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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Jean Baudrillard And The Metaphysical Horror Of Donald Trump's Presidency

(Image via: The Daily Beast)

To understand the true horror of the ascension (no, the lateral movement) of Donald Trump to the White House, we must understand the nature of things (the real in itself), the nature of representations of things (simulations), and the nature of representations of representations (simulacra).

The Underwoods from House of Cards, which first aired on February 1st, 2013, are a simulation, a TV representation of a reality– interestingly– the reality of the Clintons.

(But of course even if the Clintons are that unscrupulous and ambitious, we all know they aren't actually that cool.)

But the horrific metaphysics at work in Donald Trump's successful campaign for the U.S. presidency is that Trump represents the dissolution of reality itself in the imposition of a TV simulation not exchanged for the real, but exchanged for itself, a simulacrum, which bears no relation to any reality whatsoever, the hyperreal, the lie that obscures the fact that there is no truth.

It was a historically inevitable development that TV would crawl out of the screen into the seat behind the desk in the Oval Office, but the true horror is the fact that it didn't look like this above.

The horror is that there was no real left for it to crawl into, that the real had already been subsumed by the hyper real, that all that happened was the TV character you know as Donald Trump crossed over into a different television channel.

It's the cold, heat death of our reality in the glare of the very coldest kind of radiation, the light of the television screen.

This is the way the world ends.

Has already ended without us noticing.

Happy Halloween!

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