By Jean Baudrillard
“The number of wild, usually hilarious postcards from his journey to the US includes the various year’s most unusual and gorgeous writing.”—New Statesman and Society
In this, his so much obtainable and evocative publication, France’s major thinker of postmodernism takes to the freeways in a set of traveler’s stories from the land of hyperreality.
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It is in this conjuncture that we have seen new idols emerging, idols who take up the challenge of undefinedness and who play at mixing genres/genders. ‘Gender benders’. Neither masculine nor feminine, but not homosexual either. Boy George, Michael Jackson, David Bowie. . Whereas the idols of the previous generation were explosive figures of sex and pleasure, these new idols pose for everyone the question of the play of difference and their own lack of definition. They are exceptional figures.
This sarcastic festival reflects, rather, an infernal demand for revenge by children on the adult world. Thethreat from this evil force hangs over adults here, equal in intensity only to their devotion to children. There is nothing more unhealthy than this childish sorcery, behind all the dressing up and the presents - people turn out their lights and hide, for fear of harassment. And it is no accident that some of them stick needles or razor blades into the apples or cookies they hand out to the children.
Gender benders’. Neither masculine nor feminine, but not homosexual either. Boy George, Michael Jackson, David Bowie. . Whereas the idols of the previous generation were explosive figures of sex and pleasure, these new idols pose for everyone the question of the play of difference and their own lack of definition. They are exceptional figures. For want of an identity, most of them have gone in search of a ‘gender model’, a generic formula. Some kind of differentiating feature has to be found, so why not look for it in fashion .
America by Jean Baudrillard