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Jean Baudrillard
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    (July 27, 1929-March 6, 2007)
    Born in Reims, France
    Philosopher, social critic and photographer
    Wrote 'The System of Objects' (1968), 'The Consumer Society' (1970), 'The Mirror of Production' (1973), 'Symbolic Exchange and Death' (1976), 'Simulcra and Simulation' (1981), 'Fatal Strategies' (1983), 'The Ecstacy of Communication' (1987), 'The Transparency of Evil' (1990), 'The Gulf War Did Not Take Place' (1991), 'The Illusion of the End' (1992), 'The Perfect Crime' (1995), 'The Spirt of Terrorism' (2002) and 'The Conspiracy of Art' (2005)
    Dubbed 'the high priest of post-modernism'
    His writing was often dense and obscure.
    Critics of postmodernism Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont wrote that his texts seemed unintelligible 'for the excellent reason that they mean precisely nothing.'
    He wore a gold lamé suit with mirrored lapels while reading poetry in a Las Vegas bar.
    He called the US 'this insufferable superpower' and 'the only remaining primitive society.'
    He said of the 9/11 attacks, 'It was they who did it, but we who wished it.'
    He was described in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as 'one of the foremost intellectual figures of the present age.'
    He said he found America 'much more alive' than France.
    His response to charges that he legitimized terrorism was, 'I don't praise murderous attacks--that would be idiotic.'
    His ideas about hyper-reality influenced the film 'The Matrix' (1999), in which Morpheus quotes one of Baudrillard's aphorisms, 'Welcome to the desert of the real.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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