When a "seasonal" drink has no "seasonal" ingredients, including pumpkin, what can it be, but simulacrum?
For Baudrillard, simulation can be thought of like a timeline from representation to simulation in 4 steps, as he notes in his book "Simulacra and Simulation."
Images are reflection of a profound reality: A picture of pumpkin is like the real thing.
Images mask and denature a profound reality. A picture of the pumpkin is like a shitty version of the real thing.
Images masks the absence of a profound reality, the cake pumpkin was a lie.
The image has lost all connection to reality. It is pure simulation. Pumpkins, as a natural phenomenon, are a lie and this picture I just handed you is just a napkin that I peed on.
The fact that we welcome the return of pumpkin season, save for those who demand they buy these pumpkins from an ethically sourced gluten free farm just masks the fact that there are no seasons. We could probably ship pumpkins from all around the world to get our pumpkin fix year-round. But even then, it's only the third order of that list above. It's not quite at that next level pure simulacra shit.
Understanding Jean Baudrillard with Pumpkin Spice Lattes [Eugene Wolters/Critical Theory]