Ryn’s review of Society of the Spectacle > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I completely disagree with your claim that Debord is calling for a return to a glorious past/era. Debord consistently criticizes the romanticization (i.e., commoditization) of the past by the capitalist economy. He persistently emphasizes the historical present, as lingering on the past is part and parcel of the ideology of the society of the spectacle. For example, he laments the "false consciousness of time" (aphorism 158), which precludes an imminent critique of present society. I can understand if the writing style doesn't appeal to you, but at the same time it seems like you haven't done a close reading of the text.

message 2: by Ryn (new)

Ryn Shane-Armstrong So you would prefer a "close reading of the text" that completely ignores the regressive romanticism of Debord's "loss of unity" worldview? That doesn't make sense. He clearly believes we've been led astray by Capital, yes, that much is clear. But FROM WHAT?

message 3: by Ryn (new)

Ryn Shane-Armstrong Ron wrote: "You seem to like the word regressive (which doesn't rate very high in the vocabulary world).

This gave me a chuckle. In all my years of teaching, including several as an instructor of English as a second language, I never once heard of this "vocabulary world" or its apparently very important word rating system. Tell me, do they grade on syllable count, or alliteration, or what? What's the criteria? Is there a way for a mediocre word to make up points during the swimwear competition? My words are super slutty.

Fantasy planets nothwithstanding, I have come across - here on Earth - more than a few of these things called dictionaries. They're everywhere and exceedingly helpful. I often use the ones on the internet. So convenient! You know, Ronnie, you should totally pick one up! I think you'd really dig it. I mean, there's so much one can learn from a dictionary, like, for example, the meaning of "regressive," which is the adjective form of the noun "regress" and means, among other things, "movement backward to a previous and especially worse or more primitive state or condition." Wow! What a great word. Can't wait to use it again... and again... and again....

It's a shame, because the quote above is far from regressive and is absolutely correct about the rise of spectacle--football, movies, TV etc--to replace the sense of community that society used to have.


My beef with Debord (and you, too, Ronaldo) is not the identification and lamentation of spectacle; that much is self-evident and justified, hence my snarky description of pillow fights in China. My beef (please pay attention to this part) is with the ludicrous contention that we humans somehow "used to have" a "sense of community." This is what I would call REGRESSIVE romanticism, by which I mean to say that you lot are trying to put lipstick on the pig of human history. Tsk, tsk...

See that? That was what we call an idea. What I like about ideas is that they can be challenged, especially with, you know, evidence and thoughtful arguments, etc. So, my dear Ronancy McRowboat, if your beloved freshman logic students can shred me... fucking shred me! I aint going nowhere. Sitting right here. Just a'waiting.


If it is indeed true that you are charged with overseeing the intellectual development of students studying logic, the great state of Wisconsin is doomed. No, that's not nice. I'm sorry. Maybe you just haven't gotten to the part in your textbook that discusses fallacies. Oh, man! When they read that stuff, though, they will surely then be able to see through your above comment as nothing more than a poorly-written ad hominem attack disguised as witticism. They, like me, will laugh and laugh and laugh...

message 4: by Franci (new)

Franci Grandi They way I read it was more that progress (especially capitalist) lead to the alienation of man. I agree with you that Debord laments the development of humanity. However he never explicitly longs for a return to any previous stage. You can say it's implied, but the fact IIRC Debord never specified when the "spectacle" began, I imagine it has something to do with the alienation of individuals due to development, leads me to believe that "the spectacle" simply always existed. And the "Unity" Debord talks to is more an ideal, that stand as the antithesis to the spectacle. Not something that can be located in history. However I don't have my copy with me rn so I might be wrong on this one.

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