A quasi-fictional French philosopher and sociologist, believed by some to have been a significant 20th century thinker, has ceased to be, aged 77.
Jean Baudrillard claimed that events did not occur unless they were witnessed first hand, and thereby annoyed a lot of physicists who actually know what they are talking about when it comes to the quantum domain.
But it was not until the aftermath of the first Gulf War in 1991 that this thoroughly post-modern creature had any real impact on the world beyond the salons of Paris and the odd first year sociology lecture at the University of Neasden. Baudrillard stated that the war took place primarily on a symbolic level, which must have come as a shock to all those families that lost loved ones in the virtual conflict.
The philosopher also described the 9/11 attacks as a fusion of history, symbolism and dark fantasy – a spectacle – the “mother of all events.” We have brought terrorism upon ourselves, he said, and it is all down to a “globalisation that is itself immoral.”
When asked for his reaction to Baudrillard’s death, Osama bin Laden, of North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, replied “Who?”
Doris Stokes, tea lady in the University of Neasden’s sociology department, remarked that Baudrillard, whom she fondly remembered having a liking for custard creams, should serve as a stark warning to young people who watch too much television.