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by Jean Baudrillard

Reads like the great novel Ballard never wrote. America as the desert of the imagination, an empty landscape waiting to be filled by the fantasies and dreams of a still young nation and an adolescent culture. Baudrillard's prose gleams like a piece of surgical equipment, or the chrome headlight mounts on a new Jaguar.

(R. Kadrey)



Jean Baudrillard
1988, 144 pp., $15.70
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Here is the TEXT POPUP for America:

Irvine: a new Silicon Valley. Electronic factories have no
openings to the outside world, like integrated circuits. A desert zone, given over to ions and electrons, a supra-human place, the product of inhuman decision-making. By a terrible twist of irony it just had to be here, in the hills of Irvine, that they shot "Planet of the Apes." But, on the lawn, the American squirrel tells us all is well, and that America is kind to animals, to itself, and to the rest of the world, and that in everyone's heart there is a slumbering squirrel. The whole Walt Disney philosophy eats out of your hand with these pretty little sentimental creatures in grey fur coats. For my own part, I believe that behind these smiling eyes there lurks a cold, ferocious beast fearfully stalking us. . . On the same lawn with the squirrel stands a sign put there by some society of Jesus: "Vietnam, Cambodia, Lebanon, Grenada-- We are a violent society in a violent world!"

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