In this Baudrillarclian age of the hyperreal, nowhere more intense than in the great antipodean fiction called Australia, so sensitive to First World fashion, the crucial question both for politics and aesthetics is whether the signifier is empty or, simply, open. Baudrillard's acute proposal was that we are now experiencing a world in which experience relies predominantly on image, that the image is the latest form taken by the commodity, and that such imagery confounds the "normal" or hitherto normal notion of the sign in that the signifier does not stand for a thing or a more substantial reality, but is in some profoundly real sense complete in itself. Hence the power of the advertising image and the news media, especially the visual image on TV. Hence Ronald Reagan. Hence empty. Or is this an emptiness capable of being filled by innumerable meaning-makers, as Michel de Certeau would have it, invoking a world of anarchist semioticians striking back at the emptiness of postmodern life?