Remembering Guy Debord (december 1931-november 1994)

“Guy Debord will not be missed” somebody wrote short after his death in 1994. On this day it is 20 years ago since he put a bullet in his heart after suffering a painful alcohol-related disease. His last film I’ll put a link to under here. I found this beautiful necrology for him at http://www.utne.com from 1995. I quote from it here:

“Lingua Franca (March-April 1995) notes that most of Debord’s theories about what he termed the “spectacle”—that never-ending torrent of advertisements, media events, entertainment, and communication technologies that takes up all of our “free” time and separates us from the fruits of our labors, from one another, and even from ourselves—were worked out in “a demimonde of barflies, criminals, and utopian co-conspirators, a sizable number of whom had been incarcerated, at one time or another, in prisons and madhouses.” In choosing to spend his life with criminals and madmen, Debord may have been desperately seeking unmediated reality.”
(sounds a bit like Jesus to me)
“But if Debord wanted above all else not to be famous, why did he make films and write books in the first place? Surely not to please or fascinate; anyone who has actually seen Debord’s first film, Howlings in Favor of Sade (1952), a mostly black screen accompanied by a dull, repetitive soundtrack, or tried to read Society of the Spectacle, which is written with an ever-increasing opacity seemingly designed to push readers out, rather than drawing them in, will understand that Debord’s work was always profoundly anti-spectacle.”

“…but it’s more likely that Debord was just a bitter man who couldn’t stand the world he so accurately described or the fact that his theories were in the end of interest only to hipster intellectuals and had no effect whatsoever on the ever-increasing power of the society of the spectacle.”

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