According to social theorist/philosopher, postmodern genius and all-around cool dude, Jean Baudrillard, his definition of a postmodern “simulacrum” refer loosely to a text/image that has been reproduced and manipulated to the point that it no longer bears any resemblance to the original/reality.
Cool Dude Jean Baudrillard
Now, are you aware of what/who/why/when/how Domo-kun is?
If you don’t, here’s a picture of it.
Domo-kun (the one circled red) and his friends.
Originally the mascot for Japan public broadcaster NHK, Domo is now more or less a cultural icon depicted in merchandises, apparels and in food dishes no less.
And in food dishes did local chain restaurant, Hei Sushi, find itself in (not really) hot soup with.
Domo Dish in Hei Sushi Sembawang Shopping Centre
According to Stomp, Stomper Noah submitted a photo of a Domo-kun dish he ordered at Hei Sushi Sembawang Shopping Centre on the Saturday just past (23 Feb).
Being the “huge” Domo fan he was, Noah told Stomp that he was at first “excited” to see Domo Potato in the menu and had to order one.
This was the image shown in the menu:
This was ultimately what he had gotten:
Putting them side by side would get you this rather hilarious juxtaposition.
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“It [was] 100 per cent different from the menu let alone the original Domo character,” he said.
“I am a Domo fan and I am offended by this misleading photo in the menu”, he added.
What is Real and Original
If you were going to ask me what this had to do with Jean Baudrillard and his idea of simulacra, let me explain please.
Suffice to say that Stomper Noah who is/was a huge fan of Noah and was eager to literally get himself a piece of Domo.
At the very first level, Noah was pissed with the eventual dish that arrived as it was uniquely different from the one the menu had depicted.
That depicted dish though at the second level, while named “Domo Potato” in reference to the namesake mascot it may be, did not even come close to looking like the original Domo-kun.
Which looks like this.
There is now the Original Domo-Kun called Domo 1, the menu reference image called Domo 1.5, the eventual dish that came which I will term as Domo 1.6 and a double disconnect between all three images.
While Noah knew that the menu image Domo 1.5 was far from alike from “the original Domo character”, he was willing to accept it as an original, or an idea of an original that could stand in for Domo 1.
Domo 1.5 aka Sushi Hei’s ideal Domo now becomes a “simulacrum” which barely or no longer resembles the original but has become accepted to be the original for the duration and purpose of the meal, at least.
While not quite Baudrillard’s true idea of a “simulacrum”, this curious incident does illustrate how tricky certain notions of like “real”, “original” and “copy” can be.
That said, I’m surely not my boss, and him not me, because I’m here finishing this article and he is merely in his private room eating his rotting cai png.
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