Look, ma, I can read!

So, yeah, we spend a lot of time on YouTube, watching DirecTV commercials or clips of Metropolis or Shirley Temple singing the Good Ship Lollypop, or any number of other cultural detritus...it might be fair to call Crazy Tom a detritivore.

But sometimes, we read books. Here's a little Guy Debord:

49

The spectacle is the other side of money: it is the general abstract equivalent of all commodities. Money dominated society as the representation of general equivalence, namely, of the exchangeability of different goods whose uses could not be compared. The spectacle is the developed modern complement of money where the totality of the commodity world appears as a whole, as a general equivalence for what the entire society can be and can do. The spectacle is the money which one only looks at, because in the spectacle the totality of use is already exchanged for the totality of asbstract representation. The spectacle is not only the servant of pseudo-use, it is already in itself the psuedo-use of life.

I don't really get it, but I sort of do. The book is like a scent--I catch it sometimes but sometimes just feel like I've lost the trail.  Spectacle as the general equivalence of what the entire society can be and can do.  Money which one only looks at.  Putting on a stage show means making a big thing to look at.  How can we pull it out of only looking/listening/consuming?  Or do we even want to do that?

I got nothin', not right now.

Comments

All I can say is:

Freakin' French dudes. 

I KNOW.

I KNOW.

This is Michael Tara! Your post intrigued me!

Hmmmmm. . .money has no real intrinsic value as opposed to say gold. It is ony paper-in this day and age it is only numbers on a ledger that we never see yet how much will we give of ourselves, our souls,  to possess that which we cannot possess? All we ever have is the spectacle which that intangible commodity can provide us.

Hi! Good to hear from you. 

Hi! Good to hear from you.  Thanks for the note...that makes me think about the fact that money has become far more intangible since Debord was writing, and we're all exchanging nothing for nothing in some sense.  Hmmmm...

Ah yes. One of my favorite

Ah yes. One of my favorite tropes of one of my favorite bloggers is the utter meaninglessness of "the economy" as a discourse and - largely, at least at the commanding heights - as a set of institutions. A couple of choice cuts:

http://whoisioz.blogspot.com/2011/04/panzer-labyrinth.html

"But I digress. The "budget debate" is like a fantastical story in which an imaginery academy of unreal scientists argue over the classification and disposition of made-up animals. Professor Bunkus holds that the Violet Squoo is a species of Unicorn, whereas Doctor Freno-Loji, bosoms heaving, declares it a Mermaid. Outside of the Dream University, by the way, the real junta is throwing nuns out of airplanes, lending the whole story a undertone of grave horror."

 

http://whoisioz.blogspot.com/2011/03/economics-is-not-real-part-one.html

"Now you have to ask yourself: if the complete and total failure of a discipline to produce anything resembling a believable and empirically verifiable description of the very things the discipline purports to study does not "actually undermine the overall epistimic status of the discipline," then what would? This shit really is a religion; it literally cannot be disproven; it transcends all mortal truth categories and exists in ethereal unity with the whole cosmos; it is the worldspirit moving over the dark waters; yea, verily, it is the ein sof, the unutterable other beyond even the crowning keter of the tree of life, the attributeless everythingness without form or substance, the unspeakable, infinite actuality of the name of god."

 

-Jesse M

Those are incredible quotes. 

Those are incredible quotes.  And really relevant to our piece. Thanks! I guess it's not a big surprise that anything involving made-up gods, unicorns, mermaids & hegemony is basically a home-run with MKT.

Plus, now I feel better about not having taken any econ classes.