“But there is a professional obligation for teachers and writers never to abandon hope.” –Sean Cubitt, Simulation and Social Theory (2001) p. 152
A major criticism of Baudrillard concerns the pessimistic nature of his prose. Critics find his cynical perspective blind to the possibility of hope. Cubitt’s quote speaks to Baudrillard’s tendency to describe with a poetic flair the symptoms of our cultural sickness without offering a viable course of treatment beyond letting society implode.
I argue that teaching and writing, as creative activities, are grounded in hope. The subject discussed in the classroom or textbook—be it uplifting or deflating—matters less than the fact that someone is brave enough to float an argument. It’s not the content, but the form of teaching, the form of writing, that deserves our focus.
Baudrillard wrote over thirty books and countless articles. His prolific output indicates an immense faith in the power of writing and its potential to change minds, even as he chastised the masses for caring more about consuming than thinking.
When composing a blog I hope to secure not just readers, but people’s imaginations. In connecting ideas, I’m looking for human connection. When I write about Baudrillard’s notion that we’re beyond transcendence, I realize there isn’t much to cheer about. But in reaching for thoughts that wander off the beaten path, I challenge the world, renewing through its exposition the promise of the written word.