Deep down, no one really believes they have a right to live. But this death sentence generally stays tucked away, hidden beneath the difficulty of living. If that difficulty is removed from time to time, death is suddenly there, unintelligibly.
Thus perhaps at stake has always been the murderous capacity of images: murderers of the real; murderers of their own model as the Byzantine icons could murder the divine identity. To this murderous capacity is opposed the dialectical capacit of represenations as a visible and intelligible mediation of the real. All of Western faith and good faith was engaged in this wager on represenation: that a sign could refer to the depth of meaning, that a sign could exchange for meaning and that something could guarantee this excahnge–God, of course. But what if God himself can be simulated, that is to say, reduced to the signs which atttest his existence? Then the whole system becomes weighteless; it is no longer anything but a gigantic simulacrum: not unreal, but a simulacrum, never again exchanging for what is real, but exchanging in itself, in an uninterrupted circuit without reference or circumference.
At male strip shows, it is still the women that we watch, the audience of women and their eager faces. They are more obscene than if they were dancing naked themselves.