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OfflineNiamhNyx
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Society of the Spectacle
    #2946640 - 07/31/04 12:18 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

These are excerpted from Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord. He was the "leader" of the Situationist International. Tell me what you think!

1

In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.


2

The images detached from every aspect of life merge into a common stream in which the unity of that life can no longer be recovered. Fragmented views of reality regroup themselves into a new unity as a separate pseudoworld that can only be looked at. The specialization of images of the world evolves into a world of autonomized images where even the deceivers are deceived. The spectacle is a concrete inversion of life, an autonomous movement of the nonliving.


3

The spectacle presents itself simultaneously as society itself, as a part of society, and as a means of unification. As a part of society, it is the focal point of all vision and all consciousness. But due to the very fact that this sector is separate, it is in reality the domain of delusion and false consciousness: the unification it achieves is nothing but an official language of universal separation.


4

The spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images.


5

The spectacle cannot be understood as a mere visual deception produced by mass-media technologies. It is a worldview that has actually been materialized.


6

Understood in its totality, the spectacle is both the result and the goal of the dominant mode of production. It is not a mere decoration added to the real world. It is the very heart of this real society?s unreality. In all of its particular manifestations ? news, propaganda, advertising, entertainment ? the spectacle represents the dominant model of life. It is the omnipresent affirmation of the choices that have already been made in the sphere of production and in the consumption implied by that production. In both form and content the spectacle serves as a total justification of the conditions and goals of the existing system. The spectacle also represents the constant presence of this justification since it monopolizes the majority of the time spent outside the production process.


7

Separation is itself an integral part of the unity of this world, of a global social practice split into reality and image. The social practice confronted by an autonomous spectacle is at the same time the real totality which contains that spectacle. But the split within this totality mutilates it to the point that the spectacle seems to be its goal. The language of the spectacle consists of signs of the dominant system of production ? signs which are at the same time the ultimate end-products of that system.


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Offlinecastaway
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Re: Society of the Spectacle [Re: NiamhNyx]
    #2949003 - 07/31/04 04:37 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I read it once.

I tried to read it again

And I'll try to have an opinion by tomorrow


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InvisibleCorporal Kielbasa
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Re: Society of the Spectacle [Re: castaway]
    #2949050 - 07/31/04 04:43 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Ditto! But it sounds right on from my point of view.


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OfflineMixomatosis
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Re: Society of the Spectacle [Re: NiamhNyx]
    #2951605 - 08/01/04 01:49 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Can't say I understand his terms. The quotes are a little out of context, but I can imagine what he's probably saying.

What does his point of view offer? Is it anything more than just another clever way of saying everything's fucked? I'm pretty bored with that kinda stuff.


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Offlinecastaway
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Re: Society of the Spectacle [Re: NiamhNyx]
    #2951791 - 08/01/04 02:34 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)


Seperate realities bound by media

the spectacle seems to be the goal of the system and production is the means of insuring stability?


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Offlineergot
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Re: Society of the Spectacle [Re: NiamhNyx]
    #2952879 - 08/01/04 06:43 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Wow, and it was so much better when Jean Baudrillard theorized it... :smirk:

Simulacra and Simulation, any one? ANY ONE?

-ergot :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Remain a learner, never become a knower." - Osho


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Anonymous

Re: Society of the Spectacle [Re: NiamhNyx]
    #2953347 - 08/01/04 09:06 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

all i can think of with respect to the Society of the Spectacle is...

"not me"

"not here"

"not now"

anti-warholian


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OfflineMad_Buhdda_Abuser
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Re: Society of the Spectacle [Re: ]
    #2953573 - 08/01/04 09:48 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Spectacles created by the media??

if so is it the way the Media brings ethnic culture blending or normative behavior?


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Anonymous

Re: Society of the Spectacle [Re: NiamhNyx]
    #2956445 - 08/02/04 03:22 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I can't believe so few people have heard of the SI. I used to be a big Situationist fan back in the day. Memories of my rebellious youth are flooding back.  :evil:

If I could describe the situationist movement with one phrase, it would be anarchy meets decandence. As a matter of fact, situationism was perhaps the 20th century working-class version of French Decandence. People were fed up with the suppression of art and long labor hours under capitalism, fed up with images and icons replacing real tangible things, fed up with real events replaced with representations of events.

The Internet would be a Situationist's nightmare. Smiley faces representing people's emotions, chatrooms and forums replacing social interactions, and pop-up ads galore!

Readers of Adbusters magazine (www.adbusters.org) might be interested in knowing that the pranks that 'adbusters'  do are rooted in the Situationist idea of detournement. Co-opting corporate signs and infrastructures is all based on that idea, and I'd be ashamed of any Leftist who didn't know that. I'm no longer a Leftist but Situationist-style co-option is useful for any political movement.

This stuff should be taught in schools.


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Offlinecastaway
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Re: Society of the Spectacle [Re: ]
    #2957645 - 08/02/04 08:47 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Now THAT is harder for me to get a handle on than the original post in this thread.


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Anonymous

Re: Society of the Spectacle [Re: castaway]
    #2957787 - 08/02/04 09:33 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Hehe, you don't really need to know about the Situationist movement though to understand what Guy Debord was saying in Society of the Spectacle. Just look around you, especially to the media and it's influence on society. What is the 'spectacle'? It's mass production for production's sake. It's the work-buy-repeat cycle. Working to consume. The homogenization of culture packaged and ready for pickup at the next drive-thru window. I think almost everyone's seen the movie Fight Club. That movie (or book) sums it up perfectly. As a matter of fact, from an anti-consumerism perspective, the packaging and selling of Fight Club to the masses by Hollywood is the ultimate irony.

You said you read the book already. What did you think?


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Offlinecastaway
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Re: Society of the Spectacle [Re: ]
    #2957802 - 08/02/04 09:37 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

No I've only read the post and I intend to remain ignorant as long as I can maintain bliss.


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