Reading for Instructions
I think I am beginning to understand this "reading for instructions" thing. Rather than try and make sense of everything myself, I have looked for possible ways that Baudrillard can be instructive in our creation of the fatal strategy.
We already know that Baudrillard is going to instruct us to look at the object. The object in our case is our particular accident. The object is a "poor conductor of the symbolic order" but a "good conductor of the fatal"--the gods (read: the sacred) can only live in the inhuman. Taking a jab at Christianity, B. argues that the "God-Man is an absurdity" So this is one instruction: focus on the object/accident, but from the perspective of the accident--as if the accident "wants to happen." As Baudrillard writes, nature may be indifferent to men, "but it is not indifferent in the fact of making itself into a spectacle through 'natural disasters' (223). This connects with our Target because Virilio does not make a distinction between man-made and natural disasters. I would argue he focuses primarily on the 'object' (the twin towers--not the terrorists).
But what about further instructions? I think it has something to do with restoring signs to their power. If we are going to read our accident as a 'sign', then we need to ask what kind of sign--a sign with or without a signifier?
This is done, in general, by seduction--but not by one's own attempts at seduction, but the object's fascinating ecstatic seduction. Seduction teras you from your own 'desire', returning you to the world and restores power to signs. So how might we do this specifically?
If we have lost the 'scene' where the magic happens, we have to look for a new kind of seduction--"vertigo of obscenity" (149). It is this kind of obscenity that Marilyn Manson seems to get at in m(Obscene). I think he may be saying that their playful eroticism is much better than what is accepted in our society (you want commitment/put on your best suit/get your arms around me now we're goin down down down--an ambiguous lyric).
In Baudrillard's narrative:
"And so the cruel story of the woman to whom a man has written a passionate letter and who asks in her turn: 'what part of me seduced you the most? To which he replies 'Your eyes' and receives by return mail, wrapped in a package, the eye which seduced [. . .] nothing is worse than to utter a wish and to have it literally fulfilled; nothing is worse than to be rewarded on the exact level of one's demand" (152).
Thus, "destiny becomes specific: at a given moment, at a given point, SIGNS BECOME OBJECTS, impossible to turn into metaphors, cruel, without appeal [. . .] They cut short any decipherment, become confused with things" (153).
And again: "words, emptied of their meaning, begin to function as things" (190).
And ok, maybe I was thinking that this also relates to the Torino/Torino scale association.
Words cease to be things at h)and--they are like Heidegger's broken hammer--staring us in the face in their brute materiality. . .