Wednesday, February 25, 2009

on shock

another excerpt from Naomi Klein, on shocks political and otherwise (p. 458):

"Any strategy based on exploiting the windown of opportunity opened by a traumatic shock relies heavily on the element of surprise. A state of shock, by definition, is a moment when there is a gap between fast-moving events and the information that exists to explain them. The late French theorist Jean Baudrillard described terrorist events as an "excess of reality"; in this sense, in North America, the September 11 attacks were, at first, pure event, raw reality, unprocessed by story, narrative, or anything that could bridge the gap between reality and understanding. Without a story we were, as many of us were after September 11, intensely vulnerable to those people who are ready to take advantage of the chaos for their own ends. As soon as we have a new narrative that offers a perspective on the shocking events, we become reoriented and the world begins to make sense once again."

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