Cool Memories 06

Cool Memories 06

By Jean Baudrillard 布希亞

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

It is, in days gone by, it was sound strategy to accumulate the effects of alienation, today; it is safer to stockpile the effects of indifference. To create a pole of indifference so that powerful processes of attraction or repulsion are produced all around.


To create a gulf which will swallow up inverse energies at differential speeds, on that extraordinary lines of Edgar Allan Poe’s maelstrom.

Or, yet again, to become nothing but a ghostly hologram, a laser outline—so that it may then be all the easier to disappear without being noticed, leaving others prey to reality.

Dying is nothing; you have to know how to disappear.




   Seeing the features of a face in closeup gives you the same dizzy feeling as a low-angle shot of a skyscraper. The vertigo of anamorphosis. The beauty of cheeks and lips smooth as a desert, a beauty equaled only by that of the skyscraper seen from below like an upturned throat.


   Democracy is the menopause of Western society, the Grand Climacteric of the body social. Fascism is its middle-aged lust.


    When everything turns in on itself towards a trance-like state of imaginary latency, but one still dreaming of final solutions, when all the tensions within us dissolve into a subliminal state, then it still remains for us to find the point of inertia and normalize everything by a process of destruction.


    The true artificial satellite is the mass of floating currencies orbiting the earth. Money has become an artifact pure and simple, with sidereal mobility and instant convertibility, and has at last found its true home, a place more extraordinary even than the Stock Exchange: an orbit where it rises and sets like an artificial sun.


Black is the derision of White. The amazing Idi Amin who has himself carried in triumph by four British diplomats and is received by the Pope. The amazing Emperor Bokassa eating little black babies, lavishing diamonds upon the Western dignitary. Nowhere has the concept of power been ridiculed in such an Ubuesque fashion as in Africa. The West will be hard-pressed to rid itself of this generation of simiesque and prosaic despots born of the monstrous crossing of the jungle with the shining values of ideology.


Let us remember the Maitres-Fous where the lumpen-employees of the bush go home at night to the forest to mime in epileptic, frothing trances the white clerk, the white chief of Abidjan and even locomotives! All of them Bokassa, all of them Amins. Fantastic! There is no hope for this continent. All the peace Corps will get bogged down there. The power of derision. Africa’s contempt for its own “ authenticity”.


Politicians—power itself—are abject because they merely embody the profound contempt people have for their own lives. Their abjection reflects the abjection of the governed, who thereby find some way of ridding themselves of their own sense of abjection. One should be grateful to the politicians for accepting the abjectness of power, and ridding others of its burden. This inevitably kills them but they get their revenge by passing on to others the corpse of power. This ancient hereditary function has never been repudiated.



Cool Memories by Jean Baudrillard 布希亞

Translated by Springhero 雄伯

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