|All photos by your humble|
maker, Peter Rozovsky
t is fitting that Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle
should be available free of charge online; I would hardly expect such a text to adhere to the bourgeois concept of property rights. I thought of Debord's work, and decided to consult it for the first time, because of the outpouring of social media agony over Jon Stewart's decision to leave The Daily Show
. ("... sometimes it's more important to step back and reconfigure a conversation than continue the same conversation because you know how to do it," Stewart was quoted as saying. Reconfigure a conversation
. Jesus. I prefer one commenter's speculation that Stewart might have been pissed he did not get David Letterman's job.)
The mourning for Stewart naturally included hosannas and lamentations for Stephen Colbert as not just a satirist, but an essential alternative voice, a position not easy to reconcile with his having left Comedy Central to take what I suspect is an eight-figure job with a vast media conglomerate. And then there's that other entertainer, Brian Williams, whose garbled recollections of Iraq, whether deliberate or not, gave rise to predictable public airings of ethical concern and inquiries into the workings of human memory — serious stuff.
I don't know if I'll be able to accept Debord's explanation for the weird ritual/spectacle aspect of so much public life; phrases like modern conditions of production
make my cheek muscles go slack and my eyelids get heavy. But Debord was surely right that in a society where those conditions prevail, "life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles
There is no contradiction in being attracted to the spectacle aspect of Debord's Situationist
thought even if one is dubious of his Marxist rhetoric. At least there was no such contradiction for Jean-Patrick Manchette
Over at Dietrich Kalteis' Off the Cuff
, Dietrich, Martin J. Frankson, and David Swinson make spectacles of themselves talking about good guys and keeping them just bad enough to hold a reader's interest. Once again, Dietrich illustrates the chat with one of my photos, this time of the noose-like apparition you'll see here at top right. Shadows play weird tricks where I live.
© Peter Rozovsky 2015
Labels: David Swinson, Dietrich Kalteis, Guy Debord, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Jon Stewart. Stephen Colbert. Brian Williams. Situationists, Martin J. Frankson, noir photos, photography