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Requiescat in Pace: Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard, the social theorist and philosopher who wrote Simulacra and Simulation, died yesterday -- or did he?  In his own words, "Death is never an absolulte criterion...."  Perhaps, like the powerful metaphor he constructed from Borges' map, the passing of the man and the survival of the geography of his mind in the revealed form of his writings is a superceding reality.  Or, perhaps the challenge of following his thoughts is so daunting that what remains is only a simulacrum that we generate without true source.

Even were this the case, however, Baudrillard will be missed for both his insights and his provocations. A fierce critic, he paid the U.S. the questionable compliment of being the original version of modernity, a blurring of the real and the unreal.  His native France, by contrast, was merely "a copy with subtitles."

Counterfeit Chic salutes the passing of a true original, who believed in neither concept.