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Death of a Superhero

Captain_america_

This week saw the death of two heroes of mine - Jean Baudrillard and Captain America.

Baudrillard was a leading French postmodernist [question: why were all the postmodernists French?] who posited the erosion of meaning due to the excess of representation - in essence the problem we now deal with as clutter.

He came to believe in hyper reality - that things only existed because they were mediated - an idea that resonates with the youth of today - without a digital footprint you don't really exist at all.

The Wachowski brothers attributed the inspiration to The Matrix to his book Simulacra and Simulation - the book is on Neo's bookshelf in the film - although he distanced himself from the movie.

Captain America was the anthropomorphic personification of the American dream - like most superheroes he was a normal, geeky kid plucked out of obscurity and given great power to uphold the values of the truth, justice and liberty for all.

This remixed video, overdubbing a tune from Team America: World Police to some camp footage of the 80's Captain America movie neatly sums up how the American metanarrative has developed in the eyes of the world.

I wonder what Baudillard would have thought of him being killed off.

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