -0700 (00907949040, c=US%a=_%p=HIII%l=MAIN_SERVER-981009160400Z-25508atserver2.orban.com)

>From: Steev[SMTP:steevatdetritus.net]
>but anyway, we're going off on a tangent. we were talking about children
>or people in general being prepared for "reality", like gunshot wounds. I
>think i agree with the original point, which i think was, americans are
>more exposed to simulacra and hence less able to deal with the real, than
>other peoples.

I guess I'm feeling cantankerous today, but I just have to ask if
there's any definition of "reality" that actually makes sense with the distinction you are trying to make? I mean, I guess I agree that taking
a shit in the woods on a cold winter morning has a distinctly different
experiential quality than curling up on the couch in a well-heated house
and watching the Super Bowl...but really, isn't "reality" just what you perceive? And isn't it gated by the same kinds of biological and
cultural process whether it's a "harsh, physical struggle" or a "plush, mediated fantasy".

Anyone ever read _Ender's Game_ by Orson Scott Card?


Main character commits genocide while "playing a game" in a simulator. He didn't know he was performing that act, but he took responsibility
for the destruction he caused even though he was not informed as to what
was happening with the instructions he sent into the simulator.


Burroughs was pretty far out in his work, but there's a clear sense of
reality in there to me. I guess it's just the "egocentric, overeducated American" in me, but I remain unconvinced that there's no significant ontological difference between one person's experience and another's in
terms that can be then given judgmental ratings like: "real" and "unreal." These terms have a kind of condemnation implicit in them that I'm not sure is appropriate. I've been led by everything I've
experienced since dropping acid, watching _Apocalypse Now_, and/or
reading _Naked Lunch_ to believe that reality is totally subjective. I
guess that's my own "sheltered Western privilege".
How is the experience of a kid in Kansas City (who goes to school, and
watches TV, plays Warhammer, screws around on the Web, etc.)
significantly less "real" than that of a kid in Brazil (who has to scrounge for food and dodge death squads, and keep from getting AIDS
while turning tricks)? Neither of them "invented" their conditions, and neither of them "inculcated themselves" into the rules of their situations. Both has strong emotional response to their experiences and
their own bodies working it's magic on them. On and on...

I guess I just thought the second articulation to Baudrillard's concept
(simulacra=copy of something without original) was that the copy IS REAL
to those who are experiencing it.

Let me know when to shut the hell up...