Baudrillard and The End of History / [flickr]

The end of history

“The remorse that has been expressed, and the – more or less hypocritical – commemorations and recantations give the impression that we are trying to run the events of the century back through the filter of memory, not in order to find a meaning for them – they have clearly lost that en route – but in order to whitewash them, to launder them. Laundering is the prime activity of this fin de siècle – the laundering of a dirty history, of dirty money, of corrupt consciousnesses, of the polluted planet – the cleansing of memory being indissolubly linked to the -hygienic – cleansing of the environment or to the – racial and ethnic – cleansing of populations. We are turning away from history ‘in progress’, with none of the problems it poses having been resolved, and plunging into a regressive history, in the nostalgic hope of making a politically correct one out of it. And in this retrospective, necrospective obsession, we are losing any chance of things coming to their term. This is why I advanced the idea that the Year 2000 would not take place. Quite simply because the history of this century has already come to an end, because we are reliving it interminably and because, therefore, metaphorically speaking, we shall never pass on into the future.”

– Jean Baudrillard, Paroxysm


Dammit, Jonathan Ive! / or, on Apple design and eternity

I have an iPhone 3G. It’s kinda awesome. It used to be super-awesome. The design’s still great. But the hardware just can’t keep up any more. Sometimes it’s so frustrating to use it, I’m tempted to put it into a blender a la “Will it blend?”.

Then it occurred to me. Apple’s problem is that their modern designs – since they dropped the cute nodding iMacs – is that their products are all monoliths, like the structure in 2001, A Space Odyssey. They’re ageless. They could show up in any age, and their design would seem rooted in the eternal, rather than the temporal.

Most other manufacturer’s designs have an in-built sell-by date. Hmm.


L’Homme Revolté. Or, on Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and more.

I keep being reminded of this paragraph, from Camus’ The Rebel. He could’ve been talking about today.

L ’ H o m m e . R é v o l t é

“In more ingenuous times, when the tyrant razed cities for his own greater glory, when the slave chained to the conqueror’s chariot was dragged through the rejoicing streets, when enemies were thrown to the wild beasts in front of the assembled people, the mind did not reel before such unabashed crimes, and the judgment remained unclouded. 

But slave camps under the flag of freedom, massacres justified by philanthropy or by a taste for the superhuman, in one sense cripple judgment. On the day when crime dons the apparel of innocence — through a curious transposition peculiar to our times — it is innocence that is called upon to justify itself”

– Albert Camus, L’Homme Revolté

The Hero’s Journey in the ’80s-’90s and the ’00s-’10s.

There was a time in cinema, when the hero of the age was one man fighting against the system and the world, with law enforcement helplessly watching on / encouraging the underdog. The new heroes follow a similar arc, only they’ve got a few more tricks up their sleeve. No insights, just sayin’.