Above: The left forearm of Dr Henry Bond with allergy scrape-tests. Credit: Oscopic.
There is no answer to this collective syndrome of a whole culture, this fascination, this mad whirl of denial of otherness, of all strangeness, all negativity, this repudiation of evil ... [In terms of a solution] we can only remember that seduction resides in the safeguarding of alienness, in non-reconciliation. One should not be reconciled with one's body, nor with oneself, one should not be reconciled with the other, one should not be reconciled with nature, one should not reconcile male and female, nor good and evil.--Jean Baudrillard
For Baudrillard, modern Western liberalism tends to seek the systematic denial of all difference, exoticism and strangeness, which is replaced everywhere with assimilation, integration, harmony, homogenization, incorporation, fusion... For Baudrillard, this is an illusory dogma or world-view. For Baudrillard it is important to recognise that otherness cannot be always neutralized. For example, for Baudrillard, on some level, women and men are intrinsically alien to one another (i.e., he espouses an essentialist position). Rather than seek to diminish difference, we should, rather, celebrate it--by recognising it, and acknowledging it. For Baudrillard, this quality of unreconcilableness extends to one's relationship to one's own body: to behold and apprehend one's own body as strange and somewhat alien to one's-self should again be celebrated and honoured, rather than abhorred, or denied.
For Baudrillard, this insight or awareness of alienness-and-otherness is designated as seduction, and is described by Dr Marcus Doel as "our culture's saving-grace," seduction, or strange attraction, tends to be experienced as being "drawn towards something that constantly eludes us," the force of seduction or strange attraction is that "when everything is, finally, given over to production and obscenity ... seduction will [still] remain in play (Doel)."
(30 December 2018)