Monday, April 18, 2011

That Bench You Are Sitting On is Fake

“The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth –it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.”


“If I had a world of my own everything will be nonsense.
Nothing will be what it is because everything will be what it isn't
In contrary wise what it is it wouldn't be
And what it wouldn't be it would
You see”
                                                                                    Shinedown – “Her Name is Alice

            According to Ecclesiastes, that which is an imitation of an untruth is really the truth. The truth does not exist because the imitation, or simulacrum, is not true but in actuality it is. The imitation is the truth; it is real. Have I confused you yet? Let me explain. Take, for example, the Gas Lamp District in downtown San Diego; it is modeled after the French Quarter. Odd? I think so. Why I think this to be odd is because there has never been any connection or influence from the French in San Diego. So, ask yourself; why is downtown modeled as such? Now, downtown San Diego has itself become a simulacrum. It is an imitation of an untruth but it is really a truth in itself. The French Quarter exists. It is real. BUT, why is there an imitation of the Quarter in a place that has no French influence?
            Also, a simulacrum, as stated before, is an imitation and according to Baudrillard “it is no longer anything but a gigantic simulacrum – not unreal, but a simulacrum, never again exchanging for what is real, but exchanging in itself, in an uninterrupted circuit without reference or circumference.” (1560) As confusing as this all may be, a simulacrum is also a simulation. When you walk into the Gas Lamp District you feel as though you have walked into the actual French Quarter. Deep down you know it all to be fake, an imitation of the real thing, but on the surface you forget all that and are immersed in the simulation of the imitation.
            Now, for the lyrics to Shinedown’s song. “What it is it wouldn’t be and what it wouldn’t be it would.” Think hard about what this is saying after reading my attempt at explaining what simulacrum is. Think of Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and what Alice’s world is like. Her world lacks truth but really the world that she creates is true. Her world does not hide the truth but embodies it. Wonderland is an imitation of what Alice sees in reality but because she is a child she gives it childlike qualities and appearances. So, Wonderland is real. What you think is true, really isn’t and what you think isn’t true, really is.

Word Count: 500
Works Cited:
Baudrillard, Jean. "The Precession of Simulacra".  The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. W.W. Norton & Company; Second Edition. New York, 2001. Pages 1556 -1560. Print

No comments:

Post a Comment