Popular Culture Review Vol. 28, No. 2, Summer 2017 - Page 100

some flowers and then tell her that I love her.” The apparent absurdity of this response is an effective cinematic technique that strikes the viewer. Even when presented with irrefutable evidence that unequivocally proves that many photographs including this specific one are sometimes totally fake, Butters still cannot resist the alluring power of the image. Moreover, this tragic scene also confirms Baudrillard’s hypothesis that the proliferation of images via the mass media through a plethora of electronic household gadgets has resulted in the destruction of critical thought. As the philosopher theorizes, “l’individu ne se réfléchit plus lui-même, mais s’absorbe dans la contemplation des objets/signes multipliés […] Il ne s’y réfléchit plus, il s’y absorbe et s’y abolit” ‘the individual no longer thinks for himself, but is absorbed in the contemplation of multiplied objects/signs […] He no longer thinks, he is absorbed in these (signs) and he loses himself in these (signs)’ (La Société de consommation 309-310). Given that the modern subject is constantly engulfed in the hyper-real, he or she loses the ability to examine anything that exists outside of the operational logic of the code objectively. Furthermore, as opposed to mocking Butters’s naïveté or incapacity to deconstruct simulations that openly confess to be nothing more than insignificant signs of beauty conceived in a type of fantasy world, all of the other young boys confuse the real Lisa with her computer- generated alter ego. In a testament to the veritable force of social media and the continual exchange of information in the modern world, everyone at school has seen the picture of Lisa that Butters uploaded the next morning. Consequently, when Butters searches for Lisa to profess his love, Cartman informs him that she is already dating Clyde. Clyde’s behavior further underscores the ludicrousness of Lisa’s newfound popularity and status as a diva. Proudly walking down the hall with his new girlfriend by his side, Clyde boasts, “Hey, Token, check out my girlfriend.” However, Clyde shows Token the embellished picture of Lisa from his mobile device even though the real Lisa is standing right beside him. For all intents and purposes, Lisa ceases to exist as an authentic human being. She is now a prized commodity or a simulated object to be appropriated by men. The effacement of the real Lisa by an illusory simulacrum reflects the phenomenon described by Baudril lard in numerous works as the ‘death of the subject.’ Lisa seems to relish her improbable ascension to stardom, but the viewer finds her relationship with Clyde to be extremely disturbing from both a philosophical and ethical 95