November 23, 2001
Follow me on Twitter

Baudrillard and Gaiman

It's interesting to compare the vision of America found in Baudrillard's recent discussion of terrorism to Neil Gaimain's American Gods. Baudrillard's view, insofar as one can be seen beneath the general sense of repugnance, is a sort of generalized neurasthenic suburbia, the tract house world of Back to the Future or ET. Gaiman's America, on the other hand, is a world where Europe is distorted through the prism of wilderness and vulgarity, a land of waitresses and cops and college girls where ancient wisdom occasionally reaches the surface but where, on the whole, people are happy to be free of the spiritual baggage of Europe. Baudrillard sees America in Hollywood, Gaiman sees Kenosha.

Isn't is strange that the French philosopher adopts the banal, safe, familiar view, while the the difficult, nuanced, weird vision comes from the comic book writer?