Now Hear This! – A review of Thus Spoke the Spectacle

LibrarianShipwreck

We know that the images flashing at us from the multitude of screens that surround us are trying to tell us something. To a certain extent the meanings are quite obvious: status updates alert us to new messages, newscasters inform us of what is going on in the world, commercials exhort us to improve our lives by purchasing various products, and so forth. This is a world of spectacle, and as Guy Debord put it:

“The spectacle presents itself as something enormously positive, indisputable and inaccessible. It says nothing more than ‘that which appears is good, that which is good appears.’ The attitude which it demands in principle is passive acceptance which in fact it already obtained by its manner of appearance without reply, by its monopoly of appearance.” (12)

Thus the spectacle displays and then unrelentingly advances a version of the good life and an image of reality that…

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