The point where the meridians meet and where, consequently, it is every hour of the day at once.
Modern activities have the same subtle function as scavengers in the desert: by devouring dead time, they leave pure time at our disposal. By putting an end to free time, they deliver us from the anguish of full time.
[Ambiguity] in the line from the Bible: 'Without him nothing was created'. In the Cathar version, this became: 'And without him the Nothing was created', which, in quite contrary vein, sets forth the principle of Evil.
When one looks at the emptiness of current art, the only question is how such a machine can continue to function in the absence of any new energy, in an atmosphere of critical disillusionment and commercial frenzy, and with all the players totally indifferent? If it can continue, how long will this illusionism last? A hundred years, two hundred? This society is like a vessel whose edges move ever wider apart, and in which the water never comes to the boil.
Memory is a dangerous function. it retrospectively gives meaning to that which did not have any. It retrospecively cancels out the internal illusoriness of events, which was their originality. But if events retained their original, engimatic form, their ambiguous, terrifying form, there would doubtless no longer be any history.
Everything, before taking place, should have the chance not to take place. This suspense is essential, like the negative of a photo. It is this negative that enables the photo to have meaning; it is this negative which enables it to take place - never the first time, always the second. For things have meaning only the second time, like baptism in anabaptism, like form in anamorphosis. Hence the fantasy that there will always be a second meeting, another chance, in another world or in a previous life.
The beauty of the dead when they are laid out on their sides. Not with their faces upturned to the sky - a sign of annihilation and Last Judgement - but on their sides, their legs tucked up, as a mark of foetal coiling and of sleep.
Our feelings, which we delightfully term emotions in order to salvage the fiction of an emotional life, are not effects any more, merely a psychological affectiation, having lost all credence in our eyes.
Boredom [ennui] is a subtle form of filterable virus, of fossilized tonality, which might be said to pass invisibly across the substance of time without altering it. fine particles of boredom striate time like neutrinos, leaving no trace. there is scarcely any living memory of boredom. This is why it can superimpose itself on all kinds of activities, even exciting ones, since it lives in the interstices.
One must free oneself from one's ideas in writing, not take charge of them. One must free language from its purpose, free concepts from their meaning, free the world from its reality - which is an even greater illusion.
Artificial Intelligence inevitably produces an Artificial Intelligentsia, a body of intellectually correct, genetically immunized experts, which re-forms around numerical intelligence data and the digital mastery of the code.
Neurotic and erotic abreaction in every place marked out for discourse or for writing: libraries, conferences, 'round tables', examinations. A desire to climb the curtains and swing from the chandeliers as soon as the discourse of culture makes its appearance.
Under the heading of everyday atrocities: the daughters of Moscow apparatchiks buying up on the black market from the Mafia the foreign travel scholarships granted to the irradiated children of Chernobyl.
The stupidity of all commercial or cultural anti-Americanism. As if Americanism did not run through every society, every nation, and every individual today, like modernity itself.
Even in the daytime, a part of us is perpetually asleep. When we are fast asleep, part of us is constantly awake. This is how, even when we are asleep, we can wish for sleep. How, even when we are fully alive, we can want to live.
At the heart of the Pyramids, there was a central space from which immortality radiated. At the heart of our civilization, there is now merely a hole into which the dustbins of history are emptied.
That male beetle which dies without being born, since it is doomed solely to fertilize the other females in the womb which conceived them, after which it perishes without seeing the light of day.
The revolution of 'lived experience' is without doubt the worst, the revolution which swept away the secrecy with which everyone surrounded their own life and has transformed tat life into a huge 'reality show'. What has been liberated by all the revolutions of desire, expression, fantasy and analysis is not the dramaturgy of the unconscious or the theatre of cruelty, but the theatre of banality. It is not the taboo on the drives that has been removed, but that on triviality, naivety, idiosyncrasy and idiosyncretism. What has been liberated is not each person's singularity, but their specific stupidity - that is to say, the stupidity they share with everyone else.
Cards, that virtual money , protect us from the vulgarity of cash. but money itself, that artifact of value, protects us from the vulgarity of the commodity. and the commodity, that artifact of desire, protects us from the vulgarity of human relations. In this way, we are marvellously protected.
Those toadying intellectual curs, always wondering how it is possible to be both a genius and politically despicable (Celine, Leni Reifensthal ...), it being understood that the essential thing is not to be a genius, but one of the right-thinking. This is where the whole ambiguity of contemporary art resides: laying claim to worthlessness, insignificance, non-meaning and banality; staining for worthlessness, when it is in fact already worthless. Aim for non-meaning when it is in fact already insignificant. Aspiring to superficiality in superficial terms.
Gut reaction against yobbery, the masses and solid Frenchness. But an equally visceral distaste for the elite, for castes, culture and the nomenklatura. Do we have to choose between the moronic masses and the arrogant privileged classes (particularly when they have an odour of demogogic humility about them)? No solution.
Have I actually wiped away all the traces, all the possible consequences of this book? Did I reach a point where nothing can be made of it; did I abolish every last desire to give it a meaning? have I achieved that continuity of the Nothing? In that case, I have succeeded. I have done to the book what the system has done to reality: turned it into something no one knows what to do with any moire. but something they don't know how to get rid of either.
The advantage of being happy is that one is rid of the question of happiness. The advantage of being free is that one is rid of the question of freedom.
Baudrillard, Cool Memories III