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French cultural theorists and DVD

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April 08, 2003

French cultural theorists and DVD

Via "": “A nice po-mo chuckle”:
In "Kieran Healy's Weblog": “Betrayed by Consumerism”:

On opening a DVD box:

(...) Can you imagine the fun that French cultural theorists could have with an event like this? E.g., Baudrillard:

The DVD is a simulacrum of the movie, which in turn is a simulacrum of the real. Yet here is a new phase in postcapitalist hypersignification, the fourth-order representation of reality where the signifying link has been broken. The simulation seduces but its outcome is not the doubling of representation but rather the natural tendency of hypercapitalism to eliminate the very possibility of representation.

Or maybe Lacan:

In the empty DVD, we see the externalization of the negation of the desire for wholeness. The desired-for fusion with the world that consumption represents is here inverted and its reality is brutally reversed as the hole in the self becomes the emptiness in the box. Jouissance is directly rather than subliminally denied as desire is focused on its tangible absence and not simply, as it always is, on its intangible presence. The chain of signifiers is broken at its strongest link.

Actually, I think I agree with Lacan. The central bargain of consumer society is that the feeling that one’s life is meaningless can temporarily be alleviated by buying things. It’s me who’s supposed to be empty inside, dammit, not the DVD.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 08, 2003 at 06:50 PM 4 Comments, 2366 TrackBacks

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