Saturday, February 05, 2005my new year's resolution: to get up every day at 5:30 during the spring migration and ride down to the lakeshore to bird.
5:30 might not even be early enough. but i get a little twinge of nausea when i think about getting up any earlier.
anyway, back to Baudrillard...
i think that part of what he is saying is that the masses resist successfully every attempt to co-opt or represent their interests, that no political group, authoritarian figure, or corporate oligarchy can ever truly say, "i represent the silent majority." because there is no real majority! the masses of people do not exist as a positive presence--they can only be described, by critically insufficient means such as opinion polls and surveys, all of which are instantly re-absorbed into the neutrality of spectacle once they are made public.
this resistance to representation is our greatest power, says Baudrillard. it means that we force the media, the government, the advertisers to endlessly guess at our true desires, our true motives, without ever receiving positive proof.
and it means that we care about, and respond to, only the events, words, signifiers and people who directly impact our daily existence. on a localized level, the level of the family or church group or small town, our sense of responsibility is continuously engaged. But never on a scale any grander than that. Baudrillard isn't judging us for preferring a football game over voting in the national election; he is simply acknowledging that such preferences are natural responses to being presented with the mirage of democracy.
so, although i don't know why the man on the train didn't feel the need to say "excuse me" as he forced me to move out of his way, i can surmise that he placed me in the same anonymous category as the masses of people one encounters in the city. i did not register on his list of those in his personal sphere; in a sense, he never saw me. so for him, although a human body was in his path, there was no one there of whom to beg pardon.