Before going into our usual diatribe (in this case a
quote from Anselm Jappe's absorbing *Guy
Debord* -University of California Press, 1999)
I can't resist telling you what a great and delicious
time we had last evening with Gary and Nada, their clever cats Nemo
and Dante, and the wonderful Marianne Shaneen.
I do not wish to provoke envy, yet I will mention that
the world at large should have so many more opportunities
to spend time with these immensely entertaining
poets; and, in particular, to experience directly their abundant
knowledge of certain hlarious, entrancing and stellar moments in Bollywood
film history. I will state unreservedly that such knowledge
should be made immediately available
to a broad, and hopelessly dismayed and bored
public, particularly in this bluest of blue states.
And Marianne's suggestion of Nada singing
flarf set to music- picture that! Is she not to
be enthuiastically encouraged in this most
hopefully entertaining of possiblities?
and, now, from Anselm Jappe:
"It will be evident by this time that the spectacle is the
heir of religion and it is significant that the first chapter
of *The Society of the Spectacle* has a quotation from
Feuerbach's *Essence of Christianity* as its epigraph.
The old religion projected man's own power into the heavens,
where it took on the appearance of a god oopposed to man,
a foreign entity. The spectacle performs the same operation
on earth. The greater the power that man attributed to gods
of his own creation, the more powerless he himself felt;
humanity behaves similarly with respect to powers that it
has created and allowed to escape and that now "reveal
themselves to us in their full force." (Society of the Spectacle).
The *contemplation* of these powers is in inverse propportion
to the individual's experience of real life, to the point where
his most ordinary gestures are lived by someone else
instead of by the subject himself. In this world, "the
spectabor feels at home nowhere" (Society of the Spectacle).
In the spectacle, as in religion, every moment of life,
every idea, and every gesture achieves meaning only from
without." (Debord and Conjuers, 1960 and *Situationist
International Anthology, 1983).