The Desert of the RealFor those who know me or have read a few posts on this blog, you likely know that I was a fan of Jean Baudrillard's theories -- as controversial as they often were (and often misunderstood). He passed away yesterday, at the age of 77. Perhaps his most popular work was Simulacra and Simulation, as it made a guest appearance in the film The Matrix.
Here is a link to an NPR article for those interested:
As Fate would have it, one week to his death, I will be delivering a paper at the IAFA about The Matrix, using Baudrillard's theories to illustrate cultural construction and hidden "unrealities" in the structure of the film and society (a bit academic sounding, but the only way to describe it). If you're not familar with his writings, I'd suggest taking a peek at them -- and know that they often seems "startling" at first glance.