Edelman & Baudrillard

I'm not sure how I feel about Edelman's use of Baudrillard, especially the sentence "And all this [the human race slipping into the void] because (heterosexual) sex has "become extraneous, a useless function"" (65). First, I read Baudrillard as opposing two types of death: the death of the individual versus a second death, which is really more like deathlessness, that comes from identicality. Baudrillard's distinction echoes the Aristotelian distinction between humans, who are unique and hence mortal, or mortal and hence unique, and animals, which are identical, and consequently treated as a species of 'deathless things'. Consequently, Baudrillard can say things like simulacra cannot die because they've already been purged of their own death.
Edelman writes that Baudrillard embraces (individual) death in opposition to the death (that is really deathlessness) that would come from 'endless iterations of the same' (65). This is pretty on-key with my reading of Baudrillard. He then says that the 'endless iterations of the same' is traditionally associated with queerness and the death drive. At first, I wanted to say that in fact uniqueness, as the precondition of death (in the first sense) would be associated with the death-drive. However, and this is my first problem, it seems that it is in fact associated with sameness, as Edelman shows with his Freud quotation. This is borne out in Baudrillard, when he says cloning could only be the product of the death drive (96). (I guess when he equates sex with death on the next pagehe is using death in the first sense.) Anyway, conceding that sameness=the death drive=queerness and chalking my confusion so far up to my ignorance of Freud, then what to make of lines such as, "Futurism thus generates generational succession, temporality, and narrative sequence, not toward the end of enabling change, but, instead, of perpetuating sameness, of turning back time to assure repetition"(60). In the next line, Edelman writes that this repetition is conducted under the banner of a love of the Other, which seems to help, but then queerness just seems to be disillusioned futurism qua endless iterations of the same. I guess my question comes down to the extent to which queerness/death-drive is getting treated as the second form of death -endless iterations of the same, which seems to be the case by chapter two - and the extent to which it is getting treated as death in the sense of an end of the social order, that is, no more children. These two positions don't seem at all compatible, but maybe I just don't really understand the Freudian death-drive…

I was about to respond with a quote in which Edelman associates Baudrillard's death of the individual as crucial to the survival of the human race with sameness (the sameness of heterosexual difference), but now I can't find the quote, and am pretty sure said quote doesn't exist. But that misreading kind of shaped my understanding of this section; that is, I thought that Edelman associated the alterity of reproductive sex with sameness--the sameness of continuing reproduction and life--while the immortal, though representing for Baudrillard an immortal sameness, is really *the* different element, the impossible. It reminded me of another Edelman quote that I can't find (salfjskl) that says something like siding against future is to take the side of opposition to oppositionality, to be against the heterogeneous within the closed social system that reproduces itself as the same. That is, heterogeneity only seems hetergeneous within the one-sided, pro-Child political system that we inhabit. The "immortal" would be the opposition to this oppositionality, a more radical form of difference that actually wouldn't reproduce the same (I mean, the same political system in which we're already 'cruising'.) Sorry if the misreading didn't clear up the sameness confusion.

p.s. The concept of "reiteration of the same (via immortality, death drive, etc.) as radical alterity" smacks of the class's frequent ruminations on hyperconformity. Other aspects of Edelman's chapters reminds me of hyperconformism, too (e.g., embracing the "homosexual culture of death"). Like mftc brought up in class, I'm not totally clear on what hyperconformism would mean, how it would play out, etc. Are there other aspects of Edelman's argument that are hyperconformist? Is it not at all hyperconformist? (Cue the "dangers of hyperconformity" discussion.)