In Which The Spectacle Is Everywhere


by Molly Lambert

Britney and Justin feel each other on the MMC

Selected Quotes from Guy Debord’s 1967 seminal situationist text The Society Of The Spectacle, edited for length and clarity.

The alienation of the spectator, which reinforces the contemplated objects that result from his own unconscious activity, works like this:

The more he contemplates, the less he lives; the more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own life and his own desires.

The spectacle’s estrangement from the acting subject is expressed by the fact that the individual’s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him.

The spectator does not feel at home anywhere, because the spectacle is everywhere.

Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.

The specialization of images of the world evolves into a world of autonomized images where even the deceivers are deceived.

The spectacle presents itself simultaneously as society itself, as a part of society, and as a means of unification.

The spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images.

The spectacle cannot be understood as a mere visual deception produced by mass-media technologies.

The spectacle presents itself as a vast inaccessible reality that can never be questioned.

Its sole message is: “What appears is good; what is good appears.”

The passive acceptance it demands is already effectively imposed by its monopoly of appearances, its manner of appearing without allowing any reply.

It is the sun that never sets over the empire of modern passivity. It covers the entire surface of the globe, endlessly basking in its own glory.

In the spectacle — the visual reflection of the ruling economic order — goals are nothing, development is everything. It is nothing other than the economy developing for itself.

The spectacle does not realize philosophy, it philosophizes reality, reducing everyone’s concrete life to a universe of speculation.

The illusory paradise that represented a total denial of earthly life is no longer projected into the heavens, it is embedded in earthly life itself.

The spectacle is the technological version of the exiling of human powers into a “world beyond”; the culmination of humanity’s internal separation.

The spectacle is the ruling order’s nonstop discourse about itself, its never-ending monologue of self-praise, its self-portrait at the stage of totalitarian domination of all aspects of life.

“I heard, I heard what you were saying. You, you know nothing of my work. How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing.” – Marshall McLuhan

Future Sex/Love Sounds – Justin Timberlake: mp3

Break The Ice – Britney Spears: mp3

Perfect Lover – Britney Spears: mp3


Promiscuous girl animals, you’re teasin’ me.

Don’t worry, you made the right choice. I promise.

The incident of the Peruvian Meteorite Hysteria.

Molly Lambert is the senior editor of This Recording.

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