Society of the Spectacle

Although it has taken a while for me to decipher the language and style of writing, I have just completed Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle.

I made some conclusions almost immediately after closing the book. The first being my shock surrounding how relevant to today’s society it is and how it seems Debord predicted our technology ridden, commodity producing society back in 1967. Should we all have seen it coming?

Relating Debord’s theory of the spectacle with my own was fairly easy. Interested in the everyday and the excessive use of imagery/recording events instead of actually experiencing them, I found Debord often linked his Spectacle and Spectators to these activities and occurrences, mentioning the commodity of celebrity and the rebellion as a commodity in itself also.

One important factor I found was Debord’s interpretation of the mundanity of everyday. He says

‘Such lived experience of a cut-off everyday life remains bereft of language or concept, and it lacks any critical access to it’s own antecedents, which are nowhere recorded. It cannot be communicated. And it is misunderstood and forgotten to the benefit of the spectacle’s false memory of the unmemorable.’

History is based around singular events, not the bits inbetween- the unmemorable. The lack of understanding into these parts of life that link the ‘important’ events together are hard to comprehend or dissect, and that is an issue I am coming up against in my own journey exploring the everyday.

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