1) Describe the three orders of simulacra as Baudrillard understands them.
2) Baudrillard writes on page 3, “Pretending, or dissimulating, leaves the principle of reality intact: the difference is always clear, it is simply masked, whereas simulation threatens the difference between the ‘true’ and the ‘false,’ the ‘real’ and the ‘imaginary.” Explain this quote, referring to the idea of faking or simulating an illness in your response.
3) Explain the idea of “hyperreality” using Disney’s Main Street USA as an example.
4) Choose a tourist site that you have visited or that you know of that you think functions like The Most Photographed Barn in America. Explain how that site interacts with Baudrillard’s ideas about reality and simulacra.
5) On pages 29-30, Baudrillard talks about how Reality TV (which was just emerging when he wrote this essay in the early 1980’s) has shifted culture from a panopticon with a central policing authority and a bunch of disciplined subjects who are under surveillance into more of a diffused culture where we can no longer tell the difference between who is looking and who is being looked at (“Big Brother” is no longer the police, but is instead all of us, looking at ourselves).
a. How does this shift relate to the idea of the simulacra?
b. Think about a Reality TV program that you know. What might Baudrillard say about how “real” it is? What might he say about the roles of viewers and stars and how they relate to each other? What new ideas does the Baudrillardian theory give you about this program?