Cool memories

“Do not take the side of those already in the right” Jean Baudrillard

As regular readers will know I am into this aphorism thing big time. I love the way a well crafted aphorism has both function and form. They contain powerful and provocative thoughts packaged in such a way to make them disarmingly simple, edible and memorable.
So how cool is this. Old Baudrillard goes and writes his fifth collection of memories appropriately called ‘Cool Memories V’ entirely in the aphoristic form. No chronologies or lists of places he visits just the pithy clever stuff he thought at the time.
Makes my attempts at the form look pathetic. But then again as my partner says “he is one of the greatest philosophical thinkers of the late 20th century and you are just some idiot who works in advertsing”.
Every planner should have the quote at the top of the post written on a piece of paper and kept under their pillow.

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10 Replies to “Cool memories”

  1. I think this quote is fatuous. It almost makes sense as a protest against joining a complacent consensus.
    But what if those in the right are in the minority, or oppressed in some way? Would it have been wrong, or useless, to take the side of campaigners for civil rights in the US in 1960?

  2. I think it absolutely makes sense as a protest against joining a complacent consesus particularly in this industry.

  3. Yes but a consensus is only worth opposing if it’s wrong (which it frequently is). I’m being English and literal here, and I know Msr B’s quote is in the more poetic gallic tradition. And actually in that context I rather like it. It’s why I found myself supporting the Iraq war, even though I saw some very big rational reasons to oppose it. I just couldn’t bear to be on the side of all those right-thinking, bien-pensant, Guardian readers, furiously agreeing with each other.

  4. Winston.
    Firstly I would have thought a contrarian like yourself would welcome an crisp little thought like this that is obstinate in challenge to conventional wisdom.
    Secondly the ‘right’ that Baudrillard talks about is to me the ‘right’ as defined by popular opinion and the orthodoxy of the moment. It is currently ‘right’ to believe that advertising junk food to kids is wrong, that public services should remain public, that there should be a two state solution ot Palestine and Israel, that political correctness is a bad thing and it was once thought ‘right’ that black and white people should be segregated in the public spaces of the Southern States. Our job is always to challenge those people whose views are considered right.

  5. OK, OK, I’m persuaded, you’re right. Or ‘right’. It is a good quote. It reminds me of Gramsci’s critique of society’s ‘common sense’: a body of ideological beliefs wrapped up to appear natural and unarguable.

  6. My intention was not necessarily to win but to have a fight with you Sir Winston since I am unable to don my intellectual boxing gloves on your site.

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