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Heroin Chic and the Politics of Seduction

  • Henry A. Giroux

Abstract

In the postmodern world described by philosopher Jean Baudrillard daily life consists of an endless series of simulations that lack any concrete referents. Disneyland becomes a model for a sanitized society purged of politics, a society in which representations become increasingly homogenized and cease to be read critically as part of a broader strategy of understanding, struggle, and intervention.1 In this mediascape, images bombard the senses, identities become transparent and one-dimensional, space and time collapse and displace traditional understandings of place and history, and concrete reality slips into a virtual society where “there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.”2

Keywords

Young People Human Suffering Fashion Industry Heroin Addiction Fashion Magazine 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    This theme is taken up brilliantly in Michael Sorkin, “See You in Disneyland,” in Michael Sorkin, ed., Variations on a Theme Park (New York: The Noon Day Press, 1992), pp. 205–232.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation (Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1994), p. 87.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    I take this issue up in detail in Henry A. Giroux, Disturbing Pleasures (New York: Routledge, 1994). The term “cartoon utopia” is from Michael Sorkin, Variations on a Theme Park, p. 232.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Carol Becker, “The Art of Testimony,” Sculpture 16:3 (March 1997), p. 28.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Richard Sennett, “The Social Body,” Transition 71 (1997), p. 90.Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    For a personal narrative of heroin use among trendy intellectuals, see Ann M. “Listening to Heroin,” The Village Voice, April 23, 1994, pp. 25–30; Mark Ehrman, “Heroin Chic,” Playboy 42:5 (May 1995), pp. 66–68, 144–147.Google Scholar
  7. 15.
    I take up this issue in Henry A. Giroux, Fugitive Cultures: Race, Violence, and Youth (New York: Routledge, 1996).Google Scholar
  8. 27.
    See Richard Harvey Brown, “Realism and Power in Aesthetic Representation,” in Richard Brown, ed., Postmodern Representations (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995), pp. 134–167.Google Scholar
  9. 29.
    I am drawing in this case on the work of Zygmunt Bauman, Life in Fragments (Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, 1995), especially “Violence and Postmodernism,” pp. 139–162.Google Scholar
  10. 30.
    Geoffrey Hartman, “Public Memory and Its Discontents,” Raritan 8:4 (Spring 1994), p. 28.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Henry A. Giroux 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry A. Giroux

There are no affiliations available

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